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September 23, 2010

"There it is!” the Soupster cried when he saw the watch he had lost last Christmas, fallen between the washing machine and the dryer. He should have thought of looking between the appliances – from there he had at other times retrieved single socks, misplaced mail and some multi-legged critters with segmented exoskeletons.

 

The watch was a nerd delight with a big time face and a tiny calculator. He loved it: the Soupster was great at addition, but anything more complex gave him a headache. He glanced at the watch as one of the digital numbers changed. It still worked!

 

A knock at the door and the Soupster opened it, to find Keith Undermeyer standing outside astride his new hybrid on-road/off-road bicycle, with a meaty plank mounted on the rear bumper as a cargo carrier. He had one bike helmet on his head and another cradled in his arm. The Soupster fastened the watch to his wrist.

 

“You gonna vote, Soupster?” Keith asked.

 

“Of course,” the Soupster said.

 

“Got a bike?”

 

“Well, I was probably just going to dri….” The Soupster started.

 

“Well, you are probably going to ride your bike there now,” said Keith, cutting him off and tossing him the helmet. “Go get your cycle.”

 

The Soupster retrieved his ancient Schwinn 5-speed and met Keith out by the road, already starting off. The Soupster tried to catch up with his nimble friend, but no matter how hard he pedaled, the distance between the two men grew larger.

 

Something was wrong. Even the Soupster was faster than the top speed he now attained. He stopped and examined his bike. His rear tire was nearly flat! No wonder!

 

A speck in the distance now, Keith turned around. The speck got bigger. The Soupster looked at his recovered watch to see that it was a few minutes to 8 – WHEN THE POLLS CLOSED!

 

Keith pulled up.

 

“I have a flat, you’ll have to take me on your bike,” said the Soupster.

 

“What’s your hurry?” said Keith, but the Soupster just jumped up onto the meaty cargo plank. “Let’s go!” he said.

 

Keith shook his head, but dutifully pulled off. With the greater weight he was slower, but still fast. The Soupster mentally egged him on. The polls were going to close! They would miss out on voting!

 

At the polling station, the Soupster jumped off the back of the bike and was opening the doors even before Keith stopped moving. He stepped inside, breathless.

 

“Made it!” the Soupster said triumphantly.

 

“Actually, there’s still an hour,” said the woman checking IDs and taking signatures.

 

“But the time…” said the Soupster, showing her his watch.

 

“Your watch is wrong,” said the nice lady. “You never changed it to Daylight Savings Time.”