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Comments Off on Our Town – March 28, 2013

Our Town – March 28, 2013

| Guest Written, Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Rose Manning, Small Town Stuff | March 27, 2013

Is there such a thing as too much help?

“Hey, Buddy. Good to see you.”

“How’s life, Soupster?”

“How is life? How can you ask such a question?”

“I am fixin’ to leave this dang town.”

“Oh no, Buddy. Why do you want to leave Our Town?”

“I just have to, Soupster. It seems that nobody can mind their own beeswax. They are always sticking their nose into my business.”

“Whoa, there! It is a small town and it is spring and it is foggy and you know we just use each other for entertainment this time of year. Just what is this business you are talking about, Buddy?”

“Soupster. Everybody is just too dang nice.”

“Did I hear that right? TOO NICE? What is wrong with that?”

“Do you remember when the doc told me to walk at least twenty minutes every day?”

“Yes, I do and I do see you out there sometimes.”

“You got it, Soupster. Sometimes is right. It seems every time I get my shoes on and start out I can’t get more than a half block from home and somebody stops to give me a ride back home. I explain what I’m doing and turn them down but there is always another do-gooder neighborly sort right behind them. Finally, I give up and get all my exercise crawling in and out of cars. As soon as they drop me off and pull away I start out again. I haven’t made it a full block all week.”

“They are such good and kind people, Buddy.”

“Well. That is not my only problem Soupster.”

“Do tell me more.”

“Well you know how my Taurus is always leaking. The trunk is real swampy so on nice days I leave the trunk lid standing open so it will dry out.”

“Does it work?”

“Not hardly. Some do-goody has to walk by and close the lid. I even took it to the airport, thinking it would work out better there with all the strangers coming and going but I hadn’t even finished one cup of coffee before it was shut tight. And there’s more, Soupster.”

“More?”

“All the young ‘uns are now helping me up the curb and stairs even when I don’t want to go. They also stop and wait to help me cross the road when I don’t want to. I just want to stand in the yard and watch the birds. We caused quite the back-up at the round-a-bout yesterday.”

“Buddy, please don’t leave Our Town. Wait until the weather turns for the better and all the tourists come back. The nice people will get over it and barely have time to bother with you.”

Submitted by Rose Manning

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Comments Off on Our Town – August 23, 2012

Our Town – August 23, 2012

| Jobs, Money, Our Town, Small Town Stuff | August 22, 2012

After enduring a somewhat sketch marriage in her twenties, 34-year-old Annie was basically glad she had the romantic gumption to follow her heart and a charismatic fisherman to Our Town. But it gnawed at her that she had left a job as a retail store manager and could not find the equivalent employment here. Especially after the fisherman moved on — after different fish, she surmised.

To Annie, becoming a saleswoman again after so many years as a manager felt even worse than the simple demotion it was. Worse still was the cut in her pay. Our Town certainly didn’t feel any cheaper than where Annie had moved from. But in Our Town she had about a third less to make do with.

Bemoaning her fate is where the Soupster had expected to find his friend when he stopped by to pick up some flower bulbs that she was giving away. It was typical of Annie to be generous.

The Soupster smiled at the thought of generosity of so many people in Our Town. There was no better reason to be wealthy, the Soupster thought, than to be able to be generous with your time or your money. And here was Annie, struggling, yet using her time to give away her precious bulbs.

There are those who come to Our Town to take high-level jobs and, for them, financial discomfort may not be an issue. Others come for the mountains and the clean air (or a fisherman!) and cobble together several jobs to survive.

But that’s just money, the Soupster thought. A lot of life comes from family, friends, tradition, and belief – not to mention a good subsistence halibut or three. There was little sadder, the Soupster thought, than the old miser alone with his stacks of gold coins. And little more triumphant than someone thriving on modest means, surrounded by life and love.

And just as the Soupster had that thought, he looked up to see Annie’s face filled with life and love. She stood in her doorway beaming.

“Soupster,” she cried out, loud enough to startle a crow, “My manager decided just this week that she wants to move back to Idaho to be nearer her parents. The Assistant Manager’s boyfriend is being transferred to New Orleans and she’s going with him. So guess who’s going to be the new manager?”

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Comments Off on Our Town – August 9, 2012

Our Town – August 9, 2012

| Crazy Theories, Our Town, Small Town Stuff | August 9, 2012

“I love this `Coast Guard Alaska’ show,” Zach said, sprawling in the magnificence of his basement man-cave.

The Soupster generally avoided subterranean structures of any kind, but he had to admit Zach’s man-digs were powerfully comfy. Heavily stuffed chairs and a still more heavily stuffed couch. A wet bar, a microwave and a big stocked refrigerator. And you couldn’t argue with the 46-inch TV screen – unless you had to move it or pay for the electricity.

“Check out this episode,” Zach said, motioning toward the glowing behemoth as, onscreen, a Coast Guard Jayhawk hoisted a stranded boater. “I know the flight corpsman, the co-pilot and the guy they rescued.”

“Wasn’t the flight corpsman’s picture in the newspaper yesterday?” the Soupster asked.

“Yep,” said a further vindicated Zach. “Nice that we’re on the list of Alaska shows, eh, Soupster? `Deadliest Catch,’ `Flying Wild Alaska,’ `Man vs. Wild,’ and `Man vs. Food.’ And that’s not even counting the Canadians, who have quite a few shows of their own.”

“The granddaddy show was “Northern Exposure,” the Soupster said, referring to the 1990’s television sit-com set in the quirky fictional Alaskan town of Cicely. “I was in Mesa, Arizona buying a light fixture at the time and the merchant checked my ID and said, `You’re from Alaska! I love that show!’”

“Now it’s true,” said Zach. “Now totally true. Alaska is totally a television show.””

“They should set more TV reality shows in Our Town,” said the Soupster. “We’ve got a million stories around here.”

“Eagle Rescue Alaska?” said Zach.

“No, you have to create more tension, as the TV guys would say. “Like “Ravens: Scared Straight.”

“You mean delinquent ravens subjected to Tough Love over golf-ball-and-grocery theft?”

“Yeah, said the Soupster. “Or an Our Town housepainter waiting on pins and needles for a dry spell to do this work. That should be good for six or eight weeks of tense episodes.”

“Might be too tense,” said Zach.

“I’ve got it,” said the Soupster. “What about `The Growingest Road’ about the Olympian task of state highway guys trying to cut down alder and salmonberry bushes faster than they can grow back.”

“Good,” said Zach, “Or one where they get up close and personal with one salmon. The star of the series would have to weather dry spells and sharp rocks, dodge bears and not get snagged by someone stretching the fishing rules. All for a disquieting ending.”

“One salmon’s struggle,” mused the Soupster.

“Or, `The Slug Whisperer,’” said Zach, suddenly very pleased with himself. “What about that, Soupster? `The Slug Whisperer?’”

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Comments Off on Our Town – May 3, 2012

Our Town – May 3, 2012

| Crazy Theories, Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Seasons, Small Town Stuff, Spring | May 3, 2012

“Coffee delivery,” the Soupster announced, as he approached the four men sitting and standing outside Giant Gene’s auto shop. Indeed, he carried a cardboard holder with four paper cups.

“You’re a good man,” Giant Gene told the Soupster, taking the holder and distributing the cups. Charlie, also called Red, raised his in salute. Billy, called Kid, gave an elaborate bow of thanks, almost spilling his. Miguel drank greedily. He was, understandably, sometimes called Santana, since that was his last name.

“Pretty slick,” the Soupster told Gene. “I call you to see if my alternator is ready and you rope me into catering your morning staff meeting. What are you guys doing standing out here, anyway? Don’t you have cars and trucks to shorten the lives of?”

“Shhhh,” said Gene and turned to the other guys. “I think today is definitely the day. It’s my day.”

“Today is what day?” asked the Soupster.

“The day Gene thinks Leonard will finally take his snow shovels inside,” said Red. He pointed across the street to a neatly kept home surrounded by a white picket fence, against which was balanced a silver snow shovel, a black plastic scoop and an ice breaker.

“We think Leonard is the last person in Our Town to put them away,” added Billy.

“We bet on it,” said Giant Gene. “Miguel thought it up.”

“Whoever picks the day Leonard puts the shovels away has to buy lunch for the rest of us for a week,” explained Miguel.

“That’s the first prize?” said the Soupster. “The winner buys lunch for everyone for a week?”

“No,” said Miguel. “The prize is the honor of winning.”

“We call it the Santana Ice Classic,” said Giant Gene.

“Look,” said Billy, “Leonard’s coming out!”

Leonard stepped out onto his cute front porch and took a breath of the morning air. He came down the stairs. The tension at Giant Gene’s was palpable.

When Leonard got to the shovels he paused slightly, looked up in the general direction of Giant Gene’s, walked out the gate and got into his car.

“Darn!” said Gene. “I thought I won!”

“It’s been getting pretty warm,” the Soupster said. “Do you ever worry that Leonard knows what you’re all up to and he’s leaving his shovels out there on purpose?”

“Soupster,” said Billy. “That would be crazy!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – April 5, 2012

Our Town – April 5, 2012

| Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Small Town Stuff | April 5, 2012

“Soupster, are you crying?” asked Laine as she encountered him on a bench near the harbor.

“Oh, just deep thoughts,” the Soupster admitted, wiping his cheek with the side of his hand. “I was just thinking about Clarence… and novels.”

“OK,” Laine said, sitting down. “I’ve got a minute. Tell me what’s on the Soupster’s mind. This can be like in one of your Our Town columns.”

Some gulls squawked at her joke, but the Soupster didn’t.

“Good old Clarence,” said the Soupster. “I was giving him a bad time about some old snow shovel he borrowed and gave me back bent – this was just last week.”

“Now, he’s gone,” said Laine.

“Clarence, The Novel, is finished,” the Soupster agreed.

“Explain,” said Laine.

“A great thing about Our Town, maybe the best thing about it for me,” said the Soupster, “is the fact you get to see the same people in all different kinds of ways. You might see them with their kids at a concert and then where they work and then maybe leading around a group of people who look just like them and you figure they must be relatives.

“All these same people, like Clarence, develop in front of you, like characters in a novel,” he concluded.

“Clarence, The Novel, is finished,” said Laine, nodding with understanding. She and the Soupster let a long pause occur, respectful of their friend’s passing.

“We only get to know part of the story,” said the Soupster. “I only knew Clarence, The Novel from the middle to the end. I never `read’ the beginning.”

“If it was anything like the later parts, it had to be a good read,” chuckled Laine, toasting Clarence with an imaginary drink in one hand.

“Seeing kids grow up in Our Town is cool,” said the Soupster, “That’s the beginning of the novel.”

“You know, you may never read the end of those novels,” she said. “You probably won’t.”

“That’s okay,” said the Soupster. “I’ve always liked the beginnings of novels best. I love the first 10 minutes of every movie I see.”

“Well, if this is an episode of Our Town, we must be near the bottom of the page,” said Laine. “Because I have to go.” She stood and walked a few steps, then turned and smiled.

“And so Laine, The Novel, continues,” she called back. “But this chapter is finished.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 8, 2012

Our Town – March 8, 2012

| Our Town, Small Town Stuff, Work | March 8, 2012

Originally Published March 6, 2003

The grocery store was packed. The Soupster had to walk sideways down the Canned Tomatoes aisle to pass the shopping carts parked on the left side and then the right. Unusual for Our Town, a long line of shoppers waited impatiently at the checkout stand.

When the Soupster finally got to the front of the line, he saw the reason for the delay. The young woman at the cash register was as overcareful with each transaction as a cat pacing the rim of a steamy bathtub.

She meticulously rotated each food item in her hand to find the UPC code, and then drew the item across the scanner with a kind of dreamy slowness. She smiled individually at each person in line, looking for validation, then, with effort, picked up the next food item. The Soupster shifted his weight from one foot to the other. So did everyone in the line steadily growing behind the Soupster.

People had started to clear their throats, when a man in his 30’s with a badge that said “Asst. Mgr.” swept up behind the counter next to the cashier.

“Kathy! You are to call for help when the line gets this long,” he said in a theatrical whisper, meant for everyone to hear. “You should never let the line get this long, Kathy!”

“Ma’am,” the Asst. Mgr. said over-solicitously to the woman behind the Soupster. “All of you, come with me,” he pointed to the entire line and they moved with him to another checkout stand.

The young cashier’s face reddened. Only halfway through his transaction, the Soupster stood alone now before her. She went back to her slow-motion scanning of the Soupster’s few items. Meanwhile, the first members of the Asst. Mgr.’s line were already picking up their grocery bags and walking out the door.

“Sorry,” the Kathy said, looking downcast.

“No problem,” said the Soupster. “First day on the job?”

She nodded. “Probably going to be my only day,” she said and, indeed, the Asst. Mgr. was shooting daggers her way hidden behind the bland smile he showed his customers.

“Keep at it,” said the Soupster.

“I said DON’T RUSH ME!” came a loud, deep voice from the other register. The Soupster and the young cashier turned.

A very large man loomed over the Asst. Mgr., who was pinned against the back wall of his checkout station. The man slammed down his wallet and leaned forward in the direction of the Asst. Mgr. who looked extremely flustered and ready to bolt.

“Manny,” said Kathy, the young cashier, and slipped from her workstation seamlessly beside her trembling co-worker. “Manny, Manny, Many, cool your jets,” she laughed and poked the big man in the chest. Manny laughed. The Asst.. Mgr. visibly unstiffened.

The cashier returned to the Soupster. She looked a lot happier than a minute before. “Will there be anything else, Sir?” she asked sweetly.

“I think you got your job back, Kathy,” the Soupster answered.

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Comments Off on Our Town – October 20, 2011

Our Town – October 20, 2011

| Crazy Theories, Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Small Town Stuff | October 20, 2011

Originally published November 6, 2003

“I was saved, Soupster, but by which I do not know,” said Charles, a former college professor who now drank a lot of coffee. He had four tiny espresso cups arranged in front of him, two of them empty.

The Soupster looked around. Besides the barrista, washing mugs out of earshot, the men were alone.

“You know Bluto, the pompous blowhard?” Charles said, blowing pretty hard himself. “I owed that man $1,000. You’d have thought it was the Hope Diamond the way he pursued me around Our Town. Showing up at social occasions with that ridiculous `I’m going to bite you’ look on his face.”

“Bluto has bitten people,” the Soupster remarked. “He almost bit me once.”

“I considered that,” said Charles.

“Anyhow,” he continued. “Bluto was on my tail in a major fashion and I was doing my best to stay one step ahead of him. Which is not hard, Bluto being Bluto.”

“He’s not stupid,” said the Soupster

“Nonetheless,” said Charles. “On a proverbial `dark and stormy night’ he finally caught up with me. Right outside the fishing supply store. There I was face-to-face with Bluto’s ugly visage. He held a bag, bulging with orange nylon and I thought he was going to brain me with it.”

Charles chugged the third of his espressos.

“Bluto grabs me with his giant paws and squeezes hard,” Charles continued. “`Where is me $1,000, you barrel worm,’ Bluto thunders. `I don’t have it,’ I say weakly. `What’s that in your pocket?’ says Bluto. `That’s me, er, my mail,’ I say.”

“So Bluto grabs the mail and rifles through. `Ahoy,’ he cries, holding up my Permanent Fund Dividend check. `This will do,’ Bluto says.

“`But, Bluto,’ I muster the courage to ask ‘I owe you a $1,000, but that PFD is worth more than $1,100,’ I say. And Bluto, he agrees with me. Could have knocked me over with a feather. `An eleven hundred dollar PFD,’ the ogre says and laughs and thrusts his bulging orange bag into my chest.”

“And walks off,” Charles continued. “So I’m left there standing in the pitch-black cold rain, minus one PFD. I stare into the bag. And what is in there? A life vest! I take it out and put it on. It’s a nice life jacket, the kind with the big ring behind your neck and the large reflective patches on the shoulder so the Coast Guard can find you at night and pluck you out of the water.”

“And as I’m admiring the jacket a car comes screeching out of the dark. And – this I swear – the car’s headlights pick up the reflective patches and the vehicle veers a second before running me down.”

“I see your dilemna,” said the Soupster. “You were saved by either a Permanent Fund Dividend or a Personal Flotation Device.”

“Yes, Soupster, yes,” Charles cried, lurching for his remaining coffee cup. “Which PFD saved me?

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Comments Off on Our Town – October 6, 2011

Our Town – October 6, 2011

| Clothing, Our Town, Small Town Stuff | October 6, 2011

“Soupster, you can’t practice medicine in this state,” said Linda, scratching furiously at the bug bite on the outside of her right calf.

“But I’ve only had one glass of wine,” protested the Soupster.

“I mean in Alaska!” Linda said.

The Soupster brought over a cold pack from his freezer, an elastic bandage and a tube of antibacterial ointment. “I want you to stop scratching that,” he said. “It’s starting to bleed.”

“Bleeding is good,” said Linda. “It’s a different kind of pain than itching, which drives me absolutely crazy.”

“Counter-irritation,” said the Soupster. “You’re absolutely right. Takes your mind off the thing that’s driving you crazy, by replacing it with something that may hurt just as much, but doesn’t drive you quite as crazy.”

“Huh?” said Linda.

The Soupster didn’t answer her, but bent to his work. He carefully daubed off Linda’s bite and, as he applied the antibacterial ointment, asked, “What are the fashion rules for Our Town anyway?”

“Huh?” she repeated.

“Like okay, is there a time when you cannot wear Xtra Tuf boots?”

“That’s a good question, Soupster,” Linda admitted. “Nothing comes to mind. I’ve seen Xtra Tufs at weddings and funerals.”

The Soupster put the cold pack against Linda’s leg. “That feels cold, but good,” she said.

“Any other fashion rules?” said the Soupster, continuing his work

“Well, you should never ever buy anything that would be ruined if it got wet,” said Linda.

“Like suede?”

“Funny you should bring that up,” said Linda. “My favorite pair of shoes started out as suede and now that they’re mushed down they seem even more comfortable.”

The Soupster murmured his assent as he wrapped the elastic bandage around Linda’s calf to hold the cold pack in place.

“I don’t think there’s ever a reason to wear really high heels in Our Town – I mean except for a lark,” mused Linda. “I think men could go their whole lives in Our Town and never have to wear a tuxedo.” She looked at her caregiver’s well-worn shirt. “Soupster, do you own even one suit?”

The Soupster put a white sock over Linda’s foot and stretched it carefully up over the bandage. He stood up to survey his neat work.

“Have you ever even worn a tuxedo, Soupster?” said Linda, an edge to her voice. “Are you even listening to me?”

“I got it,” the Soupster insisted, “Never wear high-heeled Xtra Tufs with a tuxedo in Our Town. Counter-irritation. How does your leg feel now?”

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Comments Off on Our Town – June 16, 2011

Our Town – June 16, 2011

| Crime, Our Town, Small Town Stuff, Youth | June 16, 2011

“Lock your car,” said the old TV ad. “Take your keys. Don’t make a good boy go bad.”

The Soupster was proud that Our Town disproved the above. He was sure he was not the only person in town to regularly leave his car unlocked, which didn’t seem to be making good boys go bad.

The good boys who went bad seemed to do so of their own volition, despite the wealth of unlocked cars Our Town offered. And the bad boys who went good also seemed to be piloting their own ships. Not to mention all the good and bad girls.

Now, the Soupster did usually take his keys out of his unlocked car, if for no other reason than his car made an unpleasant clanging if he didn’t. Maybe, if he had left the keys in the ignition a few times, he would have made a good boy go bad. Not that he wanted to.

How the Soupster thought he might make a good boy go bad was by leaving enticing items on the front seat of said unlocked car. A bag of donuts or burgers, current magazines fresh from the post office, a spiffy new tool – those kinds of things.

Or a rented DVD.

The DVD in question was “Fair Game” about the Valerie Plame incident – she was a CIA field operative (spy) whose identity was revealed for political reasons. A thick conspiracy full of twists and turns.

And that intrigue must have infected the Soupster, because later in the evening, when he went to find the movie and couldn’t, he thought that a good boy might have gone bad and stolen the DVD.

He knew Our Town was an honest place. He hated the old saying, “It’s the exception that proves the rule,” but he couldn’t help thinking that it applied in this case.

How much did DVDs cost to replace? $30? $50?

A small price to pay for the honest waters he got to swim in, the Soupster thought. It was almost a relief to know that Our Town had a limit to its honesty. You couldn’t go leaving $50 bills laying around and expect them to be there when you got back.

He went to bed a wiser, chastened man.

The next day had a glorious sun/cloud ratio and a sea breeze, so the Soupster decided to hoof it to the video store to further cement his new, sober outlook. He looked upon passersby, knowing now that every one of them probably had a dark side capable of all sorts of mischief – possibly least of all, pilfering “Fair Game” DVDs.

The Soupster swung open the door to the rental store. “I owe you some money,” he told the clerk. “Someone must have taken “Fair Game” from my car.”

“No one lifted anything, Silly,” said the clerk, after scrolling down her computer image to an entry on the Soupster’s account. “Someone found “Fair Game” in a parking lot and returned it for you.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 24, 2011

Our Town – March 24, 2011

| Guest Written, Lois Verbaan, Our Town, Small Town Stuff | March 24, 2011

Who’s Who in Our Town?!

“One thing I really like about living in Our Town,” Marci said, “is that after a while you start knowing the people you see and seeing the people you know. A hello here and a wave there makes the place feel like one big backyard.”

“Yeah, but not everyone likes that,” the Soupster pointed out. “My cousin Dave lives in Anchorage because of the ‘anonymity’. His Saturday morning routine includes a trip to Barnes and Noble for a read and a coffee. The irony is that by now, I bet the coffee baristas and most of the regulars know everything about him, except his name… You can tell a lot about a person by what they read. But I can see his point. At least the person at the next table isn’t going to know your family tree or anything else remotely private about you”.

Marci nodded in agreement. “The worst is seeing my counselor in public,” she said. “It makes me feel kinda naked. Like, the other shoppers see this normal adult doing the normal shopping thing; meanwhile, she knows that lurking just below the surface is this crazy animal, just waiting to be unleashed. I scare myself just thinking about it!”

“Counselors are like teachers,” the Soupster reflected. “You forget that they do normal things like go shopping or go to the gym. They probably even see shrinks themselves!”

Marci laughed. “Another nice thing about living in Our Town,” she added, “are the familiar strangers that you get to know. It starts when you keep seeing someone around town. Soon, you find yourself greeting them and one day you start talking to them. Often you find out who they are, but since they’ve never officially introduced themselves, you feel obliged to pretend you don’t know, or else act as if you’ve always known! Strange really…”

“Then there are people who greet you as if they know you, but you can’t remember having met them,” the Soupster said. “In that moment of awkwardness, you’re tempted to return their greeting as a long lost friend. But if you don’t clear the air immediately, let’s say you’ve more or less missed the boat. From then on, you’re locked into pretending you know them”.

“Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget,” Marci warned, “that sometimes we’re greeted affectionately by someone who thinks they know us, when actually they don’t.  That happened to my coworker recently. She told me how she saw my brother Ben down at Crescent Harbor the other day. They were deep in conversation before she realized that he wasn’t Ben! See, it does happen. You should never assume that you’re the one with the bad memory!”

“Hey, I gotta go,” the Soupster said suddenly. “That’s the guy who I’m selling my boat to. Or is it? Anyway if he isn’t, I’m sure I can convince him he is. He sure looks like the kind of guy who needs an old Whaler,” the Soupster said with a wink.

– Submitted by Lois Verbaan DenHerder

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Comments Off on Our Town – March 12, 2009

Our Town – March 12, 2009

| Neighbors, Our Town, Relationships, Shipping, Small Town Stuff, Telemarketing | March 12, 2009

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?”

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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.

Our Town Archives

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