This is one of the chapters I cut from Abandoned Ship during my final rewrite. Once I had the nearly-complete book in front of me, I realized that this chapter didn’t really fit anywhere anymore. But I still like the basic idea, and I thought you guys might be interested in reading it.
In fact, this was one of the first chapters I wrote, within the first few weeks after Emily and I got home from Italy. (The first thing I wrote was the op-ed, which I scribbled into a notebook from my seat on the plane home from Italy, and which now appears in chapter 55 of the book.) Anyhow, back then, the working title of the whole book was actually “The Cupcake”, and this chapter was the justification for that title.