There are tons of stories we are hearing in the wake of Katrina, but none really put it all into perspective and reveal the triumph of the human spirit like the one I got in my e-mail from Reggie (attached).
Let me start this off by saying I was a fool to stay in New Orleans, but I wanted to protect my melon stand from looters. I must admit, I am used to fate dealing me a bad hand, as my parents died from drug overdoses when I was a boy, and I was unoficially "Adopted" by gay-married voodoo worshipers. I ran away when I was fifteen, began reading the Bible and pulled my self up by my bootstraps to become a rather wealthy melon stand proprietor, pulling in hundereds of dollars a month. Life was great, and then came Katrina.
Like I said, I couldn't let my life's work be ravaged by the savages of this city. I bought the strongest chain I could find, and wrapped one end of it around the wagon and padlocked the other end to the biggest strongest tree I could find. Then I waited. I waited until the winds got so strong I could hardly stand straight. I climbed twenty-five feet or so up the tree and tied myself to the trunk, aroung my waist. Armed with a shotgun and 5 shells, I felt I'd be ready, since basically all I had to do was shoot one looter, and the corpse would be a pretty firm warning for anyone else.
As it turned out, the storm surge swept my stand away in minutes. There was nothing left but the chain, and melon rinds resembling the end of a Gallagher show. My life's work, gone in a flash. Shortly after the water started to rise, and was creeping ever closer to my feet. If things kept up, I knew I'd be a casualty, like the ones who floated by below. I was so overcome with despair, I almost took the shotgun to myself, but it fell from my hands, perhaps by God's will, and sank into the rising water.
As night fell, I had finished the last piece of Sinckers I had in my pocket and I was panicked. I unfastened myself, and floated away. An hour later, I could make out the shillouette of a roofline, and steered myself toward it and climbed up. then inspiration hit me. Using the rope I had tied myself to the tree with, I made a makeshift raft from the dead cajuns which floated past, and embarked on a voyage back to civilization.
The moral of my story is obvious, Mr Candra. Don't stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.
No, Reggie, thank you, and God bless.
PS- I had to throw the refugees off my property after some of my wife's jewelry ended up missing. It's a shame, too. The lawn never looked so good.