Sorry, no listings were found.
The Soupster tells a story…
Originally published September 7, 2000
“Cross your fingers!” yelled the man on the tall ladder to his Soupster neighbor below.
The man furiously sloshed white paint from a bucket onto the wall high up near his roof, as the first clouds passed their ominous shadows over the eaves.
“Not now!” he yelled at the clouds. He made, with his paint brush, even quicker jerking motions that covered him, the ladder, the ground below – everything but the wall – with paint.
The ladder swayed precariously.
“Calm down,” the Soupster yelled back. “Even if it does rain today, you’ll surely have another day to paint.”
“I won’t,” the neighbor said and scurried down the ladder to approach the Soupster.
“I went fishing so many days I could have been painting,” he wailed. “I took a hike on the new Mosquito Cove trail when I could have been painting. My whole family offered to help me on several occasions. ‘That’s okay,’ I told them. Oh, I’m a fool, a fool!”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” said the Soupster.
The neighbor turned suddenly cold and serious. “How long have you lived in Our Town?” he asked the Soupster.
“Long enough,” the Soupster answered cautiously.
“Then you should know,” said the neighbor, “that putting off your painting till September is madness. Madness!”
The Soupster knew. He knew that professional painters in Our Town sometimes have a waiting list years long. Not for lack of ambition, but because there are so few painting days. And the Soupster also knew that some folks in Our Town have gone to incredible lengths to deal with paint and rain.
“Let me tell you a story,” said the Soupster, gently lifting his neighbor’s spattered paws off his shoulders.
“A nice couple I knew was buying a house and the bank would not close the loan until the weathered western wall was repainted. The couple was paying rent until the loan closed and the monthly payments were wreaking havoc on their savings.
“But the bank insisted on the painting. This was in October, mind you. The couple begged the bank to let the job hold off until spring. They even offered to let the bank hold the painting money until then. The bank wouldn’t budge.”
“What did they do?” asked the neighbor.
“Well, the husband and wife painted the wall together. The wife had a bunch of towels and she would wipe off an area a second before he would slap oil paint onto it. They waited for a day when the wind wasn’t blowing right on the wall and painted it in the middle of a good downpour.”
“I get it,” said the neighbor. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just do it.” He shook the Soupster’s hand. “Thanks.”
But before the Soupster could say “Pshaw,” rain drops started falling. The neighbor was already running off. “Honey!” he yelled into his front door. “Get some towels!”
181 total views, 0 today
The Soupster recalls an earlier incarnation of Our Town – with tourist crowds & haikus.
Originally Published August 8, 2002
“Stretch!” The Soupster called to his basketball playing friend, Andrea “Stretch” Worthington as she raced furiously around the waterside court on her lunch hour.
“Squat!” Worthington called back, bouncing the ball three quick times in front of her. A long-time center with a fine college team, Worthington cradled the ball with fingers as noticeably long as her legs were. She took off toward the basket, dribbled briefly and flew up in an attempt to dunk. She failed.
“What are you so worked up about?” the Soupster asked.
“Making deliveries all morning, three cruise ships in, streets full, took me twice as long,” she panted. “Can’t people remember that Our Town is a real town and you have to do things like cross the street with a noticeable level of being awake.”
“We should put up signs,” the Soupster murmured.
“That worked in one city,” said Worthington. “People going home at the end of the workday, all impatient and everything, would honk their car horns every two seconds and it was driving the people living in nearby buildings crazy. So they wrote “honk–oos” – haikus designed to deter people from using their horn so freely. They painted the honk-oos on signs and put them on buildings and poles in the honking zone.”
“Did it work?” the Soupster asked.
“Like a charm.”
“Haikus?” said the Soupster. “That Japanese poetry form? Three lines? Five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables? That one?”
“Right,” Worthington said. “Let’s call our haikus ‘hike-oos’. Or ‘walk-oos.’ Like this.” She closed her eyes and recited:
White lines, a crosswalk
To the gift shop with your friend
Be a swift rabbit
The Soupster slapped his knee. “That’s really good,” he laughed.
“How about this?” Worthington said:
Thanks for thanking me
For letting you meander
The bridge light is green.
“Excellent,” said a delighted Soupster.
Worthington ran again toward the basket and lived up to her “stretch” nickname but again failed to dunk the orange orb. She came back to the Soupster, breathing hard and said:
Taking church pictures
Your camera sings just to me
I need to park.
“That’s it, that’s what happened to me yesterday!” the Soupster said. “Say, what’s with the dunking? You were always a shooter. You never dunked before.”
“Dunk!” cried Worthington. “Water! That’s it! The chaos theory in action! Listen and watch, my squat Soupster friend”:
One drop, two, three drops
A necklace of human drops
Tight! It’s a workday!
Worthington leaped from the spot she was standing, sped across the court, the white lines blurring as she passed them, coiled like an enormous spring, then let loose, extended to her full six feet, long arms reaching toward the basket.
250 total views, 0 today
100 total views, 0 today
129 total views, 0 today
167 total views, 0 today
The Soupster calms his gardener friend.
Originally published July 5, 2001
“Excellent!” said the gardener, smacking his lips.
“Good day, Green Thumb,” said a passing Soupster. “And what, pray tell, is your lack of problem?”
“My lack of problem has everything to do with the vigorousness with which my acid-loving plants are thriving,” the gardener said, indicating a particularly robust rhododendron.
“Do you ever use a Garden Weasel?” asked the Soupster.
The gardener ignored the Soupster’s aside and continued onward.
“Anything acid-loving is going like gangbusters in this first year of the millennium,” said the gardener, reopening a long argument he had been having with the Soupster.
“Let’s not go into the millennium issue,” said the Soupster. “Talk about your plants. It calms you down.”
“Ah, my plants,” said the gardener. “Especially my acid-loving ones.” With pride, he pointed to a fecund colony of hosta, each leaf shaped like a spade on a playing card, spreading along the ground.
“You said ‘acid-loving’ thrice already,” said the Soupster.
“Remember our mild winter?” said the gardener.
“A mild, wet winter it was,” agreed the Soupster.
“A lot of rain causes more acid conditions to prevail,” said the gardener, stroking the long white fronds of a goat’s beard plant. “Of course, Our Town’s soil is pretty acid to begin with, there being constant rain and the fact that most of the soil started out as a volcano on Kruzoff Island.”
“I thought the spruce trees looked especially good, too,” said the Soupster.
“Bingo, observant Soupster,” said the gardener. “Spruces are acid-loving, too. If you want to see some especially happy spruce trees, check out the three trees on the south side of McDonald’s restaurant, near Ken Brown apartments.”
“I’ve seen them!” said the Soupster. “Magnificent new growth. It’s like they doubled in size in one year.”
“The spruces especially surprise me,” said the gardener, “because of the mild winter. A while ago, we were having a problem with spruce aphids devastating the trees around here. And the best way to get rid of aphids is a cold winter. But for some reason, the trees seem to be springing back like the aphid is a bad memory.”
“Maybe it is,” said the Soupster.
“Hope so,” said the gardener. “Sweet new spruce tips are among my favorite things in the whole world. An important part of my yearly harvest. I make spruce tip syrup and jam. I even make spruce tip beer. I looooove tart tastes. Like grapefruit juice. Or a good Marinara sauce.”
“Say,” said the Soupster. “You sound pretty acid-loving yourself!”
208 total views, 0 today
119 total views, 0 today