The Soupster ponders the fate of aquatic plants.
“Nice view from up here,” opined the Soupster.
“Yeah, it’s not too bad,” I replied modestly, high above the lake in the dental clinic break room.
The clear cutting of the lily pads was underway; the Soupster and I were like a couple of kids, watching the big boys at work, operating the big boy machinery.
“You know,” I said, sipping my French dark roast, “I really didn’t mind those lily pads so much. They added a certain `je ne sais quoi’ to the lake. And they always sank to the bottom in time for ice skating.”
“I know what you mean,” agreed the Soupster. “It’s too bad we couldn’t have found some use for them.”
“Yeah, like maybe fish food for the aquarium trade? Fixing potholes?”
“No, let’s think bigger, doc. We’d have to appeal to the overseas market — that’s where the money is.”
“I know, we could plant a story on the internet that lily pads grow hair and increase virility. I can see it now,” I said, giddily warming to the subject. “We’ll start in our garage, like Jobs and Woz, processing the pads into pills, attractively bottled and packaged, of course. Once it really takes off, we’ll build a plant out at Silver Bay employing dozens of Sitkans.”
“Whoa, cool your jets there, Mac!” interjected the Soupster. “How are we going to harvest all those lily pads, assuming we can con anyone into buying this worthless product in the first place?”
“Well, let me think,” I mused, popping a sugar free xylitol candy into my mouth. “OK, first we’ll have to figure the allowable cut, so we won’t deplete our resource. We’ll get the Forest Service to do those calculations for us.”
The Soupster shot me a quizzical look.
“OK, maybe rethink that,” I allowed. “But once we set the harvest numbers, we’ll work out the harvest method.”
“Helicopter?” queried the Soupster, smiling.
“No, too noisy,” I said, ignoring his sarcasm. “I’m thinking more along the lines of an underwater Roomba, programmed to creep through the muck, severing the stalks as it goes. Then, when the product floats to the surface, we can just scoop it up like free money. What could go wrong?”
I could see a concerned look forming on the Soupster’s face as he eased my second cup of coffee out of reach.
“Okaaaay, and how about obtaining ownership of this priceless vegetable?” asked the Soupster.
“Possession is nine tenths, Soup. And once the city finally notices, we’ll be too powerful to stop.”
I could see the Soupster had heard just about enough of this fantasy. He rose to his feet, still admiring the view of the lake.
“That’s a delightful pipe dream, doc, but I’m just looking forward to reclaiming the lake. If what Our Town head honchos say is true, we’ll have a healthier lake, safer residents and a lily pad-free view.”
“You think a little dredging will exterminate them, Soupster? You’re the dreamer. I’m betting on the lily pads.”
Submitted by Tom Jacobsen