Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Red Cross Garden District branch

Incongruous scene: A Red Cross truck slowly cruising the Garden District asking people if they need any food. I bet you didn't know that the Red Cross had a Garden District branch! What? Try the lower Ninth Ward baby - just go over to the Irish Channel, or Mid-City, or Gentilly. Anywhere but the Garden District. I don't think the lips of any of those people have ever even touched a hot dog. We won't even speak of plastic utensils. I suppose some people who come down here from the 'burbs think anyone who lives in an old house must be poor.

Which reminds me (speaking of the Red Cross burning through money they don't have), I was talking to a couple of Red Cross volunteers from Massachusetts over the weekend. They were, indeed, volunteers, as are the majority of good people (and I do respect their service) in the Red Cross. They were puzzled, however, when they signed up to volunteer, and instead of being given a bus ticket, or carpooling it, they were given airline tickets, purchased three days before their departure. They probably figured right that tickets purchased so close to the date of departure are very expensive. Now, I don't know -- I suppose it's possible that the airlines donate tickets, but I kinda doubt it, since they'd be giving away hundreds, if not thousands of tickets to people traveling to all parts of the Gulf Coast.

I know some people will find some problems with my particular vindictiveness in this next bit, but here goes.

Very obnoxious guy talking in a coffee shop while I'm trying to think and work -- he must have convinced himself that his run-on pronouncements and random drivel is so important that the whole room wants to hear what he has to say. The guy he cornered never even got a cup of coffee when he finally left. Anyway, obnoxious guy is talking about how New Orleans affected everyone about the same. He's talking about Lakeview residents being middle class (yes, true, many are, but not all). He calls himself middle class. Then he says in a matter of fact tone, "well, basically, everyone here is middle class." Huh? What? You ever bin to the 'hood man? You ever go down to the Nint' Ward? Eight' Ward? Cent'ral City. You ever go down to da parish. Hey, just look around a little bit out there by Lakeview - okay, let's just say the larger Lakeview area -- I would guess that a lot of those people are not middle class -- they're just scraping by. Not everyone goes out there just to get to the Yacht Club. You see, the problem isn't universal (I'm always corrected about this), but some wealthy people have it so easy in life -- find that money is just thrown at them -- that they think everyone must live the same way they do. Just consider for a moment the fact that the person obnoxious guy cornered evacuated to New York. Well, out of the blue, some connection he has, contacted his "agent," about him going back to New Orleans to write some columns about Hurricane Katrina for The New York Times. So, now he's written fifteen columns. But as I evesdropped on the conversation, I wanted to interject with some errors of omission in his understanding of why the levee systems were breached. The point is, I don't know many people who 1) have an agent, and who 2) just get the odd call to write columns for The New York Times. Now it may be that he's a recognized writer, etc., etc., but I talked to him afterwards and he admitted he wasn't a journalist and didn't really know what he was doing. Just dumb luck I guess. As for obnoxious guy, like many people in New Orleans, he's probably living off of the rent from the real estate he inherited, or his parents left him a big trust fund.

Finally, among the mundane things about life in New Orleans, thank God for the cold snap. It seems to have taken care of the hungry mosquitos, flesh-eating flies, and those pesky gnats that kept freezing themselves at the bottom of the refrigerator.


At 11/22/2005 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

No, you have a point about the greedy Haves. I think they're the scum - unthinking bastards.


Spitting in a Wishing Well

At 11/22/2005 05:58:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Well now, feel free to speak freely here. There's no reason to be shy.

At 11/22/2005 06:06:00 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

Oh, and,

You know you're from Louisiana if:

* you know what 'cold snap' means



Spitting in a Wishing Well

At 11/23/2005 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cent'ral City."
Uh, what's that apostrophe for? The extra "e" that you yankees usually use in the word "central"?

-a greedy, unthinking Have

At 11/23/2005 11:19:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

What are you, a linguist? Das da way me n' my homies talk.


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