Ok, we get it: you’re finally worried.

Messieurs Bush and Allen:

We know you’re worried about New Orleans. It took you a while to get to that point, but whatever: you’re there now.

We know you’re particularly concerned about the possibility of another hurricane ravaging the city like an Ostrogoth on shore leave. You’re afraid New Orleanians are gonna bum rush the place and never evacuate again, no matter how many atmospheric disturbances head our way. Trust me, though: you’ve got nothing to worry about.

I mean, yeah, we all want to get back. Whether it’s to salvage belongings from the muck or to pack up and move to Des Moines or to turn on the a/c and start living a semi-normal life in America’s most amazing city, we want to go home. We’ve been away for three weeks now, which doesn’t sound too long, but remember: none of us were prepared for this. Three weeks would’ve been fine if we’d seen it coming; we could’ve packed and taken care of loose ends and brought necessary provisions. But that’s not the way it went. We left in a hurry, thinking that, like always, we’d be back in a couple of days. Twenty-one days is a long time to live in the same three t-shirts and two pairs of shorts.

That said, we’re not stupid. Lots of us–especially yours truly–are pretty nonchalant about hurricanes, but we know when to hit the road. We’ve done nothing but watch CNN since Katrina blew through, and we understand how bad things can get in our beautiful, fragile, resilient city.

What I’m trying to say is this: the New Orleanaise know all too well that our barely functional utilities would be dealt a serious setback by another hurricane. We know that the levee system is currently being held together with chewing gum and scotch tape. We know that if Al Copeland were to cruise the lakefront right now in one of his oh-god-my-penis-is-tiny speedboats, the wake would probably breach both sides of the 17th Street Canal. Believe me when I say that if we see something coming–even a measly category one storm–we’re hittin’ the road, bitch.

So, let us in for now. Don’t think we can find our way back out.

Gaily yours,
Richard

13 Comments so far

  1. Jack Ware (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    Well said. I especially like the reference to the half-a-roll-of-dimes that motivates Mr. Copeland to purchase nautical equipment. I do think it’s a little premature (no offense again Al) to be too concerned about Rita. She’s too far out right now to have a reliable track. I’m sure we’ll know more in a couple of days, but it is worth keeping an eye on.


  2. Craig (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 4:27 pm

    We’re kinda in the same holding pattern — waiting to see what Rita does and doing some important family stuff. We’ve had to focus on some other things besides going back, at least in the short term.

    Part of the reason for our impatience (or self-centeredness, according to some) is we’re also very eager to see in what new ways the city develops. We’re excited and optimistic.


  3. Lance (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

    Now we’re in Atlanta. Everyone wonders why we want to return to New Orleans, and these are people who’ve lived in the Big Easy at some point in their lives.

    My point is – I love the city. Born and raised there (mostly uptown). I don’t care what the Gulf throws at us, I’ll be there to face it, and if necessary run from it.

    Other places may have this and they may have that but they don’t have soul and New Orleans has plenty of soul – even in a nearly empty city.

    See you at home…


  4. Linda (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 11:00 pm

    I don’t live in New Orleans…but have visited it twice. I do know…from living in New York a couple of times…visiting and living…well as much as you love a place when you visit…it is no comparison to living in it. I live in California and we flirt with earthquakes every day. We don’t have warning…but we stay. I was born and raised here…and I stay. People ask what New Orleans has. Almost makes me sad if they have never experienced it. Its not the party atmosphere…although that can and has been fun for me. What it is…is the same feeling I got when I first went to New York. Its a feeling that you can’t describe. You either feel it…or you don’t. Enough said because anyone who has ever felt it about a City understands. I understand your wanting to move back and discover how the city will evolve. As for everyone’s concern for you…accept it. Its not meant in a bad way like we don’t think you can think for yourself or that maybe you haven’t given it enough thought. I think you have…but like some of the others…go back home…check out the damage…salvage what you can and fix what you can in short term…and then let things settle. Just a little…I’m not talking about wait for the city to be rebuilt. If ya have running water, etc. go ahead…go back. If you don’t…hold off a little. Would be sad to survive the hurricane and then not survive the rebuilding???? You guys…good luck to you whatever you decide. I understand the need and desire to return home and rebuild.


  5. Raymond Majewski (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 1:13 am

    I’m with you on this one. I don’t live there, but a disaster can happen anywhere. New Orleans may be below sea level, making them vulnerable, but then there’s San Francisco sitting on a fault, Oklahoma towns in the middle of tornado alley, and so forth. One thing that this disaster should teach us is that we can not take anything for granted. Just take it slow, and cherish the memories of the past (those before Katrina struck) with a hope for the future. It’s going to be a long while before anything gets back to normal down there, but it will slowly progress into a better condition. And I would be cautious but not worry about Rita until they stipulate that its path is heading your way. Right now, they aren’t sure, but there’s no need to scare everyone, either.

    — Ray M —


  6. BickDickDaddy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 6:23 pm

    i think you all need to wait it out. if your local and state have planed for this none of this would have happiend. And if over the past years spent the money to repair and or upgrade the levees instead of spending the millions of dollars they recived to fix the levee problem on other things like casnos and new houses for local and state goverment and a lot in there pockets none of this would have happiend. You guys voted Mayor Nagin in and he left you there to die. what kind of leader is that? And Govenor Blanco would not let the feds and redcross in to help people. And one thing is really wier on this hole thing. Is why did the levees break a day later and resendents living next to them hearing several explosings before the levees broke? Sounds like a setup to me cause the mayor and Govenor got the hell out of there and half the police force split. sounds like this hole thing was planed and aimed at the poor people. Sounds like they wanted to wipe out poverty. And they did. now when they rebuild people wont be able to aford the houses. Think about it real hard. And why wont the locals let people in to do an investagation on the levees. Police shot 4 people by there. so whats realy going on. if i was you guys i would demand answer now before the shit get covered up and swept under the carpet.


  7. Tasha Sallie (unregistered) on September 28th, 2005 @ 2:19 pm

    BICKDICKDADDY, you need to check your information source. The people of New Orleans, Louisiana, and researchers, have for years been telling the fed gov that the levees would only hold under a Cat3 or less hurricane. The fed gov wouldn’t front the money needed to fix the levees, which by the way, they are shelling out now anyway. Yes, the responsibility falls on all levels of gov, local, state, and federal.

    This was not a plan to wipe out poverty. That idea sounds stupid. The levees broke under mounting pressure from the water, which by the way “mounting” means “building up” and that takes time. That is why the levees didn’t break during the storm and it was day(s) after.

    There was an evacuation because a Cat4/5 hurricane was coming, do you think the Mayor and Governor should have stayed? Would you have stayed? Then you would have said they were “crazy” like you did the other people who stayed. In fact, Mayor Nagin came back immediately after the hurricane.

    What everyone has failed to realize is that this sort of thing (natural disaster) has been happening for years, and it is because God allowed it. Nobody wants to discuss this. There were so many sinful things going on along the Gulf Coast. This catastrophe has revealed alot of things. From just how far our Nation hasn’t come to how far we have yet to go, poverty, preparedness, etc. To our spiritual levels and beliefs in God. He is angry and hurt over the things His people do and continue to do. And when he takes His hand off us, things happen to us and around us that we couldn’t fathom. Until we take God seriously and heed his Word, we will continue to experience tragedies of this magnitude.


  8. deziree (unregistered) on October 25th, 2005 @ 9:34 am

    well i have to do a report on hurricane katrina so e-mail me and tell me a site about katrina and what it did to the levees because home work is homw work and so i have to do it but yeah hurricane katrina hurt alot of people…


  9. tman (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 1:55 pm

    for the past two months me and my family have been living in the saintsville shelter at 8390 Plank rd. And ever since we have been liveng at the shelter, we have been restrained from all of the donations from redcross. There is a seriously shady business going on with all of the donations that should have been distributed. It is involving many of the leaders under the Saintsville Church of God in Christ. All of the donations are being kept locked up in the gym facility. We need basic things like clothes and shoes. All of the trucks that have been delivering these donations were unloaded behind the gym and kept from all the real hurricane victims. If anyone reads this, I ask dearly that you report this to the redcross organizations. The F.B.I. the C.I.A. the I.R.S. and whoever else can help capture the thieves behind all of this mess.


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