The package delivery truck pulled away from Soup House and the Soupster cradled the box he had just received. He tried to sneak his package indoors, but was confronted by his nosy neighbor, who always came outside when a truck stopped anywhere near.
” It’s a Snuggie,” the Soupster admitted to Chesley, who had been sort of ashamed of his first name his whole life until recently. “One of those blankets with the sleeves that they sell on TV.”
“A blanket with the sleeves that they sell on TV,” Chesley repeated, shaking his head. “How far the mighty have fallen!” Chesley felt qualified to judge others, now that he shared the name of the heroic pilot who landed on the Hudson River and saved his passengers and crew.
“It’s for a `Star Wars’ party,” said the Soupster. “I’m going as Yoda. I also ordered a head.”
“You’re not helping your cause any,” said Chesley. “What was it – $25 for the `Snuggle’ and then another $25 to ship it to Our Town?”
“Snuggie!” said the Soupster.
“Whatever,” said Chesley, getting a second wind. “Hey, Soupster, you know what really fries my taters? “
“Propane?” asked the Soupster.
“No, no,” said Chesley. “It’s when you’ve got a vital part for something that you need right away and you can’t get it locally and it only costs two or three dollars for the part, but the shipping is 10 times as much.”
“I once paid $15 to have a $3 cat toy sent Express Mail,” said the Soupster.
“I paid $35 to Gold Streak a two-inch long spring,” said Chesley.
“In any case, it’s a small price to pay for living in Our Town,” said the Soupster. “We’ve got most everything we need in our local shops and the rest we can wait a little while for.”
“Or pay through the nose,” said Chesley.
“I still think we’re getting off cheap,” the Soupster said. “No traffic jams, we have the beautiful mountains, clean air and water, postcard sunsets. Easy living, Chesley. Would you give that up to save on shipping? Because I guarantee you, somebody in the Lower 48 would pay for free shipping for life in order to switch places with you.”
“That you talking, Soupster?” asked Chesley. “Or Yoda?”