President Tours New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – President Bush was upbeat today at a mid-afternoon press conference given amidst the muddy ruins of New Orleans, expressing hope that “a better city will soon rise from these ashes.” He outlined in broad terms his administration’s plan to rebuild the city “along the lines of what our marketing guys say will give it a much broader-based appeal, which can only translate into a better bottom line for New Orleans and for America.”

“For many years, New Orleans has been associated around the world with jazz music and Cajun cuisine, for great tunes and great gumbo. But, unfortunately, there has always been a grittier side to New Orleans – the stench, for example, of the guy playing those great tunes on the street corner, or the numerous streetwalkers and gambling dens, or the Southern Decadence festival and its ally, the annual exposition of uncovered shame and debauchery that is Mardi Gras. We have beneficently long tolerated these activities. Fortunately, though, for the God-fearing, it has pleased the Lord to unleash torrents from the heavens to flush out the Sodomites and iniquities of this city.”

“This clears the way for significant new development. Many of the homes of this city are unsuitable for human habitation. And,” he added, echoing the recent sentiments of his mother, “it’s not like they’re doing so well after the flood, either.” The President drew a chuckle from the Fox News camera crews who had received permission to cover the press conference.

With the aid of a 44 slide PowerPoint presentation prepared by his staff, President Bush described the “New New Orleans” to the press. “Gone are the days of any vulgar waving about of one’s unmentionables in the streets. We aim to create a more family-friendly environment that everyone can enjoy, while still remaining true to the cultural uniqueness of this truly amazing city.”

Housing deemed substandard is to be bulldozed, to make way for blocks of identical 6 story condominiums. Many of these are to be allocated as timeshares through a lottery. New Orleans’ traditional jazz men, many of whom were homeless and are now deceased, will be replaced with “only the very best musicians from our nation’s finest high school jazz combos.” In addition to traditional jazz standards, they will be trained on an expanded repertoire to include Disney favorites and instrumental versions of contemporary pop hits drawn from the Billboard Top 40, and then dispatched to the city’s street corners and intersections only if well-scrubbed and garbed in the appropriate uniform and nametag.

Bush said that the city’s annual Mardi Gras festival, cornerstone of the city’s heritage and a popular tourist draw, is to be expanded. “What child could resist the spectacle of a line of jolly, brightly clad Negros prancing down the street and piping merry tunes to one and all? We cannot deprive our future generations of that wonder. In fact, we must make sure that everyone has the opportunity to witness these historic parades, which is why they will be running weekly, every Saturday, once the city is opened again.” Other changes include the introduction of tickets, starting at $120, and a required liability waiver and indemnification for each guest, explicitly forbidding the display of breasts or genetalia and “any other morally reprehensible activity.”

Local residents shared the President’s optimism. Raymond Williams voiced his own hope for the future of New Orleans: “Man, I hope [New Orleans restaurant] Frankie’s is still standing.” Williams, 36, is employed as a cook at popular local Cajun restaurant Frankie’s, and supplements his income by playing the saxophone on the streets of the French Quarter. Currently living at a bus station in Houston with his family of four, he added, “I can’t wait to get back home and get my house all cleaned up. We gonna have a big ol’ party when ev’ybody back in town.” Unbeknownst to Williams, his historic French colonial house had been demolished earlier that morning. Though it survived the flooding, the costs of vetting the building for structural damage and the likely needed repairs were calculated to exceed the costs of razing the site and rezoning it for use as a prefabricated Moe’s Southwest Grill fast-casual restaurant.

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Hoping to create the world's first perfect FemBot, Mr. Payne achieved his Master's degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Linguistics. After the government pulled his funding, he took a position as a part time correspondent with Lush For Life. He continues to travel the globe, establishing numerous contacts for microchips and silicon enhancements on all seven continents.

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