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Chapter 5: The French Toast Factor


League Member
Apr 7, 2012
Chapter 5: The French Toast Factor

“At least he’s rather handsome, isn’t he?”

British-born sports reporter Penny Pickett was standing in her apartment when her mother Colleen asked this question. The pair recently had their lives somewhat upset when a couple of wrestlers – Showtime and Proteus – had decided to take up residence in the small, two-bedroom apartment they shared. Once a rather neatly organized den, it was now practically reduced to rubble, as the pair had left the contents of gym bags all over the floor, done laundry in the sink, left food scraps around both from laziness and in an experiment to lure an army of mice to the apartment, and turned the couch over for Proteus to sleep under, because he recently discovered he was more comfortable in confined spaces.

“What are you talking about?” Penny asked her mother. “You can’t even tell. He wears a mask.

“Well, he’s certainly got a handsome way about him,” Mrs. Pickett reasoned. “Under that mask I’m sure he’s got the face of a model. He just doesn’t want to risk disturbing the pretty. He moves about like a man who knows the girls fancy him.”

“It’s certainly not any of my concern,” Penny said.

“Oh yes,” Colleen laughed sarcastically, “You let them into your home because you thought he must be disfigured. That poor charity case with his millions of fans. And how about that other one. The Proteus.”

“It’s just Proteus, mum. It’s his proper name. And could you please not fawn over my... houseguests? It’s bad enough they completely wrecked the place in under a week.”

“Be honest,” grinned Colleen, “It’s not awful having two charming young men hanging about. Bet it takes your mind off D-A-V-I-D.”

“That will be enough!” Penny admonished her mother. “Let’s not conflate the two. I have a professional – at best – relationship with those two men and it has nothing to do with my last relationship. And I’ll thank you to stop calling them things like charming and handsome. Quite honestly it would be a boon if Showtime lost his match in the tournament. The sooner they get out of my apartment so I can begin rebuilding the place, the better.”

The two watched from across the room while Showtime and Proteus were in the kitchen, preparing French toast. The place was splattered over with ingredients. As Showtime dunked the bread in the batter, he narrated it as though it were commentary for a wrestling match, re-enacting, in a strange, broad way, his recent match with Jace Gryphon.

“Showtime locks horns with his opponent... here’s the test of strength... oh, and he brings the Breadmaster Jace Gryphon to his knees! Showtime using all his strength now to lift the Breadmaster off the canvas... and he slams him down! Right into the batter! I’ve never seen a competitor take such a beating. He covers him...” Showtime dipped the bread, “One... two... no, Breadmaster kicks out! Showtime resumes his beating...”

Proteus tossed a pinch of salt into the mixture. “This is a literal case of A-Salt-and-Batter-ing!”

“Dude,” Showtime turned to his friend, “Don’t just throw stuff in the mixture. This is a family recipe. Don’t ruin it.”

“It was a pretty awesome pun, though,” Proteus reasoned as he slapped the bread into the frying pan.

“No comment,” Showtime said.

“If you boys are done with your food-fight,” Penny said, “I thought maybe I could ask some questions, you know, at least pretend I still do my actual job.”

“No,” Showtime said.

“Excuse me?”

“No!” Showtime laughed, handing the reporter a plate of French toast. “Breakfast time is a sacred time. This atmosphere is sacrosanct.”

“More important than ULTRATITLE?”

“You can’t win ULTRATITLE if you’re not well-fed,” Proteus insisted.

“I’m sure there’s something to be said for being a hungry competitor.

Proteus deadpanned, “That’s a figure of speech. You still have to be properly nourished, or else you’ll run out of energy. That’s biology.”

Penny’s eyes darted between Showtime and Proteus. “Is he kidding me?”

“No, but that’s okay. Come on, have some toast, we’ll talk later,” Showtime motioned for her to sit at the table. “One bite and all your worries, all your opponents melt away. Just for a bit. A bit of clarity to start the day.”

She took a bite off her fork. With her mouth still full of bread, she gasped, “Blimey, that is quite good.”

“See?” Showtime smiled, “ULTRATITLE later. Breakfast now.”

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