Ba­con buns pro­vide refuge from left­ist mob

Chicago Tribune - - CHICAGOLAND - John Kass jskass@chicagotri­bune.com Twit­ter @John_Kass

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.

NANCY STONE/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

A Chicago flag flies at the Kluczyn­ski Fed­eral Build­ing. The au­thor’s #KassForMayor cam­paign grows stronger ev­ery day.

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