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Comments Off on Our Town – August 1, 2019

Our Town – August 1, 2019

| Guest Written, Music, Our Town, Rachel Ramsey, Radio, Recycling | August 1, 2019

The Soupster riffs with a jazzy friend.

Guest Written by Rachel Ramsey

The Soupster was perusing his favorite thrift shop’s assortment of kitchenware when he heard his name from across the shop.

“Soupster! I’ve been thinking of you all week!” He recognized the joyful voice of his pal and fellow jazz fan, Liz, who approached him excitedly through the crowd.

“Oh yeah? What kind of trouble are you cookin’ up, dear?”

“Ain’t Misbehavin’, Soupster.” Liz replied. “Have you seen the recently discovered short video clip of Louis Armstrong as a young teenager?” Liz knew the Soupster liked his jazz early and hot. Nothing later than 1929 was his jazz preference.

“I did catch that! A New Orleans newspaper boy flashes his grin, and experts have agreed it is likely Armstrong. 104 year-old video – very cool, indeed.”

“Well I’ve been on a solid Armstrong kick since seeing that clip, buddy, and ever since I feel I’ve got the world on a string!”

Liz’s laugh was as infectious as her joyous and kind, ear-to-ear smile – freely shared with all she encountered. Not unlike Satchmo himself, the Soupster thought. Determined to replace his shabby compost bucket, he continued to eye the goods.

“Frankly, Soupster, I cannot stop referencing Armstrong song titles, and it’s driving my kids a bit batty. But I’m entertained, and honestly, I can’t help lovin’ dat man!” Their combined robust laughter filled the shop, turning only a few tourists’ heads.

“Good for you, Liz,” the Soupster chuckled. “Since his career spanned 50 years, that should keep you going strong for quite a while, though if you’re not careful, Someday you’ll be sorry. Before you know it, your hubby will be bombarding you with all the Zappa lyrics you’re oblivious to.”

Grateful that her fellow jazz lover grokked her silly joy, Liz giggled, “We’ve a fine romance, Soupster and It takes two to tango!”

“Aha! There it is!” The Soupster triumphantly exclaimed while pulling from the top shelf a 3-gallon bucket. “Have any shows on the horizon, Liz?” he asked. Liz was a volunteer at their community radio station.

“Sure do – I’m on tomorrow afternoon. Though I did miss my last slot,” Liz explained, “I caught a bug.”

“Gut Bucket Blues?” joked the Soupster.

Liz laughed, “Not quite. Speaking of buckets,” she pointed to the Soupster’s score, “What gives?”

“Well, it’s too good to be true, but I need this because my old Bucket’s got a hole in it. No lie.”

Liz couldn’t help herself, “What can you say – You’re just a lucky so and so.”

The Soupster paid for his bucket and began to mosey out of the crowded shop. He spotted the clouds above parting in the north, allowing sunbeams to permeate through the thinning overhead.

He turned around and called out, “I’m beginning to see the light, Liz! It’s on the sunny side of the street!”

Liz’s enormous smile returned as she laughingly shot back, “What a wonderful world!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 11, 2010

Our Town – March 11, 2010

| Parody, Radio | March 11, 2010

The Soupster watched a small TV and read the daily paper. “I’m multi-tasking,” he said aloud, although he sat at his kitchen table alone.

On the TV screen, a sporting event was taking place that seemed to involve pushing a large smooth stone down an ice-covered lane to land at a certain spot on a target. He heard the announcer say: “Hurling.”

“Curling,” the Soupster thought.

His eyes lit on an item in the paper for a local fundraising auction. There were four items going on the block. The group made good money every year hawking really creative and locally-oriented prizes.

1,000 Free Coffees,” read the description of the first item in the paper. “A generous patron has donated 1,000 free coffees accumulated on his punch card while drinking 10,000 cups in a single Sitka establishment. He’s trying to cut down and is jittery about his chances. He’s also jittery whether anyone will bid enough to make him not embarrassed in front of the other donors. Actually, he’s just jittery.”

The Soupster knew from whence the generous patron came and decided to pass on #1.

“This is a cutthroat Hurling match,” the Soupster heard the TV sportscaster say. “One of these teams is going to have to reach into their very guts to pull this out.” He sounded excited, but when the Soupster looked up he saw the same slow motion game, although he noticed some guys with little brooms furiously brushing the ice to slow the sliding stone. “Curling,” he harrumphed.

“Encounter with Your Adolescent,” he read, in the second auction item. “Think your teen may be a wild animal? Now you can find out for sure! Famed naturalist Nelson Richards will perform a full taxonomical analysis on your offspring, comparing similarities of its bizarre feeding and hibernation patterns and bonding rituals to those of a wide variety of other critters you’ve already learned to appreciate.”

The Soupster knew more than one friend who was probably going to bid on that one. He moved on to #3,

Scroll Down Memory Lane with the Geezer Geek Squad,” #3 read. “Men and women who remember 8-track tapes will descend en mass on your home-office, sewing room or Man Cave and remove such confusing items as connections to the Internet, spacious hard drives – even anti-virus software! Sure to leave you smiling at your new 8-inch monochrome monitor as you play Missile Command and Pong with MS-DOS keyboard commands.”

The thought was oddly not unpleasant. In #4 the Soupster read:

“Make `The Deadliest Catch’ personal — Be cast in the coveted role of `Hand Troll Assistant.’ You won’t be able to escape (or forget) your week-long nautical performance! Learn scupper-sucking, bilge-sniffing and puncture wound care from an expert. Your dinner will look back at you as you enjoy healthy, wild Alaska king salmon heads, tails, fins and bones at every meal!”

“I’m not to going to fall for that one again,” the Soupster thought, feeling an imaginary piece of salmon skin stuck in his teeth. Then the TV sportscaster began yelling. “This is it! This is for the championship!”

The Soupster looked up from the paper and at first things seemed the same. The stone slid down the ice, the men with the brooms brushed furiously. But then one of them, then the other, leaned forward and upchucked onto the ice, successfully slowing the sliding stone.

“Now that’s Hurling!” screamed the ecstatic sportscaster. “That is Huuurrrllling!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – September 10, 2009

Our Town – September 10, 2009

| Canada, Foreign Countries, Nicknames, Our Town, Radio | September 10, 2009

The Soupster snapped his fingers. “The Canuck will know,” he said out loud, although he stood alone in his kitchen late one evening. “The Knik Canuck will know!”

The Soupster stepped over to the phone and dialed his south-of-the-Alaska border buddy. The Knik Canuck had moved to Our Town from Vancouver, B.C. via Anchorage and he and the Soupster built a friendship out of periodic verbal sparring.

“You’ve reached me on my new hands-free cell phone,” Knik said. “I’m in the truckoot the road, eh?”

“It’s a little hard to hear you, K.C.” said the Soupster. “Is someone there with you?”

“I have the radio on,” said the Canuck, “Let me turn it down a bit.”

“You’re driving around at night listening to the radio?” asked the Soupster.

“I’m homesick tonight,” said the Knik Canuck.

“Don’t you know,” he asked the Soupster, “that you can pick up all kinds of Canadian stations in different places in Our Town on the car radio at night? There’s a couple of talk shows. I’ve heard broadcasts in Farsi and Chinese. I’ve heard Radio Netherlands repeated by the CBC. Different stations fade in and oot, but I can nearly always manage a clear bead on the Vancouver 24-hour all-traffic station.”

“How much traffic news can there be at night?” said the Soupster.

“Well, right now, there’s a disabled truck causing delays on the Knight Street Bridge and they have been telling people to expect congestion downtown due to the massive crowds coming oot of the Celine Dion concert at GM Place,” Knik said. “Also, there’s some kind of police safety check going on East Hastings and the Tsawwassen ferry is late.”

“I stand corrected,” said the Soupster, who was, in fact, standing.

“You just calling to chit-chat?” asked Knik.

“A question has been driving me crazy all night,” said the Soupster. “You’ve lived in both the U.S. and Canada.. The U.S. is seen as a Center-Right country, politically. Canada is seen as Center-Left.”

“I agree,” said the Knik Canuck.

“So K.C.,” said the Soupster. “Tell me the difference between a Conservative and a Liberal.”

“That’s a good one,” said the Canuck, continuing after a pause. ‘Well, I’d say that Conservatives favor restrictions on personal behavior, but fewer restrictions on business and commerce. Liberals want to see more restrictions on commerce and fewer restrictions on personal choices and behaviors. “

“Can you relate that to the U.S. health care debate?” the Soupster asked breathlessly.

“I would,” the Knik Canuck said before signing off. “But the Vancouver All-Traffic station is just aboot to air a special on pre-2010 Winter Olympics construction projects along the Vancouver to Whistler Sea-to-Sky Highway and I don’t want to miss oot!

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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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