Bacon buns provide refuge from leftist mob
You may have noticed that I didn’t write my column for Thursday. A note in the paper on page 2 said “John Kass has the day off,” but nobody really believes that. Nobody.
Some speculated that I’d finally been silenced by an angry political mob of leftists, or perhaps by “the powers that be.”
“No column? What happened? You’re a mayoral candidate now,” said a chief strategist of one Chicago mayoral candidate, who’d been conferring (drinking) with a chief strategist of another candidate. “We were thinking that as a mayoral candidate, you have to be careful about what you say.”
No. Careful is not my way. I give not two figs for careful.
And besides, the brutally honest #KassForMayor campaign — promising corrupt wealth for me and high taxes for everyone else — grows stronger every day.
Another mayoral candidate called. He knows the uses of power. “You’re not fired?” No, I said. “Dammit,” he said. Readers worried that the fault was with the mob of angry leftist Sorosians (witting or unwitting servants of the Sith lord George Soros).
In a recent column I’d dared suggest that since the hard left is busy trashing the ideas that bind our nation — like the presumption of innocence for the accused — they might as well burn the great books that contain these ideas.
Immediately, the left went stark raving mad.
“Just don’t let them give you the Ned Stark treatment,” said a friend.
What did he mean by that? The honorable Ned Stark was beheaded in “Game of Thrones,” his head put on the castle wall as a warning to all.
That soured my stomach. But say what you will about the Sorosians, they have feelings too, and their feelings are important to me.
And though I may not agree with what they say, I will defend unto the death their right to say it. If they don’t burn me alive first. “Super excited to set @John_Kass on fire after I get through burning all these literary classics,” tweeted somebody with the head of an angry pumpkin.
“Burn the Trib to the ground,” tweeted the aptly named “Anatolian Terror Field.”
Moderation in all things, say the ancients.
And you can’t very well battle Sorosians every day, or you’d get bored.
“Here’s a column idea,” offered an editor. “Why not go outside and take a long look at your tomato garden? Then you might whip up some change-of-season thing. You know, a column of autumnal whimsy, sepia toned.” Whimsy? Sepia-toned whimsy? No. Besides, my garden sucks now. It’s pathetic. It’s dead. Worse even than my Chicago Fire. At least my garden gave me great tomatoes — Cherokee Purples and Jet Stars, Abe Lincolns, smallish Green Zebras, large Big Boys and so on. The Fire give fans — conservatives and socialists alike — one thing: The pain of burned hope. In the garden, a few missed tomatoes hang on past their prime. The vines wither, and now it is past time to yank them out, along with the regrets of summer, and dump manure on the whole dang thing.
And it was raining on Wednesday, a cold slanting October rain, and depressed as I was by the Sorosian hate, I needed something. But what? How about bacon buns from Racine Bakery?
A few minutes later I was driving in the rain on Archer Avenue, plugging a microphone into my phone to begin recording “The Chicago Way” podcast I do twice weekly with my buddy, WGN producer Jeff Carlin.
Archer Avenue is a well-known thoroughfare, but one often ignored or forgotten by the followers of food trends. The Garfield Ridge neighborhood isn’t fancy, but it’s all Chicago.
And there at 6216 S. Archer you’ll find Racine Bakery, palace of the tasty bacon bun.
Forget your political wars. Who doesn’t love bacon buns?
So I ordered two dozen, not for me. But for family and friends.
“They’re delicious because you’ve got both flavors,” said Racine Bakery owner Marta Radzwan. “You’ve got the sweet and the savory all in one. You have the bacon, a little bit of onion, and you have the sweet dough. You couldn’t go wrong with that. You can eat it for lunch, breakfast, any time of day.”
I sat in the car, rolled the windows down, started eating bacon buns and talked into the microphone for the podcast. The subject?
Civility in American political life. Or the lack of it.
And after talking about civility and burnings at the stake, I tried to start the car. But the battery was dead. And by the time I got the dead one replaced, I knew I’d miss my column deadline.
The windows were down, I was getting soaked eating bacon buns alone, the roadside car service would take over an hour.
Yet when the car service guy came to jump my car, he was extremely civil in that pouring rain.
And so was I. But I didn’t have any cash with which to tip him.
“Forget it. Give the tip to a charity or something and think of me,” he said with a smile.
He just stood there, soaked, an expert at dispensing guilt. He was ruthless, but civil. But there were a few bacon buns left, maybe five.
“No thanks, I just ate,” he said, rain running off his face. “Wait. Are those bacon buns from Racine? I’ll take them!”
I handed the bag to him with a smile. A civil smile.
Listen to “The Chicago Way” podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at www.wgnradio.com/category/wgnplus/thechicagoway.
A Chicago flag flies at the Kluczynski Federal Building. The author’s #KassForMayor campaign grows stronger every day.