Chapters 50 Summary

There is no way of knowing whether there really was a curse on the men of Stanley Yelnats’s family. Stanley’s mother does not think there was. However, Stanley’s father invented his cure for foot odor on the same day the great-great-grandson of Elya Yelnats carried the great-great-great-grandson of Madame Zeroni up the mountain.

Stanley and Hector get to keep the suitcase they uncovered at Camp Green Lake. It contains some jewels that are not of high quality as well as a bunch of financial papers. The papers turn out to be worth a good deal, and Stanley and Zero each get almost a million dollars. Stanley buys his family a house with a big laboratory in the basement where his father can work. Zero hires a private investigator to find his mother.

After Stanley and Zero get settled, Stanley’s family throws a party. It is an adult party, except for Stanley and Zero, and they serve food like caviar and champagne. The Super Bowl is on TV, but nobody watches until a commercial comes on.

In the commercial, Clyde Livingston slides into home plate, then he tells the camera all about a miraculous product, Sploosh, which cured his foot odor. He explains that he sprays Sploosh on his feet every morning, and it makes his feet smell great. “Sploosh,” says a voice, “A treat for your feet.”

When the commercial is over, everyone in the room claps—including the real Clyde Livingston, who is sitting on the sofa. His wife, who is sitting next to him, goes on and on about how the commercial is all true, especially the part about how Clyde’s feet used to stink. She insists that it used to be terrible to “be in the same room with his socks.” Clyde demands that Stanley put his hand over this woman’s mouth. Embarrassed, Stanley averts his eyes.

He looks at Zero, who is sitting on the floor with his mother, a woman who looks mentally and physically worn out. She sings Zero a song she learned from her mother, a song very like the one Stanley learned from his father. It is probably another translation of the magical song Madame Zeroni taught to Stanley’s “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather,” back in Latvia long ago:

If only, if only, the moon speaks no reply
Reflecting the sun and all that’s gone by.
Be strong my weary wolf, turn around boldly.
Fly high, my baby bird,
My angel, my only.