The Soupster compares consumer choices.
Garth McGregor was a big guy, but looked strained carrying the enormous box on his shoulder. A sheen on Bart’s skin indicated a relative rarity in Our Town – sweating outside.
The Soupster held the door from the post office for the bigger man and then followed him to his truck.
“Can I get the truck door for you, Garth?” the Soupster asked.
“Thanks, Soupster,” Garth said.
Garth drove a white pickup with a crew cab and wanted to put the box on the rear seat. He grunted as he did so.
“It’s a big microwave oven I just ordered online,” Garth said. “One heavy puppy.”
“Was it a special model?” the Soupster said. “Did you look at any of the stores in Our Town? You know, ‘Buy Local’?”
“I know, I know,” said Garth. “But I was reheating some haggis my brother sent me in the middle of this great BBC penguin thing I was watching on my e-reader and the microwave burned out. Just died.”
“Wow,” said the Soupster.
“No, the haggis was still delicious, even lukewarm,” said Garth. “But, like a zombie, without even thinking, I ordered another one on the e-reader.”
“This microwave is a nice unit,” Garth continued. “But I didn’t realize it was so big and heavy. I could’ve gotten a smaller one. I’m not looking forward to lugging this up the goat trail to my house.”
The Soupster noted the model number of the microwave and asked Garth the price. Garth told him and the Soupster wished his friend “Warm Haggis!” as Garth drove off.
“Warm haggis,” the Soupster thought, which led to another thought and then another thought until a new thought surfaced in his mind as “I need a new fluorescent bulb for my office lamp.”
At the hardware store, the Soupster was again pressed into service as a doorman. Lottie Brandywine came striding out the entrance with her usual confident commandeering of space. She was followed by a tall young man with his long arms around a big box.
As the young man passed, the Soupster noticed the item was a microwave oven, pretty much the same model that Garth had tussled with a half hour before. He followed the young man, who followed Lottie.
Lottie popped the hatch of her car with a handheld device, instructed the young man to put the box in there and thanked him.
The Soupster sidled up and greeted Lottie.
“New microwave?” he asked.
“Aren’t we nosy,” she answered.
“Well, I just saw Garth McGregor lugging a similar microwave at the post office.”
“Oh, yeah? What did he pay?” Lottie asked. When the Soupster told her, she smiled. “I paid $8.96 more. And I didn’t have to lug it anywhere.”
“Buy Local,” the Soupster said.
“Bye, bye,” said Lottie.
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