Soda Poppers

BEEP BEEP!  “If we don’t get out of this traffic, I’ll miss my stories!”

Pam was distressed.  Her little VW bug was stuck in traffic with grocery bags, two babies in car seats, one niece, and a big dog in tow.  She was going to miss her daily serenity appointment, a one-hour escape into a different world, while her kids were napping .

Luke loves Laura, but Laura is married to Scottie. Noah loves Bobbie and a few others.  And no one loves the Quartermaines, who only love money.  For one hour each day, Pam was entranced by the trials and tribulations of the residents of Port Charles and specifically the friends and family of their hospital staff.

Every day offered something new.  Romance, kidnapping, love-triangles, deadly diseases, hostage crisis, mistaken identity, evil twins, life-threatening accidents, corporate takeovers, teen pregnancy, adultery, and some simpler day-to-day domestic problems, all happened in this little town. 

I watched in amazement as my normally calm and easy-going aunt unloaded the kids, the groceries, the dog, got the kids to sleep, dog fed and perishable groceries sorted with lighting speed just in time for the opening hospital shot. Whew.

I sat with her and curiously watched above my book perplexed as she simultaneously folded a huge pile of diapers and other laundry with eyes glued to the television, hanging on every word of the characters and talking to them as if they were in the room, even advising their actions.

After it was over, I asked her what program it was.  She said it was a soap opera and regaled me in detail of the past and present lives and current events of each and every one of the residents of Port Charles. She made it sound so interesting and exciting how each and every person’s lives intertwined and tangled in each other’s existence.

The next day, I decided to put down my book and watch with her.  It was engulfing.  It had all the drama and peril of a Shakespearean play with the romance of a Harlequin novel.  As we watched, she pointed out each character and their relationship to the others. I thought I needed a notebook and a family tree chart to keep up.  But after a week, I was hooked.  It was exciting, tender, and completely compelling.

For the rest of the summer, each day she and I spent one hour together absorbed in the stories.  We even discussed them and debated possible resolutions while performing other daily duties.

One day my uncle came home from work early, looking for some papers he left.  My aunt and I were so engrossed, we didn’t even hear him or the little boy who awoke early from his nap and was quietly playing in another room. 

“What are you doing awake, little guy?”

“Shh,” he said with his tiny finger covering his mouth.  “Mommy and Suzie are watching soda poppers.”

(c) Copyright 2020, Suzanne Rudd Hamilton

Published by suzanneruddhamilton

I write anything from novels and children's books to plays to relate and retell everyday life experiences in a fun-filled read with heart, hope and humor. A former journalist and real estate marketing expert, I am a transplant from Chicago, now happily living in southwest Florida to keep warm and sunny all year round. You can find me at

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