Cicero festival promises safe 'normal bulls,' but here's a better idea

Naturally, I kept hinting about my idea, guaranteed to bring in cash.

"What's your idea?" Dickens asked, finally.

You take a bunch of politicians, dress them in blue suits, white shirts and red ties, then you bind their hands behind their backs and put them in a pit.

Dickens waited, saying nothing.

Then, I said, you throw the rats in.

More silence.

And then, I said, we bet on how many rats the politicians can kill with their teeth alone.

Don't look at me that way. "Rat baiting" was a popular English betting game a few centuries ago. It might be worth considering in Illinois, which is increasingly turning to gaming to squeeze taxpayers to pay for government.

But don't worry — no matter how vicious rats can be, they quiver at the sight of a politician.

"Wow," Dickens said. "That sounds like an event. But won't you need the aldermen to give approval for that?"

Hmm. He has a point. And once the People Who Love Rats hear about it, they'll become incensed.

So I've came up with an alternative.

Rat throwing.

Just have the politicians use their teeth to grab the rats. All they've got to do is toss the rats out of the ring, and the crowd will bet on the number of rats tossed.

Overly chewed rats will count against the point total.

Our state legislators have particularly strong necks, and I suppose they could throw a rat 10 feet with the strength of their neck muscles alone.

If you don't like that one, how about The Running of the Taxpayers?

Here's how it works:

Promoters invite all state constitutional officers, all the legislators, the Chicago aldermen, the county board members from the entire metropolitan area, and let them drink beer out on the racetrack.

Then we take a like number of taxpayers, and attach wooden horns to their heads with Velcro. Somebody blows a trumpet, and the chase begins. If the politicians escape the racetrack, our taxpayers will chase them through the streets of Cicero for an authentic Spanish-style experience.

I promise this will be loads of fun.

And then we reach for the tomatoes.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

CHICAGO

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