Tidbit of the Day: Mike Royko = God

I’ve just started reading a compilation of famed Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko‘s columns, One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko.

For the last couple of years, I’ve had this tepid curiosity with Royko. I received a fellowship named for him when I was a graduate j-student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern U from ’06-’07. When I was awarded the thing, I read his book, Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago, and was floored. His prose is effortless, and he always seems to turn the right word or phrase.

Anyway, I’ll probably post an interesting excerpt or two. Here’s one from March 15, 1966 — an apology for saying that the Irish drink a lot of beer. Keep in mind that Royko wasn’t racist, but he could turn on anyone. And he did:

So I will do as the many callers demanded: I will apologize. I will retract. I will admit my error.

First, the part about beer-drinking.

The Irish do not have a great capacity for beer. I’m sorry I suggested they did.

There. That should make a satisfactory retraction and apology. But just to be safe, I’ll make it stronger.

The Irish, in fact, have a very limited capacity for beer.

Germans, for instance, can consume far more impressive quantities of the suds than the Irish and still be on their feet singing university songs.

(I realize that this may get the Germans angry at me, but I’ll apologize to them later.)

Then there are the Poles. They are capable of far greater feats of beer-drinking when they put their minds to it. There are still Division Street bars that tap a full barrel every time another customer walks in.

Even the Italians might drink more beer than the Irish if they didn’t prefer Chianti.

…and so on. I’ll keep you posted on my Royko exploits!