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S01 EP03: Why Bayou Picayune?
Right now you’re probably asking yourself: “Why Bayou Picayune? Why would David Pierson call his podcast channel Bayou Picayune? After all, his first book was Bayou Da Vinci.”
Picayune, of course, means someone or something of little or no value, and that is how I envision myself as a writer, one who weaves his tales about apparently picayune people — and, only then, do we discover the greatness, pathos and humor beneath.
The setting for my fiction is Sarpy, a small town upriver from New Orleans. And the people who inhabit my fictional town, with their small-town lives and their small-town perspectives, think small-town thoughts.
But then there are the Wally Zeringues of Sarpy — iconoclasts, free-thinkers, Da Vincis — those who, though planted in the small town, see things far beyond the borders of Sarpy. They find answers to things, solutions that have escaped those who, toiling away on the national or world stage, hammer out their “established wisdom.”
My novella, Bayou Da Vinci, for instance, is about a seemingly insignificant high school English teacher in the small, insignificant backwater town of Sarpy in the backwater state of Louisiana.
Who could possibly read something as simple as the children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” or the short story “The Birds” or watch the movie with the same title, then offer interpretations that have eluded even today’s college English professors? Why, Wally Zeringue, of course. Wally does it and so convincingly that other interpretations pale by comparison.
And my new novel, And Lead Us Not, is about another insignificant human being from that same town. Yes, it’s Wally Zeringue, again, but this time he’s an entrepreneur, not a school teacher. And this time Wally rises to become President of the United States. Once there, he changes things with ideas none of the intelligentsia ever considered because their heads were too much in the clouds.
Hail to the chief, our picayune President!
How’s that for an oxymoron? A picayune President!
And, of course, there are the Dan Bittermans, Hilda Strassels and Alfred Tullys who, like Wally Zeringue, inhabit Sarpy. These small-minded devious little characters think they are in control of their destinies.
But, as you will find out from reading my books and following my Bayou Picayune podcasts, it is I, their god, who controls everything. They serve only at my pleasure. I have brought them into the world, and I can take them out.
Besides hearing from me, you will, from time to time, hear from them and enjoy a special inside glimpse into their plans and schemes, as well as their souls.
Always remember this: Despite what they may think, say or do, their secrets are already known by me, for I am their omniscient god.
That is why I am inviting you, through my books and podcasts, to pull up a seat with me on my Mount Olympus and look down on or listen in on the world I have fashioned.
When you do so, you will observe, laugh and, at times, be moved by my picayune people down on the bayou.
Oh, I do so love playing god in my world of imagination!