Monday, May 01, 2006


By Darren Chambliss

When we finally found the emperor, he was wearing nothing but a soiled terrycloth bathrobe.

"Where are your clothes?" we asked.

"Never mind," he snarled. "Just let me finish my breakfast, okay?"

As the emperor's loyal subjects, it was indeed not our place to ask why he was wearing nothing but a soiled terrycloth bathrobe, much less how had he ended up in the Waffle House. And why did he smell like rotten fruit? Things had been going so smoothly last night. And now here he was, clearly and massively hung over, one eye blackened and swollen shut.

"Were you in a fight?"

"It was not a fight," the emperor said. "It was a misunderstanding. That's all. A misunderstanding. Sweet Jesus, can I get some more coffee here?" He banged his mug on the table until a sour-faced waitress poured him a refill.

It turned out the emperor had no money to pay for breakfast, which was not unexpected. We covered his check, of course, and politely failed to mention that he still owed us for last week's dinner at the Olive Garden.

"Thanks," he mumbled. "Not a word of this to the empress, got it?"

We got it. Whether we liked it or not, we always got it.

(When he's not writing, Darren Chambliss is waiting. For what, he won't say.)

No comments: