By Stan Silliman
SAMMY’S ALL CORKED UP
Sammy Sosa is dining at one of his favorite Chicago haunts – The Cork and La Patata - – an Irish/Spanish bistro on Wacker Drive. His waiter – Corcho “Corky” O’Malley – offers condolences to Sammy for the events of recent days. “Some people,” says O’Malley, “do not know the real Sammy Sosa as I do.”
“If they know the real you, they know you do not cheat. They know you have a heart as big as Lake Michigan.”
“Gracias, amigo.” Sammy signals two fingers from the heart to his lips.
A strolling mariachi band swings by. The bagpipe looks out of place.
“What pleases you to start today?” asks O’Malley.
“Antes de nada (First of all) I start with the Cork Salad con Salsa.”
“Cork salad con salsa for Sosa?” O’Malley has fun with the order, repeating it over and over as he heads back to the kitchen. “Cork salad con salsa for Sosa, salad con salsa for Sosa.”
“What did he say, Sonia? Salsa for Sosa? Nah.” Sammy asks as Sonia, his wife, returns to the table.
The Mariachi Band is playing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” This time the bagpipe shines. In honor of their favorite guest they change the title of the following song to “Oh, Sammy Boy.”
“Oh, Sammy Boy… the pipes, the pipes are calling. From Glen to glen… you had a practice bat. It came from Cork and all the flowers are dying…. Oh, Sammy Boy…”
“What was that song?” Sammy asks his wife Sonia, not sure he heard right.
Other entertainers are coming to the stage as the mariachi band takes a break. It’s usually a mix of Spanish and Irish music and limericks. Tonight a trio of Cuban gals – Las Sacacorchos - (the Corkscrews) – celebrate their new release Ponga un Corcho en Su Boca. (Put a Cork in it).
Sammy is pleased to see this Cuban group. They start singing “You talk too much. You talk too much. Hablas demasiado. Hablas demasiado. Ponga un corcho en su boca.”
“What did I hear?” Sammy asks Sonia as Corky O’Malley brings his cork salad con salsa.
“And for your main course may I recommend South American Bat? Sixteen inch wingspan served with Irish potatoes. It is very good with Guinness.”
“How is it cooked?” asks Sammy.
“Either blackened or grilled over cork.”
“Grilled over cork? That sounds delicious - South American Corked Bat - I’ll take it.”
The Cuban band has left the stage and the limerick master has replaced them. He starts with Sammy’s favorite: “There was a young man from Cork. His….”
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