The Soupster watched a small TV and read the daily paper. “I’m multi-tasking,” he said aloud, although he sat at his kitchen table alone.
On the TV screen, a sporting event was taking place that seemed to involve pushing a large smooth stone down an ice-covered lane to land at a certain spot on a target. He heard the announcer say: “Hurling.”
“Curling,” the Soupster thought.
His eyes lit on an item in the paper for a local fundraising auction. There were four items going on the block. The group made good money every year hawking really creative and locally-oriented prizes.
“1,000 Free Coffees,” read the description of the first item in the paper. “A generous patron has donated 1,000 free coffees accumulated on his punch card while drinking 10,000 cups in a single Sitka establishment. He’s trying to cut down and is jittery about his chances. He’s also jittery whether anyone will bid enough to make him not embarrassed in front of the other donors. Actually, he’s just jittery.”
The Soupster knew from whence the generous patron came and decided to pass on #1.
“This is a cutthroat Hurling match,” the Soupster heard the TV sportscaster say. “One of these teams is going to have to reach into their very guts to pull this out.” He sounded excited, but when the Soupster looked up he saw the same slow motion game, although he noticed some guys with little brooms furiously brushing the ice to slow the sliding stone. “Curling,” he harrumphed.
“Encounter with Your Adolescent,” he read, in the second auction item. “Think your teen may be a wild animal? Now you can find out for sure! Famed naturalist Nelson Richards will perform a full taxonomical analysis on your offspring, comparing similarities of its bizarre feeding and hibernation patterns and bonding rituals to those of a wide variety of other critters you’ve already learned to appreciate.”
The Soupster knew more than one friend who was probably going to bid on that one. He moved on to #3,
“Scroll Down Memory Lane with the Geezer Geek Squad,” #3 read. “Men and women who remember 8-track tapes will descend en mass on your home-office, sewing room or Man Cave and remove such confusing items as connections to the Internet, spacious hard drives – even anti-virus software! Sure to leave you smiling at your new 8-inch monochrome monitor as you play Missile Command and Pong with MS-DOS keyboard commands.”
The thought was oddly not unpleasant. In #4 the Soupster read:
“Make `The Deadliest Catch’ personal — Be cast in the coveted role of `Hand Troll Assistant.’ You won’t be able to escape (or forget) your week-long nautical performance! Learn scupper-sucking, bilge-sniffing and puncture wound care from an expert. Your dinner will look back at you as you enjoy healthy, wild Alaska king salmon heads, tails, fins and bones at every meal!”
“I’m not to going to fall for that one again,” the Soupster thought, feeling an imaginary piece of salmon skin stuck in his teeth. Then the TV sportscaster began yelling. “This is it! This is for the championship!”
The Soupster looked up from the paper and at first things seemed the same. The stone slid down the ice, the men with the brooms brushed furiously. But then one of them, then the other, leaned forward and upchucked onto the ice, successfully slowing the sliding stone.
“Now that’s Hurling!” screamed the ecstatic sportscaster. “That is Huuurrrllling!”
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