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Comments Off on Our Town – September 6, 2018

Our Town – September 6, 2018

| Cruise Ships, Foreign Countries, Our Town, Philippines, Tourists, Triplets | September 6, 2018

Stylish gal has the Soupster seeing triple.

Originally published August 12, 2010

As the Soupster walked past the base of the O’Connell Bridge, he heard the low rumble of a cruise ship’s small boat, lightering passengers ashore. The first off the boat – a tall, raven-haired young woman — was so striking the Soupster couldn’t help but notice her. Her attire was as striking as her looks – thin black leggings and pink, shaggy Ugg boots. Although the sun was shining, she also wore a light blue rain jacket emblazoned with the cruise ship’s logo.

The Soupster hurried around Castle Hill and up Lincoln St., already late for a lunch date at the home of his good friend Oscar. Oscar had scored some wonderful ivory king and had recently invested in a spendy gas barbecue. The Soupster, whose B-B-Q efforts always ended in crumbly salmon tasting of starter fluid, savored the thought of dining with an expert grillsman.

The Soupster was supposed to meet Oscar near the Filipino food take-out stand, Adobo Abode. (ed. note: Try the refrain of the song “Winchester Cathedral”)  But as the Soupster neared the Abode, he was struck dumb. Standing by the stand, halfway through eating a plate of pancit and lumpia, stood the same woman he had seen moments ago, just arriving on shore. Same long hair, same pink boots, same cruise ship raincoat.

“Soupster!” It was Oscar, across the street, calling from the window of his truck. “I forgot to get any lemons,” he continued at high volume, including all the people on the street in his conversation.

The Soupster hurried across Lincoln and got into Oscar’s pickup. “See that woman across the streets? The one with the dark hair and the blue raincoat?”

“Well, the tourists are sure getting better-looking,” said Oscar appreciatively. “But what’s with the boots? You think she’s a Sherpa?”

“I think she’s in style,” said the Soupster.

Oscar pulled away from the curb and worked his way down the crowded street, stopping several times to let tourists cross or to finish taking a photo. He turned onto the main road.

As the Soupster pondered how the woman on the boat got to the Adobo Abode faster than he did, Oscar turned into the grocery store parking lot. “Surely she couldn’t have gotten there fast enough for her to order, pick up and finish half of one of the Abode’s heaping plates?” the Soupster thought.

He followed Oscar toward the store, only to be struck dumb again. The same woman – raven tresses, Ugg boots — emerged from the entrance, carrying a full bag of groceries in her arms.

“What the…” said the Soupster, and then — determined to solve this mystery – he approached the young woman.

“Eh, Miss,” he said, “I’ve seen you three times in the last 15 minutes.”

The woman laughed. A cab pulled up next to them. In the back seat sat two identical versions her, one with her hair still tousled from the wind on the boat, the other with a small piece of pancit stuck to her chin. The woman laughed again, this time right at the Soupster. She got in the cab.

Oscar caught up with the Soupster. “Triplets,” he marveled, as the cab pulled away.

 

73 total views, 2 today

Comments Off on Our Town – May 31, 2018

Our Town – May 31, 2018

| Our Town, Small Town Stuff, Sunshine, Tourists, Weather | May 31, 2018

The Soupster is called out on his talkativeness & put to the test.

Originally published July 12, 2012

Carrie told the Soupster he talked too much and her criticism stung. The Soupster knew he could go on and on – maybe a tiny, little bit? — but he didn’t know his friend had been suffering. And for “quite a while,” no less.

“I bet you can’t keep your conversation to a minimum even for one day,” Carrie threw down the gauntlet. “Not even for one whole day.”

“I can,” the Soupster insisted. “And I will!”

Today was the day. The first mission of the new, zip-lipped Soupster was to check the mail at the post office. As the Soupster strolled downtown, he had to duck into a few storefronts to avoid fellow chatterboxes who might stress-test his mettle.

“Soupman!” The call came from Charlie, a hiking buddy who, unfortunately, happened to be in a store the Soupster had judged free of customers. “Tell me what’s new with the Man in the Can?”

“Not much,” said the Soupster, wishing he could have thought of a one-word answer. “Gotta go,” he said slipping out of the store.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire? Two busfuls of visitors hit the sidewalk and poured around the Soupster like a human wave.

Hide in plain sight? The Soupster pulled his cap low on his forehead and attempted to avoid eye contact with the cheery migrants surrounding him.

No use! The Soupster felt his lapels being patted and looked down into the face of an older man wearing a tag that said, “Hi! I’m Horace!”

“Hi, I’m Horace,” he stated the obvious, grasping the Soupster’s hand and shaking it vigorously. “I’m new to these shores.”

“Hi, Horace,” said the Soupster.

“Yup, this is some different place,” Horace said. “Where’s all the big box chain stores? Don’t you have any big box chain stores?”

“Nope,” said the Soupster.

“Our bus driver said he was taking us all over town but we only went five or six miles one way and then seven or eight the other. That can’t be all the road you have.”

“Yup,” said the Soupster, zipping his lips so tight he could taste metal.

“And this rain I keep hearing about,” Horace plunged on. “It’s certainly not raining now. Is going to rain soon? Am I going to get wet? I mean, isn’t this town too nice to be built by people who get rained on every day?”

As the Soupster moaned silently, a beam of sunlight illuminated a break in the throng of tourists ahead. “Yup,” said the Soupster, shaking Horace’s hand. “Nope,” he added. And then the Soupster escaped.

107 total views, 1 today

Comments Off on Our Town – September 10, 2015

Our Town – September 10, 2015

| Airplanes, Fishing, Our Town, Tourists, Travel | September 10, 2015

The Soupster observes unsustainable drought measures.

At the airport for a Goldstreak and a slice of Strawberry-Rhubarb, the Soupster saw Lydia “Wrong Tide” Lerner, weaving her way among the luggage carts stacked high with white cardboard fish boxes.

“Wrong Tide” is an unfortunate nickname in a fishing community and, also unfortunately, what Lerner’s name portended was true – when fish saw Lydia coming, they swam the other way.

Nonetheless, Wrong Tide was an enthusiastic consumer of everything fish-related, was fiercely loyal to the commercial fleet and could mutter under her breath in way that allowed her still to be heard.

But she muttered something now that the Soupster could not hear above the general terminal noise. He called out “Lydia! Wrong Tide! W.T.!”

At last she turned around. “Soupster,” she said. “How long have you been watching me?”

“Just a minute, I just saw you,” said the Soupster, taken aback.

“Oh, don’t listen to me,” Wrong Tide said. “I get all worked up when I see all these big white boxes full of fish. When you don’t catch fish, you get real jealous of them. You don’t want so many fish leaving town with other people.”

“But look at the smiles on all those folks,” said the Soupster. An older woman in a rain jacket blissfully pushed a cart with five boxes of fish, a stack taller than her. “How happy she looks,” said the Soupster after the woman had passed.

“I’m glad for them,” Wrong Tide said, “But those are our fish!” She looked around, then muttered loudly enough for the Soupster to discern, “I better get out of here.”

Wrong Tide left.

Truth was, the Soupster was no stellar fisherman and found himself growing uncomfortable with the long line of people waiting to load their huge boxes of fish. It wasn’t like the Soupster wanted for fish. The expensive species he poached from friends. He kept his freezer full of the cheaper species from the store to fill in any time his poaching failed.

Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was being taken from him personally.

And then he saw it – how could one ignore it? A small parade – or not so small – passing through the terminal’s automatic door. Three young people in identical forest green polo shirts pushed three luggage carts piled precariously with fish boxes.

The Soupster counted 19!

Bringing up the rear was a white-maned and mustachioed alpha predator, pushing a cart with only one fish box. The man kept a close eye on the three green-clad youths laboring with the rest of his booty.

“Sir,” the Soupster called, feeling ornery.
“You really going to eat all that fish?”

The man slowed in front of the Soupster and pointed to the lone box on his cart. “This much fish, I can eat, yes,” he said.

“What about your other 19 boxes?” asked the Soupster.

“They’re not fish,” said the man. “They’re full of water.” He started rolling his cart again to catch up with his crew. “Hey,” he yelled back. “I’m from California!”

 

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Comments Off on Our Town – June 5, 2014

Our Town – June 5, 2014

| Cruise Ships, Our Town, Tourists | June 5, 2014

The Soupster makes a new friend in an usual way.

Originally published June 27, 2002

Gosh!, the Soupster smiled inwardly smiled at the sheer mass of humanity lightering off three cruise ships in the bay and flooding Our downTown.

In a perch below the O’Connell Bridge, the Soupster entertained himself watching the tourists mill around and a bunch of bridge workers doing repairs.

At last, the main disgorging of the great ships was completed. The football crowd of people that had jammed the debarkation area had all left in busses and vans and on foot. Even the bridge workers had disappeared. The scene of intense activity minutes before was now devoid of all humanity.

Save one. A lone man, older and a little stooped. He walked to the edge of the road and peered down. To the Soupster, the man looked exceedingly lost and maybe just a little confused. Fifteen slow minutes crawled by.

The Soupster rose from his perch and ambled down to the tarmac.

“Hello,” said the older man. “Are you Malcolm’s friend who was going to meet me here? Everyone left and I was worried you wouldn’t come.”

The Soupster started to tell the truth, then stopped.

“Malcolm told me not to take a bus tour, to be sure to wait for you and you would give me the extra-special tour. He said not to take a walking tour, either, because we would be walking plenty,” I’m Malcolm’s Uncle Jerontis.”

“I’m Lee,” lied the Soupster, shocked at himself. “And the grand tour is about to begin!”

The small angel on the Soupster’s shoulder had said into his ear, “What if Malcolm’s real friend shows up and is disappointed not to meet his friend’s uncle?” But the small devil on the Soupster’s other shoulder said, “Malcolm’s friend is not coming. Why not have some fun and take the man on a tour?” and, as he did occasionally, the Soupster agreed with the small devil.

So the Soupster and Uncle Jerontis took the grand tour of Our Town together. They went to the Russian Bishop’s House and the Sitka Kwaan Na’Kahidi. The Soupster borrowed a skiff for an at-sea tour of the harbors and stout fishing vessels and sleek pleasure craft. They watched a silver carver work and then a Soap maker. A girl playing a violin gave each man a peanut butter cookie from her sack lunch after Uncle Jerontis placed $5 in her opened case. He and the Soupster sat on Siginaka Way and watched the eagles floating effortlessly over the tidal flats on gusts of warm wind. They shared salmon and halibut nuggets. Jerontis turned out to be a careful shopper and even the Soupster was impressed with the gifts the older man amassed for the friends back home, including Malcolm.

“Lee, I hate to leave, but I must,” said Jerontis, as the Soupster returned him to the bridge for the lighter trip back to his ship. “When you come to Cincinnati, you must come to see me. But I suppose you’ll want to visit Malcolm as soon as you get there.” Jerontis wrote his name, address and phone number on a piece of paper.

“I have a better idea,” said the Soupster, taking the paper and relieved to be ending his ruse without being discovered. I’ll come by your place first. Then, we’ll go see Malcolm together!

936 total views, 1 today

Comments Off on Our Town – July 12, 2012

Our Town – July 12, 2012

| Cruise Ships, Downtown, Our Town, Tourists | July 12, 2012

Carrie told the Soupster he talked too much and her criticism stung. The Soupster knew he could go on and on – maybe a tiny, little bit? — but he didn’t know his friend had been suffering. And for “quite a while,” no less.

“I bet you can’t keep your conversation to a minimum even for one day,” Carrie threw down the gauntlet. “Not even for one whole day.”

“I can,” the Soupster insisted. “And I will!”

Today was the day. The first mission of the new, zip-lipped Soupster was to check the mail at the post office. As the Soupster strolled downtown, he had to duck into a few storefronts to avoid fellow chatterboxes who might stress-test his mettle.

“Soupman!” The call came from Charlie, a hiking buddy who, unfortunately, happened to be in a store the Soupster had judged free of customers. “Tell me what’s new with the Man in the Can?”

“Not much,” said the Soupster, wishing he could have thought of a one-word answer. “Gotta go,” he said slipping out of the store.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire? Two busfuls of visitors hit the sidewalk and poured around the Soupster like a human wave.

Hide in plain sight? The Soupster pulled his cap low on his forehead and attempted to avoid eye contact with the cheery migrants surrounding him.

No use! The Soupster felt his lapels being patted and looked down into the face of an older man wearing a tag that said, “Hi! I’m Horace!”

“Hi, I’m Horace,” he stated the obvious, grasping the Soupster’s hand and shaking it vigorously. “I’m new to these shores.”

“Hi, Horace” said the Soupster.

“Yup, this is some different place,” Horace said. “Where’s all the big box chain stores?

Don’t you have any big box chain stores?”

“Nope,” said the Soupster.

“Our bus driver said he was taking us all over town but we only went five or six miles one way and then seven or eight the other. That can’t be all the road you have.”

“Yup,” said the Soupster, zipping his lips so tight he could taste metal.

“And this rain I keep hearing about,” Horace plunged on. “It’s certainly not raining now.

Is it going to rain soon? Am I going to get wet? I mean, isn’t this town too nice to be built by people who get rained on every day?”

As the Soupster moaned silently, a beam of sunlight illuminated a break in the throng of tourists ahead. “Yup,” said the Soupster, shaking Horace’s hand. “Nope,” he added. And then the Soupster escaped.

1318 total views, 2 today

Comments Off on Our Town – July 28, 2011

Our Town – July 28, 2011

| Our Town, Relationships, Relatives, Seasons, Summer, Tourists, Vacation, Visitors | July 28, 2011

Originally published July 29, 2004

It seemed like slow motion to the Soupster watching Red bearing right down on him, then the larger man knocked the Soupster to the ground.

“Whoa, sorry there,” Red said. “I’m running on all gears like a headless chicken.”

“Summer is the busy time in Our Town,” the Soupster commiserated. “Why else would Alaskans take their vacations in the winter?”

Red nodded. “I work May through September and take the rest of the year off,” he said.

“You pack a whole year into four months,” said the Soupster. “but you pay for it on days like today.”

“Oh, it’s not the work,” Red sighed. “Work I learned to handle a long time ago. Up at 4 to get the boat ready, take guests out all day. I’m cleaning up the boat long after they’ve left. And then I find myself up until 10 answering snail mail and e-mails and doing the books.”

“So why are you so crazy now?” the Soupster asked.

“Relatives.”

“Locational hazard,” said the Soupster. “You move to a place as nice as Our Town and you discover relatives you never knew you had.”

“You bet,” Red agreed. “I knew we had my sister and her family coming up this month, but she ran into our cousin in Seattle and guess what? They decided on a whim to come up together! That makes nine people in my house. Bless them, they’re very self-directed. Still though, they want to be sure and visit with me every day and I just don’t have time.

“Can you take them out on the charter with you?” the Soupster asked.

“Wouldn’t be fair to my clients,” Red said. “They’re paying top dollar for my full attention. Hunting fish is serious business.”

“So,” said Red, “I’ve got half a day I penciled out to do about a week’s worth of chores. I’m walking to the bank today and what do you know — there’s my great-uncle Don in the middle of a walking tour. My father would never give me peace if I didn’t show Don the town, so there went my day to catch up.”

“Bet you’re looking forward to your vacation in two months,” the Soupster guessed.

“I’m not waiting that long,” said Red. “My sister goes back on the plane tomorrow and the cousin on the ferry the next day. Uncle Don is getting back on his cruise ship this evening. As soon as everybody leaves and I can get back to my regular 18-hour days, I’m gonna consider it vacation!”

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Comments Off on Our Town – August 12, 2010

Our Town – August 12, 2010

| Cruise Ships, Foreign Countries, Philippines, Tourists, Triplets | August 12, 2010

As the Soupster walked past the base of the O’Connell Bridge, he heard the low rumble of a cruise ship’s small boat, lightering passengers ashore. The first off the boat – a tall, raven-haired young woman — was so striking the Soupster couldn’t help but notice her. Her attire was as striking as her looks – thin black leggings and pink, shaggy Ugg boots. Although the sun was shining, she also wore a light blue rain jacket emblazoned with the cruise ship’s logo.

The Soupster hurried around Castle Hill and up Lincoln St., already late for a lunch date at the home of his good friend Oscar. Oscar had scored some wonderful ivory king and had recently invested in a spendy gas barbecue. The Soupster, whose B-B-Q efforts always ended in crumbly salmon tasting of starter fluid, savored the thought of dining with an expert grillsman.

The Soupster was supposed to meet Oscar near the Filipino food take-out stand, Adobo Abode. (ed. note: Try the refrain of the song “Winchester Cathedral”)  But as the Soupster neared the Abode, he was struck dumb. Standing by the stand, halfway through eating a plate of pancit and lumpia, stood the same woman he had seen moments ago, just arriving on shore. Same long hair, same pink boots, same cruise ship raincoat.

“Soupster!” It was Oscar, across the street, calling from the window of his truck. “I forgot to get any lemons,” he continued at high volume, including all the people on the street in his conversation.

The Soupster hurried across Lincoln and got into Oscar’s pickup. “See that woman across the streets? The one with the dark hair and the blue raincoat?”

“Well, the tourists are sure getting better-looking,” said Oscar appreciatively. “But what’s with the boots? You think she’s a Sherpa?”

“I think she’s in style,” said the Soupster.

Oscar pulled away from the curb and worked his way down the crowded street, stopping several times to let tourists cross or to finish taking a photo. He turned onto the main road.

As the Soupster pondered how the woman on the boat got to the Adobo Abode faster than he did, Oscar turned into the grocery store parking lot. “Surely she couldn’t have gotten there fast enough for her to order, pick up and finish half of one of the Abode’s heaping plates?” the Soupster thought.

He followed Oscar toward the store, only to be struck dumb again. The same woman – raven tresses, Ugg boots — emerged from the entrance, carrying a full bag of groceries in her arms.

“What the…” said the Soupster, and then — determined to solve this mystery – he approached the young woman.

“Eh, Miss,” he said, “I’ve seen you three times in the last 15 minutes.”

The woman laughed. A cab pulled up next to them. In the back seat sat two identical versions her, one with her hair still tousled from the wind on the boat, the other with a small piece of pancit stuck to her chin. The woman laughed again, this time right at the Soupster. She got in the cab.

Oscar caught up with the Soupster. “Triplets,” he marveled, as the cab pulled away.

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Comments Off on Our Town – July 15, 2010

Our Town – July 15, 2010

| Fishing, Tourists | July 15, 2010

A strong sun shone on the well-named Clement Climes, who was sitting on a folding chair scarfing a Hellfire Halibut Spicy Skewer at Santa’s Seafood Truck downtown.

The Soupster noticed the pepper-induced sweat dripping off Clem’s brow. “I prefer the Sweetly Rubbed Salmon,” the Soupster said to his co-diner, simultaneously ordering the Rub.

“Paradise today,” said the Soupster, as his salmon sizzled on the grill. He gazed at Our Town’s gleaming water and green mountains. “Clem, you grew up here. Remind me of something wrong with this place.”

Clem sucked a couple of ice cubes from his drink and crunched them against the wildfire in his mouth. “When folks leave, they really leave,” he said in a jalapeño-choked voice. “Nobody ever moves a half hour or an hour away – how could they? They’re gone. It’s hard on the adults, but really hard on the kids.”

“Once they leave the Our Town Bubble, they’re gone,” Clem concluded.

The Soupster retrieved his perfectly-prepared salmon. “I feel like I’m leaving a bubble when I fly out of the country from the Lower 48,” he told Clem, after a bite. “I feel like when I’m overseas, I can no longer take it for granted that anything is going to make sense. Come to think of it, I feel that way about the Lower 48 now, too.”

“But you hail from the Lower 48,” said Climes. “How do you feel about being so far from your old stomping grounds?”

“Fine,” said the Soupster, taking another bite. “I do miss people and never, ever expect to see anybody from there anymore.”

That moment an extremely tall tourist walked right up to the Soupster and clamped his gigantic hand on the much shorter man’s shoulder. “Soupster?” he asked.

“Chris Louie?” an amazed Soupster yelled up to him. “`Shrimp’ Louie?”

“We went to the same high school,” the enormous Shrimp explained to Clem.

Clem looked back and forth between the two men. “Soupster,” he said, “I thought you got named Soupster in Our Town because you publish the Soup. You mean they called you Soupster all along? How did you get the name?”

Shrimp chuckled.

“That,” said the Soupster, “is a whole story in itself.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – June 17, 2010

Our Town – June 17, 2010

| Children, Computers, Cruise Ships, Our Town, Tourists | June 17, 2010

Originally Published June 13, 2002

The cruise ship throngs were only recently gone when the Soupster stepped in to the art gallery to see if Gwendoline has survived the latest human deluge.

“I’ll be with you in a minute,” said a voice from the back room. Although the voice sounded like Gwen’s, its timber contained notes of urgency and annoyance, things the Soupster knew Gwen to be free of.

Gwen was the slowest to anger person the Soupster had ever encountered. But once truly angry, she was extremely tough to cool down.

The Soupster stuck his head into the gallery’s rear lair, where some of the stock was kept and computers were programmed to keep all the records of shipping, billing and to keep track of the inventory. In front of a computer monitor was where Gwen sat, her head sunk deeply in her hands. “The only thing more stressful than computer problems was checking for floating log deadheads at night, when I had the boat,” she moaned.

“What’s going on?” the Soupster asked innocently, only to be confronted by a red-faced Gwen who leaped up from her seat and grabbed him by the lapels.

“Whosoever creates these computer viruses are an abomination,” Gwen thundered. “If there was something worse than capital punishment…”

“You have a computer virus?”

“The Klooze!” she shouted. “The insidious, terrible, rotten and really, really bad Klooze virus!”

“Goodness,” said the Soupster. He had read about the Klooze How this computer program entered systems as an ordinary e-mail attachment. Klooze then disabled the anti-virus programs on the computer in order to do its evil work in peace. Then and only then, Klooze devoured the computer’s entire hard drive and everything on it. Byte by byte.

“I don’t what to do,” Gwen wailed pitifully.

“Perhaps I can help,” said someone with a high voice. A young boy came into the room, holding an armful of the daily newspapers he had been selling to passers by just before entering the store. In fact, he had entered in the first place to sell papers.

“Klooze sucks,” commiserated the kid. “But I got it out of Dad’s computer and I know how to do it now.” He pointed at the chair in front of the computer. “May I?” he asked.

Gwen nodded mightily and said sputtered several dozen versions of “Yes.”

“This is an awesome gallery,” the kid said, as his fingers flew over the keyboard. A long, long list of program files scrolled across the screen and then suddenly stopped. “See – here’s Klooze,” said the kid. “Bye, bad, bad virus.”

The kid swivelled the chair. “The virus is gone, but you’re going to have to let the diagnostics run for about an hour. Then the computer will tell you if you need to reformat or not. Have you ever re-formatted your hard drive and re-installed the operating system?”

“Yes,” said a still shocked Gwen, looking at the small figure at her desk with wonder and admiration. The Soupster squeezed her arm. “Re-installing everything took forever,” Gwen said to the kid. “But I can do it.”

“Good,” said the kid, rising from the swivel chair. “Tomorrow I have Little League after I sell my papers, but I’ll try to stop by in between and see how you are doing. Want a paper?”

“I’ll take five… uh, seven!” said Gwen. When the kid left, Gwen turned smiling to the Soupster.

“Who was that masked man?” the Soupster asked her.

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Comments Off on Our Town – November 19, 2009

Our Town – November 19, 2009

| Rain, Shopping, Tourists, Weather | November 19, 2009

Crouching from the driving wind and rain, the Soupster had to peer between a nearly solid wall of advertising flyers (for fairs, concerts and meetings) covering the door and window to see if the shop was still open. Good, the light was on and the Soupster could see another customer in the aisle.

Father Time and the waning light of autumn recently convinced the Soupster that he needed new and stronger reading glasses. He was also curious about the latest hot/cold soothing patches, sure to be handy during the muscle-cramping chills to come. And maybe something to read, too.

“Soupster!” said George, the store’s owner, standing behind the counter and stacking up a clearance display of salmon-flavored caramels that didn’t go over so well with the tourists. “They let you out again?”

“Got a lot of flyers on them windows, George,” the Soupster said.

“Autumn in Our Town,” said the shopkeeper. “As soon as the last tourist lifts off, the flyers take their place. Everyone earns a breather from acting like good hosts and merchants and drivers and chefs and goes back to nursing their own obsessions.”

The Soupster glanced at the only other customer in the store, a young man over by the paperback novels whose shoulder-length locks were streaked with midnight blue and whose floor-length black coat was festooned with silver chains and studs. He wore the kind of gloves that leave most of the fingers exposed and the nails on his right hand were painted black.

The Soupster looked at George, who seemed oblivious to the Goth youth. “So much energy in Our Town,” said the shopkeeper. “So many ideas and interests and causes and beliefs. And every one deserves a flyer.”

“I wasn’t sure you were still open,” said the Soupster. “What time is it? It gets dark so early now,”

“That’s it, Soupster,” said George. “Each of the flyers on my window and door are a candle lit against the darkness. Light a candle rather than curse the darkness. What gives more light than people getting together to do good or have fun?”

The Soupster became aware of a Goth presence standing next to him. With his non-painted hand, the young man placed on the counter a Sci-Fi paperback about the ultimate destruction of the Universe. He noticed the Soupster looking at the book. “It’s for the plane,” the young man said,

“Taking a trip?” asked George.

“I’m getting out of here,” said the youthful Goth. “I thought this place was pretty cool all summer. But then it got worse and worse.”

With a glossy black fingernail, he indicated the window, where sideways hail had defeated the building’s overhang and was pounding directly against the glass. The dark was nearly complete. The Gothful youth pulled his long black coat tighter to his throat. “This place is way too depressing,” he said.

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Comments Off on Our Town – October 8, 2009

Our Town – October 8, 2009

| Conventions, Nicknames, Tourists | October 8, 2009

The Soupster plopped onto the bench outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Building to rest his aching dogs (feet), swelling inside his normally spacious clogs. Combating Global Warming by walking more helped his heart and reduced his carbon footprint, the Soupster thought, but it seemed to be increasing his regular footprint.

A man and two women spilled out the door, laughing and poking at each other. They noticed the Soupster and stepped over.

“You from here? We love this town!” one woman erupted and her two friends nodded briskly.

The Soupster remembered that Convention Season had started on the (ahem) heels of the Running of the Boots.

“We’re from the Helen Mull Society,” volunteered the other woman.

“Who’s Helen Mull?” the Soupster asked..

“Not `who’ – `what,’” the man corrected. “It’s an acronym for the Hyphenated Last Names Making Up Luminaries Society. HLN-MUL.”

“Helen Mull, get it?” said the first woman. “Like me. My maiden name was Greta Pierce and I married Lawrence Brosnan. So now I’m Greta Pierce-Brosnan. Get it?”

“Bob Haas-Cartwright,” said the man, leaning forward to shake the Soupster’s hand. “Great little town you’ve got here.”

“Wow,” I can’t believe you have a whole society devoted to this,” said the Soupster.

“Oh, it’s very engrossing,” said the other woman. “For instance Bob and I were only allowed into the Society two years ago when the rules were relaxed.”

“Oh, yes,” she continued. “Originally, the spelling of the hyphenated last name in question had to match the luminary’s precisely. Like Pierce-Brosnan’s name does. Then, they decided to allow names that only sound the same, using a standard American English pronunciation. Like Bob Haas-Cartwright.”

“And you are?” asked the Soupster.

“Sharon,” she said. “Oh, Sheehan-LaBoofe. Sharon Sheehan-LaBoofe. Sorry. It’s a mouthful, I admit.”

“Well,” said the Soupster. “Sheehan-LaBoofe is not the same as Shia LeBeouf, even in sound.”

“This year,” Pierce-Brosnan said, ignoring the Soupster’s comment, “we’ve been discussing whether plurals should disqualify or not. We’ve had applications from a Johns-Wayne, an Adams-Corolla and a Walters-Hickel. Oh, you should like that one!”

“I envy the founding members like Gerald Winston-Churchill,” Haas-Cartwright said to no one in particular. A young woman came out the door and Pierce-Brosnan shrieked with delight.

“Or even better,” Pierce-Brosnan said, taking the new girl by the arm. “This is Barbara Alexander, who hopes to join Helen Mull next year.”

“Hello,” said the Soupster.

“Next year,” said Pierce-Brosnan, “after she gets married to Lou Baranof. Get it?”

1381 total views, 1 today

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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.

Want to submit a piece for Our Town?

Contact us with your idea or completed piece. Our Town’s must be 450-500 words long, take place in or near Sitka and the Soupster must make an appearance, however brief.

Our Town Archives

Our Town Categories

Download the Latest Whole Soup

Download the Latest Crossword