Crews Finally Plug Massive Campbell’s Soup Leak

This article was originally published on Humorality, on September 6, 2010.

‘Chicken Soup for the Chicken Soup Disaster Survivor’s Soul’ Sells Out

After a month of failed attempts that nearly put local sandwich shops out of business, crews at the Campbell Soup Company headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, successfully capped a gushing soup well. This is the same well that exploded 38 days ago, sending a rich, creamy, vitamin-packed tomato wave across four city blocks.

George Pepperidge, spokesman for the food giant, praised the teams who worked to stem the flow of motherly goodness in a bowl. “Our engineering department did an mmm mmm good job, working around the clock to come up with a solution that was low in added sodium.” Soup lovers monitored the lowering of the cap over the Gusher That’s Good for You on a live video feed available on the company’s web site.

Members of Campbell’s elite Emergency Soup for the Soul brigade closed the gaping meal-in-a-can using the so-called “top kill” method, dumping tons of “overstuffed” RavioliO’s-brand authentic Italian food product into the vomiting well. The operation almost ended in disaster when several cans of SpaghettiO’s and Chicken Noodle O’s were added to the mix, starting a deadly O’s-based chain reaction.

A little over five weeks ago, crews were condensing a batch of Chicken and Stars, “when the whole thing went Boom!” said Sarah Johnson, one of the on-staff moms. “It knocked me clean to the floor. All I could see were these little stars circling around my head.” The explosion ruptured a soup main, sending flavor after classic flavor through the streets and waterways of the Garden State’s ninth largest city.

In the weeks since the initial blast, over 40 million gallons of lunchtime favorites flowed like Goldilocks’ proverbial porridge through the city. The tide included traditional standbys such as Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Noodle, and even newer Oriental-themed flavors, renewing the debate over whether you can dig a hole to China. Recent weeks have seen some of the company’s older offerings, including Hot Dog Bean. “Trust me on this,” said an unnamed Search and Rescue responder. “You don’t want to be around when Hot Dog Bean comes pouring out.”

Now begins the massive cleanup, as thousands of New Jersey elementary school students are pressed into service, spoons in hand. In an attempt to counteract those upset at the potential environmental disaster, the company will use its fleet of eco-friendly vehicles to assist in the effort, prompting one district manager to hit his head and exclaim, “I should’ve had a V8.”

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at

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