Tony at the Red Line Tap.
Late yesterday, after I got home from DC, I dropped off my bag and headed over to the Red Line Tap.
It was 103 degrees and I needed something tall with a head on it.
Clearly, I’m not talking about the Mayor.
The place was empty except for Marty behind the bar and Tony commanding his usual stool. Like a poor man’s Irv Kupcinet at booth number one at the old Pump Room.
“Haven’t seen you around. Where you been, Klonsky?”
“DC. At the union convention.”
Marty brought me over a glass of whatever was on draught.
“Great. Sounds like loads of fun. On the other hand, it was a holiday week and all the politicians were probably out of town. Must a been lots of hookers looking for work.”
“I wouldn’t know, Tony.”
I took a long sip and told Tony that I thought things went pretty well. We got a support resolution for the Chicago Teachers Union passed unanimously by the 9,000 delegates. And some other good resolutions too, for what they’re worth. I felt pretty good about the week.
I explained that a small group of folks were angry about all the rah-rah Obama stuff and the failure to criticize Administration education policies.
“But I don’t know what they were expecting from the NEA in an election year,” I said.
“Kind of reminds me of my cousin Mark.”
I hesitated to go with this. “What reminds you of your cousin Mark?”
“Father Mark. My cousin. Well, he’s not a priest anymore. But he was one of those, what do ya call it, liberation priests. One day he got all upset and finally decided to quit the priesthood. He said that he didn’t like it that the Church wasn’t more, you know, liberationist.”
“He didn’t know that before?”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you, Klonsky, if you ever try payin’ attention. Some people just have unrealistic expectations.”
“That’s true Tony. Some people do.”
“On the other hand, a few months after he quit the priesthood, cousin Mark married this really beautiful woman. She’s now my cousin Lucia. So maybe something else was at play.”
“There usually is, Tony.”