The President Says Something Foolish, There’s A Transformation Going On In Town

By Kenneth Cooper

Strange things are happening. I don’t recognize this city anymore. New Orleans, once known for to-go cups, diabetes, second lines, and high blood pressure has suddenly become a mecca for cyclists and marathon runners. They seem to appear in the afternoons, packing the parks and clogging the running paths, sometimes with their pets and children in tow.  These newfound outdoorsmen don’t even respect simple exercising etiquette, like looking both ways before crossing an intersection. Who are these people? Where’d they come from?  And where did they keep their bikes and running shoes when there wasn’t a pandemic going on?

Even the birds are bored. This morning I watched three birds play in a puddle of muddy water while a woodpecker banged its beak against a telephone poll. I don’t know if the birds were washing themselves off or just being goofy. Are birds capable of being goofy? And how thick is a Woodpecker’s skull?  

Just a thought, if you are holding an aerobics class in the park, you are not practicing social distancing.

Mayor Cantrell ain’t playing

In case you missed it, Mayor LaToya Cantrell chin-checked the president of the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce last week. It was an ultimate clap back. Todd Murphy decided to take it upon himself to chastise the mayor via a sternly worded letter. In the letter, Murphy not only questioned her competency and decision making, but he also offered a suggestion.  It went: next time you decide to “offer an opinion on the fate of future festivals” you should consult with business leaders and experts first because the decisions you make will not only impact New Orleans but also the entire region.

Surely, Murphy could’ve just called her instead of releasing a letter, but hey if you can’t grandstand during a global pandemic, when can you? Mayor Cantrell responded (emphasis added), No, “I suggest YOU learn more from the experts about where the region is, from a data driven perspective, before YOU chastise ME about MY decision-making process.” She went on to say that since they won’t share the accountability if something goes wrong, they won’t be sharing in the decision making either. Translation: Boy, you better get out my face with that foolishness.

Trump is made for TV

President Donald Trump speaks during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, at left, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, at right listen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If you don’t watch President Trump’s press conferences, you are missing out on a vital source of entertainment in these quarantined days. According to the president, his press conferences are epic. They draw Super Bowl type ratings. Last week he was going on about re-opening the country at the expense of a few thousand deaths, possible tens of thousands of deaths, you know just another day at the office for him, when a reporter reminded him that the decision would be up to the governors when their states re-open. No, the president said (arms flailing in full gyration), when it comes to this the president has total authority! THAT’S IT! (emphasis not added). The reporter just sat there, looking at him like he was a complete idiot. “Who told you that?” she eventually asked.

The next day, the president realized that nobody had told him that, so he walked back the comment. But then the day after, he suggested citizens take to the streets and exercise their 2nd amendment rights in the name of liberating their states. A reporter asked if he thought it was reckless to encourage people to get together and protest in the middle of a viral pandemic when his own guidelines suggest we should stay away from each other. Absolutely not, the president responded. Disregarding the obvious recklessness, Trump  said he believed that these were all responsible people.  You may find yourself drinking more than usual during his press conferences and placing your face in your palm, but you will be entertained.

Somebody on Facebook wrote the following:  Poets spread hopelessness throughout the world. I responded: So do newscasters. Why don’t they want us to be happy, newscasters that is? Now that the coronavirus cases here have started to die down, the local stories and headlines have switched to focusing on the number of deaths instead, even though they too have started to die down. Because, you know, who wants to wake up to good news in the morning.

Saturday, I stood in the rain with about 10 other people waiting for crawfish. At one point, it started to storm. Lightning struck. Thunder rumbled and circled the sky like surround sound. I was thinking. On days like this, when we were small, my grandma would make us turn the TV off, close the curtains, and lie on the floor. The house would be dim and quiet, the only sound being the rain and the compressor humming inside her beer meister. Looking back, I realize something now: she would never lie on the floor with us. Actually, we never knew where our grandma was during that time. Maybe that was her way of getting rid of us.

Anyway, the future is going to be awful. Who knows when we’ll be able to shake hands again, let alone hug each other. There probably won’t be a festival for the rest of the year. Saints games may be played without fans. Donald Trump will most likely be re-elected president. John Kennedy will still be representing us in the U.S. Senate. A local recession will probably be followed by a national one. Just awful times. Wait, that’s a lot of bad news I just dumped on you, and it’s morning. Does that make me a newscaster?

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