“Lock your car,” said the old TV ad. “Take your keys. Don’t make a good boy go bad.”
The Soupster was proud that Our Town disproved the above. He was sure he was not the only person in town to regularly leave his car unlocked, which didn’t seem to be making good boys go bad.
The good boys who went bad seemed to do so of their own volition, despite the wealth of unlocked cars Our Town offered. And the bad boys who went good also seemed to be piloting their own ships. Not to mention all the good and bad girls.
Now, the Soupster did usually take his keys out of his unlocked car, if for no other reason than his car made an unpleasant clanging if he didn’t. Maybe, if he had left the keys in the ignition a few times, he would have made a good boy go bad. Not that he wanted to.
How the Soupster thought he might make a good boy go bad was by leaving enticing items on the front seat of said unlocked car. A bag of donuts or burgers, current magazines fresh from the post office, a spiffy new tool – those kinds of things.
Or a rented DVD.
The DVD in question was “Fair Game” about the Valerie Plame incident – she was a CIA field operative (spy) whose identity was revealed for political reasons. A thick conspiracy full of twists and turns.
And that intrigue must have infected the Soupster, because later in the evening, when he went to find the movie and couldn’t, he thought that a good boy might have gone bad and stolen the DVD.
He knew Our Town was an honest place. He hated the old saying, “It’s the exception that proves the rule,” but he couldn’t help thinking that it applied in this case.
How much did DVDs cost to replace? $30? $50?
A small price to pay for the honest waters he got to swim in, the Soupster thought. It was almost a relief to know that Our Town had a limit to its honesty. You couldn’t go leaving $50 bills laying around and expect them to be there when you got back.
He went to bed a wiser, chastened man.
The next day had a glorious sun/cloud ratio and a sea breeze, so the Soupster decided to hoof it to the video store to further cement his new, sober outlook. He looked upon passersby, knowing now that every one of them probably had a dark side capable of all sorts of mischief – possibly least of all, pilfering “Fair Game” DVDs.
The Soupster swung open the door to the rental store. “I owe you some money,” he told the clerk. “Someone must have taken “Fair Game” from my car.”
“No one lifted anything, Silly,” said the clerk, after scrolling down her computer image to an entry on the Soupster’s account. “Someone found “Fair Game” in a parking lot and returned it for you.”