“I’m glad I wasn’t the villain in the faculty Clue tournament,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room. “It might have risked my career.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Chef noted that Professor Plum is named for a permanent character in Clue. The professor winked and left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor pondered whether to risk his professional poker career on a pair of red Jacks. Chef had opened the pot with a raise and the Squirrel had called. So the Professor of Astrology Janitor knew at least one of them had a hand and, while a pair of Jacks is a good starting hand, it almost always needs help to win a showdown, especially in a multi-player pot.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor could either call and hope to catch another Jack on the flop, or raise and hope to chase a weak Ace or pair of Queens out of the pot. He decided to offer a pot-sized raise.

Chef paused for a moment and studied the Squirrel, who has an excellent poker face only because his whiskers, ear tufts, and tail twitch and flick almost all the time. So his twitches and flicks gave nothing away, and Chef turned her attention to the Professor of Astrology Janitor, who might have been posing for Rodin’s The Thinker, except his elbow was on the padded rail of the poker table instead of his knee.

“Well, I can’t just call,” Chef said, “and I can’t fold either. So I’m all-in.”

The Squirrel chittered something that sounded like disgust and pushed his cards into the muck. Now it was a heads-up pot, but Chef’s all-in move gave the Professor of Astrology Janitor pause. Did she have a dominant hand like Aces or Kings? A coin-flip hand like Ace-King? Was she semi-bluffing with a lower pair or suited connector?

She had made her bet before the Squirrel folded, so a bluff seemed unlikely. At best, the Professor of Astrology Janitor reasoned, he was a tiny favorite against Ace-King. More likely he was a huge underdog to a bigger pair.

“I guess Jacks aren’t good,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said as he folded.

“Whoa,” Chef said as she flashed a pair of Tens. “And here I just wanted to get to the kitchen to finish my Never-Fail Cheese Souffle.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling as Chef went to the kitchen, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I know why President Trump is struggling to fill his national security team. I think part of the problem is the intellectual heavyweights of the defense community and the Republican Party all denounced the president during the campaign, so the pickings are sort of slim. Having said that, there are good people out there who I’m sure would consider serving. The problem is the acrimonious nature, the disorganization inside the White House and for that matter, with among the government, is so profound that a lot of good people who are are going to be hesitant to risk their career for public service.

Barry in VA

Dear Barry,

We admire your optimism, and wish we shared it. Alas, the right-wing pundisphere is neck deep in people whose careers should have been ruined by their many mistakes. Oddly, that never happens. Consider that one of the next names on the God-King’s list was David Petraeus, who was fired from his CIA post after he was caught leaking classified information to his mistress. And the top name among the God-King’s current short list is … John Bolton, an unrepentant Iraq War cheerleader who also wanted the U.S. to invade Cuba and said Israel should launch a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran. In short, a man who has spent the last 15 years being not just wrong, but catastrophically wrong and – he hoped – apocalyptically wrong.

In light of that evidence – and countless other names we could mention – we doubt it’s even theoretically possible for a right-wing militarist to fail so badly as to “risk their career.”


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I folded Ace-Queen because I figured either Chef or the Janitor must have had me beaten. Would I have been the favorite if both had called? Also, why does Chef’s Never-Fail Cheese Souffle never fail?

Failing for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

We just checked the CardPlayer.com Texas Hold’em Odds Calculator and, had both you and the Professor of Astrology Janitor called Chef’s all-in bet, you would not have been the favorite. The Professor of Astrology Janitor’s Jacks would have won that pot 43.6% of the time, while your Ace-Queen would win 38.4% and Chef’s Tens only 17.7%. Ace-Queen is another of those hands that looks strong at the start but almost always needs help to win a showdown, so it was not a mistake to fold.

As for Chef’s Never-Fail Cheese Souffle, she uses the Food Network recipe at the link below, and she says its reliability is due to its simplicity. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: NBC

Barry in VA; one of the next names was David Petraeus; fired for giving classified information to his mistress; top name among the short list; an unrepentant Iraq War cheerleader who also wanted the U.S. to invade Cuba, and called for Israel to launch a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran.

Never-Fail Cheese Souffle.


Happy Sunday!