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.”

10 Replies to “Tony at the Red Line Tap.”

  1. I think Fr. Mark’s parish used to be over by DePaul. I think this because I used to run into to a guy who sounds a lot like Tony at Glascott’s on Halsted and Webster back in the day when Lincoln Park was a “changing neighborhood.”(I think it’s actually changing again, this time from rich to richer.) If you took a stool by the door and complained to the barkeep about how your rabbit-ears tv just went black and that guy was there who never said a word and always sat on the last stool at the other end by the men’s room , a few days later, your new tv would be back there by the shuffleboard bowling machine. Do me a favor, Klonsky? Ask Tony if he ever runs into Slats Grobnik anymore.

  2. I am honored by your comparison to Slats. Of course, the clientele has changed some at Glascott’s, but it looks exactly the same. The toilet hasn’t been cleaned since those days. And the Greek chicken over vinegar soaked steak fries at the Athenian Room is the same as 40 years ago (delicious) when all the women I knew worked part-time as waitresses there. We used to have a poker game every Thursday night and about a half hour after closing time, they would show up with loads of gyros, pita, salad with feta and olives, greek bread and whatever else was left over from the kitchen.

  3. Brother Mike,
    Don’t dis the Members of the Tribe who play for the Chicago Cubs. Since Sam Fulds went to Tampa last year for Matt Garza the Cubs have not only been clueless, but Jewless.

    What about the Sox? Remember when Obama bragged in Boston that we got Youkilis? The media said the crowd booed. The White House responded the crowd chanted “Youk! Youk!” Closer listening to the replay reveals the crowd yelled “Jew! Jew!”
    And Kevin Youkilis is one. You can look it up.

  4. “It was 103 degrees and I needed something tall with a head on it.

    Clearly, I’m not talking about the Mayor.”

    LOL Almost choked on my sandwich.

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