Tony at the Red Line Tap.


It was late when I stopped at the Red Line Tap.

At 4:30 I had been up near Old Orchard Mall for the IFT meeting on pensions at Niles North.

Then I drove down Dempster to Park Ridge. There was a board of education meeting and I wanted to show my support to my old friends who were getting screwed by their piggish board.

By 10PM I was ready for a beer.

“Marty. How about a bottle of Pipeworks 18th Street Brotherhood Belgian Style Patersbier?”

“I may be all out,” said Marty. “Let me check.”

She had a cold one left and set it on a green coaster on the bar.

Tony said, “Why do they do that?”

“Why do they do what?”

“Put the bottle on a coaster. This bar barely has a surface. The finish is long finished. What is Marty protecting?”

“I don’t know, Tony. Why do they call it a coaster?”

“Good point. Why are you here this late, Mr. Retiree? I usually catch you in the afternoon.”

“I was hitting a couple of meetings. One on pensions and one to support my old colleagues in Park Ridge.”

“You’re addicted to that shit.”

“I suppose I am. But I’ve got a pension to protect.”

“Ha. Maybe you need a pension coaster.”

“Hmmm. Funny. You’re a regular Seth McFarland.”

“No really. Here’s the thing. You should have been making better investments. Like my cousin Victorio.”

“You have a cousin Victorio? What great investments did he make?”

“Illinois off-shore oil drilling,” said Tony.

“Tony,” I said. “Illinois is almost land-locked. And there is no oil drilling in Lake Michigan.”

“See. That’s your problem. You have no vision. No entrepreneurial spirit. Of course there’s no off-shore drilling in Illinois. That’s why the state gives you tax credits.”

“The state of Illinois gives you tax credits for investing in off-shore oil drilling? No wonder Illinois is broke.”

“Illinois, me and you. But not cousin Victorio.”

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