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Translation Questions for Sarah

This is sort of a preliminary question: raccoon penis bone.

As far as human beings are concerned, I’ve always thought there was no such thing as a bone inside their penises. Is it different for raccoons? Or does “bone” mean something else in this case?

No, actually racoons do have real bones in their penis, so do some other animals

Here is something from an article I wrote about them for a mag:


Raccoon Penis Bone Edification

I will now digress from the above anecdote to address what the gosh darn heck a raccoon penis bone is. A raccoon penis bone is a sexual amulet used in the United States’ South, Midwest and parts of Appalachia.  It can be worn as a necklace or gamblers will wrap a $20 bill around it, tie it with red thread and keep it in their pockets for improved fortunes. Folks will sometimes put a raccoon penis bone beneath the bed or between the boxspring and mattress so that the man or lady with a strap-on will perform better, longer, stronger and harder. The Lot Lizard, (or truck stop prostitute) to maximize the pleasure whilst vending their wares, will often wear a raccoon penis bone for additional fortitude as well as utilizing the useful physical design of the bone in their trade.


But Are They Real?

Penis bones are moderately common. Foxes, bears, coyotes, walruses, seals, and

squirrels are proud owners of them. The largest ones are from walruses and seals and can be as long as a healthy man’s forearm bone. The name for the penis bone of a walrus among the Aleuts' in Alaska is Oosik, (pronounced "ou' sick").  They are employed for making parts of dog sleds and carved with scrimshaw (decorative craving). The penis bones of Mice and squirrels are minuscule. They don't signify much.

Raccoon Penis bones are most popular as sex charms owing to the fact that due to the dimensions of the animal, it has the most impressive penis bone. Or to paraphrase in laymen’s terms, it is the best hung.

The penis of a big old bear ain't no different then the size of a raccoon’s dick bone.


For the substantially masculine gentleman that does not feel at ease saying the word “penis”, an alternative name for the raccoon bone is the “Spanish bone” (much like the Spanish Fly) or simply “Coon bone,” “Coon Dong,”  “Pecker bone” and the ever fashionable charm of “Love Bone.”



A word to animal activists.

The Raccoon or Procyon lotor in the United States, is considered by many to be a pest along the lines of rodents. Those that wear the bone and practice its medicine are most definitely not of that defamatory opinion. A bone, to facilitate retaining its true intoxicating powers must be harvested from an undomesticated raccoon that met his maker in an honorable and respectable fashion.  Which might mean having been a tasty nibble for a bobcat or a horned owl, but more habitually the mighty coon is felled by its focal predator: The Gas Powered Vehicle. At daybreak, along the sides of most US thoroughfares, it is always a preferred time to gather a rather sizable crop of raccoon penis bones.



Page 1

«That’s why he’s got good medicine

Meaning he is so good at healing people?



"I don't care how cheap the room and the hoe"

            - is "hoe" another word for prostitute? Is there an explanation of this transformation of the meaning of hoe?  I am trying to use my imagination.

Yes, Hoe means whore..


- so what you get is "trick", "date" and "john" as expressions for men buying time from the prostitutes. "Hoe" is another word for "prostitute". Is it very derogatory? Is it from hillbilly slang or is it general prostitution slang?


Hoe is now general prostitution slang, folks use it to mean slut as well. trick", "date" and "john” is the slang for the paying customer.


«like other goodbuddy lizards usually do»

Goodbuddy is the boy or gay lizards.


"goodbuddy" -- does this mean always gay prostitute? There is a sentence

where it is explicitly said. "...faggot goodbuddy", but there is a another sentence where it is said that somebody doesn't have to stand in line outside the trucks like "the goodbuddy lizards" (page 28).

Yes, Goodbuddy is kind’ve a code for gay

Page 2

"All Glad's pavement princesses dress so comely in the most delicate silk

from China, fine lace from France, and degenerate leather from _Germany."

Question: I guess "comely" here is much more like no. 1,  "ravishing, gorgeous, breathtaking, beautiful than no. 2, "decent, proper" etc.

Comely has two meanings in English usage, I think the first alternative is more likely than the second one?

Yes, first meaning... "ravishing, gorgeous, breathtaking, beautiful

Page 3

«the little motel room one of her regulars on the green bean run pays for».

Meaning his truck transports green bean?


«You’ll be soaking your pump knot in here too...»

Meaning your dick?

Butt hole J

"soaking your pump knot"

- does this mean to nurse a swell in your head after somebody beat you up?

 Pump knot is like bottom, tush, behind.


Page 5

«I once heard Big Pullsman Todd [Is that a nickname? What does it mean? Is Pullsman a typo for Pullman?] say between forkfuls of his Wellington [my dictionary says it’s a sort of boot, but this doesn’t sound the case...] of king salmon with...»

It is just a name. Pullsman.  Wellington  is a way of cooking things.


«on the fake marble with sparkles in its linoleum»

Meaning the floor was fake marble covered in linoleum?

Yes, the linoleum is fake marble design and has sparkles in it.

«Mother Shapiro»

Is that meant to sound like a religious title?



Page 6

«fell in love with a john that drove a custom»

Meaning a customized car, or truck, or what?



«his side dish of liver with crème fraîche strudel»

Is that a piece of meat (liver) with a strudel on the side?? Or is it a “liver strudel”? (What would that be?)

It is liver strudel with crème fraîche on it.


Who's song is 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown'

It is a famous American song, but I am not sure who wrote it. Does not matter.


Page 7

«if the calf liver reduction sauce on the fresh corn ragout had been a little off [meaning a bit stale?]»

Not as tasty. Not as good as it usually is.


Page 8 

'He was pulled off to the side of the Interstate...'

Who pulled him out of his cab?


Nobody pulls him out of the cab. He is just on side of the road. I don’t say who pulled him out. The Highway Patrol finds his body.


Page 9

« blond young girls can do themselves quite a turn»

Meaning they can earn a lot of money?



'No one ever noticed it was Glad who paid the fine.'

Does 'No one' mean 'one no outside the lot'?


That means nobody off the lot, like the Sheriff or health dept.


Page 11

«when I knew she had gone with a trick to gamble out on a delta boat»

“Gamble out” meaning playing in a casino? The casino is on a boat? What about the delta, is that a reference to the Mississippi delta?

Yup, they have these boast that are floating casinos and they are on the Mississippi Delta. 


Page 14

«as we drank strawberry Yoo-Hoos»

It is a drink, like chocolate milk, but with Strawberry. You buy it in a glass bottle, like a Coke.


Is 'the caravan' a bunch of trailers?




Page 15

earn how to trick with men who want to dress in lacy frilly things trick = sexually satisfy, or simply please, entertain?


Yes, to trick means to sexually satisfy, with payment involved.

«Pie was born a woodscolt – a bastard»

Is “woodscolt” another word for “bastard”? I couldn’t find it anywhere.



            - does it literally mean colt from the woods, and also meaning

greenhorn, or is it somebody born out of marriage, and from the woods.

A backwoods person.   A baby, like someone who is green, young, new at something…

«the only traditional Chinese restaurant in the upper reaches of the Appalachian»

Meaning height, or meaning North?

I mean remote parts.


What is 'bitter melon'? I consulted with many dictionaries but could not find it.

 It is a Chinese vegetable.


Page 17

«Glad just melts waxed dental tape onto a small bone»

Is it another word for dental floss?

 Well, it is like dental floss, only it is tape, it is flat.



«Ready as snipers at bull ball cuttin’time»

What does it literally mean?

It is a saying and it should be snippers, that is like a big pair of scissors. And what that means is, ready as farm scissors, when it is time to cut the bulls balls. There is a time when they castrate them.


«Your natural look will make ya more lettuce than a face palate»

Meaning too much makeup. Like a palate of paint, palate is where an artist keeps his paint as he paints.


Page 19

«my daddy sucked on a piece of coal to help his graveyard cough»

Meaning it was a lugubrious-sounding cough? or that he was actually dying? Or maybe, since a graveyard shift is a night shift, a graveyard cough could be a cough you have at night... (Did the last one sound very silly?)

 It was a cough that will take you to the grave.

Page 20


"..one of the regulars on the green bean"

            - I suppose green bean means somebody who is new and inexperienced, a greenhorn.

No this means a trucker that his cargo is actually green beans, the produce.

«At any given time, if Mother is sitting in the Doves, some lizard will holler out to her...»

Meaning this can happen any time, or at certain times?

Yes any time.


Page 21

«walnut tart tatin»

Is that French? What kind of pie is that?

I don’t really know. It is some kind of pastry. I copied it from a fancy menu!


'the coast is probably all in the clear'

What does that mean?


That means they are not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, the coast is clear, means it is safe.


Pooh says "That man is slicker than cum on gold  teeth".  I know what it means, but I am not sure whether 'slicker' here has a positive or negative connotation.  Is it a compliment?


Slick, means like sly, crafty, sneaky. She is saying it with awe and respect. Much like in Oliver Twist, the way the Artful Dodger admires Fagin and his slick, or crafty criminal ways.


 Page 22

«microwaved cider-cured spit-roasted pork loin»

 It is a way of cooking the food. Cider- like the drink and cured, like smoked.


«sweet Vidalia onion purée»

Is that a specific kind of onions, or what?

Vidalia is a sweet onion, it is a kind of onion.

«a Tupperware of osetra caviar dressing»

I have a vague idea of what “Tupperware” means, but I can’t remember if it’s a brand name for pots and pans or a brand name for the material some pots and pans are made of (and what kind of material would that be? Glass-like or china-like or metallic? Heat-resistant, so that you can put those pots in the oven or on the cooker?)

Tupperware is the plastic container, like Rubbermaid, it is a brand name. It is plastic. Hard plastic

As far as osetra, I m clueless

 It is a fancy kind of caviar.


Page 23

«miso-butter poached chard»

Misobutter is  food, Japanese, it is a soy paste.


«fuchsia French-cut underwear»

Would that be a G.string?

 No, it is high cut. Look on the Internet for examples. Hard to describe. J


'stuffed quail eggs' Quail eggs are very small. What do you stuff them with?

Different delicacies.


'Are they gonna play Davy Crockett for me?' Does that mean

'Are you going to kill me' in short?

'a cuss fight away from entering your teenhood'

Could you paraphrase that? Is he under teens? It is said that he is twelve-year-old on the back Page, though.




THE CUSS FIGHT (p 23, Bloomsbury ed)

'On account of you being a greenhorn and two curves and a cuss fight away from entering your teenhood, it's best'


            - to me it sounds like a southern expression, denoting bad behaviour, cussing and fighting that is. But is it a competition?  Like playing the dozens in a verbal contest, who is the better cusser, in other words using language like a rapper would, so it is tougher and of a much higher temperature than simply a quarrel.

- I understand it that this cuss fight is more than simply an ordinary quarrel, it's the kind of quarrel that  initiates you into teenhood/maybe the tough world,, but is the sentence of your own making only or is it a usual expression, an idiom?"

It is an expression, and it means like entering manhood...   earning yer manhood...

Page 25.

Is there an actual animal called “jackalope”, or is “Jackalope” (capital J) a name you created? If this is the case, is that a mix between “jackal” and “antelope”, or “Jack” and “antelope” or what? Do you think I should maintain the noun as it is in English (for example, I did not translate “Cherry Vanilla” or “Glad” or “Sundae” or “Pie” into Italian, since they are the characters’ names)?


What is 'Jackalope' I think you made up it: jackal and antelope. Am I right?


The Jackalope is an American myth. It is an animal that has folklore about it, but it made by taxidermists. It is a jack-rabbit mixed with a Antelope and given huge antlers usually. If you do a website search you can find a lot of sites devoted to the Jackalope.



Ok I’ve looked it up on the Web and found out about the Jackalope. Still, I would like to know if you’d rather have the name translated into Italian (I was thinking of something like “Cervoconiglio”, literally “deerbunny”, which gives a more visual idea of it to the reader), or left as it is, in English, with a footnote. (I’ll put a footnote on the jackalope anyway, since it’s not a well-known “legend” in Italy at all).

I think deer bunny is good.


«his red and black Coldmaster thermal long johns shirt»

Long john, again, I would do a search. They are like thermals that are like a whole body underwear. You should be able to find some to see what they are.


«when someone suggests he open a franchise over Cheat Ridge»

Is that a typo for “Bridge”?

Franchise is like, MacDonald’s, each one is a franchise, it is a chain, it is like opening another business in another area.  A Ridge is a like a mountain range.


Page 26

«the putrid scent of the bar’s coal still behind back»

Meaning a coal-powered machine to distill liquors?


«I’m going to drink a fair number of bourbon branches»

 Kind of drink, southern.


Page 27

«these hoes are taking their sweet time»

Meaning whores?

Yeah. It is used a lot by rappers too.

 «You should never use matte [to cover bruises]»

Does that mean metal-coloured foundation? Or powdery foundation? Or what?

 I think matte is powder based. 


Page 31

«And I’ll be John Browned if we actually make it to there».

 That is a saying. Very complex to explain.



Page 32

«No hot-air vents or red coils either»

What would they be? What would they do?

 Like in an electric heater, or hotplate,  the coils turn red with heat.


what is red coil


It's a part of an air conditioner.  Air conditioners and hot air vents are always in bars and could be tampered with to produce the light around the jackalope.


'But just 'cause a bug squashed on a windshield looks like the Virgin Mary don't mean it's gonna be turnin' no bitters into brandy.'

Does that explain the difference between real miracles and coincidence?


 Yes. And it is a goof on all the folks in the US that see the Virgin Mary in a bar of soap or something and make it a huge miracle and folks flock from all around to see it!


Page 33

«Caught in mid lead it lunges out»

 It looks as if it is leaping, jumping, it is frozen in that position


'Caught in mid lead it lunges out,' Could you paraphrase that?


  The Jackalope is posed as if it is leaping into the air.


Page 34

«it suddenly starts to rain pure tiger’s sweat moonshine»

Is that a particular kind of liquor? Or does that mean “moonshine that is similar to/tastes like sweat from a tiger”?

 It is just a slang for moonshine.  I think it got its name coz it tastes like what you said.


Page 36

«like the exposed underpart [= its belly? why is it “exposed”? Because they have shaved it? Because they have laid the animal on his back?] of  a just-fixed


Yes when they fix an animal, they shave it, its belly. so it is bald, hairless, exposed, smooth.


«I love your Goldi locks curls»

What does that mean? Why the capital G? Who is Goldi? A doll?

 Goldilocks and the 3 bears is a popular children’s story.



«He looks like he’s hanging in there like a hair on biscuit».

Meaning he’s a sad-looking, useless guy?



Page 37

«I sure would love a hillbilly pop»

 Another term for Moonshine.


"hillbilly pop

            - Kind of soda pop, ginger ale? -- nonalcoholic beverage popular with hillbillies?


Moonshine… slang, a funny way to say it is moonshine, which is a very strong homemade alcohol.


Page 38

«some of the clear liquid out of a jam-jelly glass».

Meaning a glass jar like those you put fruit jam in?


Page 39

«boxcutter [Would that be another name for a beaver? Or a similar animal? Or what?] teeth with gold trim [=edges? fillings?] impressed with Norse warrior design»

I mean sharp like a boxcutter knife. And trim meaning edges, yes.


'Boxcutter teeth with gold trim impressed with Norse warrior


 Are his teeth really so or does that a kind of metaphor?


 Really like that.


 «We pile into Le Loup’s Purple Trans Am»

Is that a car? a pick-up truck? a van? Why has Purple a capital p? Is “Purple” part of the name of that specific model, or is it just its color?

It is just the color of the car, and it should not be capitalized. And you may catch that later the Trans Am turns black. That is a mistake. It should be purple too.



'Le Loup's Purple Trans Am.'

His Trans Am is always black in other parts. Is it OK?


 Whoops! You caught a big boo-boo! If you can make it Purple that would be great. You win a Penis bone for that one!!! Good catch!!!  J

"The purple Trans Am"

            - later on Le Loup's Trans Am is referred to as black. Has he got another one? The colour purple is like the colour in Prince's song and movie. Is it deliberate from you? Is it the colour of sin and carnal pleasure? You seem to allude to both the sacred and the profane in this novel. The world of saints and sinners.


No it is a fuckup! You caught it, most folks don’t!! Right on! Very good reading! J My editor didn’t even catch it. Keep em both Purple.


 «Sky sure looks bluer than end-of-the-month balls»

“Balls” as in people’s balls? I have never heard the phrase “blue balls”. What does that mean? Being tired and in an ugly mood?

When men don’t get to cum, like they are stimulated, but don’t get to release, they often get what is called ‘Blue balls” Their testicles (balls)  hurt. They don’t really turn blue, or maybe they do, it is from the blood not releasing or something.


Do 'end-of-the-month balls' mean 'glass balls'?


 No, means like blue balls. Like when the money is running low till end of the month’s pay day, so they can’t afford any Lizards so they have blue balls.


«A black snake, belly-up, is sure to make it wet as a lizard’s poing after pay day»



Page 40

 «You was gonna have your baptism, but he got a whiff...»

I whiff is a big smell. I got a whiff of that lovely flower. Or sniff. It is the same.

Meaning he smelled you and decided he’d better not baptize you? (=fuck you?)

Yes, but the baptizing is not sex and he bites them, it is more in the book, later on.


«Pooh waves her hands again and makes a sourball face»

Meaning like she’s disgusted?

 I think so. What Page is it. Maybe like she bit on a lemon.


«I doubt he’ll put out without getting you first»

Meaning he won’t make you work for him without having fucked you first?



Page 41

« ‘He didn’t even bite ya!’ She gives my chin a subtle shove back down. ‘Well, he will’. She grins again. ‘Faster than a fart in a whirlwind, he’ll take you’.»

What does “to bite” mean, here?

 It means to bite, actually to bite. 


Page 42

«to apply an overlay of prime coat VO5»

 That is a hair gel, it is like hairspray  VO5 is rand name.

«never get used to the stink of swamp lantern roses

These are not actual roses, are they? They’re cabbage flowers... So is “lantern roses” a colloquial name, an ironic name, or what? Why “lantern”? Because they are big? Because they’re yellow as the light from a lantern?

Yes, it is like a slang term. The rose is sarcastic. It is not lantern, does it say that? If it does, they fucked up. It is latrine, like a toilet.  Coz they stink!


Page 46

«Maybe you’ll be like Sarah in the Bible, and the Lord will knock you up when your tang [=smell?] is as leathery as a sow’s purse [meaning a purse made out of the skin of a sow?]

Tang, vagina. Yes, about the sow. 


Page 48

«a big plate of livermush fry topped with red-eye gravy [...] and hoe cakes to sop it all up »

 It is just a food from the South. It is mushy liver. Hoe cakes, is like corn bread. And sop it up, means to absorb it, like bread with sauce.

Page 49

«if she does not partake of the ramps, she’s gonna be fart-free sucking on stick shift ‘stead of the weasel, she’ll be so blind!»

Meaning the guy, or specifically his dick, or what?

Meaning if she does not eat ramps, she will be blind because the burn of the ramps will make her eyes hurt too much (like when you cut onions) and she wont be able to tell the difference between a stick shift or the man’s “weasel” penis.


Page 49      has pretty baroque language:


"I know our boys rather have a tube-steak-shine than a deodorized whore.."


Does this literally mean whacking off into a tube-steak or is the tube-steak another expression for phallos, penis, hot dog, love bone...?

 This one:  tube-steak - another expression for phallos, penis, hot dog, love bone..


Page 53

«no pimp would let a lizard as cute as a toe sack full of puppies, like you are...»

 It is a hard one to translate.  Often folk drown puppies.  They put then in a toe sack, a sack and they put in a rock and drown them. But the puppies are cute too,  I guess before they are drowned. Hard one.


Page 54

«Now Le Loup is gonna really charge more for a poke with you»

Meaning to fuck with you?



Page 56

«My hands are hotter’n the hubs of hell!»

Meaning the circles of hell? Or what?


«that’s what your fucking saint did, after guzzling my stumphole whisky

 It is a slang for Moonshine.


Page 57

«You all look like a bunch of pickled crab apples down there»

I understand the literal meaning of the words, but not the meaning of the phrase. Does she mean they sound crazy? Why pickled crab apples= craziness?

 Yes, more silly looking, dumb.


'I put gates on all the windows'


-- This is not like prison bars on the windowpane, but simply a gate so the window cannot be opened from the inside, but windowpane could be still be smashed open, Cherry can't do that can he?


Yes, Cherry could have smashed the windows but Le Loup told him to open the front door to get some air just to make a point.  He had tried to escape through the window before and, when Le Loup caught him, he said he wanted to get some air.


Page 58


"Must Jesus Bear the Cross For Me"         


            I checked out the hymns on the internet and I found that they were written in the 1850s. I don't think I have heard them although I am fairly familiar with American religious music, black or white, from Appalachia as well as the Deep South. I asked a Norwegian ordained minister and hymn writer to make Norwegian versions of all the lines from the spirituals referred to. they work wonderfully.


 Yup, you got it!


Page 59

«How the fuck is [a whore] supposed to make her money after she’s gotten used to sleeping on her side

Meaning sleeping alone? Meaning she has lost the habit of fucking around?

 Meaning that she is not sleeping on her back any more, not being a whore.


I close my eyes and just float. I imagine Sarah next to me. I reach out my hand to her and she lets me hold her hand. One did give his life up for an unworthy soul such as I... they sing, and I hum along to "Nailed to the Cross" in the key of F. I smile at my mom. She hates the romantic spirituals, but tends to enjoy the ones that contain great bodily harm to Jesus.

            "Jesus is just like a trucker - takes a whore off her back," she'd rave after some lizard would find Jesus. "Convinces her he's the fuckin' Son of God and always fuckin' leaves her. How the fuck is she supposed to make her money after she's gotten used to sleepin' on her side?" she'd spit.


 There probably is a pun intended here, and it is a hard one

translate properly. The literal meaning could imply that Jesus made the prostitutes stand up instead of lying on their backs. But what is the similarity between Jesus and the truckers then, apart from the fact that both Jesus and the truckers are the friend of prostitutes.

 Meaning that Jesus saves the whore from being a prostitute, get them off their backs, the position they lay in when they are “working” to their knees, in prayer…




The whole quote from Sarah's mother seems to be a point about in what position whores are asleep, whores both work and sleep on their back, when a whore is saved by Jesus she does not work any more. I am not sure how to develop this, but I just have to see more clearly the comparison that Sarah makes between Jesus and a trucker and their behavior towards whores.

From the Bible we know that Jesus often was in company of whores.  There is a lot of subtext here.


 That when a prostitute finds Jesus, they stop tricking... they stop laying on their back, the position of "turning the trick" the man on top, fucking her. She gets used to laying on her side, but Jesus does not pay the bills, Jesus leaves, is what she is saying, So, it is harder to go back to tricking, being a whore, after a whore finds Jesus, you have to go back to sleeping on your back, it is harder


Page 63

«all the lizards still took Mary Kay Cosmetics lessons»

Is Mary Kay a brand of cosmetics?  Or a magazine?  Or what? How did they take their “lessons”? Reading a magazine? Watching tv?  From Avon-like representatives?

Yes, it is like Avon, just kind of trashier.  They have reps just like Avon.


Page 66

«I hope your innards don’t give up on us anytime soon».

"Your" meaning Sarah’s? What does Le Loup mean? Does he hope Sarah doesn’t die soon? 

Yes. Innards, guts and stuff inside.


Page 67

what is to testify in: Pooh stopped bringing in her tricks to testify to Le Loup after a particular trucker she had brought in who hauled an eighteen-wheeler .... contributing to have a visti me me...?


Now that she is considered a saint, many of the truckers come to LeLoup's to visit Sarah and "testify"---it's an expression used in many Southern relisions that means one openly praises Jesus, confesses sins, begs to be worthy, etc.


Page 68

«the Kingsford trucker»

Is Kingsford the town where he came from?

 It is a brand name, they make coal products.


Page 70

I assume trick lighting ('Least she don't need no trick lighting,' Le Loup says in a low grumble, surprising me from behind.) means the lights that signal that a prostitute is selling his/her stuff, like in red light district.  Is that right?


No, Le Loup uses trick lighting, special lights when "Cherry Vanilla" is on the bed acting like a saint, to make him appear more magical and he means that Pooh is bringing in the money with no special effects, unlike Cherry. Pooh needs no special effects to make money while Cherry does.


Page 71

«Yanks have no space left in their hearts, in their minds, and on their land for a miracle of the Lord to take seed»

Meaning to happen?



Page 73

«take a big step farther out into the cool musky water»

Meaning covered in moss? Or smelling like musk?    

 The odour of musk.


Page 74

«like the pliant bark of a slippery elm»

Is that a particular kind of elm tree, or just an elm tree made slippery my rain or such?

It is a particular kind of Elm

A deciduous eastern North American tree (Ulmus rubra) having hard wood and mucilaginous, aromatic inner bark formerly used medicinally.

The wood of this tree.


Page 77

«gives out more heat than a goat’s butt in a pepper patch»

Meaning a field? 



Page 79

«Uncle sold Le Loup his corn liquor, but it was really just Sterno that we would pour through loaves of Wonder bread to clean it up some».

 Sterno is cooking fuel, usually used for camping.  Wonder Bread is a very popular cheap white bread sold here in the US

«Uncle’d be sucking chrome off a trailer hitch if he hadn’t me to offer to Le Loup».

What is a hitch, exactly? 

It is the part that comes out from a trailer that you use to attach or hitch up the trailer to say a car or other vehicle. 

What does the whole sentence mean? that he would be very poor? that he would be dead?

 It implies. Or is a funny way of saying  Le Loup would’ve done something very bad to him.


 Page 83

«having scales overweigh their haul, even when their rig was half empty»

meaning the scales indicated that the haul weighted more than it really did, or, more specifically, more than was allowed?  

 Yes to the first meaning the scales indicated that the haul weighted more than it really did.


Page 85

«Pooh suck-starting a Harley»

What/where is she supposed to have sucked, to make it start? Its exhaust pipe or what?

Sucking the ignition so hard the thing starts. 


Page 90

«plus, some folks say he [=Le Loup] is sweet on you»

meaning he’s in love with you?



 Page 91

'like a piece of driftwood not yet worn smooth,'


What does that imply?


 That her voice was rough.

Page 94

«golden ringlets peeking out from beneath the scarf, reflecting off the barn door’s nightlight like a coin tossed into the air»

Would that be a lamp hanging over the door?

Yes, on when it gets dark.


"... pats her back gently so as not to knock her precarious balance

out of whack."

            - This is Pooh helping Stella (p. 94 in the Bloomsbury edition). I understand it that Stella is walking unsteadily and should be handled

carefully so as not to fall.

 Yup, Stella is high on drugs, so she does not walk well.


Page 98

«one of them sweet white undie shirts, with a sweet little baby-blue bow at the tippy-top!»

does that mean something, or is it just a cutesy word that goes well with “top”?

It means a bow at the very top, like on the chest, top of the garment.  


Page 99

«I stare up at the cracked wood slate ceiling»

So was the ceiling made of wood, or slate? or what does that mean?

Wood, just like planks of wood. 


Page 109

«I know they got some stills hid in these hollers here»

hollers = hollows = small valleys?

Yes.  Hollers is the southern way to say hollows which means exactly, small valleys. 


Page 117

«Le Loup’s chair gives a turning scrape»

Meaning that it scrapes as it turns, or that it gives an unpleasant-sounding scrape? 

The first. Meaning that it scrapes as it turns


«Now, I heard rumors that you and all the crew at the diner sold potato crèches to a fair number of our recent visitors. Now, I understand you have a number of sacks left that are growing eyes faster than a blind man in a strip joint»

What are potato crèches? 

crèche (krsh)
A representation of the Nativity, usually with statues or figurines

so it a representation of the Nativity carved out of potato.

What is Le Loup’s point here? That they are making money at the diner anyway, so they shouldn’t complain?


I'm almost done but one question still remains: on page 117 you mention the selling of "potato creches" by  the crew of the diner. are these "creches" displays of the nativity made of potatoes or something else entirely?


Yes, that's it exactly.  Thanks!!  I'm so happy it's getting translated into Hebrew!


what are potato creches?


A creche is a manger scene put out at Christmas that shows the baby Jesus in his crib with the animals and Mary and Joseph gathered around.  They were making these out of potatoes to sell.


'the fleecing of the Yanks .. could not compare to the loss y'all incurred on those smart little makeup compacts and those televison-friendly supplementary wardrobes'


I am not sure how to losses are incurred on compacts and wardrobes, can you explain this figure of speech that Le Loup uses in his oration to the torch-bearers?


It means that so many truckers came when Cherry had the reputation of being a saint that the lizards made a lot of money.....much more money than they spent on the makeup and clothing that they bought because they thought they would be on television.


Page 120

«hidden by a tangle of laurel breaks»

What does “break” mean here?  They are a plant, really thick tangle of Laurel.

NEVER MIND. FUCKING TYPO FOR “BRAKES” (which is spelled ok some Pages later).

 Page 121

(Stacey) watching satellite feeds of soap operas

feeds = figure of speech for "what the watchers are being fed with, the sopa operas are the feed of satellite TV,or: what the consumers are being with is soap operas. Or does it simply mean "operas sent by satellite"?


People can pick up the television signals that allow a TV to work from either cable, antennae or satellite dishes.  When it is picked up from satellite dishes, it’s called a satellite feed.  Soap operas are a type of television program with a lot of drama.  They don’t have music like regular operas.  They are called soap operas because of the drama.


Page 122

«Before Stacey sends me out on a little brother seatcover date»

Slang for a male hooker date.


«just hands over the key to the first aid kit and doesn’t mind you drinking up the ninety weight tucked in there»

What does it mean (literally and metaphorically, if that is the case)?

It is a term for whiskey.


«the gay drivers usually send me back telling me I’m a road runt»

CB slang for a child.


«the Lavender Larry drivers»

Meaning they are gay, of the effeminate, delicate, non-macho kind, aren’t they? Is there a reason why “Lavender” and “Larry”?

More the guys that are like paedophiles, the way Lymon is.


Page 123

«cans of microwaved SpaghettiOs and pepperoni rolls from Clarksburg»

What are pepperoni rolls? Sliced pepperoni rolled onto themselves? Rolls of meat (or other stuff) with pepperoni inside? Is Clarksburg the brand name or the town the food come from?

It is like bread with pepperoni in them. Popular food in WVA.


'Page 128


Sterno poured through Wonder bread'

Do they do that in  order to add flavor to Sterno?


 Sterno is a fuel used to cook on when camping. It is like gas. Not sure what is it made from. Some folks used to drink it or sell it as Moonshine. They would pour it through Wonder Bread, which is just plain white bread in an attempt to filter out the impurities, it would not work. It is still poison to drink. 


Page 132


 'Ain't nothing to feel'

Does that mean 'I don't intend to feel you up'?


 It is a put down, meaning Pooh does not have enough breasts for him to feel up.


Page 134


I think I have figured most of the stuff in the book apart from the medicine

of peroxide and mercurochrome to put on Cherry's knees when he stumbles on the tar road.


Have you got a brand name for mercuchrome (it sounds very poisonous, mercury is, but it maybe has been used in tinctures in the past, the pharmacist over here did not have anything of the sort!)


There really isn't one brand name for mercurochrome.  It's a basic first aid lotion, kills bacteria and cleans the wound.  It's most notable for its red color.


Page 137

«as if they took place with the prolonged consumed movements of someone running under water»

what I mean is like in slow-motion…

 «mopping his face with his yellowed undershirt while shaking the switch»

meaning switching the light on and off?

No, he was beating him with the switch, a switch is a stick from a tree, used to whip someone. He is shaking it.

'before they are spent'


Does 'they' mean 'the truckers'?


 yes, before they cum.


Page 138

«Thief, loan me a lit». 

A hit, so he can get high, hit or some drug.


Page 139

«Get your ass outta here ‘fore I tar it out more for you»

beat you some more, tar means beat.


Page 140

«Well, you’re wetter now than deer guts on a stick shift»

why would somebody put a deer’s innards on the stick shift on his car? ‘Cause that would be the literal translation, wouldn’t it? It sounds damn strange to me! I could imagine a shift knob covered in deer hide, but that’s not what you meant, was it?

Meaning he is wet. (With alcohol) and when someone hunts, they sometimes get deer guts on their stick shift. It is a gross saying.


'you're wetter than deer guts on a stick shift.'


What does that mean?


 It means he has drank enough, will be drunk enough so he is “wet” as deer guts (hunters often get guts and stuff on the stick shift of their car or truck.) on a stick shift. Another hard one to explain.


Page 141

«a vented nylon baseball cap»

Those little holes to let air in. Not a big deal, small detail that means not much.


'the private recesses of the cab.'


Where and what are they? I am sorry, but I do not know about the truck.


 The cab has a front portion with the seats, and then it has a back portion, usually separated with a curtain. It is where the trucker can sleep. It usually has a bed, can have a refrigerator, TV, etc. It is the truckers living space.


 Page 142


'burst out like a stripper from a party cake'


Do you usually use the metaphor?


Here in the US, we have strippers that will burst out of cakes at a party to surprise whoever is having the party. So I used the metaphor. Meaning he thinks Le Loup will burst out suddenly.


Page 144

«Oh Christ, I mumble and dry heave»

meaning he retches without throwing up anything? Yup

«What in the samhain did he do?» 

Samhain is another name for the devil.


Page 145

«it sloshes like a wet towel»

does it refer to the noise the kimono make? or to the way it moves? or what?

He was crying it so much that he made it so wet so the kimono got wet, and made the sound of a very wet towel. The sound of splashing liquid


Page 151

«Pie says into the CB handset: «Break one-nine, break one-nine».

«Go ahead, breaker», comes the disincarnate voice through the CB

That is how you interrupt a channel. You “Break” in. The breaker in the one interrupting.

What does 'one-nine' mean?


 It is CB talk. It is the same of the channel Pie is breaking on to. Channel 19.


«This is Asia Cakes. Ninah Waya, you got your ears on?»

Does this name mean anything? Do I have to translate it somehow?

Yes, it is name Choctaw name, means Unmoveable Mountain. No, you don’t have to translate it. It is just the name he uses, his CB “handle”


«That’s big ten-four. What’s your twenty?»

means, I understand.  What’s yer twenty means, where are you?


«Our toenails are scratching and the four-wheeler just about blew my doors off»

Meaning we’re going as fast as we can and the car – truck almost is up to them, catching them.


Page 152

«Pick-‘em-up is playing target practice on our skates»

Meaning tyres?

Yeah! Tires, wheels. 

 «deeply offending Day of Rest’s sensibilities»    

Is that a reference to the fact that Sunday is the day of the Lord and one is supposed to honour it by resting?  

 No, that is Sundae, on of the Lizards in the truck. Day of Rest his her “CB Handle” or name.

 «heading for a crack’em-up»     


 «you got a clean shot to yardstick forty-three to your drop stop and the chicken coop is all clean, copy»

 “the coast is clear” is right.

Yardstick 43 means a signal along the road indicating mile 43?


What does “drop stop” mean? Where they are going to make their stop.

As far as the chicken coop part, I understand it literally, but what does it really mean?

That is the weigh station.


Is “copy” CB slang? What does it mean? 

Yeah, means I understand you. I copy, means, I got ya. I heard you.


«We got a blownout from the ankle biter [as if it was a snake?] and we just dropped it off the shoulder [= we have just gone off the road for a second?]»

Ankle biter is a mocking slang, like annoying pest. We went off the road is dropped it off the shoulder.

«Yeah, roger, what’s your twenty

 where are you?

«Crossing the Pearly Gate soon. Gonna handle some business so goin’ down and on the side»

Saying goodbye. Talk to you later.


«Follow the stripes home with eighty-eights around the house».

Make it to your destination safely, with kisses to everyone.


'Follow the stripes home with eighty-eights

around the house.'

 Why does 'eighty-eight's' mean 'love and kisses, good luck'?


 You go it! Means safe trips home and what you said.


Page 153

«I date a samurai that uses a mini-glock forty-five»

Type of gun.


Page 154

«puffing our cheeks like hoarding squirrels»

is that a special kind of squirrels, or does it only mean “squirrels gathering their food”?

 squirrels store nuts in their cheeks and they puff out.


«no matter how much grip they spray on the traction bumps»

This is hard, you know on roads when they are slippery, they get icy they have stuff on them like sandpaper to make the wheels grip the road better? Things they put on the road to make it less dangerous.


Page 156

«a crowd of monks’ white hoods bowing a white surrender flag»

meaning “bowing their heads to a flag” or “waving a flag”?

 I mean, the flowers are shaped like monks wearing white hoods with their heads bowed, as if they where surrendering, I mean a white flag is surrender. Sigh. Hard one…


Page 157

"Testy, testy, testy!" Sundae laughs and pulls the truck into a space under a dim fluorescent light and parks.

    She exclaims that Stacey is irritable, angry, she taunts him, does she?

No this is not trucker lingo.  If you're testy, you're irritable




yeah, roger   =  yeah, understood

what's your twenty = where are you?

and last

what does copy mean in trucker CB-lingo


“copy" means "I understand" or "I got it"


Page 158

«causes my throat to click in its dryness»

meaning he swallows and the throat makes a noise because it is dry?



While crossing the Cheat Cherry says to himself, "In my head I assure the dead,,,"

Does this mean something like Cherry wants to console, comfort them, he wants to calm them , not wanting to anger them ...


When you assure someone, it is stronger than just telling a person something.  It's like you are promising something.  Because of this, it can act to comfort others.  Cherry wants to assure the dead that he will not breathe as he crosses the Cheat because his "resolve to be with my mother is all the air my lungs require"


Page 159

«I get brung out in the middle of the night»

Past participle of the verb “to bring”?



«Voce e um maluco e tambem um sete um»

What does it mean (if anything) in Portuguese? I’m not going to translate it in the text but maybe the publisher would like to add a note (they are not unusual in translated works, even when it’s fiction)

I think it means something like you are crazy. I don’t remember believe it or not. It is some play on words in Portuguese.

Voce um maluco e tambem um sete um!'


What does that mean?


 It is Portuguese for what are you crazy and … I cant remember what else. It really does not matter what he is saying. It is just that he is saying it coz of the Soap Operas he watches. I would not translate that, just leave it in Portuguese.


Page 160

«in most likelihood having to endure the same circuitous fate as me».

cicuitous = circular? why is Cherry Vanilla’s destiny “circular”? because he has attempted to escape but is being brought back to his prison?

Because his friends will be captured and discovered as not being real girls, and having to go through what he went through.


Page 162

«He’s as worthless as tits on a boar hog»

meaning a male boar, who is not supposed to have tits?



«Glad’s tale became graphic movies in my semi-hallucinating state»

Meaning very vivid-looking movies? Or something more specific?

Yes, he is seeing it in detail in his head, imagining it.



Page 166


 'It's not gonna work...you working for me'


Does that mean  'you get changed so much that you cannot work here.'?


 Yes. Means, he is too different now. It wouldn’t work, him working for Glad