5. Bret Maverick (from the 1994 smash Maverick) – Mel can play some cards. ‘Nuff said.
4. Riverboat Gamblin’ Gator (from Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation) – I don’t know much about this fella except that I made his name up. As I recall, Babs attempts to get even with Buster by unleashing a Hoover-sized dam, chock full of water, upon their unsuspecting city. She neglects to take into account Buster’s exuberant love of water sports, and somehow the two end up floating down the river, Huck Finn style, unearthing the deep racial prejudices of their cartoon, assumedly post-Reconstruction world. I think this gator tries to eat them.
3. Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) - After Hurricane Katrina damaged one of Mississippi’s most lucrative industries -- gambling -- the governor signed legislation allowing casinos, once relegated to offshore digs, the ability to operate up to 800 feet inland. These new casinos, though economically beneficial (unless we want to get into the effects of casino gambling on surrounding communities), could pose a threat to residents looking to rebuild their homes and lives in the diverse, mixed-income neighborhoods of East Biloxi. Reconstruction at a cost? All that makes him the anti-riverboat gambler, I guess.
2. Mark Twain – Such a riverboat gamblin’ fool, he’s got an armada of riverboats (1) (2), even though he’s been dead for 97 years. Them boats ain’t even in the same time-zone. Talk about some supernatural chicanery. Rumor has it that during a secret meeting with known alchemist and voodoo practitioner Nikola Tesla, Twain dared the pomade-covered Serb to chant an incantation over the humorist’s ruffly moustache. To this day, visitors of Twain’s grave in Elmira, NY claim to hear the moustache, overgrown and surly as ever, scraping against the top of his coffin, attempting to escape and ride those aptly-named riverboats once again.