The $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay: Resurrection

By D.J. Byrnes on August 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

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.) 

WARNING: The content of the $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay is intended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is highly advised. Seriously.


Most people aren't cut out for jail, but I'd like to think I'm not like most people. Jail is one of my favorite places to meditate; it's only behind an opium den. Jail is also a great place to go to escape hounding bill collectors. (Sorry, Expert Global Solutions, but I'm not paying the defaulted credit card debt from the Waffle House bender of winter 2011; that bout of syphilis with which I wrangled, much like the debt those 'tutes accrued, got chalked up to the game.)

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."

The tax-paying public thinks jail is some house of horrors filled with incorrigible monsters without even a flicker of conscience and where ferocious sexual assaults lurk around every shadow-soaked corner. This is not so. For a man who is a fan of fraternizing with the Unwashed and narcocorridos, jail is a near-,literal gold mine of opportunity.

Think about the average life of Joe Q. Taxpayer. He wakes up, goes to a job he dislikes, logs eight hours of work for a boss he dislikes even more and then goes home to harvest a half-asleep handy from a wife who hates him most of all. Think about all the boring people he encounters on a day-to-day basis: Joe from Accounting, Chipotle Minimum Wage Burrito Roller Raul or even Middle School Flesh-of-His-Flesh-Blood-of-His-Blood Kyler. How boring are these people? What yarns of regalia can they spin? 

Why is it the average petty criminal involved in our cell-block Spades tournaments has led a more interesting life than the average mundane denizen of this republic? Alas, that is the question that all three philosophers greater-than-I have hanged themselves over. (RIP Plato, Descartes and my former padawan: Jesus.)

President Harding encapsulated "I ain't got no worries."

I do not, however, want to get things twisted like a gutted White Owl cigarillo: I have never been interested in doing decade-long bids in the Clink (even if I'm little more than a resurrected whirling dervish of marijuana smoke at this point).

So, about three weeks into my incarceration, I decided it was time to change the scenery. I had acquired enough Newport cigarettes to suffocate a Bangladeshi orphanage with second-hand smoke, but Newports are only figurative jewels. Sadly, the exchange rate for jailhouse Newports to dussy or drugs isn't robust as one would think.

After a quick call to my straighter-than-a-snake's-spine lawyer, he managed to cobble together the last few peanuts of my empire's profits to post my bail. I was a free man (with no intent of showing up for my trial at the hands of a kangaroo court). 

I walked out of Marion County Correctional far from broken but with only a few possessions: two cartons worth of Newports, the clothes on my back and a half-gallon of chocolate milk.

I've been fortunate enough in my life to acquire wealth worthy of a sultan, but you know what's cooler than obscene, grandiose wealth? Pissing it all away on drugs and dussy.

When I lay my head down in a gutter for the final time, there's only two things I know about my condition: I will be penniless, and my heart will be the size of an apricot due to my massive drug habits. I only hope to die penniless because when I meet that Yahweh, I want our battle to be on a semi-even playing field.

Upon my release, I checked my Gregorian calendar, and I saw it was late August. Being as I'm penniless, there's only one sensible avenue to reacquire another grandiose fortune: collegiate football wagering. Next to cutting hundreds of millions of dollars of blow into billion dollars of blow or robbing a blind baby, there's no easier way to acquire gold coins. 

Before we get to the brass tacks of the $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay, let me re-introduce you to the smooth sounds of my comrades-in-arms Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. (I'd declare this video as NSFW, but 1) I don't care and 2) If you've made it this far at work I can almost guarantee fascist security officers are en route to confiscate your computer and forcibly evict you from the premises.) 

I want to make one thing clear: I do not do "research" into my picks, much like I don't crunch numbers at the poker table. Gambling is an arcane endeavor, and any attempt to apply Earthly knowledge is a fool's errand. I'm a Soldier of Fortune, and I make these picks with my lion's heart and steely intuition to prove to the scrub betting against me that Destiny is a broad riding shotgun in my gold-encrusted Bugatti.

Week One is interesting, because I haven't watched any of these teams. I don't do Twitter, and I sure as hell don't Facebook because I have a gang of bastard children of which I'm still trying to evade responsibility. I also don't attend football practices because the teens I want to watch sweat under a hot summer's sun aren't gendered properly to play football. (Equality has always been America's fickle mistress, it appears.)

I've leveraged this $10,000 against my sterling reputation with a local Gypsy bookie. To be clear, I don't have this money in liquid cash, and if I don't hit this $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay, there could be repercussions even I am not able to foretell. Do I give a shit? No. Will I hit this parlay? You're god damn right

It's my understanding hitting this three-team banger will bring me a net profit of $60,000. That's not a lot of money, but should be enough to see me through next week if I budget properly. 

However, let's talk about some games I do not like, chief among them being LSU (-5.5) against Texas Christian University. This pick seems almost too easy, and as a certain philosopher-king from the central plains of Ohio used to say: "Anything easy ain't worth a damn."


  • Terms: 10k to 60k
  • Ole Miss (-3) vs. Vanderbilt
  • Under (51.5) UNLV vs. 'Sota
  • Boise St (+4) vs. Washington

We've seen the SEC destroy the tiny Christian school from Bumblefuck, Nowhere, before. Could this be another rendition? Easily. Yet, I must wonder: is Leslie Miles still in league with that voodoo priestess that almost led the LSU Tigers to a national title? Or was that unholy alliance derailed by the satanist powers of Nick Saban?

Speaking of everyone's favorite pint-sized Satanist from Tuscaloosa, why does everyone think Nick Saban is Satan himself? I met the Dark Prince back during my years as Editor-in-Chief of the journalistic pillar known as The Marion Star. Turns out, Satan had a pretty tempting offer for my dark, corrupted soul. Did I take it? To the utter chagrin of my legion of haterz, I did not. 

So it's real talk when I say: I have looked the Devil in the eyes, he ain't no Nick Saban. Sure, Saban may be a Satanist, but there's nothing particularly scary about a child-sized man who motivates teenagers to play a strong football game. We saw how motivating his tinpot dictator shtick was when he had to motivate grown-ass men who couldn't be cut on a whim. I don't like Nick Saban, and I will not be wagering on Alabama (-21) against Virginia Tech.

A game I do like is Ole Miss (-3) over Vanderbilt. Now, I remember when Vanderbilt canceled their game with Ohio State. That makes sense because who wants to open up the season by being ritualistically butchered in front of 105,000 Ohio State fans? I wasn't surprised in the least, however, when Vanderbilt canceled their series with the perennial power Northwestern.  

The Vanderbilts have been cowards since at least 1876.

Vanderbilt is merely hearkening back to the cowardice bestowed upon them by their founder: Cornelius Vanderbilt. People called him "Commodore" as if he was worthy of that prestigious rank. As a budding opiate salesman, I approached Cornelius about using his vast railroading network as a way to ferry my product across the United States. The windfalls for us would have been ridiculous. What did this decaying shell of a man tell me? He was more interested in philanthropy. (As if philanthropic intentions weren't the whole reason I waded into the street pharmaceutical game in the first place.)

What I'm saying is: Fuck Vanderbilt. I despise the state of Mississippi and their wanton white-washing of the ass-kicking they received in the Civil War, but I'm willing to table this beef to finally watch Vanderbilt get a whipping they can't cancel via telegram.

The second game I like is the Under (51.5) on UNLV at Minnesota. I love betting the under on games, because as someone who won Hater of the Year throughout the 1910's, I love watching sporting events and cheering for an absolute degradation of the game to occur. And who better to serve up a steaming pile of shit to profit on than Minnesota and UNLV?

The last pick is Boise State (+4) vs. the University of Washington. This a complete gut pick, and honestly, those are the only kind I can collect on with a free conscience. (Just kidding, I drowned the last shards of my conscience in my father's bath-tub during primary school, haha.)

I do know this much: I do not care for Seattle, Washington. First and first mostly, I prefer the adult version of coffee: cocaine. Secondly, I'm thankful for the aforementioned Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, because without the infusion of gangsta rap (and Kurt Cobain shoving a shotgun in his mouth), the American culture may still be inflicted with grunge music, or as I like to call it "noise."

Longtime fans may notice I'm not riding with my adopted alma mater, The Ohio State University. This is because I don't enjoy gambling on exhibition games. By December, we will be able to stack a pyramid of money capable of scraping the Sun off wagers on the Ohio State Buckeyes. This, however, is not the week.

Buckle up, boys and girls, because the only thing I detest more than female pubic hair is a life without tribulation. Together, we will grind this season into dust to cut with the blow we peddle to the walking corpses we will turn our enemies into. There will be lows, it must be known, but I promise you this: there will be highs. O! Will there be highs.

Yours in Cthulu,

Read more of President Harding's legendary exploits in The Most Hated On, the book or on Kindle.

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