Loser's Guide to Life
Once there was some soup that everybody wanted. It was made by a cook at restaurant that enjoyed unusual popularity because it was the favourite spot of a local news anchor. The cook would often try out new recipes to see how well they did. He was a capable cook, but he had no signature sauce or dish or anything, and one evening he put together a soup of puréed red chard and eggplant. It seemed good. With the addition of a quarter teaspoon of garam masala it was unbeatable. No one noticed it for the first week or so, but on Friday the well-known newsreader ordered it, and then had his entourage try it.
“Hey, that's spicy! Sumpn's making my nose run, anyway”.
“Yeah, it's really—not bad.”
“Not bad? I don't know why I hang out with you losers. Here, you, what's your name?”
“His name is Dirk, Mr Pick.”
“Oh, 'Dirk', is it? Speak up, you little twit. Here, you have some of this soup, Dirk. And tell me that's not one great soup.”
“I—what's that you say DIRK??”
“I said it's excellent, sir. The soup is great.”
The newsreader was getting a little belligerent, but he made a note to talk about the soup on the next installment of “Pick's Picks”, a weekly fifteen-minute segment in which he talked about things worth doing or seeing in town. Lately he'd had to scramble to come up with four or five halfway decent things every week, but this soup was seriously fairly good, thanks in part to the garam masala.
“Really, they're a pretty good band. The zither player is really great. Lively. You won't be able to stop twitching for hours. Now, if you like red chard—and you know, folks, I didn't know what red chard was before I tried this soup, and neither do you, but, let me tell you—”
There wasn't a huge rush at the restaurant, but some people had the soup and liked it. Meanwhile, the cook and his boss had reviewed the menu and decided to drop the soup in favour of some other items, yet the odd patron continued to come in and ask for the soup, so they kept a small batch on hand. It came to be a kind of rarity that people talked about. Soon people who hadn't even tasted it were making other people feel worthless if they didn't know about this soup. It was being referenced in chatrooms and within the year there was even a gag about it on some TV show. The cook and his boss started preparing a dried version that was to be sold in pouches, but not that many people actually thought to buy it. They were too busy talking about it. And then Anna Nicole Smith died, and everyone started talking about that instead.