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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

L. E. J. covered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), and the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for Consumer Affairs.com. He is a contributor to Gambit Weekly, New Orleans Magazine, SCAT, Baton Rouge Advocate, Advocate Magazine, The Times-Picayune, and Country Roads Magazine, and the books FRENCH QUARTER FICTION (Light of New Orleans Publishing), LOUISIANA IN WORDS (Pelican Publishing), LIFE IN THE WAKE (NOLAfuges.com), and more. Johnson is a former Merchant Seaman, and columnist at Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans; and African-American Village. Attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at Piney Point, Maryland. Winner of the Press Club of New Orleans Award for Excellence, 1991, and given the Key to The City and a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Orleans City Council for a Gambit Weekly story on murder in the French Quarter.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

January 2011 / Twenty Eleven Already

Yours Truly in a Swamp


by


Leonard Earl Johnson


Photo credit: Frank Parsley


January 2011


* * *



Twenty Eleven Already


"Great gobs of goose fat," L. A. Norma said, peering over the lip of a much abused champagne glass, "can it really be 2011 already?"

"When just a minute ago it was only the eleventh hour," the bartender said, from behind his rampart of empty Dom Perignon bottles. The bottles marched off down the bar like plump spent soldiers on their way to their cash register billet, and our bankruptcy.

"What the Hell," we toasted, "it is a new year!"


Norma: "The bankers are up, and the wages are down!"


Bartender: "And, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre' has canceled the entire year. So, drink up sinners, tomorrow is here!"


"God bless the New World Order,"
we chimed in with some fellow inebriate wearing a tuxedo and arm candy -- a woman in a red sequined gown.


"Probably a banker and his trophy wife,"
Norma said, in stage whisper.


"Hey, banker man, what ever happened to that k-y World computer-crises, crashing thingy?" she asked, wagging her finger towards their table, ceiling, bartender, and us.


The man smiled. The trophy-wife smiled. Followers before the bar smiled and addressed the bartender: "She means 2-y-k, not the lubricant."

"That was ten-years ago and nothing happened," the bartender declared, from the fat end of yet another champagne bottle. "Nothing but 'nothing-to-fear' falling off our psychic shield, and fear replacing it in a dirty Winter coat and ugly boots!"


Wine's Muddled Clarity


Norma said, "Boots done marched right over me!"


"Nine-eleven attacked our confidence, and our national cheer became a shiver," we added.


Bartender: "We quaked in our boots and sent our children off to wars without reason or adequate equipment. Folks, our ship of state has been run aground by helmsmen stealing its brass."


"It is not smart to scuttle your own ship just to steal the brass," Norma said, sliding in the back seat of a black and white United Cab bound for Squalor Heights, Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, and sleep's sweet kiss.


The cabbie / actor (out of work, of course) said, "May your ragged sleeve be mended by dawn."

The cabbie wore a gray T-shirt that read in black lettering: "My Parents Went to New Orleans And All I Got Is This Lousy I. Q."
Happy New Year!
_____
Copyright, 2011, Leonard Earl Johnson

You want a magnetized image of LEJ's fat face to scare future storm vermin from your refrigerator? "It'll keep them bugs out'a your icebox, next time, sugar!" says L. A. Norma.
Click here for information: LEJ.org Magnet.