It was the Chinese, I think, who came up with the proverb "may you live in interesting times". Well, maybe it wasn’t a proverb at all, but a curse. Something one might say to a rival or an adversary. Nonetheless, it was this phrase that stuck in my mind when Kourtney and I took our first look at post-Katrina New Orleans a few weeks ago. A very interesting place. You should go take a look. Another thing that got into my head was those Hindu guys and their notion that the Gods created us for their own amusement. I’m sure I’m mistaken, but somewhere down the line I heard that Krishna or Vishnu or whoever set up this proscenium one day and peopled it with people, wound them up and let it rip and now they’ve got a never ending Laverne and Shirley going on while they loll around the universe and eat papaya salad or whatever it is they eat up there. Now that I think about it, I find that it’s a shame that this hurricane/deluge didn’t happen to the Chinese or the Indians, who are much better equipped to deal with it. Here in America our homegrown ecclesiastical mechanism is capable only of imagining a vengeful God who’s only delight is visiting His wrath upon the sinful. This idea is so hilarious that it gives me faith in this great nation. If Jesus could come back and see what people are doing in His name, he would never stop throwing up. Max Von Sydow said that. We live in a state of Irony. Ho ho…Big Ideas here. I know what you’re thinking…He’s drunk—he’s inhaling something…but what the hell. As long as I’m dropping names I think I’ll invoke the venerable Albert Einstein, who made the bold assertion that "God doesn’t play dice". Well, Al, I beg to differ. In fact, I say that God doesn’t only play dice, He plays blackjack, counts cards, shoots pool and does a little loan-sharking on the side. And that’s why I love Him. My god is a fun God, albeit a little slippery. Go down to the lower 9 and check out the barge that parked itself on the school bus next to the "no dumping" sign. A finer feeling of communion cannot be had at any price, in my opinion. Me and the Hindi agree on this, and it makes it easier to breathe.

Another great thing about Katrina is now everyone has something to talk about. In our five short days there we got some jist of the overall conversation. "How’d you make out?" is a good opener and if things get stale you can always whip out "Who’s your tree guy?". All my shit came out fine and dandy. We are three doors down from the river, after all. We were lucky in that it didn’t smell as bad as it did at first. It was also nice and quiet. Freilich was ruminating one day that the overall tone of the city was like summer, but even quieter. He imagined a "fifth season" when summer finally rolls around, sort of like a moon of Pluto, where everything actually stops. That sounds like the place for me.

It’s also nice to finally hear broadcasters pronouncing the words "New Orleans" more correctly. They have finally spent enough time in that wounded city to jettison the classic mispronouncement "New Orleenz", and not warp it the other way with an exaggerated "Naulenz". I even overheard an NFL broadcast the other day that didn’t have that trademark four-syllable "New Or-lee-yinz" they’ve been using for years. So you see, life is just full of little blessings!!!

I’m not making any threats, but it seems the New York adventure is coming to an end. Compared to New Orleans this town is just plain boring. In fact, just about all of the US of A is pretty boring, as are the vast majority of North Americans. Not like the Northern Irish or the Banglideshi, who always have something to talk about and dance better than us, frankly. "Love it or leave it", you might say, and I would tell you that I tried to, and being half-Canadian wasn’t good enough for the Canadian Consulate. Quintron said it very well when he said that New Orleans is still one of the weirdest towns in the world. Friction and stink make for great art, they say. And while I am not an artist, but an entertainment personality, I will say here that the situation is excellent. I might even come up with a Mardi Gras costume this year.

Can anyone tell me where I can get a best-ham sandwich?

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