The Bookmaker at the Inn

Passed along by my buddy "Jawn" who warned, "Shaggy, shaggy shaggy -- read at your own risk!!" And he's right....

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A certain bookmaker who was making a long trip by car when toward nightfall he happened upon an inn which had a most unusual name: The Even Steven.

Since it was located in the middle of a desolate stretch of country, and he didn't know how much farther the next place would be, he decided to stop there for the night. He registered, listing his occupation as a bookmaker, and decided to satisfy his curiosity about the name at the same time.

"It's very simple, really," the proprietor explained. "You see, my name is Steven Even. So I just decided to turn it around and call this The Even Steven. I thought it might get a few folks puzzled enough to stop and ask questions, and sometimes it does."

"That's a pretty smart way to use the luck of a name," said the bookie, appreciatively. "I bet it brings you a lot of business."

"It hasn't brought me so much luck," he said. "The folks who stop here don't stay long. There's not much gaiety around here, as you could see. In fact, there's not another soul lives closer than thirty miles away, whichever way you go. Makes it pretty lonely for me, a widower. And worse still for my daughters — two of the loveliest girls you ever set eyes on, should have their pick of boyfriends. But, they are getting so frustrated they're about to do anything for a man."

The bookie made sympathetic noises, and listened to more in the same vein until hunger obliged him to change the subject to that of food. An excellent home-cooked dinner was served to him by a gorgeous blonde who introduced herself as Blanche Even, and when he was finished she still kept pressing him to ask for anything else he wanted.

Finally, she said, "Would you like me to sit and talk to you for a while?"

"Thank you," he said politely, "but I've had a long day and I feel like closing the book."

He went to his room and had just started to undress when there was a knock at the door and an absolutely breathtaking brunette came in. "I'm Carmen Even," she said. "I just wanted to see if you'd got everything you want."

"I think so, thank you," he said pleasantly. "I do a lot of traveling, so I pack very systematically."

When she had gone, he settled down with a sigh of relief and was about to put out the light at last when the door burst open once more and the proprietor himself stomped in, glowing with indignation. "What's the matter with you," he roared. "I've got to listen all night to my daughters moaning an' wailing, the most luscious gals in this county, because they all try to show you hospitality an' you won't give one of 'em a tumble. Ain't us Evens good enough for you?"

"I'm sorry," said the transient. "But I told you when I registered that I'm a professional bookmaker: I only lay Odds."

Posted November 20, 2013

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