The locksmith tells the Soupster a fish story.
Did Elijah Langossian really have a glowing aura around his head, wondered the Soupster as he approached him by the lake, or was it just the angle of the setting sun? No, it was him, the Soupster surmised, as he came close enough to see Elijah’s shining visage.
“Soupster!” Elijah said. The sturdy and diminutive locksmith too often carried his troubles on his face. But not today.
“Elijah!” the Soupster countered. “You’re glistening like a king salmon pulled fresh from the water!”
“Funny you should mention fishing,” said Elijah. “I just had a guy in my shop who’d caught the biggest halibut anybody had ever seen and it was his first time jigging.”
“Oh, what a feeling,” the Soupster sang. “But what does a locksmith have to do with catching fish?”
“That’s what I asked,” Elijah said. “I was just closing up the office and this fella was sitting in the reception room looking like he ate the canary. An older man. Well, older than us.”
Ed. note: Neither Elijah nor the Soupster are spring chickens. Winter turkeys, occasionally.
“So I said, `Hello, Sir. Can I help you with anything?’” Elijah continued.
“`Not really,’ said the guy.
“`Anything to do with locks?’ I asked. `Keys, hasps or spring hinges?’
“The guy shook his head and got this big grin on his face.
“`Well,’ said I, `this is a locksmith’s shop and I’m the locksmith. And I want to go home and eat dinner with the locksmith’s wife. So, if there’s nothing I can help you with…’
“`I went out fishing today,’ the words tumbled from the man. `My grandson-in-law took me.’
“`Well, sir, that’s nice, but…’ I said.
“`I’m a landlubber by preference,’ the man told me. `I encounter fish only when it’s served to me on a plate. But that boy my granddaughter married, he worked on getting me out on his boat like it was his main goal in life. I could only hold out for so long.’
“This story have anything at all to do with locks?” the Soupster asked.
“`The sea was calm,” Elijah recounted that the oldster went on. `My grandson-in-law’s boat was swift. Soon we were at the halibut hole. The others all caught fish, but I was striking out. Then I felt this tug on my arms like I hooked the whole bottom of the ocean or maybe Moby Dick. When I finally landed the fish after an hour or more, my behemoth weighed in at 392 pounds. Three hundred and ninety-two pounds!’
“`That’s fantastic,’ I told him. `But I’m a locksmith. I deal in keys, hasps and spring hinges. Why are you telling me about your 392-pound fish?’
“`I’m telling everybody!’ the old man said.
“And then he was out the door.”