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Comments Off on Our Town – October 8, 2015

Our Town – October 8, 2015

| Birthdays, Holidays, Our Town, Relationships | October 8, 2015

The Soupster learns there’s more than one kind of happiness.

The Soupster saw Linda Zapatos ahead on the downtown sidewalk near the Post Office. Seeing Linda always made the Soupster smile because her name, in Spanish, meant “pretty shoes.”

But it was Linda who wore the more noticeable smile today – a broad grin with a lot of teeth showing.

“Soupster,” called Linda.

“Pretty Shoester,” the Soupster answered.

Linda was a Pretty Shoester. She had delicate, feminine features – big eyes. Cupid’s bow lips. Wavy auburn hair. But her tough skin revealed she had weathered 20 years or more fishing with her husband.

“Why the devilish grin?” asked the Soupster. “Eat a canary?”

“It’s my husband, Eugene,” Linda said.  “He’s the best.” Linda poked the Soupster in the ribs. “Did you know that no matter how tired he is from fishing, my Gene always helps me with the housework.”

“A noble fellow,” agreed the Soupster.

“But that’s not why I’m happy,” said Linda.

“Do tell,” said the Soupster. “Did you make a new friend?”

“No, that’s my husband’s department, too,” said Linda. “I would be a lonely Betty if it wasn’t for that man. You know those kids who are always bringing home a stray puppy or kitten?”

“Uh, huh,” said the Soupster.

“Gene is like that. He can’t talk to somebody for five minutes without cooking up plans to get together. I won’t tell you all the times he’s bought folks home for dinner and I’d find out at the last minute and we’d run out of food. Now, I cook for an army every night and if Gene doesn’t come home with anybody, then we have leftovers for later in the week.”

“I like casseroles,” the Soupster said. “But doesn’t Gene cook? Didn’t he used to be a chef for the cruise ships?”

“And there’s the rub!” said Linda. “That man is an artist with a knife and a frying pan, but he will not cook for me! I beg him to cook for me and he says `Meh.’”

As Linda recounted this to the Soupster, her smile grew wider, Cheshire cat-wide.

“Only one day a year will  my Gene cook for me,” Linda said. “Once in a whole year. Only on my birthday.”

The Soupster couldn’t help notice her smile creeping wider still.

“Linda,” he blurted out, “you’re husband will only cook for you once a year? Then why are you so chipper?”

“Tonight’s the night!” Linda said and skipped off. “Tonight’s the night.”

The Soupster stood stunned as he did the mental math. “Oh, right,” he said, then called out, “Happy birthday!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – October 21, 2010

Our Town – October 21, 2010

| Birthdays, Holidays, Marriage, Our Town, Relationships, Telemarketing | October 21, 2010

“Lon Struckhausen, that’s the silliest thing I’ve heard this week!” roared the Soupster.

“I know it sounds crazy, but my sweet Laura loves her little Schnitzel like he was her baby,” said Lon, picking up the receiver on his early touch-tone avocado-colored kitchen wall phone, while the Soupster sat at the kitchen table.

The Soupster looked across the table and regarded Schnitzel, the ferret, perched upright on his haunches, looking like an annoyed and furry ornamental pepper grinder.

“Hello, is this the Snuggli company?” Lon said into the phone. “I want one for pets, extra-small.” He have his payment info.

“What?” Lon shot a surprised look at the Soupster. “But my credit card should be fine!”

Lon hung up the phone and brought his laptop computer over to the table. “Let me just log into my credit card account… wait a minute.”

“What’s wrong?” asked the Soupster.

“It won’t recognize my ID,” Lon said. “Laura must have changed it.” He went back to the wall phone and called the credit card company.

After punching in a bunch of numbers to navigate a rash of options, Lon reached a live human being. As the Soupster listened, Lon had to recount his high school team colors (navy and green), his mother’s maiden name (McNulty) and his favorite pet (not Schnitzel).

“My wife’s birthday?” said Lon into the phone. “Why, it’s September 18, 1968.”

“Really?” said Lon, glancing over at the Soupster. “Only 3 percent if husbands can correctly name their wife’s birthday without counting on their fingers? That’s in your experience?”

“And 100 percent of wives immediately know their husband’s birthday, again in your experience?” Lon said. “And you have 20 years working the credit card customer service phone lines?”

“Wow,” said the Soupster to Schnitzel, who ignored him.

“And most of them also know their husband’s social security number by heart?” said Lon.

“I guess that’s admirable,” said the Soupster to no one in particular.

“I think they learn it in Girl Scouts,” Lon said. “There may be a badge.”

“What’s that?” asked Lon into the phone. “When they separate the boys and girls into different gym classes?” Lon laughed and hung up.

“That guy thinks they have the boys playing dodge ball,” said Lon, “while the girls perfect advanced memory skills.”

“Just order Schnitzel’s Snuggli,” said the Soupster.

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Would you like to create an Our Town?

The Sitka Soup would welcome an infusion of “new blood.” You may tell your story in words (450-500 of them), or as a graphic “cartoon” strip. We would even consider a short original photo essay with B&W photos. Your Our Town must be closely connected with the life of Sitkans, and the Soupster must make an appearance, even if it’s a brief one.

If we run your Our Town, we’ll pay you $50. To submit: Email your creation to and put “Our Town” in the Subject line. Or call: 747-7595.

What is Our Town?

Our Town is a bi-weekly column that tracks the life of the Soupster and his friends and neighbors.

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

The first Our Town was published December 22, 1999.

Read Our Towns published before February 2009 HERE.

Who is the Soupster?

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

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