Does this idea have a leg to stand on?

Donkey transportation could be made to order for Chicago

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass proposes a different, safer way of commuting around the city. (Posted on: Aug. 15, 2013)

If there's one steaming pile of aggravation in our big American cities, it's that pesky transportation issue.

Government taxes keep gas prices ridiculously high. Cars and bikes are in fierce competition for shrinking driving space. Mayors sucking up to the hipster vote spend millions on bike lanes, while removing car lanes. Yet come winter, the bike lanes are virtually empty, a waste of space and resources.

We have idiotic motorists who drive while texting and refuse to give bicyclists a break. And we have stoner bike people who refuse to obey traffic laws and give you the finger when you beep.

A blind man could see the bad juju out on our roads.

But I've got a solution for safe and sustainable transportation.

Donkeys.

Yes, donkeys.

If we just get rid of those deadly bikes and carbon-spewing cars, we could ride donkeys.

We'll ride safely — without ever fear of crashing — commuting to and from work and on to recreational events involving beer.

"If your Mayor Rahm and your city fathers up there didn't throw a fit about having livestock in the city, it would work just fine," said Bill Garrett, the famed donkey breeder and rancher from Stilwell, Okla., and owner of Garrett Mammoth Jackstock.

"If the politicians get out of the way, the donkeys would make this work," he told me.

The donkey is the symbol of Chicago's political elite. But unlike our aldermen and mayor, most donkeys are nice. And that myth about donkeys being stubborn is a lie. They're not stubborn. They're smart. They just won't take stupid chances.

"They will take up with you and become your best friend if they're treated properly," he said. "And if they know they'll get something free, they'll line up and be your buddy. Most of our donkeys, a sugar cube, any kind of cookie will do and they will be your loyal friend."

My favorite part, besides the affection, is the obvious: There will no longer be any need for a designated driver.

You can exit a tavern in the middle of the night, totter over to your donkey, get on its back and he'll take you home without incident.

You won't even have to pay attention. Just look at the moon, smile and sing the famed Italian Christmas song "Dominick the Donkey" or any other jaunty tune of your choice.

Donkeys always know the way home. And their clopping gait is soothing.

They're too smart and sure-footed to crash into each other. You can text and who'll care? They're cheap, efficient and reportedly make good watchdogs.

But what about the mess, you ask?

We might burn their leavings as sustainable fuel that's even more reliable than solar panels. All I need is a White House connection and I'll be rich.

CHICAGO

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