Another one does not bite the dust

A Jefferson Parish man tried to commit suicide Thursday morning by jumping off the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway but was rescued by the Coast Guard, authorities said….

The man, whose name was not released, apparently parked his car in the first crossover on the northbound bridge about 8:10 a.m., got out and jumped over the side, Causeway Police Lt. Curt Franz said. A maintenance worker saw the man jump off the crossover, which is about 15 to 20 feet above the water, and called police….

Police tried to rescue the man by throwing him a life ring, but he twice evaded the flotation device and swam about 300 yards away from the bridge through 2-foot chop, Franz said.

Dear Unnamed Suicidal Person:

As an environmentally conscious citizen, I appreciate your desire to reduce the world’s population. Clearly, overcrowding is an area of eco-concern in which one person really can make a difference.

However, in reviewing your case, I think I have identified several issues you ought to resolve before taking one for the Gipper again. Trust me: I’m a consultant. I know what I’m talking about.

1. Choose a different time of day: The sun is a cruel and mercurial mistress. In California, she provides solar power for homes, but in Florida she causes skin cancer. Here in Louisiana, she provides light to see, but in doing so, she also encourages complete strangers to get all up in your business–and by “strangers” I mean pesky Causeway maintenance workers. I’d recommend carrying out your plan at 2am. Just to be on the safe side, do it on a night with no moon. April 5 and 6 look great, fyi.

2. Choose a higher jumping-off point: I mean, let’s face it: 15 or 20 feet is basically the high dive at most swimming pools. Increasing the distance between you and the water will increase your chances for success–and as an added bonus, you’ll have a far more scenic view of the world you’re leaving behind. Consider using the Crescent City Connection, or the Huey P. Long, or even the Luling bridge in St. Charles Parish. South Louisiana has a longstanding love affair with bridges and is chock-full of possibilities! However, if those options seem daunting, you could also just look around your house for items to lift you higher off the Causeway deck. That 12-foot ladder gathering dust in the garage will nearly double your odds!

3. Lose your ability to swim: That way, even if you survive the drop, you’re still in good shape. It may seem difficult, but people unlearn how to swim all the time. Try watching another person drown; in the movies, that always causes some kind of mental block that does the trick. At the very least you should stop being such a strong swimmer. Swimming 300 feet in a two-foot chop kinda puts you in Aquaman territory. Ease up on that.

4. Consider other options: If you’re unable to carry out my first three suggestions but remain committed to the idea of jumping, try landing on your stomach; a good, hard belly-flop always stunned us when we were kids. Or eat a very large meal before jumping–possibly an anvil, or several pounds of cement. And although you’re clearly attracted to the water, don’t overlook the appeal of office towers and the sidewalks below them. Believe it or not, they have a far better track record of population reduction than bridges and water.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this food for thought. I wish you all the best for the future. And if your first attempt was just a vain cry for help, and if it effects some kind of longed-for reconciliation between you and your teenage bride, don’t worry: you can always come back to this project later, after she runs off with the bouncer at the strip club she’s working in Kenner. It’s never too late!


2 Comments so far

  1. billy on March 21st, 2008 @ 11:08 am


  2. termite on March 21st, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

    Dear Unnamed Suicidal Person:

    May i suggest a flamboyant jump into one of the bonfires on the levee?

    Now that would get’me. yep.

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