Confederates and Cannizzaro

Kenneth Cooper

When the crane came, Beauregard’s horse wondered, “what do I have to do with all this?” Two straps were placed around his torso, the horse’s not Beauregard’s, and as they were both air lifted into the bed of a truck, the horse said, “I was just minding my business, grazing, when he jumped on my back, honestly.”

New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro sat at his desk wondering what he could do to convince more witnesses to come forward and testify about crimes they saw. He had a thought. How about issuing fake subpoenas to make them think they’d go to jail if they didn’t? He ran the idea by one of his ADAs.

The ADA asked, “Will this thing be binding?” Cannizzaro pounded his desk. He thundered, “It’ll be binded by the full weight of intimidation and discrimination that exudes from this office. Plus it’ll have our official letterhead.” The ADA said, “Oh.”

Up the street at City Hall, Mayor Mitch Landrieu was busy preparing for his moment. It was to be the moment of moments, the moment that would define his thus far unproductive two terms as mayor. “Has the press been notified?” “Yes, sir, Mr. Mayor.” “Protesters?” “Yes, sir, Mr. Mayor.” “Sympathizers properly provoked?” “Yes, sir, Mr. Mayor.” “Then it is done,” the mayor said. “All that’s left is my speech. Have somebody draft one,” he said, “from the heart.”

The straps were taken from around Beauregard’s horse. He looked around at his surroundings. He thought, “You really screwed us this time, Pierre. This museum sure looks like a city lot.”

Back at the D.A.’s office, after a number of fake subpoenas were issued, the ADA asked, “Boss, what happens if people get hip to this and go to the press?” Cannizzaro said, “Um, this city is like 70% black.” The ADA looked puzzled, “And…?” Cannizzaro said, “And just trust me. Nobody’s going to the press.” The ADA said, “Oh.” The phone rang. The ADA answered it. “Hello?” The voice said, “This is the press. Citizens are complaining that your office has been issuing fake subpoenas threatening them with arrest, and a local attorney has filed a public records request on their behalf. Any comment?” The ADA said, “We don’t keep records of the fake subpoenas we hand out.” Then he hung up.

At Lee Circle, the sky was gray. People were gathered waiting on the crane and the mayor. Somebody asked, “Is this the anti-confederate monument rally or the anti-Cannizzaro one?” Somebody replied, “Is there a difference?”

The crane appeared and moved in. A strap was placed around General Lee’s torso, just under his neck. With one heave and ho, he was then plucked from his perch. People shouted. People stomped and clapped. The skies darkened. Mayor Landrieu thundered, “What is done is done. The Civil War is over…the Confederacy lost.” A second line broke out, bass drum, tuba, trumpet, trombone followed by hands, legs, and umbrellas moving to the beat. The mayor looked at what he created, the mic lay at his feet.

Meanwhile, 60ft in the air, General Lee dangled like strange fruit from the poplar trees (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98CxkS0vzB8).

2 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes after Beauregard’s horse came to that conclusion about his surroundings, a confederate sympathizer from Texas who’d been standing at the fence concluding the whole time thought, “Wait a minute, this museum sure looks like a city lot.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry called. “Leon,” he said, “Don’t worry. When I become mayor of New Orleans, you won’t have all this to worry about. You’ll be able to inflate prison sentences, harass witnesses, coerce and jail the uncooperative ones, and you’ll get all that defunded money back, all on my first day in office.” Leon sighed into the phone. He said, “Great.”

In the ADA’s office, the phone rang. He picked it up. “Hello?” The voice said, “This is the press. Citizens are wondering what your office is going to do with all those Cannizzaro for mayor posters now that he’s officially blown his chance?” The ADA said, “No comment.”

The mayor sat back with his feet on his desk. “They will know me by my works,” he said to himself. “They will know me by my works.”

District Attorney Cannizzaro sat with his head on his desk. “Like the south I’m from,” he said, “I will rise. I will rise, I will rise…again.”

Beauregard’s horse looked up at the darkening skies. He thought, “Are they at least going to cover us with a tarp?”

Somewhere Mahalia Jackson sang (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2QR3Zdn6wA).

5 thoughts on “Confederates and Cannizzaro

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