An Homage to National Soup Month

Without soup, the author never would have survived bachelorhood.

January is National Soup Month, because be quiet, that's why. The following is an homage to the yummy stuff.

I didn’t get married for the first (and only — I love you, honey! … Honey?) time until after I turned 40. According to experts in the field of male-dudeness, that means that I was left out in the wild for far, far too long.

Indeed, my wife (I love you, honey!… Honey?) should be sainted just for putting up with me. The term “face palm” was invented just for her. My wife never fails to remind me that she has never met anyone else who can burp the national anthem, in key mind you, and who describes “breakfast, lunch and dinner” as just three of the seven major meals of the day. (I felt for Pippin during that part in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” What about Second Breakfast? Noonsies? Supper? Dinner?...)

Anyhoo, regardless of what you might think of some of my more idiosyncratic, not to mention unbreakable (I love you, honey! … Honey?) behaviors, I never would have made it into my fourth decade if not for canned soup.

Campbell’s slogan is “Soup is good food.” That phrase is, at best, incomplete. With apologies to Vince Lombardi, for a long time, soup wasn’t just *good* food to me. It was the *only* food.

I once trained for a marathon — yes, I have run two of them, look it up, kids — while subsisting on nothing but Progresso soup and Powerbars. I lost 40 pounds and, more likely than not, 15 years off my life.

But it was worth it. Why? Well, not only did I get a sense of achievement from completing the races, the fact is, I can’t cook. Actually, many of my friends who have witnessed some of my behaviors would argue that it’s probably a good thing that I don’t prepare anything on which a human life, including my own, depends.

Physicists say that it’s impossible, but I have burned water. If knowing oneself is a strength, then I am one powerful guy. I know how (in)competent I am in the kitchen, so I don’t even bother.

One major problem is that I just don’t have the patience. I want to eat whatever I’m making, like, yesterday. Which is why soup is AMAZING. All the ingredients are right there in a sweet silvery can. You can literally spoon it out while you’re heating it (and don’t be giving me the botulism talk. As I stated earlier, I was left out in the wild for far too long. I’m pretty much immune to all bacteria and viruses).

So, when that classic Seinfeld episode asked the question, is soup a meal? The answer is, unequivocally, yes. I made soup into meals for the better part of 25 years.

Even with all the different kinds of soup, it does get boring. I’ve done just about everything possible to jazz it up.

My father, rest his soul, once said that my greatest contribution to humanity was when I added Tabasco sauce to soup. This was back in the early 1990s, before Guy Fieri determined that we should relieve ourselves of our tastebuds by firebombing them with every meal. I was insulted at the time when my father told me of the one gift that I bestowed upon my fellow man. Now, many years later, I can honestly say that I agree with him. Hey, at least I’ve got that one thing. How many do you have?

Still, despite my culinary innovation, I am a firm believer that the person who invented the flip top soup can, thereby rendering can openers superfluous, should have been considered for the Nobel Prize for Awesomeness.

January is “National Soup Month.” This significantly undervalues soup in my book. Soup should have its own decade. Actually, in my case, it had four decades, but I digress yet again. At least give the stuff its own year.

So, in homage to canned soup, I am sharing with you this Haiku:

Thank you, Progresso
Without you, I would be dead
My wife, lucky girl

Bonus Haiku

I tell a doctor
“I eat clam chowder daily”

Flowers January 29, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Why announce this on January 29? Here I have wasted most of January without properly honoring soup. When do the festivities begin? Will there be a parade or at least a cracker toss? Only two days to celebrate the wonders of soup when it clearly deserves and has been given an entire month. Patch, what are you not telling us about February?


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