The Soupster discovers new uses for seawater.
As he strolled up the uneven causeway to the seaside home of his new friend, Warren Peece, the Soupster thought, “My friends have funny names.”
It was a dark and stormy night. The Soupster trod carefully around the potholes that filled with rain in just a few minutes.
The kind of big-drop rainfall that another of the Soupster’s friends, Rex Havick, thought came down too hard on Our Town to be just falling and had to be the result of somebody throwing it at us.
Warren’s home was a snug-looking place, but on a night like this, perched precariously on some rocks the ocean could shift with a mere shrug, disappearing between sea spray and downpour, Warren’s abode looked awfully alone and the Soupster felt a pang of concern for his friend.
So, after greeting Warren, before even shedding his Tufs, the Soupster got right to the point.
“I would worry about being out here all by myself,” he said.
“Nothing is going to happen to me,” Warren said.
“What if a bad person came out here while you were sleeping?”
“No one’s coming out to bother this old man,” said Warren. “Seawater will protect me.”
The Soupster figured Warren was right – who would trek out to this lonely spot on the ocean? There were more convenient places for mischief.
Warren went into the kitchen to check on the dinner. As his friend bunked around in the other room, the Soupster couldn’t help but salivate. He had heard that Warren was a consummate cook and waiting for tonight’s fare – some kind of family-secret-wine-and-herb-poached halibut – the Soupster felt like a kid who couldn’t wait a second more to start eating.
But as the Soupster looked around the living room, he had to laugh. Warren might be top chef, but he was no housekeeper. Newspapers and books in waist-high piles made impromptu tables for Warren to pile other stuff and he did, and then piled more stuff on top of that.
Warren came back into the living room and handed the Soupster one of his famous homemade brews. The Soupster noted a recent cut on Warren’s forearm.
“Nasty,” said the Soupster, pointing the bottle neck at Warren’s wound.
“Not to worry,” said Warren. “Seawater took care of it. Ready to eat?”
Warren brought plates to the table and the Soupster noticed they were sparkling clean – despite the messiness of everything else. Warren doled out the halibut only slightly faster than the famished Soupster scarfed it down.
Sated finally, the Soupster leaned back in his chair and patted his bloated belly. “Just delicious,” he said. “And I have to compliment you on how clean you got the dishes.”
“As clean as Seawater can make ‘em,” said Warren. The Soupster chuckled at the thought of his thrifty and unconventional friend.
There were still a few slivers of halibut and dollops of sauce on the Soupster’s plate.
“You going to finish that?” Warren asked.
“I couldn’t cram in another bite,” the Soupster said.
“Not to worry,” said Warren and put the Soupster’s plate onto the floor. “Seawater!” Warren called out and for the first time, the Soupster noticed an ancient hound sleeping on a blanket by the stove.
The old dog roused himself and went to work on the plate.
“See?” said Warren. “Not to worry!”
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