Michael “Mickey” Finn was a notorious saloonkeeper in Chicago circa 1900. At the time of his arrest and trial in 1903, he was employed at the Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden Restaurant on South State Street near the “Loop.” He was accused of doctoring some customers’ drinks so that they could be robbed. Doctoring a drink became known as slipping someone a Mickey or a Mickey Finn. The practice was continued by others in Chicago, and in 1918, four people were arrested for selling “Mickey Finn powder” to waiters who put it in the food and drinks of poor tipping customers.
My father, resident of the near westside, reached drinking age around 1910. To celebrate his first taste of alcohol and to play a prank on him, some friends slipped a Mickey into his drink. The Mickey made him very, very ill and once he recovered, he could not stand the sight of an alcoholic beverage. My father was the only one on his side of the family who was not a social drinker. He lived for more than 50 additional years and never touched a drop of alcohol. That was a very effective and cruel example of aversion therapy.
In November 2010, the nation decided to endure a treatment of aversion therapy that will last for exactly two years. The treatment will be administered by the Republican Party in Congress. All of us, except the wealthy and their agents, are going to suffer greatly. The patient will survive this treatment and live to prosper again after the 2012 election. The patient, the nation, all of us, will be taught never to vote for Republicans again, at least for one generation, and possibly two. I can see a bright light at the end of the tunnel, a landslide re-election of President Obama and his supporters. The Party of Lincoln may disappear or find it necessary to re-brand itself as the party of responsible conservatives. Too late.