This is a sordid tale about the doomed path of mixing gambling with fringe politics. There must be some obscure warning in Leviticus about this sort of dangerous behavior. Ma must have cautioned me about the risks. If so, I’ve clearly forgotten
But this IS a funny story!
A couple of years ago, James Johnson ran for Cheyenne City Council from my old neighborhood. I knew him from his social media presence which was dark, greasy and puerile.
He was also the mascot of Meal Team Six, a motley band of portly Blood and Soil militia who marched around town in comical tactical gear, armed with baseball mitts and intent on saving us all from Bolshevism one twinkie at a time.
Needless to say, he had as much business sitting on city council as a dog turd has under your pillow. And I wasn’t the least bit reluctant to point this fact out in letters to the editor, blogs and social media posts.
I chummed the media with my opinion about Johnson, his goofball right wing fantasies, his carpetbagger political ambitions, the Froot Loops he consumed in his mom’s basement, his crusty hate-filled rhetoric and the labyrinthian error of his logic.
And, right on cue, Johnson rose to the bait.
We began a digital tete-a-tete over his race for city council through dueling social media posts. I pushed all his buttons cuz I loved to see that vein in his temple throb when someone called him out on his bullshit. The snarl on his lips as he typed out his juvenile responses was almost audible.
I personally knew several of the other candidates in Johnson’s ward, had known them since they were kids. I knew their parents and knew what qualities they would bring to elected office. Johnson, as a newly-arrived Coloradoan with strange ideas, wasn’t worthy of carrying their school books.
Our online jousting went on for a few weeks with Johnson claiming to be the only available savior of “Wyoming values” and me telling him that he was full of crap as a Christmas goose. Finally, growing weary of his hubris, I challenged him to a wager.
I bet Johnson a hundred bucks that he would come in last in primary voting and would draw no more than ten percent of the vote. We shook on it virtually.
Sad to say, I immediately experienced a premature case of winner's curse. I had sugarplum visions of splurging Johnson’s money on PBR, Copenhagen and dissolute living. In retrospect, Ma warned me about counting unhatched chickens.
As karma would have it, Johnson came in last in the race but did get about 11% of the vote. Unlike Trump, I didn’t whine about it. I paid up.
A week or so after the election, I met Johnson and a couple of his fat acolytes at a local brewpub and discharged my debt. I wrote him a check because I didn’t want that little slimeball crawfishing and claiming I was a deadbeat. I wanted the canceled check to be a record.
I’ll give James Johnson credit for a sense of irony, but that’s about all. He deposited my check in his campaign account so it would appear that I had supported his candidacy. In truth, had the tables been turned I might have done the same thing.
One could also conclude that Johnson used my dough to finance his relocation to Idaho where he and a bunch of his Patriot Front pansies were busted trying to disrupt a Pride parade in Coeur d’Alene. They were ratted out by an infiltrator, tried and convicted of conspiracy.
Now, Johnson and his convicted co-conspirators are suing the informant for doxxing them as neo-Nazi cretins, causing them to be fired and shunned by friends and family. Irony has returned to bite James Johnson on the ass.
In the money-well-spent department, I have enjoyed WAAAY more than a hundred bucks worth of entertainment and satisfaction at his expense. I’d make that same bet again in a heartbeat.
Rod Miller can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org