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Comments Off on Our Town – March 28, 2019

Our Town – March 28, 2019

| Jokes, Our Town, Small Town Stuff | March 28, 2019

The Soupster shops for shoes.

Originally published March 15, 2001

“See,” the Soupster said to the sales clerk. “It’s way too big.”

The Soupster dangled his foot in front on himself and, indeed, his shoe — a rubber-and-leather waterproof slip-on — threatened to fall to the carpet.

“I don’t understand,” said the Soupster. “Surely I’m not shrinking? I’ve bought this style of shoe for years — always a size 9.”

“And now the nine is too big?” the sales clerk tried to confirm.

“Look,” said the Soupster and with a mere curl of his toe let the shoe drop off completely.

“Maybe they got a different manufacturer,” ventured the clerk.

“Or maybe they decided on a different sizing system from another country where people’s feet are smaller,” volunteered a young man whom the clerk and the Soupster noticed now, holding a heavy black work boot in one hand and a pair of beige leather sandals in the other.

“Actually,” said the clerk, “in that country you imagine the resident’s feet would be larger. The Soupster’s shoe is too big, not too small.”

“When I first moved to Our Town,” said the Soupster, “everything seemed really small. The roads and stores and houses. Then, it was like I moved into some new area of consciousness and suddenly the road didn’t seem to end too soon at all. It ended at just the right place.”

“I know what you mean,” commented the sales clerk. “For the first five or so years I lived here it seemed like I was always feeling short of people. Because I kept seeing the same people over and over again. Then, like you say — some new level — and I realized that because I knew so much about everybody, there were actually more people in my life. Not less.”

“Wow,” said the young man. “I had this cousin once from Tacoma. He was younger than me. You know how when you don’t see someone for a while, like since they were a kid, they look really big the next time you see them?”

The Soupster and sales clerk both bit. “Yes,” they said.

“Well, this cousin of mine kept shrinking,” said the young man. “Every time I’d see him he’d look a little smaller. He was always small, but he started to get really, noticeably smaller.”

“Did you share your perception with him or anybody else?” asked the clerk.

“Nah, I didn’t want to bum anybody out,” said the young man. “You know, in case he really was shrinking. Maybe he was always standing behind a dining room table or a television or something. But however it happened, I started to see only the top half of him. Like from the waist up.”

“What happened then?” prompted the Soupster.

“He disappeared completely,” said the young man wistfully.

“You mean, he totally dissolved into nothingness?” said the shoe clerk.

“No, he went to college in Arizona,” said the young man. “And he started hanging around with a crowd way too crazy for me.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – May 17, 2018

Our Town – May 17, 2018

| Animals, Dogs, Jokes, Our Town | May 17, 2018

Soupster’s starlet-in-hiding and the wrongly accused charlatans.

Originally published November 6, 2014

The Soupster stepped out of the rain and into the lobby of Our Town’s airport to pick up an express shipment. He hoped that someday the animal heads and fish lined up along the front beam could be made animatronic, like something out of Disneyland. Visitors would take it as noteworthy, the Soupster surmised, if a 70-lb. king salmon winked at them and said, “Welcome to Our Town!” or “Please come visit Our Town again.”

The gangway swung open and passengers spilled out. The serious travelers flowed right out the front door, having whittled their fashion and toiletry needs down to carry-on size. The rest of the crowd oozed slowly toward the luggage carousel. At the front counter, the Soupster was told he could retrieve his package in a few minutes.

“Hi, Soupster!” said Skye Claire, sideling up next to him. Skye was a professional entertainer who holed up in Our Town periodically to hide from her adoring fans. “How’s my favorite purveyor of miscellaneous items soaked in rainwater?”

“And my best wishes to you, Miss Skye,” the Soupster said with a barely perceptible bow.  “What’s new in the entertainment business?”

“I met a talking dog,” said Skye.

“I’m listening,” said the Soupster.

“So, I’m in the office of a talent agent in Seattle who’s trying out new acts for the annual Rainier Review,” she recounted. “I’m standing by the door filling out some contract forms, when the agent lets in the next act for an audition.”

“‘Spartacus, the Wonder Dog!’ trumpets the owner of a speckled black-and-white, longhaired,

medium-size hound. ‘Spartacus will now answer three questions.’”

“What was the owner like?” asked the Soupster.

“A bit forgettable,” said Skye. “Plus, me and the talent agent are busy staring at the dog.

“‘Spartacus,’ says the owner. ‘What do you call the material on the outside of a tree?’

“‘Bark!’ yelps the dog enthusiastically. The talent agent raises his eyebrows.

“‘Spartacus,’ says the owner. ‘Name a three-masted wooden cargo ship from the 19th century.’

“‘Barque,’ yips Spartacus. The agent crosses his arms and looks stern.

“‘Spartacus,’ the owner says a third time. ‘What is the best brand of root beer?’

“‘Barq’s’ Spartacus says.

“‘That’s enough, you charlatans!’ says the talent agent, who comes out from behind his desk and scoots both man and dog out of the office. I slip out with them. The agent goes back inside and slams his door.

“Spartacus looks up at his owner. ‘Henry Weinhard?’ Spartacus says. I almost fainted.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – April 20, 2017

Our Town – April 20, 2017

| Fishing, Jokes, Our Town | April 20, 2017

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.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – June 30, 2016

Our Town – June 30, 2016

| Jokes, Our Town, Relationships, Relatives | June 30, 2016

The Soupster hears relatively bad puns.

It wasn’t easy to make the Soupster feel like the stuffy serious one, but Cousin Rob had always had just that effect on him.

“The great ferry Malaspina,” Rob pronounced, as soon as the first-time visitor to Our Town stepped off the ramp to meet up with Cousin Soupster. “The name derives from the Russian word for `bad spine’ right?”

“Actually, Malaspina is named after a glacier which is named after an Italian explorer named Alessandro,” said the Soupster.

“Then why isn’t the ferry named `Alessandro?’” asked Cousin Rob.

“That’s his first name,” said the Soupster.

“Anyway,” said Rob. “It’s so good to be in Alaska. `Alaska,’ that’s probably Italian, too. Italian for `everyone should ask.’”

The Soupster had been trapped in this routine before. His parents were very close friends with Rob’s. Cousin Rob was eight years older and, when enlisted as the Soupster’s babysitter, would torture him with bad puns. “Protuberance,” he remembered Rob saying, “It’s Latin for `professional potato-eating insect.’”

They passed the spiral white warning sirens along HPR and the Soupster heard himself falsely answering Cousin Rob’s innocent question of “What are those?”

“They’re fluorescent streetlights,” the Soupster jived. “They save a bunch of electricity and they last five times as long as a regular streetlight.”

They passed Maksoutoff St., which Rob guessed was Russian for “to force a businessman to remove his suit.”

At the airport, Cousin Rob had such crazy definitions for everything that the Soupster lost it.

When Rob pointed to the flashing yellow light the airline used to tell passengers their luggage was coming, the Soupster said, “It’s a tsunami warning beacon, Cousin Rob. This is important. If you ever see it go off, start running for high ground.”

“Tsunami, that reminds me,” said Cousin Rob and asked directions to the men’s room.

As he waited for his cousin to return, the Soupster thought about how churlish he had been. Cousin Rob was just excited and interested in Our Town and who wouldn’t be? The Soupster just needed to calm down and play the good host.

As if on cue, the rotating beacon starting spinning, spilling a yellow strobe light on everyone and everything. Cousin Rob ran up and grabbed the Soupster’s arm.

“Tsunami,” said Rob. “A Boston term meaning `take Norman to court.’

 

 

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 24, 2016

Our Town – March 24, 2016

| Jokes, Our Town, Parody | March 23, 2016

April Fool Classifieds

Autos

Rust-riddled, one headlight, cracked windshield, duct-taped windows pickup for sale. Hand-crafted clothes hanger antenna. Excellent transportation vehicle. 747-xxxx.

Critters

Black lab puppies and extra-toed cats. Will pay you to take them. No offer too small! Presently residing in bathtub. 747-xxxx.

Dances

Slime Boogie. Leave your dancing shoes and wear your X-tra Tufs! Floor will be flooded with fish guts. Debone salmon while listening to the latest tunes. $6.75 per hour plus overtime.

Fitness

New crash diet: we will eat your baked Halibut Olympia free! Simply buy and cook a pound (or more!) of Halibut Olympia and we will come to your home and save your from having to devour it. The pounds will melt off you, guaranteed! 1-800-444-xxxx.

Games

For Sale: Old Monopoly set from the Russian days. Money in rubles. Troika and wheatfield two of the tokens. Rare “Never Get Out of Jail Free Or Otherwise” card included. Best Offer. 747-xxxx.

Housing and Property

Affordable, well-designed view property at a rock bottom price. Monitor heat, stainless steel appliances, double garage. Also, we have a bridge in New York we would like to sell you. 747-xxxx.

Marine

1981 butt-plank wooden triple-end troller. Especially seaworthy on flat, calm days. Double bilge, pilothouse faces backward. Cockpit planks splintery, but deck shoes included. Steam-powered fish finder a gas. Must see to appreciate. With permit or not. Teenage Thomsen Harbor.

Media

Please help us stamp out the expression “to come into compliance.” What people in the city and on radio mean is “to comply” and they should just say that. We are meeting on the issue Thursday night. Look for the flaming torches near Crescent Harbor.

Murder

For Sale: Signed copy of “Scott’s Secret Personal Fishing Holes Near Our Town Revealed.” Published in 1972. Also, one copy left of “The Unsolved Murder of the Guy Who Wrote `Scott’s Secret Personal Fishing Holes Near Our Town Revealed,’ published in 1973. Leave money in brown paper bag by the Mariner’s Memorial Wall and Scott will contact you.

Rocks

Sitka’s most exclusive pilesof rocks! This gigantic pile of rocks seems to defy gravity and can be erected on your home or income property over only one weekend . 966-xxxx. Emergency or after hours, call 738-xxxx.

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Comments Off on Our Town – May 21, 2015

Our Town – May 21, 2015

| Jokes, Our Town | May 21, 2015

 The Soupster has yucks aplenty.

Originally published May 2, 2002

“I have never seen so many boats! This place is nuts!” the professional comedian on the stage of a tavern full of laughaholics. “I noticed you have a nice Salvation Army store,” the jokester commented. “But with your boats? What this place needs is a`Salvation Navy!’ store. You know – used Xtra Tufs and rain gear. Going from boat to boat with the bell and the red kettle at Christmas. They’re so compassionate, that Salvation Navy, that their boat hugs the shore!”

“You people are nuts with your rain gear. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he continued. “I heard you once had a rain gear fashion show here. One fisherman went to Mexico for vacation, saw a comely lass in a bikini and commented, `I‘d sure like to see her in a Helly-Hansen rain bib.’”

The crowd liked this, and the Soupster, sitting three tables back from the front, could see the thrill of victory in the comic’s eyes and the square of his shoulders.

“Rains a lot here, I must say,” said the jester on a roll. “Rains cats and dogs. I know. I just stepped in a poodle!”

The crowd – including the Soupster — groaned.

“Really though, I’m walking down Lincoln Street with the guy who met me at the airport,” said the comedian. “And who do we see but the Pillsbury Doughboy. My friend says, `Nice tan!’”

“I see this little boy and ask him if it ever stops raining here. `How do I know,’ he says.“I’m only six!”

“No, but rain is great,” the joker said. “I heard that at the gates of Hell, someone saw Satan throwing the doomed into a huge lake of fire, but every once in a while he tossed someone aside in a pile. `What’s that for?’ asked a curious on-looker. `They’re from Sitka,’ answered Beelzebub. `I have to dry them out before they can burn.’”

The Soupster convulsed in howls and chuckles, joining those around him doing the same.

“And I’ve heard of your bears – I’ve heard of your bears,” the hyper comic sped on. “Did you hear about the religious man walking in the woods, when he came upon a stupendous and ravenous brown bear? Shocked, the man dropped to his knees to pray for deliverance. `Lord,’ the pious man prayed. “Let this be a good and pious bear.” When the man opened his eyes, the bear was also down on his knees saying, “For the food we are about to receive, we give thanks…”

The Soupster and the crowd roared.

“Gotta go, gotta go,” said the comic. “I’ve abused you people long enough. Besides, it’s been 10 minutes since I’ve been rained on and my skin is getting dry. Gotta go. Love you guys!”

The Soupster and the others screamed, “Encore!”

“Okay, okay,” said the funnyman. “What’s more Alaskan than having a backhoe in the back yard? Having a broken backhoe in your front yard! Now that’s it. Really! I’m getting upset. Goodnight!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – February 26, 2015

Our Town – February 26, 2015

| Jokes, Our Town, Russia | February 26, 2015

The Soupster hears some old Soviet jokes.

“Congratulate me, Comrade!” boomed Yuri, as the Russian plopped his bulk into the chair across from a startled Soupster. The coffee shop was empty, fortuitous since Yuri was a roomful himself.

The big man wriggled his shoulders and slipped his coat onto his seat back. “Twenty-five years ago the Iron Curtain came down and I moved to Our Town. Siberia was too big for me, so I moved to Alaska.“

When the Soupster didn’t laugh, Yuri explained,“I moved to Alaska because Siberia was too big. Alaska is big, too, but small compared to Siberia. Why is this not a funny joke?”

“I don’t know,” said the Soupster. “Things are either funny or they aren’t. Comedy and math are the two things where there is always a clear right answer.”

Yuri chuckled. “Comedy and mathematics, that is a good joke, no?”

“A lot of humor is cultural,” said the Soupster. “And most Americans have heard people say that they liked math in school because it had definite right and wrong answers. And with a joke, you either laugh or you don’t.”

“When the Iron Curtain was the Iron Curtain, jokes were very important,” said Yuri. “They gave us a way to say things we were not allowed to say. I will give you an example:

“Everyone was supposed to be equal, but that, of course, was not true. In this joke, the mother of the Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev visited him at his big and fancy apartment in Moscow. He spared no effort to impress her as he showed her around the many well-appointed rooms and they ate a wonderful dinner. But the mother seemed very quiet. So, then, Brezhnev took her to his enormous dacha in the countryside. When she still looked unhappy, Brezhnev could hold back no longer.”

““Mama,’ said the Premier, ‘are you not impressed with my apartment and my cars and this beautiful dacha? Are you not happy for my success?’ ‘Leonid, I am happy, but I am worried, too,” Mama said. ‘What if the Reds come back?’”

“Very funny,” the Soupster said. “I get that.”

“Behind the Curtain, you had to wait in a lot of long lines,” said Yuri, embarking on another joke:

“Two friends, Boris and Andrei, heard that some Czech-made toasters might be available, so they waited in a line of hundreds of people hoping to obtain one toaster. The longer the line, the more desirable the product. This was a long line, very desirable. They waited in the cold for several hours, but the line did not move one millimeter.

“’This is ridiculous,’ said Boris. ‘I can’t stand all this waiting! I am going to kill the Commissar!’ He stormed off.

Several hours passed and Boris came back. Andrei was still waiting in the toaster line. ‘Well, did you kill the Commissar?’ Andrei asked. ‘No,’ said Boris, ‘the line was too long.’”

The Soupster laughed. “Funny, Yuri! What kind of jokes do they tell there now?”

“I don’t know anymore,” said Yuri, a little sadly. “For this half of my life I only now know the jokes they tell in Our Town.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – December 4, 2014

Our Town – December 4, 2014

| Jokes, Our Town, Shopping | December 4, 2014

The Soupster overhears secrets of the retail trade.

It’s a habit of Our Town’s residents to show great patience while waiting in a line at the supermarket, airport or the bank – especially if they can listen in on the conversation that the person in front of them is having with the person behind the counter.

In this case, the person in line in front of the Soupster was Carrie Greenough, one of the most successful merchants in town, taking a breather from her own busy gear store and out shopping local for holiday gifts at the clothing store. Behind the counter, rookie store owner Eugene “Kid” Gulliver was not completely unnervous. Carrie was a local retail legend.

“Retail is like show business,” Carrie counseled Kid. “When you put on a big sale, it’s like you’re putting on a performance.  And Black Friday is like Sweeps Week or the Emmys!”

“Wow,” Kid managed to extract.

“It’s all show business,” Carrie said. “How can I explain it to you? Maybe I’ll try this joke.”

The Soupster tilted forward onto the balls of his feet and was very quiet.

“Kid,” Carrie said. “Have you ever heard about the guy who was selling radios for less than it cost to buy them in the first place?”

“Yeah,” Carrie continued without waiting for an answer. “This guy is shopping in this electronics store and he sees these beautiful radios for $12.  So, he says to the store owner, `These are beautiful radios for only $12. How much does it cost you to get them?’ `$14.50,’ the owner says. `You’re selling these radios for less than you paid for them?’ says the customer. `How do you make any money?’

“`I make it up in volume,’ says the store owner. Get it, Kid?”

“I got it,” Kid said, smiling broadly.

“Or, here’s another old chestnut,” said Carrie.

“The customer goes into another electronics store and sees the same radio for $12,” Carrie said. “He goes to the owner and says, `Beautiful radios, I’ll take one.’ The store owner says, `I’m sorry, I’m sold out of them right now.’

“Well, the customer goes to yet another other electronics store. He sees the exact same radio selling for $20. So, the customer says, `How come these radios cost $20? They’re selling for $12 at the other store.’
`So go there and buy one,’ the store owner says. `They’re sold out of them,’ says the customer.

“`Well, if I was sold out of ‘em, I’d sell ‘em for $12, too.’”

Kid roared with laughter and slapped Carrie with a high five. “You see, Kid? Show business!”

The Soupster could keep quiet no longer. “I don’t understand either of those stories,” he said.

 

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Comments Off on Our Town – November 6, 2014

Our Town – November 6, 2014

| Animals, Dogs, Jokes, Our Town | November 6, 2014

The Soupster hears about charlatans, wrongly accused.

The Soupster stepped out of the rain and into the lobby of Our Town’s airport to pick up an express shipment. He hoped that someday the animal heads and fish lined up along the front beam could be made animatronic, like something out of Disneyland. Visitors would take it as noteworthy, the Soupster surmised, if a 70-lb. king salmon winked at them and said, “Welcome to Our Town!” or “Please come visit Our Town again.”

The gangway swung open and passengers spilled out. The serious travelers flowed right out the front door, having whittled their fashion and toiletry needs down to carry-on size. The rest of the crowd oozed slowly toward the luggage carousel. At the front counter, the Soupster was told he could retrieve his package in a few minutes.

“Hi, Soupster!” said Skye Claire, sideling up next to him. Skye was a professional entertainer who holed up in Our Town periodically to hide from her adoring fans. “How’s my favorite purveyor of miscellaneous items soaked in rainwater?”

“And my best wishes to you, Miss Skye,” the Soupster said with a barely perceptible bow. “What’s new in the entertainment business?”

“I met a talking dog,” said Skye.

“I’m listening,” said the Soupster.

“So, I’m in the office of a talent agent in Seattle who’s trying out new acts for the annual Rainier Review,” she recounted. “I’m standing by the door filling out some contract forms, when the agent lets in the next act for an audition.

“’Spartacus, the Wonder Dog!’ trumpets the owner of a speckled black-and-white, longhaired medium size hound. ‘Spartacus will now answer three questions.’”

“What was the owner like?” asked the Soupster.

“A bit forgettable,” said Skye. “Plus, me and the talent agent are busy staring at the dog.

“’Spartacus,’ says the owner. ‘What do you call the material on the outside of a tree?’

“‘Bark!’ yelps the dog enthusiastically. The talent agent raises his eyebrows.

“’Spartacus,’ says the owner. ‘Name a three-masted wooden cargo ship from the 19th century.’

“’Barque,’ yips Spartacus. The agent crosses his arms and looks stern.

“’Spartacus,’ the owner says a third time. ‘What is the best brand of root beer?’

“’Barq’s’ Spartacus says.

“’That’s enough, you charlatans!’ says the talent agent, who comes out from behind his desk and scoots both man and dog out of the office. I slip out with them. The agent goes back inside and slams his door.

“Spartacus looks up at his owner. ‘Henry Weinhard?’ Spartacus says. I almost fainted.”

 

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 22, 2012

Our Town – March 22, 2012

| Jokes, Our Town, Parody | March 22, 2012

Dear Soupster,
My wife says I bring home too many chums. But I never give her anything but coho, king and abalone. I have informed all of the 15 or 20 of my closest friends who I constantly invite over for dinner to do the same. They always comply. Yet my wife still complains.

Signed,
Popular Everywhere But at Home

Dear Popular,
Tell your wife you want to get a dog. This will spark a long discussion that should lead to the resolution of your problem. Remember: Men are dogs, but male and female chums are both dogs.

Dear Soupster,
Last Wednesday, I put a small hook on my line and moved my fishing pole up and down in the harbor in order to catch smelt.  The assistant harbormaster commented that I smelt. Is smelt a noun or an adjective?

Signed,
Getting Jiggy With It

Dear Jiggy,
Depends on the assistant harbormaster.

Dear Soupster,
I just moved here from the big city to do big time legal work for the big bucks. I wear a three-piece suit, an expensive haircut and a very expensive watch. Yet, every time I give a client my business card they start laughing and speaking gibberish. Goo-goo or some nonsense. What’s with this town?

Signed,
Geo. Duck

Dear George,
You need to spell out your first name. The present configuration of your first and surname suggests, in local parlance, a large Pacific clam with an unfortunate shape, albeit paired with a palatability surprisingly refined. That will be $150.

Dear Soupster,
My girlfriend says I never listen to her. She insists I am hard of hearing. The truth is that I have been slipping a small silver fish into each of my ears lately, which I have found improves our relationship. Should I tell her she I am actually hard of herring? Please answer in writing.

Signed,
Seine Better Days

Dear Days,
I really don’t know how to advise about you and your girlfriend, but I would watch the calendar. You definitely want to get the fish out your ears before they spawn.

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Comments Off on Our Town – July 14, 2011

Our Town – July 14, 2011

| Airport, Crazy Theories, Ferry, Jokes, Our Town, Relationships, Relatives, Travel, Visitors | July 14, 2011

It wasn’t easy to make the Soupster feel like the stuffy serious one, but Cousin Robb had always had just that effect on him.

“The great ferry Malaspina,” Robb pronounced, as soon as the first-time visitor to Our Town stepped off the ramp to meet up with “Cousin” Soupster. “The name derives from the Russian word for `bad spine’ right?”

“Actually, Malaspina is named after a glacier which is named after an Italian explorer named Alessandro,” said the Soupster.

“Then why isn’t the ferry named `Alessandro?’” asked Cousin Robb.

“That’s his first name,” said the Soupster.

“Anyway,” said Robb. “It’s so good to be in Alaska. `Alaska,’ that’s probably Italian, too. Italian for `everyone should ask.’”

The Soupster had been trapped in this routine before. His parents were very close friends with Robb’s. “Cousin” Robb was eight years older and, when enlisted as the Soupster’s babysitter, would torture him with bad puns. “Protuberance,” he remembered Robb saying, “It’s Latin for `professional potato-eating insect.’”

So when they passed the spiral white warning sirens along HPR, the Soupster heard himself falsely answering Cousin Robb’s innocent question of “What are those?”

“They’re fluorescent streetlights,” the Soupster jived. “They save a bunch of electricity and they last five times as long as a regular streetlight.”

They passed Maksoutoff St., which Robb guessed was Russian for “to force a businessman to remove his suit.”

At the airport, Cousin Robb had such crazy definitions for everything that the Soupster lost it.

When Robb pointed to the flashing yellow light the airline used to tell passengers their luggage was coming, the Soupster said, “It’s a tsunami warning beacon, Cousin Robb. This is important. If you ever see it go off, start running for high ground.”

“Tsunami, that reminds me,” said Cousin Robb and asked directions to the men’s room.

As he waited for his cousin to return, the Soupster thought about how churlish he had been. Cousin Robb was just excited and interested in Our Town and who wouldn’t be? The Soupster just needed to calm down and play the good host.

As if on cue, the rotating beacon starting spinning, spilling a yellow strobe light on everyone and everything. Cousin Robb ran up and grabbed the Soupster’s arm.

“Tsunami,” said Robb. “A Boston term meaning `take Norman to court.’”

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Comments Off on Our Town – May 21, 2009

Our Town – May 21, 2009

| Jokes, Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Seasons, Spring | May 21, 2009

The Soupster rode shotgun alongside his buddy Dorothy, who drove her ancient pickup west down Sawmill Creek Road into Our Town. A satisfying lunch shared earlier at Dotty’s abode had lulled them both.

Dot’s four new summertime tires (no studs!) carried the two friends smoothly down the roadway. The Soupster glanced out at the alders lining the road, their new leaves like golden coins growing larger day by day. On a granite retaining wall some fiddleheads ferns unfurled. Birds in a mountain ash no longer fought each other for scraps, too busy celebrating their recently expanded menu.

“This is a different town when the alders get their leaves on,” said the Soupster dreamily. “Covers a thousand sins.”

“That’s my opinion, too,” Dotty said. “What’s more Alaskan than having a backhoe in your back yard?”

“Can’t say I know,” the Soupster said, taking the bait.

Dotty reeled him in. “Having a broken backhoe in the front yard.” Dotty said something else, but her words were drowned out as her old truck rattled on the suddenly uneven pavement. They had reached the old Four-Way Stop, being torn up to re-make the intersection into a modern Roundabout.

Some people the Soupster talked to considered it about time, others thought continuous traffic flow would frighten bikers and pedestrians. The jury was still out. Right now the road crews were just laying underground utilities.

Dorothy suddenly burst into song “Won’t you take me to… Funkytown?” she crooned. “Won’t you take me to…. Funkytown?”

“Funkytown?” asked the Soupster.

“You know, the song — Lipps, Inc.? Back into the early 80’s?” Dot said. “Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me,” she sang. “Town to keep me movin’ — keep me groovin’ with some energy. Won’t you take me to …Funkytown?”

“It’s a stress reliever,” she went on. “When I approach the old Four-Way-Stop and start to freak out about how much time I’m losing, I sing `Funkytown.’”

“Why don’t you just drive around the Four-Way, er… Funkytown?” asked the Soupster. “Our Town doesn’t have much road, but there’s always another way to get where you are going.”

“I know that it’s kind of a public service to avoid the intersection, but it’s really interesting, the work that’s going on,” Dot said. “Plus, I get to sing.”

“You’re a nut,” said the Soupster, but Dotty was already belching out: “Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it…. Won’t you take me to… Funkytown?”

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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 shop@sitkasoup.com 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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