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At the Meeting

At the Mid-City planning meeting this morning, somebody was asking about garbage collection and Shelley Midura was explaining the rules for separating household waste from storm renovation debris.

The questioner said, “If there are rules, publish the rules and we’ll follow them.”

Shelley said the City Council could publicize the rules in newspaper ads.

I injected, “Print them in Spanish!”

This comment was greeted with spontaneous applause from the group.

Another guy, about three rows back from me, responded by calling out, “That was uncalled for. That was totally uncalled for!”

I yelled back, “What the hell are you talking about? If you can’t read English how are you supposed to know?”

Shelley, still on the mic, asked for everyone to embrace unity as we work to rebuild our city.

I was still pissed at the guy three rows back. “You’re gonna try to make me look like a bigot in front of all these people? It’s on, motherfucker!!!” And I leaped across the rows of people, grabbed him by the neck, wrestled him to the ground, and strangled him to death.

OK, that last part didn’t actually happen, but I fantasized about it. Fortunately, the next time the guy spoke, he conceded that he had misunderstood my meaning and he apologized. That was very nice, and I didn’t have to kill him after all.

Published inNeighbors


  1. Damn, I wuz hoping you wrung (wrang?) his neck. Sorry, that’s the guy dangerblond *thought* I was speaking. She’s outed me as not being a bar room brawler type. Oh the shame…

  2. Ray Ray

    You shoulda punched him in the nose, at least, after he apologized. How are we supposed to get anything done with cooperation and forgiveness?

    Adrastos, I thought she said you weren’t a *tattooed Greek* barroom brawler. You could still show them some gentlemanly puglism and fisticuffs.

  3. Lee Lee

    They should print them in spanish, since there has been an influx of latinos who have migrated to NO for work. I’m sure many of them don’t speak or read english. Some people, I swear.

  4. Sean P. Clark Sean P. Clark

    Although I’m sure there were some clapping bigots who misunderstood your meaning as well. So it goes… Hopefully bilingual rules get published.

    Printing them in newspaper ads? Some neighborhoods have block captains that can be in charge of distributing flyers to residents. That’d work also.

  5. To the guy’s credit — Doug is his name I’m pretty sure — he’s apologized publicly twice now. Balm to my fragile little ego!

  6. Hell, we should be posting signs with the rules on the telephone poles near every renovation project. In Spanish. The gentleman by the door needs to come to terms with the fact that 21st century will likely be as bi-lingual in English and Spanish as 19th Century NOLA in English and French.

    I think telephone poll posters might be a way to reach people who are underrepresented at the meeting in neighborhoods closer to downtown and the Expressway. Flyer dropping in low-return neighborhoods seems like a poor idea, as so many houses will likely be vacant. Door knocking is good, but time-intensive. (I used to walk a lot for politics back in the day).

  7. Actually Laureen Lentz provided me with a stack of EPA sorting instructions in Spanish! My concerns now is that it’s not very welcoming. “Hi, welcome to the neighborhood, here are a bunch of rules to follow.” We need at least a cover letter that is more helpful and welcoming.

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