The way people are at play says a lot about who they are and how they behave in the rest of their lives. Case in point, a friend of mine was Joseph McCarthy’s roommate in the Marines and he told me that McCarthy loved cheating at cards so much that he would, “have a biological reaction.” (My friend was too much of a gentleman to say, “get a hard on” to a woman, let alone one young enough to be his daughter, but he knew I would get his shorthand.)
True story. My friend’s name was Duane L. Faw, and he was a Brigadier General assigned to the Pentagon and later a law professor in Malibu, which is where I met him. Long story short, McCarthy first strayed off the path cheating at cards and from that developed a love of cheating and a love of cheating (and lying) and politics is a toxic mixture, as McCarthy certainly taught us. Now we’ve got an even bigger cheater and fabulist in pubic office, according to sportswriter Rick Reilly and that actually explains a lot. The Guardian:
Reilly, the former Sports Illustrated columnist, has written a book called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump. It’s rattling good fun which also depicts the startling duplicity of the president as a golfer. “You’re mostly laughing,” Reilly says, “but at times you’re crying – how did this happen? As a golfer he really offends me. Cheating? Hate that. Driving carts on greens? Hate that. Wearing old dockers two sizes too small for him? Give me a break. Kicking your ball so often the caddies call you Pelé? I so hate that. Most of all I hate how stupid he’s making my country look. I hate what he’s doing to my planet. I hate what he’s doing to kids at the border. I don’t mind Republicans. I just can’t stand this guy. I love golf and he has set the game back 30 years. Just when it was becoming cool with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler we get this fat bozo cheating his ass off.” […]
Trump’s deceit about his golfing achievements motivated Reilly to resume writing. “I was retired, living in Italy for three months a year, drinking Campari. I kept seeing on my Twitter feed [Reilly mimics Trump]: ‘I’m a champion. You should vote for me because I’ve won 18 club championships.’ Whoa! That’s a lie because you already told me how you did it. Whenever you open a new course, you play by yourself and declare yourself the first club champion.’ I’m like, ‘That’s a shitty lie.’
“He even said: ‘This is against the best players in the club. No strokes given’. What? I played with you. You’re a 10-handicapper at best. There’s no way you’re winning a club championship. I soon discovered many of them are senior championships for guys over 60 or 70. That’s a nice honour but it’s not within a par 5 of beating the club’s best players. Lots of guys said he wasn’t even in town when some championships were decided. He claimed to have won a tournament in New Jersey when he was actually in Philly. My dad would flip over three times in his grave and he was a Reagan Republican.”
Trump is just like a rat in a grain silo, whatever he doesn’t consume, he fouls. He blew people’s minds in Hollywood, by being impossible to work with and disrespecting everyone, he’s been a standing joke in New York for decades, you see what he’s done to drag politics into the gutter and now it turns out he can’t even play a gentleman’s game on the weekends — which stands to reason because he’s not a gentleman.
It will be interesting to see how this ends. I’ll tell you about McCarthy’s end. Duane got a call from McCarthy in 1957, asking him to come by. McCarthy was in disgrace at that time, but he knew his old roommate to be an honorable Christian man and figured if anybody would help him, it would be him. Duane was given elaborate instructions to follow, to get to an office building where McCarthy was holed up. McCarthy couldn’t live in a house or apartment, i was told, because “too many people wanted to kill him.” So McCarthy was holed up in a dark and dank-smelling interior office, in an old building so empty that footsteps echoed, with “a case of scotch, a blonde, and a gun.”
McCarthy asked Duane to help him and Duane said to McCarthy that in his assessment he was in dire need of medical attention far more than any rehabilitative efforts that anybody might be able to make for him socially or professionally. I thought that was a tactful way of stating the case. In any event, apparently Duane was right because a few months later, in May, McCarthy died in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland of cirrhosis of the liver. Ironically, the way Duane and McCarthy had become roommates in the first place, was because Duane wanted a roommate who didn’t drink, because he didn’t — nor did McCarthy at the time. That kicked in after he discovered the visceral joys of card cheating and gambling. In any event, Duane lived a long and honorable life, dying in his eighties, surrounded by friends and family, and McCarthy died in ignominy and disgrace at the age of 48. Interesting where people start out and where they end up. Talk about the path not taken.