“De Spring has sprung,” the Soupster sang, as he strolled downtown in the sunshine. “De grass is Riz.”
“I wonder where dem boidies is?” he continued to warble. “De little boid is on de wing.Ain’t dat upsoid? De little wing is on de boid!”
The Soupster chuckled to himself, but heard ahead of him in the direction he was walking, an angry voice.
“Don’t-a you worry about what we do-a next!” boomed the voice. “I tell-a you what-a to do!” The unmistakable voice of Napsograf Verlucci stopped the Soupster in his tracks.
Verlucci, who had come to Our Town from Naples as a young man wandering the world and had stayed. Over the years he became the go-to guy to get your house painted. Verlucci, known for his fabulous cooking (potluck lasagna), his strong voice (baritone) and being an expert in the repair of old typewriters (and adding machines). He could also repair shoes. With his vocation, he was truly an Italian Renaissance painter.
“This sunshine is just fantastic,” said a younger man’s voice (tenor). Verlucci’s helper, the Soupster surmised. He turned a corner and saw Verlucci and the helper up on two ladders.
“Don’t you worry about the sun-a-shine,” Verlucci said, as he worked. “A painter, he toil-a while the sun-a-shine. He play-a while the rain a-fall.”
“It’s got to be good to have sunny days to get our work done,” the Soupster heard the helper say as he neared.
“Work-a, she never ends!” shouted Verlucci, obviously not seeing the Soupster standing at the foot of his ladder. “Rain-a or a-shine-a, you got to learn to live!”
“Nappy!” called the Soupster, startling Verlucci. “Why are you giving this young man a hard time?”
“He just-a moved to Our-a Town, Soupster” Verlucci said. “I got to teach-a him the ropes!”
“Hi, Mr. Soupster,” said the helper.
“Nappy is a peculiar fellow with a peculiar way of doing things,” the Soupster told the helper, as Verlucci scowled. “Don’t take everything he says as 100 percent reliable.”
“I don’t-a think I like-a what you say, Soupster,” Verlucci growled, threatening to climb down the ladder.
“Oh, don’t worry about me, Mr. Soupster” said the helper brightly. “He reminds me of my father.”
“Well, actually, there is one more thing…” he said.
“What?” said the Soupster and Verlucci simultaneously.
“Nappy? Soupster?” said the helper. “What’s with you guys and your names?”