The $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay: Hubris

By D.J. Byrnes on October 16, 2013 at 3:00 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 $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay is intended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is highly advised. Seriously.

LAST WEEK: (1-2 overall) Wisconsin (-10), Baylor (-18)Texas A&M (-6)
THE HONEYPOT: $-340,000

I took a massive tug on the opium-stuffed hookah, exhaled and passed the hose to my newest associate, an absolute giant of a man: Yao Ming. Apparently he used to play some game involving bouncing balls and holes that wasn't a euphemism for coitus!? (I asked). He was a dapper gent, or as dapper as one can look in the opium parlor of a prominent Chinese casino. 

One of the things I found most troubling about 21st century America was the lack of opium, and dens/parlors/religious institutions in which it could be smoked.

The second was alcohol being legal. In my day, I voted for Prohibition — not because I'm against drinking; that couldn't be falser — I just enjoy a challenge in acquiring substances to consume in order to fuck up my cognitive abilities. Where's the fun of walking to some store that's on every corner in America and purchasing a case of suds in some over-the-counter, taxable fashion?

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 answer to that is: there isn't any. Alcohol is the drug of choice of the milquetoast. Opium? Now there's a drug where you have to know somebody; a true person connecting you to an unseen, seedy black market. 

Yao Ming interrupted my reverie.

"Have you ever given thought to stop laying down parlays? Given the odds — as well as publishing a gambling column on Wednesday — seems unnecessarily reckless when you're dealing with tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars."

My face twisted into disgust. "The Parlay is the bet of the Gods. You think I do this for money? For odds? I do this shit for me. As for research, I don't feel like soiling the one the last few things I enjoy on this mortal coil. Numbers, psssh. What are numbers but scribbles on paper? Who's got that kind of time? Not me. 

Yao tried to interject, but I waved him off. "I pick ponies. I haven't picked enough winners this year — 'tis true — yet I don't need to when I lay down parlays. I'm risking peanuts to win small fortunes. If you think this college season ends with anything but me sitting on stacks of bills with a bunch of professional sex-havers, then I got two 'tutes from Bangkok to sell you.

THA SWERVE KINGPresident Harding felt he drove better drunk than sober.

This time, however, I was truly interrupted when a bony Asian man wearing a crispy Italian silk suit sat down at our table. Due to the dim lights and opium high, it took me a moment to realize the man's legendary status.

"My God, it's Commander Lin Zexu. I thought you for dead back in 1850 after we smashed that Anglo-French regiment on that fateful July night."

The small man steepled his fingers. "What is already dead can never die, President Harding."

"So it is, Zexu, yet I am somewhat baffled by your presence. I did not picture you a man cut from a scene like this."

"Ah, it's not the flesh and drugs that brings me here, President Harding, no. Do you happen to see those two men sitting in the corner? Surrounded by the titty-dancers?" He held up an alien-length finger as navigation assistance.

I nodded.

"I sent those whores," Zexu said, "because those two men are DEA agents. Now, that isn't necessarily that odd, American federal agents pleasuring themselves in the flesh in this casino's opium parlor, but their mission to apprehend you, certainly does."

My hand immediately went to the pistol holstered against my suspenders. "The DEA has tentacles that reach Macau?" I sighed. "There's only one way to deal with these Federal agents." I stood up with every intent to handle the business.

Zexu stood and placed a hand on my rock-solid breast. "President Harding, in past weeks you've killed two drug dealers, a Speedway attendant who attempted to make you pay for Honeybuns and left a gang of dead Mexican hitmen at the throne of an international crime figure. This is without mentioning the countless others whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"Fuck 'em." I squinted across the room to get a better look. Typical empty-eyed goofs, mystified by having women's chest-fat swinging in their faces. What sort of man has no other skills to offer to the world than suiting up for the Federal government and attempting to put down the global drug trade? Talk about an army of dipshits attempting to quell an indomitable tsunami. "What's two more fuzzy slippers on my jacket?"

Zexu's eyes narrowed and his voice grew stern, "I can't allow you to put down those federal agents, although they no doubt deserve a death befitting a rabid, stray dog. Chairman Mao won't allow this, for reasons I should not have to express to you."

"Then what's the plot, Zexu? 'Cause I'll tell you one thing, I ain't about to leave here with handcuffs around my wrists unless I'm laying horizontal."

"Who said anything about handcuffs, President Harding?  Follow me, if you will..."

So here I write my friends, stashed in an undisclosed safehouse in the Drug Quarter of Macau, under the direct protection of Chairman Mao.


  • STAKES: $100k to win $600k
  • MIZZOU (+3.5) vs. Florida
  • IU (+9)  vs. Bums Up North
  • STANFORD (-6) vs. UCLA

Before my former Commander from the Opium Wars left me to my thoughts and chest-full of cocaine, I told him of my oath to the proletariat bettors in the world. Lin Zexu was always the man of the people, one who lived by the same code of the streets as I do.

Before he left, he allowed me to jot down this week's $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay. Subscribers to my column have been getting restless over my lack of payments this year. Sorry some of you are poor and lack the courage to commit capital crimes to finance a lavish-life style.

RT @Mickey_McCauley: Lil Wayne pauses. "You feel it?" The earth trembles again, harder. A crow caws. His eyes widen in fear as the the horns sound. "Big Wayne."WGH's 1920's Escalade drop-top pearling at 60 MPH.

For them, I'd also invite a check of the record. I've posted profits last two years, and was well on my way to a million dollars last year before my unfortunate incarceration. (Fuck the judge, the jury and the prosecutor.)

I'll crack this nut, because busting nuts is what I do.

Is this the week? Perhaps; perhaps its time to rise up, wash out my deficits with one deft stroke and put a few hundred thousand dollars in my pocket. "Strike while the stove is hot," Ben Franklin once told me in a drunken rant about his pre-Syphilis days. 

First things first, though.

I like Mizzou (+3.5) at home against Florida. It's going to be 50 and rainy at kickoff, and as we all know, southerners are soft-types who like sand between their toes and a consider 62 degree semi-cloudy day to be chunky turtleneck weather.

Plus, UF is coached by this guy: 

The Vegas Philistines will wimper, "but this is a public pick!" You're damn right it is. Whose column did you think you were reading? Some guy fleecing his readers while shelling out the picks as a "Vegas insider" with gelled hair in his Twitter avatar? Or a gutter-dwelling ex-President with a massive cocaine and opiate habit?

The second pick is Indiana (+9) vs. Those Bums Up North. Kevin Wilson once took a football coaching job at Indiana, so perhaps I am over-estimating his intelligence, but I hope he has the wisdom to see Michigan has as much idea what to do against a hurry-up offense as a whore does in church. If the Hoosiers aren't in hurry-up offense until three minutes left in the fourth quarter, then Kevin Wilson deserves to be fired for negligence. He might take it as a blessing.

The last pony into the henhouse is Stanford (-6) vs. UCLA. Stanford: coming off a disappointing loss? Check. Back home? Check. (These checkmarks obviously apply to Michigan as well, but Stanford is coached by an actual football coach, not some bus bench bum who somehow hustled Michigan into paying him millions of dollars AND sideline seats to every Michigan game.)

UCLA's best win was over Utah, setting the stage for Utah to bounce back and knock Stanford. Cinderella is wearing the wooden slipper this week.



Until my next breath. The Gingerbread Man, 

RT @truebluela: "The Wild Horse is on his way to second base, and he's driven in the tiebreaker." - Vin Scully

Read more of President Harding's legendary exploits in The Most Hated On, also available on Kindle.

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