My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 86

There’s a dude here on the compound that talks a big bag of bullshit.  He has no prison name, so I’ll just refer to him as “he” or “dude.”  This dude is white, hails from Kokomo,Indiana, is about 6 foot three and weighs at least 300 pounds.  He also claims to have had gastrointestinal bypass surgery, which I don’t doubt since he carries with him a loose sack of skin on his belly like a deflated mylar balloon.  Oh, and he talks like he is from the ghetto.

He says that he has competed in the World Series of Poker, which sounded like a bit of a stretch, initially, but some of the other inmates have verified this from the outside…and the dude makes sure that you are aware of this as he somehow manages to insert his claim to fame in every unrelated conversation.

(I was recently reading “Rigged” by Ben Mazrich, who also wrote “Bringing Down the House” — the tale of the MIT students that fleeced Vegas with all sorts of trickery — that was later adapted into the film “21” with Kevin Spacey.  Dude walks by, interrupts me to inform me that he had played poker with some of the MIT kids and then asked if he could borrow my book when I was finished.  I was done with it later that afternoon and dropped it by his cube…and it was returned back to my cube about an hour later.  Granted, it was a pretty quick read, but not THAT quick, which leads me to believe that he only made his request so that he could share his story with me.)

Among his other claims to fame (for which he has never received proper adulation):

1.)  He invented the board game “Connect 4”

2.)  He wrote a short story as a child that bore eery similarities to Spielberg’s “E.T.”

3.)  He came up with the idea for McDonald’s “Chicken Selects”

4.)  He conceived of the under-the-table camera concept made famous by all of those celebrity poker shows

5.)  He’s accurately predicted the appearances of very specific and strategically placed retail chains (Starbucks, etc.) years before they would actually break ground

At first I thought that he was being a wise guy, which prompted me to laugh out loud at his assertions…but when he wasn’t laughing along with me, my laughter turned into a nervous giggle and I slowly backed away from him.

Recently, I’ve heard him chatting with the prison lawyer (an inmate) about righfully claiming what’s his from everyone that took advantage of him and ultimately stole his ideas.

What’s more, he allegedly has a ton of prison debts to support his daily soda habit.  No shit, this guy must drink about a case of full-sugar Pepsi and Dr. Pepper each day.  You would think that with his supreme card shark skills he’d be able to rectify these debts; he claims to be “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be…”  But he refuses to play cards on the compound because, according to him, no one knows how to play “real poker.”


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