Thursday, March 09, 2006

This is a test of the Civil Defense Network.

This is only a test.

If this were an actual emergency, you would receive instructions as to where to stash your yarn to protect it from fire, flood, hurricanes, nuclear fallout and flying bullets.

This is only a test.

I am posting tonight to apologize for my lack of blogability over the past few weeks. My digital camera is gravely ill in the camera hospital, and the prognosis is not good.

This is entirely my fault, having removed said camera from its normal, safe routine of photographing cats, friends, family and knitted objects, and bringing it into a war zone.

Your blogger must confess that she damaged this innocent camera by using it to take evidence photos regarding an animal cruelty investigation during a Mardi Gras parade, and rather violently bashed the above-mentioned camera while evading gunfire immediately after the investigation.

Your blogger is not making this up.

The good news is, neither your blogger nor her fellow SPCA humane law enforcement officer were injured during the incident.

The VERY bad news, the awful and most seriously UN-FUNNY part, is that a kid was hit. Only grazed by a bullet, Dios Gracias, but hit nonetheless, because some crackhead was nursing an old sore involving the SPCA, and he opened fire into a parade crowd when he saw our vehicle at the scene.

Just a two-year-old kid. God, what an awful way to get started in life.

Please note that the gunman was an entirely different crackhead than the one we were investigating, who had also opened fire into the crowd 45 minutes earlier, but that particular crackhead shot another crackhead's pit bull.

That gunman did not miss the dog, which is why we the SPCA was called to the scene.

Please note that my use of the term "crackhead" is based on offical New Orleans Police terminology, specifically, "buncha *&%$#! crackheads with guns, it's been like this all *&%$#! day and people are still only half-drunk, wait till it gets dark!"

It is also safe to assume that crack, guns and excessive amounts of alcohol are not recommended in any combination.

So here we have a child being hit by a bullet because two SPCA officers show up to do their job, their presence being required because some other lunatic with a gun, pimping his pit bull in the middle of the Zulu parade in the Desire Street projects, shot a different guy's pit bull. And this happened despite the presence of about a zillion parade spectators and 37 New Orleans cops deployed throughout the crowd in that block.

Welcome to Post-Katrina New Orleans, which, upon close inspection, very closely resembles a Mad Max movie, or Waterworld, or maybe a Salvador Dali painting. Or all three at once.

Here is what makes me so very angry: the Zulu Parade on Mardi Gras Day is supposed to be sacred. It is supposed to be a time and place for people of all colors and class levels to come together to celebrate Mardi Gras in peace, in a spirit of camaraderie, in joy and brotherhood. It is supposed to be a place where children can safely enjoy the festivities of Mardi Gras Day, to hear the music and see the magnificent costumes of the African-American Mardi Gras "Indian" Tribes, and maybe,if you are very lucky, to catch a rare and special hand-decorated coconut at the Zulu parade.

And is has been defiled by violence.

Do you know that my blogname, "Mambocat" derives from mambo music? Most people are familiar with the "Mardi Gras Mambo," one of the many traditional tunes of Mardi Gras Day.

So I feel defiled at several levels.

Now, I had planned to regale you folks with all kinds of wonderful photos from STITCHES WEST, which I was given a scholarship to attend by a wonderfully generous person who still (annoyingly) insists on remaining anonymous, but who I still thank from the bottom of my bottomless heart, whoever you are, and I do hope you are reading this.

And I was also going to regale you all with a lot of other photos of knitted objects, and more news from the Cajun-American Knitting Olympics team.

But until my photocard is extracted from the smashed camera by someone who actually knows what they are doing, you guys are just going to have to read plain old ordinary words.

I have learned a few things as a result of this incident:

1. The New Orleans Police Department can extract SPCA officers from a gunfire zone at warp speed.

2. My fellow officer is amazingly cool under gunfire. She can get shot at, drive a big truck really fast, and not hit pedestrians, all at the same time.

3. I vastly surprised myself by remaining relatively calm myself, but

4. ...doing so with utter disregard for the fate of my camera.


I appreciate your patience and your readership.

Especially your readership, since I will not have pictures for a few days.

Best regards.


P.S. -- as a result of the incident described above, Iwe had to appear in court on the day after Mardi Gras for arraignment of the perps. Mind you, court in Post-Katrina New Orleans is being conducted on folding cafeteria tables in a gutted courthouse with computer wires and cables strung along the floor. It's like being in court in a third-world country.

NOTE TO READERS: for even more fun than Mardi Gras Day itself, just hang out in criminal court for arraignments the morning after Mardi Gras.


At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

Hey, we're just grateful you are here to write this. Duck and cover, my friend! And glossy pics will be appreciated by us when civilization returns.

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Teresa said...

Dez, so glad that your ok. Wonder why the New Orleans you live in is not the one we are seeing on TV. Must be part of the big cover up of the whole mis-management.
Glad you had a great time at Stitches.

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you fill us in on what happened to the dog you were rescuing?


At 2:26 AM, Blogger LornaJay said...

Ouch! On all sorts of levels. Zen hugs from Scotland, and I hope you, and the camera (!) are back to normal, or as near as possible, soon.

At 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Dez, so glad you are OK! Knitu would not be the same without you. Horrifying to hear your home city is still in such a state, it seems incredible that a rich, developed nation cannot do more for its citizens hit by disaster. If it is any comfort, during the hurrican I was in hosptal and followed youir messages there, not just me but all the ward staff and those patients who were "compos mentis!" were all wishing you well. Best Regards, Wendy in Plymouth, England.

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Beth S. said...

Wendy in Plymouth has it SO right. I live miles and miles from New Orleans and, unfortunately, have never had the blessing of visiting there, but I am embarrassed beyond compare for the fate of that city, every single day since Katrina.

As for you, Ms Mambo, thank God you are okay! An extra blessing on your head. And on the head of that little baby.

Keep on keepin' on! We're rooting for you all.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Oy, so glad only the camera was hurt in the investigation. Also relieved to hear that the little girl who was hit is apparently fine. I guess the "good news" is that another (*&^%$ crackhead gets to spend time in jail. Perhaps we should get all these crazies addicted to yarn instead of their current substance of choice. (If only it were that easy!)
Aloha from waaaaaaaaay over here!



Post a Comment

<< Home

Inmates in the Asylum since July 27, 2006: