The 29th (and greatest) U.S. President, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was a renowned gambler, golfer and lover of life. As such, his sage wagering advice and stories of criminal bravado are brought here through the medieval art of necromancy. Seeing as President Harding ushered us into economic success unheard of in human history (before being tragically assassinated by his jealous wife — thus tanking the economy), his words might as well be chiseled into stone tablets. (All views and opinions presented should only be considered those of President Warren G. Harding.)
LAST WEEK: (1-1-1 overall) Ohio State (-14),
Kent State (+2.5); PUSHED: Ohio (-25)
SEASON RECORD: (14-16-1)
THE HONEYPOT: $-540,000
I brought the hammer down on the other hand of the unnamed DEA agent with devastating force. The sandy-haired goof reeked of Vodka and cigarettes. (The Vodka I had forced down his throat and the cigarettes I had burned into his pink flesh.) He would have cried and fell to the dirt floor of the off-alley Chinese shanty if he wasn't bound to a chair with a musty silk sock stuffed into his mouth. All he had to offer was the same sounds as some slattern with her face mushed in the pillows.
The Warren G. Harding File
- Term: 3/4/1921 - 8/2/1923
- Position: 29th U.S. President
- Trade: Dope/Newspaper Peddler
- Hometown: Marion, Ohio
- School: Ohio Central College
- Rivals Ranking: 5-Star
- Quote: "Damn, I hate being sober."
We weren't there for names and other vapid cordialities. Since Kent State went down in flames, I had noticed an increased presence of federal agents in Macau. The FBI had allegedly moved me to their pitiful Top 10 Most Wanted Criminals List. They had frozen my assets from the Gypsy King's fortune. I had even heard whispers of a $1,000,000 bounty on my head.
All in all, it was just another moment of slight turbulence in this stupid game we're forced to play on this stupid fucking planet.
I took the soiled sock out of the federal agent's mouth. "How did your ilk find me?"
The agent groaned in pain, and he thought about using the "out of conscious" hustle on me until I lifted the hammer again.
"— Like I said! Like I said! You left a pile of bodies and an empty vault in Marion. Did you know the Gypsy King was in the pocket of the FBI? It's true. You whacked their golden informant."
The news of Gilderoy Scamp being an FBI snitch didn't particularly surprise me. He was as oily as he was obese, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that sonuvabitch was hatched out of a reptile's egg.
"So what of it?" I asked, lighting up another cigarette.
"It wasn't so much what you did; it's how you did it," the agonizing DEA agent said. "You basically flaunted your dick with how you did this. They have to prosecute, otherwise other criminals won't flip to them."
"And why should they?" In my day, criminals had honor.
"Mist—Mister President, I say this with all do respect, you will be caught. Not by me, obviously, but the FBI, CIA, DEA and ATF are all chasing you. You have the full force of the American government machine on your back. There's a $1,000,000 bounty on your head. This is all before mentioning the Helado Cartel and their army of assassins. Even Chairman Mao has a finite amount of safe houses and opium parlors; his protection will only get you so far."
I gritted my teeth as I exhaled a hit of the Newport.
The bastard was right. Through the weight of their prosecution, I had already been put in a prison of sorts. I was tired of running.
There was only thing to do.
I put the sock back in the DEA agents mouth, brought the .38 out of my tuxedo jacket pocket, put the snubnose against the agent's temple and pulled the trigger.
Chairman Mao's doorman was trying to bluff, so I hit him with a couple electric Krav Maga moves, and put that giant Chinaman down for nap. I straightened my blood-red bowtie and entered the Emperor's suite of the Macau Venetian.
1 MIL PRESIDENTIAL POWER PARLAY
- STAKES: $1 mil to win $2.6 mil
- PSU (-10) vs. Illinois' Sorry Ass
- DEM CANES (+22) vs. FSU
"President Harding, I've been expecting you." Chairman said in a voice that didn't betray his surprise.
"Then you know why I have come."
"I do, Comrade, I do. Why else would you come but to lay down a fierce parlay? Yet, this does arise some questions.
"For example, how would you pay me? You have no money. And what is to be done about the increasing presence of the American government in my fiefdom? It's not good for business, President Harding, something I'm sure a pragmatist like you can understand."
"I do, Chairman Mao. You have been my blood-brother since I crossed the Pacific in search of mercenary work and you put my gun to purpose. Together, we whored and warred our way all over China, smashing and pillaging Anglo-Franco hordes and smoking their opium. This is why I think this week's parlay offers a solution to all our problems."
Chairman Mao leaned back in the leather chair behind his agarwood desk in a "I'm listening" gesture.
"I want to wager $1,000,000 dollars this week, but you're right, I have no money. As collateral, if I lose, you can pick up that phone and call the FBI, CIA or whomever and collect the $1,000,000 for information leading to my arrest."
"President Harding," Chairman Mao said, "I could never drop a dime on a fellow Comrade."
"Then have one of your people do it, Mao," I hissed. "I'm already in prison. Fuck these people. If I win, you pay me, if I lose, then there's no reason why my friend shouldn't profit of the inevitable. It's free money, even you won't turn down a free million."
"That is the best kind of million," the Chairman confessed.
"Do we have a deal? Either way, you are cured of the headache of protecting me."
"If you win, you will leave Macau?"
"Before the sun comes up."
"Then yes, President Harding," Chairman Mao extended his hand, "we have a deal. Whom are you picking?"
"This week's parlay is a special $1,000,000 Presidential Power Parlay," I said. "Two teams...
"As a longtime family friend of the Caine family, I would like to wager Miami (+22) at Florida State. I don't do rivalry games usually, unless I'm backing an underdog. I'm not asking Miami to beat Florida State (although that'd make it a lot less stressful), I'm just asking them to not get rolled on by a redshirt freshman; even though I would take Jameis Winston starting for my Cleveland Browns tomorrow. Plus, computer nerds have told me the "advanced metrics" of these teams are surprisingly similar, so I guess we'll see how much those words are worth come Sunday night.
"The second team is Pennsylvania State University (-10) at home against Illinois. The one time I've bet against Illinois,
(Cincinnati -10), they kicked me in the testicles. Ever since then, they've been the football equivalent of a mixed strain of Adolph Hitler's and Ben Franklin's syphilii. Penn State, on the other hand, is at home (ticket prices will tell if PSU fans have quit on their team), coming off the worst loss since the late 1800's. As I learned last week with Kent State (+2.5), sometimes a dumb line is a dumb line. I think PSU rolls.
"I don't particularly like either of these teams more than I like the numbers attached to them, but if I ain't hitting this parlay... I'd rather be in jail anyway."
Chairman Mao offered a weak smile, "You may get that wish come Saturday night, President Harding. Your one million dollars against my two million, six hundred thousand. May the best wager win."
Fuck it. I'm going in.