contest image thumb Romulus and Remus
Gary Hoffman

Eddie “Sleepy Eye” Bannister hated it when these two came into the restaurant. He called them “Romulus and Remus.” Granted, Eddie was usually a dishwasher, but when they came in, the manager pulled him from his dishwashing duties and made him sit between the duo and the thermostat on the wall. Eddie’s job was now to guard the thermostat.

Remus, who really wasn’t a man at all, had a fetish about changing the temperature setting on thermostats. The rest of the restaurant patrons would go from freezing to burning up when she played with the temperature settings.

Remus was really Bertha Clapsaddle. Bertha claimed she was the deposed Queen of The Feline Empire, that was overthrown in Europe twenty-five years ago. She claimed she always wore her crown, but it looked more like a Cat in the Hat outfit to Eddie. She wore a beard as a disguise because she said agents from the false rulers of her kingdom were trying to kill her so she could never again return to her country and take her place as the rightful queen. Eddie thought the hat might give her away, anyway.

Wherever she went, she also took her bodyguard, who said he was Bryon Lord Nelson, who also always wore a disguise. Eddie also thought that was rather stupid because Lord Nelson wore the same disguise all the time. Sometime during the evening, Eddie also knew Lord Nelson would start trying to write poetry on the napkins that were now still stuck in the glasses. When Eddie got the dirty dishes and trash back from their table, he had read some of the stuff Lord Nelson had written in the past. It all had something to do with violets and roses.

Tonight, as usual, Eddie had to sit and wait almost a half hour before they even started drinking their beer. They both claimed to be from Europe, so they said American beer was served too cold for them. They had to wait until it warmed up some. Once they got a couple of glasses of beer down, Eddie could leave because Bertha got more involved in beer than thermostats.

Tonight, a reporter had even come over wanting to interview them, but they refused. The reporter left his business card in front of each one of them and left. Eddie was pissed about that because the reporter wanted nothing to do with his story. Everyone in the sport’s world, at least in Eddie’s mind, knew he was really Eddie Arnold, the famous jockey turned country singer, who had ridden the courageous horse Nasal Drip to the triple crown in 1958. He was just working as a dishwasher for awhile to get the dirt out from under his fingernails.

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