Public relations agent Kimberly Allen can give readers some insight into the ways New Orleans is different from other places. She says that one day, a stranger knocked on her door and told her he wanted to sell her a “brake tag.”
Allen made a photo of the “brake tag” — a photo that should appear with this column. To me, the “brake tag” looks suspiciously like a poorly drawn replica of a Louisiana auto inspection sticker.
You must take art where you find it. Allen tells her Twitter followers that she has hopes of finding the person who made the “brake tag” and, eventually, becoming his friend.
Just Imagine If That Happened!
At some point, I read that after the threat from Hurricane Harvey had passed, the New Orleans gubment declared that it would once again be illegal to park vehicles on sidewalks. That’s right — illegal to park on sidewalks.
I keep hoping that our local governmental bodies will pass regulations making it illegal to park anywhere other than sidewalks. Every time I see an unobstructed sidewalk, I get scared that somebody might take it into his head to walk on it.
I Guess It Was Meant To Be Serious
On Sept. 7, The Shreveport Times ran a story that carried this headline: “September Jobs Report: 9 companies hiring in Shreveport-Bossier.”
What made the story an eye-grabber was the huge color photo that accompanied it. The shot was of a big yellow sign that read “DOLLAR GENERAL — NOW HIRING!”
Lordy, Lordy! Reader, your time in the sun has finally come! Get yourself on up to Shreveport and get paid the way kings and potentates do!
Also shelling out the big bucks in Shreveport is Circle K, which is set to make 140 new employees rich, rich, rich.
There is one thing, though. If you must work in a Dollar General, your rent in Shreveport will be at least 50 percent less than it would be in SWLA.
For some reason, the story about the big jobs in Shreveport was picked up by the Associated Press and USA Today. I suppose USA Today was having some fun with it, as the paper referred to the Shreveport openings as “dream jobs.”
Throw Me A Biscuit!
Just days ago, the food blog Foodbeast reported that Lafayette has the world’s only remaining Popeyes buffet. Since I was unaware that there had ever been even one Popeyes buffet on God’s green earth, this was all news to me.
According to the report, all the Popeyes stuff is offered in the buffet. If I could be sure there would be a lot of biscuits in the tray, that alone would be adequate reason for a trip to Lafayette in my book.
Foodbeast also carries stories on the food service industry (for example, customer attacks at fast food windows), stories on a new kind of chocolate and a food whose protein comes from mold, and, finally, an advertisement for “breakfast ramen.” I lost interest in the last item when I realized that in order to make it I would have to cook things.
A Fairly Bad Life Choice
Here’s a little tip: if you’re going to loot during a hurricane, don’t do it in front of news cameramen. Nine looters hit an athletic store in Ft. Lauderdale as a news cameraman filmed every minute. Ft. Lauderdale police IDd every person filmed and arrested them all within a matter of hours.
Ft. Lauderdale Chief of Police Rick Maglione commented, “going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice.”
It’s Not Just Us
It’s not just us. Even in New Orleans, where there is so very, very much to do that is worthwhile, people elevate football games between high schools I’ve never heard of to the status of the ancient Greek Olympics.
For example, the Times-Picayune recently announced its “Prep Game of the Week.” It was between those two teams whose names are perennially on everyone’s lips: the De La Salle Cavaliers and the St. Augustine Purple Knights.
Now, this would be dubious enough if it were just the NOLA.com Prep Game of the Week. But it’s not. It’s the Regis Radiator NOLA.com Prep Game of the Week.
It’s not enough that the 180-year-old Times-Picayune feels that it’s necessary to have a prep game of the week; it also feels that it must rely on a radiator shop to pull off this momentous journalistic feat. Is anyone out there still confused about why newspapers are failing?
Really New Stuff In New Orleans
Geektime is a company that specializes in the development of new tech business. And when I say “tech,” I mean high, high tech. For instance, one recent Geektime story is titled “What is the future of chatbot development and Artificial Intelligence?” Say what?
Although Geektime has an office in Houston, the company’s web site makes a point of stating that Geektime is officially located outside the U.S. While I see there are other offices in 26 countries, I can’t figure out where the company headquarters is located.
Why do I mention all this? In addition to writing stories about high tech, Geektime makes lists of the Top 10 tech start-ups in various cities around the world. They just made such a list for New Orleans.
Before I give you that list, I’ll note that Geektime heaped some high praise on N.O. With your permission, I’ll lay it on you:
“The city tagged the ‘most unique’ in America has some interesting startups. Tourism and other forms of entertainment may drive the New Orleans story in popular culture, but Tulane and Loyola Universities lead a group of a dozen major schools. The largest employer is the Ochsner Health System. History, money, education and energy combine in New Orleans into a surprising startup gumbo.”
Although it’s a teensy weensy point, I’m going to take issue with Geektime’s use of the term “most unique.” I feel that something is either unique or it’s not. Unique is not a term that can be modified. I strongly agree that New Orleans is unique and in a good way, just as all real cities are. And I realize the company under discussion is called Geektime, not Grammartime.
So, let’s get to that Top 10 tech start-ups list for New Orleans. Here it is:
5. Better Day Health
7. Fluence Analytics
8. Pine Biotech
I wanted to pass that list on to you for the reason that I don’t know a single thing about a single one of the items on the list.
Of course, anyone can Google any one of those names just as easily as I can. Turns out “Scandy” is a company that provides 3-D scanning. Since I don’t know what 3-D scanning is, I don’t guess I was a whole lot better off after I Googled it than I was before. But I have to admit it sounds fancy and high-tech.
As for Advano, that company “provides nanotechnology with fundamental chemical engineering principles.” Damn! That’s some sho-nuff Big Bang Theory language there, son!
I didn’t bother to Google “Fluence Analytics” because it already sounds super-complicated just the way it is.
I know young people involved in tech tend to leave Lake Charles for Houston. And Houston certainly has more job openings than New Orleans. But this Geektime list makes it clear that there’s a lot of completely new stuff going on in N.O. That might be worthy of your consideration.
Hey, Washington, How You?
Thanks to state Rep. Julie Emerson for posting a photo of two of our Louisiana representatives to the U.S. Congress — Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson — grinning as they squat down over a dead alligator who has had a gigantic knife stuck deep into the middle of his skull. The viewer knows this because the protruding part of the knife is quite visible.
OK, Washington. You wanted representation from Louisiana. You got it.
Now, as for the 433 other representatives in D.C., I can guarantee you Higgins and Johnson are experiencing culture shock big time. You can make them feel more at ease in the big city by always welcoming them to the U.S. House with the official Bubba greeting — “Hey, how y’all is?” — which, as a courtesy to the person greeted, must always be shouted out in the loudest voice the speaker can muster.
The other representatives can also make Higgins and Johnson feel at home by dressing only in three-piece camo suits complemented by a Can-Am gimme cap. Representatives — you may not be able to eat deep-fried boudin yourself, but always have some on hand in case one of your Louisiana representatives asks you for a snack. Same for Busch beer. Tall boys only, please.
The last thing you 433 other representatives are going to want to do is go to a convenience store and ask to buy a can of Grizzly Long Cut Wintergreen. If you can’t remember all that, just ask the clerk for a can of “Welfare Bear.” Put the product in your shirt pocket. If you see your Louisiana representative is having a bad day, walk up to him and hold out the can. You don’t have to say a word. Also, if he ever comes up to you and says, “Hey, chief, got any dip?” that means he wants the thing in your shirt pocket.
I have no idea whether state Rep. Emerson thinks the photo she posted was a good thing or bad thing. I thought the best thing was not to ask. What you don’t know can’t hurt you. But what you strongly suspect might hurt you a little.
As you can see, there are quite a few news headlines this time around. In case you don’t feel like reading that many, I’ve provided a handy, brief summary of all the really, really big news stories that have been reported in the last two weeks. They are:
1. Police have become afraid of red balloons. 2. Some people somewhere decided who would appear on some TV show called Dancing with the Stars. 3. Some young prince in Britain did something.
And now, for those who do want to read them, here are the headlines:
“Police ‘terrified’ by red ‘It’ balloons tied to sewer grates,” KMBC (Mo.), Sept. 6
“WE DID THE CLOWN THING LAST YEAR WE AREN’T DOING THIS AGAIN” [sic] — Twitter response of Lawrence, Kan., police
“Nick and Vanessa Lachey; Derek Fisher, Terrell Owens and singer Debbie Gibson headline new ‘Dancing’ cast” — Associated Press, Sept. 6
“New ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast revealed” — CNN, Sept. 6
“The prince’s cutest moments” — CNN, Sept. 7
“Blue Bell announces brand-new flavor” — No. 1 on KPLC’s list of MOST POPULAR stories for Sept. 7
“When will your name be used next for a hurricane?” — No. 2 on KPLC’s list of MOST POPULAR stories for Sept. 7.