The Other Writer’s Awards or Stress Rehearsal

00:00 September 21, 2012
By: Phil LaMancusa

The world has gone nuts. The planet has gone nuts. We’ve got natural disasters, manmade disasters, wars, pestilence, a screwed economy worldwide, global warming disguised as “Climate Change,” and there ain’t a logical, rational mind in charge of any portion of it prepared to make changes to the universal mindset. To me, the way things are going is just sick and wrong; but do they listen to me? Noooooooooo.

Here’s some of my personal peripatetic picks pointing my fickle finger at our existing fates, fortunes and foibles. These are all true (and true opinions), I swear.

“State of the Onion Award”: In Arizona, the state government has placed into law that life begins two weeks before conception! What does this mean and how far can we take this silliness? Does this mean that every woman in Arizona is pregnant? Even illegals?

Think about it. Can the human race get any more dim-witted? One good thing, though: their minimum wage is two bucks higher than ours.

“Brass Monkey Award”: A young man walks into a restaurant (stop me if you’ve heard this) and starts clearing plates from the tables and bringing them to the dishwasher; he has an apron on and no one questions him. Before the “get a clue phone” rings, the young man walks out of the restaurant with three cell phones and a purse that he also cleared from the tables. Question: Should we say “only in New Orleans?” Overheard at the waitress station: “my mother wears glasses, but she’s stupid”.

“How’s This? Award”: Here in New Orleans, our streets run with the blood of innocents, and nobody takes it seriously enough to question the prospect of gun control while up in Baton Rouge. The governor is looking forward to relaxing restrictions on owning and carrying guns (with the urging of the NRA). I’m looking forward to a time when we have a same-sex married couple in the governor’s mansion or even in the White House; they’ll straighten our asses out, I’ll bet.

“Speaking Of Which Award”: when we advocate for the right to same-sex marriages, we hear statements from right field in the vein of: “it’s not in the bible” or “next you’ll say that it’s okay to marry my cat,” “there oughta be a law,” and my favorite “two people of the same sex cannot reproduce and so should not be allowed to marry.” How hindered are we that we actually care about something as nebulous as the institution of marriage? Question: if we license marriage should there be a written test? A renewal clause? An expiration date before “death do us part”? Should we only be able to be married to only one person at any one time? Should it be against the law for people that are not married to live together, have sex and children? Should marriages without children be annulled? And why can’t I marry my cat if I want to?

The “Too Much Information Award”: A sporty red car pulls into the intersection of St. Louis and Chartres streets; you know, the one where no one can figure out the right of way?

The driver’s confusion is confounded because he has a cell phone up to his ear with one hand and the other hand is busy picking his nose. He is frantically looking in all directions. Question: should I go pee on his car?

“Say it isn’t so (or say it is so) Award”: Watching a documentary called “Bag It,” we’re brought up short on how the planet is being done in by that insidious product that we know as plastic; food-democracy. wordpress.com tells us that we use 1.6 billion gallons of oil each year just to make the plastic bags that this country uses. AND they are not taken as recyclable by our city. In fact, recycling in this city is still taking baby steps; there is no city recycling in the French Quarter and none is offered to businesses at all. We’re not recycling glass products, compost or lawn trimmings as do other cities. Why? Have you ever seen anyone in this city remember to care about the environment? Possibly two. If we raised our voices we might raise awareness, but face it, our citizens ain’t big on speaking out, and City Hall has bigger fish to fry.

“American Idle Award”: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, and you’d have to be myopic not to see, the epidemic of young healthy Homo sapiens and their canines standing at intersections and crossroads with hand-lettered signs asking for money. They proclaim homelessness, helplessness and defenselessness. With downcast demeanors and pleading eyes they beg our help; day after day after day. I’ll say this: that position either pays real well and perpetuates itself, or these kids don’t know when it’s time to try another way to earn a living; look for me when I retire with a sign that says “Old And In The Way.” I bet I’ll clean up.

Lastly (for now) “The Butt Award”: “I hate to be the one to tell you…BUT…” and then someone goes on to happily horrify you. Compound this by the “I’m not a bigot,” “It’s none of my business,” “I’d lend you that 10 spot,” “I’d love to,” “you’re sweet to ask,” and, “that’s a great idea”… followed by the “but” word and there’s trouble ahead. Using the “but” word is the way to get away with saying exactly what is on your mind without taking responsibility for it. It’s a way of getting out of things; it’s a way of saying no without saying no. “I know you want that, but…”; “I know I promised, but…”

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