Semi-fictional everyman character (some say Royko's alter ego) frequently appearing in newspaper columns by Mike Royko. Slats (from "a kick in the slats") was a palooka from the Polish neighborhoods of Chicago. He spent all his time in taverns (especially Billy Goats) drinking beer, playing 16-inch softball and watching sports on TV... which gave him plenty of spare time for making political and social commentary. He appears in the title of one of Royko's books of collected columns: Slats Grobnik and Some Other Friends.

Memorable Slats quotes:

On OJ Simpson selling his video after the trial was over: "Hey, a guy's got to make a living. What do you want him to do -- apply for unemployment comp? Like he says -- he wants to get on with his life, which is the best thing to do with your life until you croak."

On being told by someone chirpy that "after the storm there comes the rainbow", "No, stupid, after the storm there comes the flooded basement."

"If nature wanted us to smile all the time, then we would have been born with our heads upside-down."

See also: Royko's Doctor I. M. Kookie, Jimmy Breslin's Fat Thomas

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