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Laid Out

There is a story about a certain bookmaker who was making a long trip by car when towards nightfall he happened upon an inn which had a most unusual name, The Even Steven, so he decided to stop there for the night.

The proprietor explained. "You see, my name is Steven Even. So I just decided to turn it around and call this The Even Steven." He continued, "We are pretty far out in the country. In fact, there's not another soul lives closer than forty miles away, whichever way you go. Makes it pretty lonely for me, a widower. And worse still for my daughters. They should have their pick of boy friends but they are getting so frustrated they're about to do anything for a man."

The bookie made sympathetic noises, and listened 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 she kept asking him if there was 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."

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 there is anything you want." "I don't think so, thank you," he said pleasantly.

When he had finally climbed in between the sheets and was preparing to read himself to sleep, the door opened again to admit a redhead in a negligee to end all negligees. "I'm Ginger Even," she announced. "I wanted to be sure your bed was comfortable." "It is," he assured her.

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 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."


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