Once upon a time, legendary riverboat gambler Beauregard P. Delacroix agreed to face a robot in a game of cards. But this was no ordinary gambling gadget — it was the best robotic card shark in all the South! And after a night of fierce competition, Delacroix had lost his money, his house, and his entire stable of prized Appaloosas. Worst of all, he had lost his cool!
Delacroix blamed his pants.
“These pants, these accursed vertical seersucker pants!” he cried after the devastating loss. “They do make my loins sweat so! How can a gentleman stay fresh and tidy during sizzling games of chance with his holy unmentionables boiling like crawdads in a kettle!”
As Delacroix descended the riverboat’s gangplank, he stripped off his heretofore lucky trousers and tossed them into the turgid waters of the Mississippi River. “To hell with you, stifling pants!” he hollered.
Then he heard the laughter. Looking up, he spied the dastardly iron contraption and its flesh-and-blood masters from the University of Mississippi Engineering Department taunting him from the poop deck. Delacroix spat in disgust and vowed they would meet again.
Years passed, and the industrious Delacroix rebuilt his fortune to even greater heights than before. By 1879, he had more horses and hogs than any man in the state. He owned turpentine warehouses, a gin distillery, and even the world-famous Vicksburg Snuffatorium, which he had won in a game of whist. But all of it was meaningless without a rematch against his nemesis.
His chance came at last one late August afternoon, when the heat was so fierce that livestock rendered in the fields, beards spontaneously caught fire, and the streets ran thick with lava-hot molasses. Amid this hellish swelter, Delacroix faced off against the mechanical monstrosity and a roster of the South’s finest gamblers in the Gravyburg Annual Poker Tournament, putting on the line the considerable fortune he had worked so hard to rebuild.
The contest lasted into the wee hours of the morning, until only Delacroix and the mechanical man remained. When at last it seemed that the robot would concede, it calmly placed the deed to Farthington Manor on the table. The sweaty crowd gasped — Farthington Manor! — and the contraption let loose with a triumphant puff of steam from its exhaust portal. “If the action is too hot for you,” the machine chirped and whined, “best you stay out the kitchen!”
Had Delacroix been wearing ordinary pants, the action would indeed have been too hot, but not this time. Not when he was wearing a new pair of light and airy SuckerLab seersuckers, which kept him cool despite the furnace-like heat of the moment.
“I see your bet, you despicable ironclad cur!” he ejaculated, laying down the deed to the Snuffatorium. The wary machine then lay down its cards, revealing a full house. Delacroix smiled.
“Oh my stars, how I shall enjoy summering in fair Farthington Manor!” he said, revealing his royal flush.
This was too much for his metallic opponent. Unable to process defeat, the machine overheated and exploded, maiming its devious masters with searing shrapnel. Delacroix, meanwhile, was deluged with the attention of several winsome young lasses, who begged to make his acquaintance in the most human of ways.
And with that, Delacroix’s SuckerLab seersuckers were shed — far more quickly than he ever could have anticipated!
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