“Sean. I’d like a bottle of Crikveničko Svijetlo if you have any left.”
Sean furrowed his brow. “Y’know, Fred. I’m out of it. But you might like Pivnica Medvedgrad Crna Kraljica, which I do have. It’s a bock beer, not a pilsner, but it is Croatian.”
“I’ll try it,” I said.
“I’ve actually been studying Croatian and Slavic history,” said Sean. “Did you know It is recorded that in the early 7th century A.D., seven tribes led by five brothers – Kluk, Lobel, Muhlo, Kosjenic and Hrvat – and two sisters – Buga and Tuga – migrated to Dalmatia and simultaneously populated Pannonia and across Illyricum as part of the migration of the Croats. It was in the 7th century that they were officially invited to settle on this vastly depopulated area by Roman – that is Byzantine – Emperor Heraclius in order to establish a shield against Avars for his state?”
“Uh, No,” I mumbled. “I didn’t know that. Did you know that, Tony?”
“Of course I knew that, Klonsky. In fact, my cousins Buga and Tuga are named for the two Slavic sisters.”
“But you’re not Slavic.”
“We are all one,” said Sean.
“Okay. Enough about that. I want to talk about Rahm getting permission from the City Council to borrow $2 billion dollars in bonds yesterday. Who does this help except the Wall Street investors?”
Tony looked over at me. “When I was young my cousin Kluk had two credit cards.”
“Yep, brother of cousins Buga and Tuga. When he maxed out on one he would pay the bill by writing checks off the other credit card’s account. He went on like that for about a year.”
“Then what happened?”
“Six months at 26th and California.”
At that, Sean piped up. “Did you see New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio on Stewart last night? He’s gonna start a universal pre-school program and said he’s charging rich people to pay for it. He said it will cost them what they pay for one soy latte a day.”
“A wealth tax!”
Sean nodded. “Instead of borrowing money to pay the debt on the debt, we could have a wealth tax. Pay off our debts.”
Tony agreed. “Negotiate a new contract with the cops for doing such a good job at covering up what Daley’s nephew – that Vanecko kid – did. And for uncovering the NATO 3 anarchist plot against our fair city.
“And pay the pension obligation?”
“Yeh. Sure Klonsky,” sighed Tony.
“For the price of a soy latte a day we can even pay the teachers their pension.”