In memory of the life, love and wit of Carol Versandi
What Hot Dog Soup
March 4, 2014
This story comes from one of my oldest and closests friends, Chip Skarberg.
Carol was my best friend's mom.
For about five minutes.
Five minutes after she picked us up from Adventureland and asked
"Who is this person, Mikey?" and I made the mistake of
calling her Mrs Versandi, we were pals.
She was Carol, I was Chipster, and an ongoing interrogation began that lasted 25 years.
"Chipster, do you think smoking makes you look cool?"
"Chipster, are you ever gonna date a nice girl?"
"Chipster, are you gaining a little weight?"
Yes. Yes. and yes.
So... a story. I guess the best place to start is the beginning, so this particular story is from about a month after I met Carol, so 1989 or so. We will call this: THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING SOUP.
The first time I had dinner at Carol's house she was making soup.
Hot dog soup. There were other ingredients, including whatever made the broth
the color of periwinkle Crayola, but mainly hot dogs. I was a picky eater at the time, but wanted to be polite, so I sat down with Mike and Chris and accepted a bowl.
It smelled like the morning after the circus. I took a breath, tasted it and... Amazing.
Salty, tangy, just a hint of sweetness. It was the best soup I had ever eaten.
Chis saw my face and shook his head frantically. "Hey Carol," I started, and Mike angrily shushed me. "This is fantastic!" Mike and Chris looked crushed. Carol shrugged and left the room. When he was gone, Mike looked up and sighed "She will never make this again now.
If you tell her you really like something she will never make it twice." I thought he was kidding. A few weeks later I asked her when she was going to make the hot dog soup again. "What hot dog soup?"
"The hot dog soup I had at your house."
"I never made hot dog soup. Do you mean spaghetti?"
I did not mean spaghetti. In 25 years I have never had better soup. In 25 years she never admitted it existed. But she never stopped smirking when the subject came up.