St. Patrick’s Day 2022

The other night Saint Patrick was snoozing in heaven after falling asleep watching the TV show “The First 48” when the GOD PHONE next to his couch began insistently buzzing off its hook.

St. Patrick stirred from his slumber and eyeballed the red phone, which hadn’t rung in many years. He mumbled to himself, “Uh oh, something huge must be happening in Ireland!”

He picked up the receiver and faked alertness, “Helloooo!”

He heard the voice of Our Lord Jesus Christ bellow into his ear, “Pat, get over to my office immediately! We gotta talk!”

“Yes Lord, I will be there in a jiffy!”

God sounded angry and let him know it. “Don’t give me this jiffy crap, I want to see you NOW!”

Patrick hustled off the couch and made his way down the hallway to God’s office. His mind was racing, trying to guess what it was all about. Ireland has had many troubles over the years and just lately, within the last half century anyway, had joined the “woke” culture and been gradually turning away from the Catholic Church and electing some very strange leaders. On top of that the whole world has been upended with this goofy pandemic and this guy Putin was itching to blow up everything.

He bolted into God’s outer office and smiled at the gorgeous receptionist. “He’s waiting for you Patrick, so go right in.”

God had his back to him as he gazed out the heavenly window, “Have a seat Pat. We have a situation we need to discuss.”

What is it, Lord? Is it Belfast? Dublin? Trouble in the Dáil Éireann, Oireachtas or Stormont?

God spun around in his chair and dropped a copy of the Chicago Tribune on his desk as his eyes met Patrick’s. “It’s on the southside of Chicago!”

Patrick sat down gingerly and picked up the paper. “Well, there are plenty of Irish on the south side, lots of Southside Irish Catholics. But come on Lord, the Tribune?  You already know everything, why be reading that malarkey?”

God folded his hands under his chin and peered at Patrick. “Just read the story, about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, read what it says.”

Patrick took out his reading glasses and started scanning the page, mumbling as he read along until he finally said, “A lawsuit against the city by a former Park District attorney alleges that Mayor Lori Lightfoot berated staff in obscene terms over Columbus statue, told them “My dick is bigger than yours and the Italians, I have the biggest dick in Chicago.”

God grinned at Patrick. “Ain’t that something?”

He then leaned forward and asked, “And what exactly is happening in Chicago next week?”

Patrick gulped. “Oh eh, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade?”

God chuckled, “Yes keep going, what else, more specifically?”

Patrick squeaked out his answer, “The Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade…which has been canceled the last two years…is returning on Western Avenue Sunday March 13th.”

Jesus laughed, “Jackpot! So, you have the mayor of Chicago claiming to have the “biggest dick in Chicago” marching in a parade through the 19th Ward, a very heavily Irish neighborhood, as you well know, and what do you think those southside hooligans are going to do when she walks her big swingin’ schwanz down Western Avenue?”

Patrick burst out laughing. “Lord that sound like a party to me!”

Jesus laughed with him, “Gee, do you think there might be some ‘shenanigans’ by the crowd at the parade that day? Maybe some signs calling her out? Some cat calls, hoots, and hollers and as your Irish like to say, “great craic” when big dick Lori strolls the avenue.”

Both now were rolling with laughter as God stood up and walked to the bar in his office. He smiled at Patrick, “The Irish are the greatest race I’ve ever created and this weekend we’re going to celebrate with music, dancing, and the great culture of the Irish, especially on the southside of Chicago, where all my favorite people come from as we laugh and cheer for this total doofus of a mayor. Pat, how about a pint?”

They clinked their glasses and laughed as Jesus said, ‘Slainte! To the Southside Irish of Chicago!”

St. Patrick took a big gulp of his porter and laughed, “We gotta invite Columbus to this too!

 

 

With Apologies to Finley Peter Dunne

The other night in a dream I was visited by the ghost of my ancient Irish mythological grandfather, Ferocious Frank O’Hooligan.
Frank was a Chicago cop, born in Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland back in 1939. Ferocious Frank O’Hooligan, was the seventh son of Finbar and Mary O’Hooligan. The family emigrated to Chicago in 1946 where Finbar opened a tavern on 79th Street, not far from Sheehy’s Funeral Home and Riley’s Trick Shop.
As a seventh son of a seventh son, Frank O’Hooligan was also blessed with the ancient Druid powers bestowed on the few favored of our race. Those powers came in handy at critical moments in his life.

Ferocious Frank was always a good man for a pint.

Once in 1963 while waiting in line to cash out his Christmas club account at the bank at 71st and Jeffrey, a pair of masked bandits entered with shotguns and demanded everyone empty their pockets and screamed for the tellers to hand over all the cash.
Frank used his Druid powers to magically turn the bad guys into braying donkeys and the guns dropped from their scrambling hooves as the alarm was sounded.
Stunned witnesses couldn’t remember exactly what happened that day but all were thankful that the off-duty Irish rookie cop had saved the day.
In my dream, Ferocious Frank appeared to me on the next stool at the Cork & Kerry Irish Pub in Bridgeport as we quaffed pints. He called me by my nickname as we discussed our beloved city of Chicago.
“Mr. Hooley! What’s this Lightfoot fella up to with the police?” he barked.
I told him, she’s not a fella, but just a diminutive lady with a little man’s complex.
Frank was upset, “Word is that this Mayor Lightfoot called the cops of Chicago, “cowards”
Well, many of the coppers have no faith in her Superintendent of Police, David Brown, and have voiced their feelings about him, and she said they are “cowards” according to the Sun-Times.
O’Hooligan scoffed, “Is she daft?”
Well, yeah kinda.
“How in the hell did she get elected?”
It’s a long story grandpa.
“And what’s all this blather about ‘defunding the police’”?
Yeah, it’s happening across the country, progressives want to replace the police with social workers to solve crime.
Ferocious Frank laughed, “Social workers? Do youse call a social worker when somebody is raping your daughter? Or stickin’ a gun in your face to hijack your car? And who the hell are these ‘progressives’ yer talkin’ about?”
Good government types who are hellbent on destroying the status quo, up is down, black is white, women are men, and men are eunuchs, and we’re all racists. We call them ‘goo-goos’!
“Goo-Goos is it? Dirty stinkin’ blagguards is more like it!”
Yeah, things are outta control, they’ve issued no days off for the cops, making them work round the clock, and when they do make a pinch, the scumbag walks out of the station five minutes later, on his own recognizance.
Murders and shootings are at an all-time high in the city, the violence is so bad in The Loop, and folks are so scared, it’s like a ghost town. Roving gangs of whacked out marauders have been descending on the stores and cleaning ‘em out of fur coats, clothes, tv sets, looting is practically legal.
“Bejazus! What does Mayor Napoleon say about ‘dat?”
She says the stores should have hired their own private security guards.
“It’s a nightmare! My Chicago has given way to the tossers and blagguards! This would never be happening if Mayor Richard J.Daley was still running things!”
Yeah, a couple ‘shoot to kill’ orders might straighten the whole mess out. But he’s dead and we are stuck with this little tyrant who thinks everything is just jake. The Loop is a cesspool, almost empty because of all the violence.
“But why Mr. Hooley? Why piss off the police? Those are the LAST guys any mayor should want to fight with, they’re the only line that stands against the evil feens of this world!”
Things are different now grandpa, we’re living in a world gone mad.
“Ah bejazus Mr. Hooley, yer startin’ to depress me with all this talk of ‘defund the police’, goo-goos, and your murderin’ midget mayor!”
Say I meant to ask you grandpa, do you ever see Mayor Daley up there in heaven?
“Uh ho, did I say I went to heaven, me boyo?”
I just assumed.
“Assume your sister!”
Well grandpa, there is one ray of sunshine in Chicago lately.

“Ah that’s better me bucko, tell me something good is happenin’ now in my windy city, what is it?”

Chicago’s 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen Kelley Leyden CPD.

The Queen of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is a young Irish American cop, a darlin’ young female police officer named Kelley Leyden.
“Now that’s worth comin’ up here to hear. Good to see the Plumbers Local 130 is still doing good things for our city. God bless her, long may she reign!

Break out the Bobble-heads!

Rob Holt, AKA “Cane Guy”

Chicago White Sox Director of Public Relations, Sheena Quinn, hit a home run this week with the announcement of their latest bobble head, “Cane-Guy”. This is the best news since the announcement of Minnie Minoso finally being inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Cane-Guy” is Northbrook’s Rob Holt, the rabid septuagenarian White Sox fan who put the zammo on the Houston Astros pitchers in the later innings of the Sox only win in the ALDS play-offs last October. Our Sox were down 3-1 when “Cane-guy” went to work, hexing 16 batters to strike out and delivering a final 12-6 triumph for our Southsiders.

With a “something wicked this way comes” expression, Holt cast his spell; waving his cane eerily like the wizard he is from his front row seats behind home plate. It worked, if only for that one game but Holt and the TV cameras had created a sensation.

“Cane-guy” became the talk of the town, a beloved bewitcher caught on camera electrifying the crowd and earning the Sox a victory that night. Holt was invited back for the next game but alas the magic could not last, and the Astros went on to later lose the World Series to Atlanta in five games.

Some “scientists” have claimed that Cane guy needs to work on his aim, insisting the fates misinterpreted Cane Guy’s evil eye and transported it to the Travis Scott audience at Astro World last November 5th, resulting in a mass stampede that killed eight audience members and effectively ended Scott’s career as a rapper.

Bringing “Cane-Guy” back as a bobble head is brilliant PR amid our winter malaise, especially since the White Sox convention has been canceled due to Covid.

Sure hope Cane guy is back next season but let’s keep an eye out for other bobble head opportunities.

We didn’t have bobble head dolls for kids when I was a lad. Oh, sure we had GI Joe and J Fred Muggs but when this precocious pre-teenager asked for an anatomically correct Barbie doll, mom smacked me in the mouth.

My seven-year-old grandson Mikey isn’t so much into bobble heads as he is into action figures, with a decidedly horror film bent. This Christmas he assembled a rogue’s gallery of these characters including Chucky, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger from Friday the 13th, and Ghostface from Scream.

I first learned of his propensity for horror characters one day when Mikey and I were picking up some cheap milk at Aldi and the fat weirdo behind us in line had a “Pennywise” t-shirt and a creepy pedophile grin for my grandson when Mikey recognized the character on his shirt. Yikes.

Those action figure collectibles run about forty bucks a piece so we’re trying to wean the kid off Horror movie heroes.

With our city murder rate climbing daily and the bubbling cauldron of violence, poverty, Covid mania, and media hysteria, maybe it’s time for a Mayor Lori Lightfoot Bobble head doll.

A Lori Lightfoot bobble head in Chicago could cause quite a profitable little niche for our city treasury in this time of need. Of course, our politicians would be jumping on that to grease the wheels for bobble head contracts, just like the red-light cameras we’ve grown to hate, spewing indictments all along the way.

A Lightfoot bobble head in your rear window could be the perfect signal to anybody thinking about pulling you over, whether cops or car jackers.

I know the Lori Lightfoot bobblehead would be the perfect gift for my friend, FOP President John Catanzara. He’d be sticking pins in that for sure.

But of all the future bobble head inspirations I guess the best would have to be the 2021 Jusslie Smollet bobble head. Kids could have fun staging the fake racial hate crime, and maybe even bring in brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo as they pretend to jump Jussie on Lower Wacker and throw a noose around his scrawny neck.

Action figure Jussie.

We could even create a Kim Foxx bobble head to come in at the end to try and get him off!

The piece de resistance would be to bring in Cane Guy at the end to zap them all with his White Sox Mojo.

Rahm in Ireland, YIKES!

A friend of mine in Galway sent me a link to an article in his local paper the other day. The story was about Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel visiting Ireland next week, and in particular Galway and how he was leading a group of 30 dignitaries with him. I almost puked at the thought of this phony, little twit grandstanding in Ireland as if he was someone who should be so honored. I have news for you Galway, that man is pure evil and has reigned over the complete destruction of Chicago’s good name over the last eight years as murder and shooting stats have risen in the blood soaked streets of this once great city. And what has Mayor Emanuel done to stem the tide of violence? Not a feckin’ thing.

Wake up Ireland, read my book! I worked for Rahm’s strongest challenger in the last election and have catalogued the crimes of the “tiny dancer”. If you want the inside story of dirty politics in Chicago, it’s all here in NOTHIN’S ON THE SQUARE. Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Nothins-Square-Mayoral-Campaign-History/dp/1619847205

Or if you’re looking for an autographed copy of the book, https://abbeyfealepress.com/

It’s a quick read and you will feel like the proverbial fly on the wall as you get a glimpse of the back room politics in action and the misdeeds of the “nine-fingered ballerina” known as Rahm.

But don’t take my word for it, listen to Chicago Tribune’s John Kass, who said, Good read by a great storyteller. Houli knows what he’s doing. This is a very good book. It was fascinating, you have to know about this book. He tells everything! He pisses people off that are friends of mine…and his! The stuff Houlihan puts out in the book, you can see how campaigns actually work. He’s an expert at that. I want you to go buy this book!

Or WGN Radio and Tribune columnist Rick Kogan, who called it, A deep dive into the wicked and wacky world of Chicago politics with a man who knows the score. An incisive, rollicking, intimate trip. Mike Houlihan is a raconteur of the first order. This is a remarkably tough look at his involvement in the last mayoral election. He minces no words here… taking on politicians, media types, and a lot of other folks. This is a unique and essential Chicago book.”

Or Tribune political columnist and political radio analyst Rick Pearson, who said it’s, Just a fun, rollicking ride of a book, which says a lot about Chicago politics. For someone who doesn’t live and breathe and follow politics it’s an excellent kind of primer, virtually no one is unscathed in this thing, I laughed when I first read it. It’s all about the various deals and side deals plus elements of a political campaign and of a street campaign. This is a good way to get into what politics IS, and how it’s still played and how it has always been played. It’s such a great inside look of truly how a campaign runs and how the campaign operatives are and the personalities that are involved.

And for those of you in Galway next week, when you see the “nine-digit midget” ask him if he’s read it, right before you shove his phony ass into the Galway Bay.

Houli’s new book is on the street!

Hi everybody, it’s been awhile since I posted anything. Actually almost a year! But now I am back! Yeah, with a vengeance, ha ha. Wanted to let everybody know my new book, NOTHIN’S ON THE SQUARE, 82 Days on the Mayoral Campaign Trail, Making History in Chicago 2015, is now out and ready to read. You can get the book on Amazon, or do yourself a favor and go to http://abbeyfealepress.com and get a signed copy shipped by priority mail to you and yours. Here’s a little teaser, from the book.

PROLOGUE

I think I was in fifth or sixth grade, like 1959, when I met Mayor Richard J. Daley. I was standing by the side door of Christ the King Catholic Church on 93rd Street between Hamilton and Hoyne on the South Side of Chicago. I was with my crew of guys, loitering outside before nine o’clock Sunday mass started, spitting hockers over the bushes, hands in pockets, being wise guys, corner boys. A black car pulled up on 93rd Street and three men got out wearing suits and hats.

We gazed at them as if they were just a couple more parents heading to mass and then we were stunned by the presence of the Mayor of Chicago. To our young eyes he might as well have been e Lord God Almighty himself in our midst.

We were frozen with fear and looked at each other with our eyes bugging out. The  Mare doffed his hat as he skipped up the three steps to the doors and one of his guys held the door for him. I blurted out, “Hey Mare, how’s it goin’?”

“Hi ya fellas.”
Huge grins broke out on our faces as we all answered Hizzoner. “Hi Mayor!”
“Hiya Mayor Daley!”
“ Thanks for coming to our parish!”
“We’re White Sox fans!”
He gave a little wave as he walked through the door and all of us started going nuts, incredulous at what had just happened on the steps of CK, our parish.

His name was revered in all our homes. Our parents loved him. And so did we. He was an Irish Catholic from the South Side of Chicago. Richard J. Daley was one of us.

I was living in New York City when he died, but my world still stopped when I heard the news.

I missed the whole Mike Bilandic tenure and the Jane Byrne circus while living on the East Coast, but heard enough about her from my brother, Danny, who was sort of in her cabinet.

I had moved back to Chicago during the reign of Mayor Harold Washington, a colorful and folksy mayor who I enjoyed watching, until he died on Thanksgiving weekend of 1987. Eugene Sawyer served a couple of unremarkable years as Mayor but he never looked the part.

Then Daley’s son Richard M. Daley was elected in 1989 and served even longer than his dad, when he retired in 2011.

Chicago always felt right for me with a Daley on the Fifth Floor. Rich Daley certainly wasn’t anything like his old man, but he was still an Irish Catholic from the South Side.

Young Daley was a modern big city mayor, for better or worse. Shakman and a shitload of other crybabies had kinked up the old school pols that used to run this city, and many of them went to jail. But word was that Daley had cut a deal and the heir apparent was a short, cocky Clintonion, who would become Chicago’s First Jewish Mayor, Rahm Emanuel

He was not one of us.

***

Okay, pick up the book if you want to read what happens next! Here’s the back cover with some blurbs.

Irish American News Column April 2015

Chuy St. RitaHooliganism

By

Mike Houlihan

After watching the mayoral race for the last six weeks, I wish St. Patrick could jump forward in a time machine and rid us of the reptiles in Chicago politics.

He wasn’t the most articulate dude in the bunch, but I think Dr. Willie Wilson got it right when he called an opponent, “an old snake in a new skin.”

On Tuesday April 7th Chicago will make a decision between the “devil we know” and Jesus Chuy Garcia.

How do you feel after four years of watching a generation of young black men murder each other, as well as innocent kids, just standing on the corner? How do you feel about the school closings and teacher strikes and crooked crime stats? Rigged red light cameras and soaring water bills?

Do you think it’s going to get any better? Are you scared? You should be.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.”

Maybe it’s time to saddle up, like the Saint Patrick’s battalion in the Mexican American War of 1846-48, Los San Patricios. They were mostly Irishmen who had fled the famine in Ireland, came to America and suffered anti-Catholic bigotry in the US Army. They heard the bells of the Angelus calling them to fight for Mexico and they defected. They heard the words of their leader, John Riley, when he told them, “A more hospitable and friendly people than the Mexican there exists not on the face of the earth…especially to an Irishman.”

I met Chuy Garcia on Super Bowl Sunday as he hit fourteen bars in a record-breaking blizzard, campaigning up and down Western Avenue. He proudly wore his St. Rita Mustang hoodie and wherever we went Chicago Irish men and women warmly welcomed him.

I’m a pretty good judge of character. I can spot a phony at fifty yards and my BS detector is a finely tuned instrument of discernment. This guy is an honest and honorable hombre.

Chuy wants what’s best for Chicago, not the ruling class.

Skeptics may scoff but I like to think of the words of the late, great Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

History says, don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that further shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracle

And cures and healing wells.

Sure it’s a long shot, but in a fight like this, my money is always gonna be on the guy named Jesus. Please vote for Chuy Garcia on Tuesday April 7th.