Professor Plum held up a piece of paper and asked to play in the staff poker game. “Here’s my $10,000 IOU.”

He read the mail. (More)

We knew he wasn’t serious. First, the staff poker game is not high stakes. The Squirrel buys in with a bowl of macadamias. Moreover, everyone on campus knows Chef would never let someone buy into the staff poker game with an IOU. When Professor Plum then offered to buy in with a lunar mining rights bid, Ms. Scarlet knew it was time for them to join the rest of the resident faculty in the wine cellar mail room and spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

The Professor of Astrology Janitor was a bit disappointed, having watched his chips dwindle to the Squirrel’s well-timed bluffs and Chef’s well-timed calls. When he peeked at the Ace and King of Hearts, the Professor of Astrology Janitor knew he had to raise. The Squirrel reraised and Chef called, meaning at least one of them already had a pair. The Professor of Astrology Janitor called and tried not to flinch as the Ace of Hearts and Ten and Three of Spades came on the flop. With a pair of Aces and a Spade flush draw, he bet half the pot. The Squirrel and Chef called. Concerned that one might have a pair of Tens or Threes, for three of a kind, the Professor of Astrology Janitor merely checked when the Seven of Diamonds came on the turn. The Six of Clubs at the river was no help, and again the Professor of Astrology Janitor checked. And again, the Squirrel and Chef checked behind. Each of them turned up a pair of Queens. The Professor of Astrology Janitor’s pair of Aces were good enough, but the small pot triggered his signature plaintive mewling. Chef headed for the kitchen to make Ten Thousand Dollar Pancakes, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I really zinged Rick Perry in the debate last night when I bet him $10,000 that I never supported a nationwide version of the Massachusetts health care plan in my book No Apology. He said I deleted that claim from the paperback version, but I made him look weak because I knew Perry wouldn’t take the bet. Don’t you agree?

Mitt in La MANHCA

Dear Mitt,

We agree that you made someone look weak, if by “weak” you mean having no comprehension of how casually offering a $10,000 bet would appear to ordinary working Americans. The hashtag #What10Kbuys began trending on Twitter almost immediately, generating responses such as “the Payroll Tax Cut for 10 middle income families,” “my rent for about 17 months,” “a classroom full of iPads for students,” and “*almost* my spring semester in-state tuition.”

Or perhaps by “weak” you mean using a $10,000 bet to silence a truthful criticism. The hardcover edition of your book did include the sentence “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.” You deleted that line from the paperback edition because, according to one of your aides, “When Governor Romney wrote his book in early 2009, the stimulus hadn’t passed, Obamacare hadn’t passed, so updates of course are going to be made to reflect changes in the climate.”

So yes, your bet made someone look “weak.” That someone was you.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Everyone in the media says I won last night’s debate, which shows how stupid reporters are. I didn’t merely win. I dominated, like when I defended my statement earlier this week that I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now, since the 1940’s. Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. The Palestinians claim to a right of return is based on a historically false story. “Palestinian” did not become a common term until after 1977. So I’m right, again. As always.

Newt in GA

Dear Newt,

We concede that the Palestinians are an “invented people,” only in the same sense that all nationalities are “invented.” You say the Palestinians were part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 20th century, but the Ottoman Empire was equally “invented.” The historically false story is your implication that the Palestinian people were not granted land in the 1947 United Nations mandate, the same mandate that “invented” the Israeli people. And while you may not have heard the term “Palestinian” until 1977, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was created in 1964. So we agree that you are as right as always. Which is to say: you’re wrong again.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich should step aside and let me be the Republican nominee. I know what Americans need. For example, I think parents love their children and know what’s best for them. That’s why science should get out of politics and that politically correct ideas like evolution and global warming should not be taught in our schools.

Rick in PA

Dear Rick,

We agree that most parents love their children. However, your notion that science should get out of politics, and that school science classes should not teach scientific knowledge that contradicts your political opinions, is precisely why you should never be in a position of political leadership. Americans need solutions that actually work, and science is mankind’s best tool for understanding what works.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Okay, I bet Chef doesn’t really have a recipe for Ten Thousand Dollar Pancakes.

Gambling on Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Gambling on Breakfast,

You would have lost your bet. Chef insists she can make Ten Thousand Dollar Pancakes. She starts by stirring 2 cups of Bisquick together with 1 cup of milk and two eggs, until the batter is blended. Next she uses a tablespoon to pour the batter onto a buttered 375° griddle, cooking the dollar-sized pancakes until the edges are dry and then turning to cook until golden brown. That recipe will make 36 Silver Dollar Pancakes, so Chef would simply repeat the process 278 times to make Ten Thousand Dollar Pancakes. Bon appétit!



Mitt in La MANHCA; #What10Kbuys; truthful criticism.

Newt in GA; earlier this week; all nationalities invented; 1947 United Nations mandate; Palestinian Liberation Organization created in 1964.

Rick in PA.


Happy Sunday!