Our Town – August 9, 2012

“I love this `Coast Guard Alaska’ show,” Zach said, sprawling in the magnificence of his basement man-cave. The Soupster generally avoided subterranean structures of any kind, but he had to admit Zach’s man-digs were powerfully comfy. Heavily stuffed chairs and a still more heavily stuffed couch. A wet bar, a microwave and a big stocked…

“I love this `Coast Guard Alaska’ show,” Zach said, sprawling in the magnificence of his basement man-cave.

The Soupster generally avoided subterranean structures of any kind, but he had to admit Zach’s man-digs were powerfully comfy. Heavily stuffed chairs and a still more heavily stuffed couch. A wet bar, a microwave and a big stocked refrigerator. And you couldn’t argue with the 46-inch TV screen – unless you had to move it or pay for the electricity.

“Check out this episode,” Zach said, motioning toward the glowing behemoth as, onscreen, a Coast Guard Jayhawk hoisted a stranded boater. “I know the flight corpsman, the co-pilot and the guy they rescued.”

“Wasn’t the flight corpsman’s picture in the newspaper yesterday?” the Soupster asked.

“Yep,” said a further vindicated Zach. “Nice that we’re on the list of Alaska shows, eh, Soupster? `Deadliest Catch,’ `Flying Wild Alaska,’ `Man vs. Wild,’ and `Man vs. Food.’ And that’s not even counting the Canadians, who have quite a few shows of their own.”

“The granddaddy show was “Northern Exposure,” the Soupster said, referring to the 1990’s television sit-com set in the quirky fictional Alaskan town of Cicely. “I was in Mesa, Arizona buying a light fixture at the time and the merchant checked my ID and said, `You’re from Alaska! I love that show!’”

“Now it’s true,” said Zach. “Now totally true. Alaska is totally a television show.””

“They should set more TV reality shows in Our Town,” said the Soupster. “We’ve got a million stories around here.”

“Eagle Rescue Alaska?” said Zach.

“No, you have to create more tension, as the TV guys would say. “Like “Ravens: Scared Straight.”

“You mean delinquent ravens subjected to Tough Love over golf-ball-and-grocery theft?”

“Yeah, said the Soupster. “Or an Our Town housepainter waiting on pins and needles for a dry spell to do this work. That should be good for six or eight weeks of tense episodes.”

“Might be too tense,” said Zach.

“I’ve got it,” said the Soupster. “What about `The Growingest Road’ about the Olympian task of state highway guys trying to cut down alder and salmonberry bushes faster than they can grow back.”

“Good,” said Zach, “Or one where they get up close and personal with one salmon. The star of the series would have to weather dry spells and sharp rocks, dodge bears and not get snagged by someone stretching the fishing rules. All for a disquieting ending.”

“One salmon’s struggle,” mused the Soupster.

“Or, `The Slug Whisperer,’” said Zach, suddenly very pleased with himself. “What about that, Soupster? `The Slug Whisperer?’”

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