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Comments Off on Our Town – June 30, 2011

Our Town – June 30, 2011

| Children, Marriage, Our Town, Relationships, Trucks | June 30, 2011

“The Soupster says here that he lost a rented movie in the parking lot and he was sure somebody stole it,” Josh Mollison told his wife Mona, as he scanned the “Our Town” column he was reading. “And then somebody found the DVD and turned it in.”

“That’s mildly interesting,” said Mona.

“Seems like the Soupster’s last few stories all involved driving around,” said Josh. “I’m worried that’s all the man does anymore.”

“You’ve just got trucks on the brain,” said Mona, “and I know why.”

“I was putting the boat in the back in April and that old Ford almost died on me, with the Bonnie V half on the trailer and half off and a line of other folks waiting to use the landing,” Josh told Mona for the fourth or fifth time.

“That’s got to be the tenth time you told me that,” said Mona.

“Maybe twice,” said Josh.

“Aw, Honey, I know you think you need a new truck, but we really can’t afford it right now,” Mona said. “You only really need a truck to get the boat into the water in the spring and out of the water in the winter. That’s only twice a year you really need the truck.”

“You don’t understand, Sweetie,” said Josh. “What if I needed to pull the boat out in the middle of season for repairs? Or what if Mike or Steve needed to pull theirs out and their trucks broke down?”

“It’s a state of mind,” he continued. “It’s about freedom and being able to do all the things you need to do. I don’t want to sound like Braveheart, but it’s like a part of the whole being a man thing.”

“There should be a truck rental, just for guys like you,” said Mona. “Or a co-op. The truth is you only really need the truck twice a year.”

Josh tried to change the subject. “Sometimes, the Soupster goes shopping in one of his columns and you go shopping,” he observed.

“I went shopping today,” Mona admitted.

“You don’t have to feel guilty about it,” Josh said.

“I don’t.”

“Show me what you bought?”

Mona broke into a broad smile and scurried out of the room. She came back a second later, beaming, pushing a fluorescent blue high-tech stroller capable of carrying three children at once.

“I don’t want to pick a fight,” Josh said, “but we only have one child. Isn’t that a bigger stroller than we need for one child?”

“But what if we have more?” Mona said, “Or what if Jessica wants to leave Amber and little Gloria with me and I have to take Suzy to the dentist at the same time? It’s about flexibility, Josh.”

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Comments Off on Our Town – February 26, 2009

Our Town – February 26, 2009

| Animals, Cats, Dogs, Marriage, Our Town, Relationships, Trucks | February 26, 2009

Originally published July 25, 2002

The dog, a dark brown Labrador retriever, looked as dignified as any dog ever has while sitting in the driver’s seat of a car and the Soupster said so out loud.

“Thanks,” the dog called half-absently, resting its paws on the sheepskin covered steering wheel of the blue and grey pickup truck parked outside a key Our Town place for sandwiches and drinks.

The Soupster ambled over to the truck cab’s open window. “You talk?”

“I’m supposed to listen, right?” said the dog. “I hear that all day from your kind.”

“You drive, too?” the Soupster asked.

“You think the truck would have a better chance of parking by itself than I have of handling a 3/4 ton vehicle,” the dog sneered. “Tell me you don’t think that.”

“You probably hear this a lot,” the still-stunned Soupster sputtered, “but I can’t believe I’m talking to a dog.”

“Go ahead,” said the dog. “Ask me.”

“Ask you what?” said the Soupster.

“If a police officer pulled me over, which license would I give him?” the dog said. “That’s what you were going to ask, right?”

The Soupster’s cheeks turned bright red. “Actually, I was thinking about what kinds of music you listen to when you drive.”

“`Bark, the Herald Angels Sing’ and “Oh, Dem Bones’” said the dog, curling its lips to approximate a smile. “And my favorite movies are `Riding In Cars With Dogs” and “10 Things I Smell About You.”

“Do you…?” started the Soupster, but the dog cut him off.

“Yes, I stick my head out the window when I drive, to answer your question,” the dog said. “And, yes, I – like all dogs – will get mad if you blow on my nose. Why do dogs like one and not the other? I don’t know. We just do.”

The Soupster stared at the dog, absolutely speechless.

“I used to run with a sled team out of Skwentna,” the dog continued. “Then I decided I should get behind the wheel, instead of me being the wheels.”

“Regrets?” the Soupster asked.

“ For a while, I had this recurring dream of scaring a bunch of cats in the crosswalk. Make ‘em scatter good,” said the dog, again approximating a smile. “If I do that now I’ll lose both my licenses! Oh, here’s my wife.” The dog started the engine.

The dog’s wife, a cat, carried a foot-long sandwich in her mouth.

The dog scrunched up his nose. “Oh, no,” he said. “She got tuna again! Tuna and mayonnaise and no veggies. I like veggies. She really doesn’t know the meaning of `to share.’”

“If you hate cats so much, why did you marry one?” said the Soupster as the cat slipped in the truck cab on the other side with the sandwich.

“I’m a patient creature,” said the dog, dropping the truck into reverse and backing away from the Soupster with a comradely, if unseen, swipe of his tail.

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Comments Off on Our Town – February 12, 2009

Our Town – February 12, 2009

| Animals, Dogs, Our Town, Trucks | February 12, 2009

Great big men holding tiny little dogs seemed more common in Our Town, the Soupster mused as he encountered his friend Arlen with his dog outside the restaurant. Max, the miniature mutt in question, lifted his wee head and bared his tiny teeth as though the Soupster was treading on controversial territory just by looking at him. The dog emitted a growl, barely audible.

“Maximus!” Arlen scolded, “Stop growling at the Soupster like that. We like the Soupster. The Soupster is our friend.” Holding his dog closer, Arlen stopped strolling out to his parked pickup.

Maximus quit barking and pretended to relax in Arlen’s arms, but when the Soupster came within striking range the little dog leaped — a five-pound ball of fury that lit into the Soupster’s cuffs.

“Maximus,” Arlen sighed, a little too languidly for the Soupster’s taste. “Let go of the Soupster’s pants.” The big man reached down and retrieved his dog. The Soupster heard cloth ripping and a cold wind against his left shin.

Arlen walked over to his parked truck and put Maximus inside. “Sorry, Soupster,” Arlen said. “I don’t know what got into Max today. I think I may have over-trained him.”

“Overtrained him!”

“We worked on his tricks all morning,” said Arlen. “Today, I was teaching him to open and close the locks in the truck.”

“Why ever would you do that?” asked the Soupster.

“In case I ever locked myself out of the truck, Soupster,” said Arlen. “And say I locked Maximus in the truck with the keys in the ignition – that would be no problem.”

“That happen a lot?” asked the Soupster.

“Not yet, thank goodness,” said Arlen.

The two men heard the distinctive “clicks” of two pickup truck door locks snapping into place. Maximus stood with his front too legs pushed against the truck window, looking proud.

“Now he went and locked it,” said Arlen. “My keys are in the ignition. You better light out, Soupster. I want Maxie in a good mood so I can get him to open the doors. He’s not as good at unlocking.”

“But before I go,” said the Soupster. “tell me how Maximus got his name.”

“He’s named for Russell Crowe in Gladiator,” said Arlen. “You know, the movie about the Roman general who was supposed to be Emperor but saved the Republic instead and was an enormous hero.”

“Has the dog ever seen Gladiator?” the Soupster asked.

“Me and Maxie watch it together all the time,” said Arlen. “How did you know?”

“I was just thinking that might be the case.” said the Soupster, who made hay even though the sun didn’t shine and escaped. “Good luck with those locks!”

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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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