Friday, December 21, 2001

The Soup Conspiracy Revealed

Something is afoot around here. I put off mentioning it for a long time, because I think this goes deep. Real deep. In the last few weeks I began to notice something as I drove to and from work: a peculiar odor. Not the odor present in my workplace after a catered buffet by El Pollo Loco. Something more sinister: Soup Stink.

I work in a largely industrial area, which makes the soup smell even harder to fathom. And it's not just any soup either. It's that peculiar powdery greenish chicken soup that you get out of vending machines with faded pictures of hot cocoa on the outside. That soup has always had the sad future-nostalgia quality of things designed to be futuristic in the late 60s, and that missed by a mile. Like those chairs shaped like eggs with the speakers in them. I once worked in a place that featured the Hot Drinks vending machine, and once I even worked up the courage to buy the soup. This is how I learned, among other things, not to buy that soup again, and that it wasn't so much chicken-flavored as it was rust-flavored.

This soup is in some way related to the "Lipton's Cup O' Soup Spontaneous Generation" Phenomenon, whereby a cupboard in your kitchen, left in its natural state, will develop small nodules resembling vestigial organs that will over time become Lipton's Cup O' Soup packets. You will lead your normal (and let's face it, pretty tedious) existence, without a care in the world, until one day you open up the cupboard, hoping for a little chocolate pudding or something pleasing, and your eyes will be shocked by the vision of spontaneously generated Cup O' Soup packets, grinning out at you like hideous instant soup demons, possibly from another dimension.

Where was I? Oh yes.

So what I'm saying is that it smells like instant soup as I drive along on my way home. This fact was disturbing enough in and of itself, but then it struck me: There are two soup-themed restaurants in this area. The Soup Plantation and the enigmatically named Soup Exchange. I don't buy for a second that you can bring in, say, five packs of Ramen and get a bowl of French Onion. And god knows the exchange rate on a can of Chunky Sirloin Burger. I think it's a fair assumption that whatever soup is being exchanged there, it is purely metaphorical soup and is no actual exchange of physical soup per se.

Now, one soup-themed eatery I can understand. BUT TWO? I think the whole thing is indicative of a vast underground soup network. Powdery greenish chicken soup is being piped through our sewer system, and we are powerless to staunch the flow. I just have to work out some minor details, like who is doing this crazy soup stuff. And why they would want to. I think it may have something to do with scaring off people so they can buy the land really cheap, and involves phosphorescent footprints. Hmm.


My apologies if that post just got weirder and weirder. It was written over the course of a day that involved repeated attacks by lurking Swedish-Butter-Cookie tins, and consequent sugar weirdness.

Anyway, I may not be able to post again til after Christmas (unless the elves let me that is), so please have a happy and safe Holiday. And spare a thought for the monkeys. I'm sure you can spare one little thought for the monkeys, you miser.


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