Friday, February 10, 2006
Markus for Mayor of NOLA!
In the spirit of Mr. Dial, on my way out of North Dakota I'll pick up one of those big Bombardier caterpillar things they use up in Canada, and drive it around town like Dial on his bicycle. My slogan will be "Ready for Any Emergency".
I will wear my auto-inflating PFD with offshore quality safety harness at all times, and the waders I used for launching my boat in the frigid waters of May in upper Minnesota. I will demonstrate proper usage of the self-inflating PDF every Friday evening in Mardi Gras Fountain during the city-sponsored Bubble Hour beer blast.
In the spirit of the entire charette process, I will reorganize our city government along the most decentralized basis, starting with Cuban-inspired, neighborhood-level Committees For The Defense of Our Parking Places. These committees will be the main agency of government. In addition to maintaining the garbage can barricades, these committees will be empowered to convert contractor's vehicles parked on the sidewalk into spare parts that the city will then sell to Emeril's cousin Vinny in New Jersey for a tidy profit.
These committees may keep a portion of the proceeds of these sales to cold-fill the potholes in their neighborhoods, or convert those same potholes into lagoons stocked with sport fish, at their discretion. They will also have sign-off on all zoning matters, and the issuance of permits for construction and renovation. Consideration of the quality of your Christmas display, how much space you take up when you park and how well you tie up your garbage will be allowed to enter into their deliberations. So be nice.
Due to the failure of the levees, we will henceforth refer to them as dikes, which will give them that Dutch cachet we are all striving for. I will replace the levee board with the Queen of Dikes, to be selected at Lundi Gras every leap year based on who gets the golden Harley-Davidson charm in the king cake. She will be given the right to mint coin and print reasonable facsimiles of federal currency and to impress federal contractors as required in the maintenance of flood protection.
Her royal consort the King of the Ferries will take control of all means of mass transportation, including the Regional Transit Authority, the Canal Street and Jackson Avenue ferries, the Rocket V-8 Cab Company, and the Greater New Orleans Bridge. He will greet every boat and bus arriving from the West Bank, and be empowered to conduct full strip and cavity searches of everyone arriving from over there, to make sure they are not the wrong sort of element.
The bridges, you may note, will no longer be called the Crescent City Connection, but will revert to the proper name, even though there are now two of them. If you don’t like the fact that New Orleans is in the name, why do you tell everyone when you’re out of town that you’re from New Orleans? You are not. You are from Marrero.
In this vein, anyone who wishes to enter the Ninth Ward to protest the ethnic cleansing of New Orleans will no longer be admitted from the Orleans Parish side, but will be required to park in New Orleans East, and march though St. Bernard Parish to get there. This will give them an opportunity to explain to the people out there how Katrina was a vast racist conspiracy.
I will expropriate Entergy and form a municipal utility relying primarily on power from windmills, since we wish to emulate all things Dutch. Members of the governing board of that utility--a hereditary office open only to the descendents of Little Caesar---will be known as the Dutch Boys. The only requirement of office is that they must not get any funny Dutch boy ideas about the dikes, or there will be trouble.
The Orleans Parish School Board will be relieved of its responsibilities forpublic education, but the board members and all of their family member formerly employed by the school system will hold the rights to the concessions at all future Hornets games. They can divvy up the takings from the popcorn and cokes and beers anyway they like.
The degradation of the French Quarter is of concern to us all. I will establish a Board for the Licensure of Tourist Entertainment, and will personally inspect all applicants for licenses to dance on Bourbon Street, assisted where required by the King of Ferries. Bartenders will be required to demonstrate their competence to me on demand. I am pretty particular about my Sazeracs and the head on my Guinness.
The French Quarter must be once again a heckofa place to bring your family. I will ban the sale of beads in units of less than a gross, and the sale of all foam pimp hats and plastic booby breastplates. I will also prohibit the display for sale of any t-shirts that would offend the sensibility of the Bush twins. Use of the phrase "huge ass" and "beer" together in advertising will be forbidden inside of historic districts and anyone selling a beer larger in size than 12 ounces will be required to make their restrooms available to the public on demand and without cover charge or minimum.
Carnival is central to who we are, and the rapid recovery of this event must be a priority. The license fees for all parading and marching groups at Carnival season will henceforth be one dollar, with the exception of those which want to parade on the streets facing the Boston Club. Licenses to march in those particular blocks will be $100,000. Per marcher or rider. Zulu will be allowed to march anywhere they damn well please for their dollar, provided I get a coconut. Parades will be allowed to return to the French Quarter. However, tourists will be banned from the streets of the Quarter during those parades.
Food is a corner stone of our lifestyle, and its quality and diversity must be ensured. Now that we known worldwide as The Chocolate City, all chocolate sold in New Orleans will be required to contain a suitable proportion of fruits and nuts, without which it just wouldn't be sufficiently New Orleans-esque to be suitable. The use of frozen seafood in restaurants will be forbidden without a proper disclaimer on the menu, and the interior of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. will be converted into fuel for the Mid City bonfire.
In the interest of preserving our city’s character--both historic and moral-- I will declare that anyone whose family publicly supported the Riverfront Expressway, the Jackson Square sound and light show, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet or Marc Morial will be henceforth banned from voting or owning property. Morial supporters may apply for leniency by submitting their pleadings neatly written on the back of as many crisp $100 bills as are required to make their case.
In the interest of open government, which the Bureau of Governmental Research and other tired holdovers from the anti-Long movement have made such a lot of noise about lately, all public offices which I have not mentioned heretofore will be made available by an open and public auction.
Recreation will be of critical importance to me. In memory of Rodney Fertel, we will rename the Audubon Park and Zoo the Rodney Fertel Park and Zoo. We will replace the current head of the facility with two gorillas. The savings in salary will go toward replacing all of the animals lost at the aquarium after the flood. Additional income will be realized the new aquarium exhibit/fishing concession demonstrating the beneficial aspects of our largest industry: Offshore Oil Platforms, Good for the Environment and Good Eating.
The golf course expansion in Audubon Park will be converted into a Frisbee golf-only course, and picnic and playground facilities will be built on the fairways to present a new and innovative hazard. Unfortunately, all houses fronting Audubon Park will need to be condemned by the Board of Health as uninhabitable due to the lack of available maids. The Iberville Housing Project will be given a quick coat of paint, and the evacuees from around Audubon Park given 90 days free rent there.
City Park will not be ignored. The oak trees along Audubon Place will be uprooted by those mammoth tree-moving machines, and planted along Dreyfus Avenue. Survivors who wish to come home will be free to park their trailers at Tad Gormley stadium. I mean, if we can put up with those silly Air Stream folks every year, I think we can make room for people from here. The facilities of the park will be expanded to include a new West 18 golf course with numerous exciting water hazards, the waterfront "Lower Nine" clubhouse and bar, and the Memphis Street Water Park.
Crime will continue to be a problem in New Orleans, and I intended to be harsh but fair. All of the police forces in the city will be combined, as I think the addition of the indolent levee board and city park police will have a calming influence on the NOPD. All minor offenses will be pushed by Death by Chocolate, while more serious offenses will result in a one-way bus ticket to Houston. I think that sentencing someone to Houston might constitute cruel and unusual punishment, but I believe we must be firm.
Let me finish by saying this: if there is anyone in New Orleans I have not offended by this speech, please just give me four years as your Mayor, and your turn will come. Even Dutch Morial, in the last bond issue of his last administration, saw fit to include the resurfacing of Robert E. Lee Boulevard. If you just give me a chance, you will get yours. After I’m done getting mine.
Ed Note: This bit is dedicated to the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe Seeds of Decline. My wife Rebecca will be marching in her first Mardi Gras tonight, and I keep telling her, "honey, this ain't no Krewe of Iris." I hope she has fun.
Tagged: Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levee flooding Corps of Engineers Mayor of New Orleans St. Bernard Dan Dial Rodney Fertel
But then the next plank regarding ferry travelers from the WB....I live in Algiers, do ya think the King of Ferries would accept a "contribution" for ferry upkeep in leiu of the strip search?! If so, you've got my vote too! :)
"Zulu will be allowed to march anywhere they damn well please for their dollar, provided I get a coconut."
Amen to that.
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