Friday, May 23, 2008

Louisiana: Hey, They Make Penicillin Out Of Mold, So Quit Giving Us Shit

Chapter 17 in the "I-can't-believe-he's-still-doing-this" novella, "Know Limpy's States". And just so you all know, I'm doing this without the book I usually use. Instead, I'm relying on Wikipedia for this one. Because if you can't trust information on the internet derived from anyone with the ability to type, what can you trust?

Louisiana is the 18th state to enter the Union, being admitted on April 30th, 1812. Prior to that, Louisiana was part of the French claim to land in North America. But, in a little known part of American history, (little known if you go to my son's school, where I just had to explain to a 4th grader who won WWII!!!) (We did), Thomas Jefferson purchased an enormous swath of land from Napoleon, a short guy with a temper who happened to rule France. Jefferson, who knew a thing or two about the French, was concerend about Nappy's plans to start colonizing the Louisiana area, as would anyone faced with a sudden influx of French. Jefferson offered to buy New Orleans and some land along the Mississippi for $2 million. Which is probably about what you could get New Orleans for today. The French, from whom my wife apparently got her negotiating skills, responded by asking, "Hey, how much will you pay for the whole thing!?", thereby allowing them to get some spare cash, and, more importantly, avoiding the logistics of fighting a war and their inevitable retreat in the face of three guys armed with slingshots.

Jefferson, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, (He died broke. For real yo'. You can look it up. I'd post it, but this is about state's, not Presidents. Do some work yourself for Christ's sake!), agreed to part with $15 million of other people's money for a huge piece of land no one had ever seen. Except the Indians who had lived there for centuries, but as I think we've already established here, no one gave a shit about that.

Little know fact I just learned and since it's from Wikipedia may be true or just made up: Napoleon had the money passed through Dutch and English banks using an English banker. As a reult France only got about $8.8 million out of the deal. Napoleon used that money from English bankers to finance his wars against England. Which later led to the collapse of the French empire and Napoleon's exile and death. Meanwhile, America more than doubled in size AND we got New Orleans. America: Fuck yeah!

Louisiana is known as The Bayou State. Because there are a lot of bayous in it. Bayous are useful for flood control. Many of them have been drained to allow for additional development. This is a good idea that could never, ever backfire. They're also apparently filled with girls who look like Kim Basinger in her prime, which is one more reason to keep them around. Louisiana is also called the Pelican State, Child of the Mississippi, The Creole State, Sportsman's Paradise, and The Sugar State. The state motto is "Union, Justice and Confidence", although I always thought it was "Show Us Your Tits!"

Louisiana is the only state that follows the Napoleonic Code, a form of French law based on Roman law established by Napoleon to simplify French law. I believe it's largely based on settling disputes by seeing who can eat the most oysters at one sitting, but I could be wrong about that. Since Louisiana is the only state that follows it no one else can understand it or get admitted to the Bar as a matter of courtesy. Fortunately, Louisiana will allow pretty much anyone into the other bars in the state, and that's really all we attorneys care about.

As of 2000 there were 4,468,976 people in Louisiana. As of 2006 there were considerably less. The population has dropped an estimated 4%+ since Hurricane Katrina roared through New Orleans and we all got to see what happens when you combine a Category 5 hurricane with a city 8' below sea level and the federal government. Nothing good.

The Louisiana state bird is the Brown Pelican. Here we see two of them contemplating life, the universe and everything. Truly birds of beauty and grace.

The state flower is the Magnolia. Not the crappy steel ones either.

The highest point in Louisiana is not in New Orleans. A somewhat crucially overlooked fact lately. Nope, New Orleans is actually the lowest point in the state, 8 feet below sea level. The highest point is Driskill Mountain, towering 535' above sea level. Or just slightly higher than the dam down the street from my house. Seriously, who are you kidding calling that a mountain? You people must get winded climbing two flights of stairs.

IF YOU'RE IN NEW ORLEANS YOU SHOULD: Do nothing other than go to New Orleans, even if it's still kind of damp and smells funny. I've been there a number of time, always on business unfortunately, (although I still got drunk), and it's simply one of the best cities in the world, even if I do think rebuilding a city below sea level and subject to massive hurricanes may not be the best idea I've ever heard. The food, the bars, the people, the sky-high murder rate! Man, you'll be on your toes and energized from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. I've never been to Mardi Gras, but I'm told that unless you're 18-24 and think it's fun to throw up on yourself, it's somewhat overrated. But the French Quarter
is awesome year round. There's nothing better than grabbing abeer and wandering the streets, stopping outside of bars to listen to various jazz, zydeco or blues bands cranking out music. Well, getting laid afterwards would have been nice, but my spoilsport company wouldn't fly my wife down with me. Probably fairly smart of them actually.

For some reason I can't get the link to the standard pictures of the miss America contestants I'd been using, so Ms. Dupont here has a distinct advantage over our previous contestants, although her taste in hairstyles is questionable at best. Still, call me!

LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO STATE: As noted above, I've been to New Orleans several times, each time on business. At the time I was working for a firm that specialized in toxic tort defense work, so we did a lot of work with chemical companies. Which New Orleans has a lot of, accounting for the odd smells, (well some of them anyway. I'm pretty sure the smell outside of Pat O'Brien's was urine), and amazing sunsets. Oh wait, that's an oil rig fire.

At any rate, I'd occasionally have to go down there to either review thousands of documents or else sit in a room and watch opposing counsel review documents and make sure they didn't steal anything. Interesting fact, you can do both without much sleep and while hungover. Consequently I've spent a good deal of time eating in some of the better restaurants, (expense accounts for major petrochemical companies are ridiculous. And may account for why I'm paying $4.05 a gallon for regular unleaded.), and staying at the House of Blues until 3 am. And it's great. I'd go back in a second. I hope they rebuild the city, even if it doesn't make a damn bit of sense. It's just too great a city to lose.

But maybe they should leave some parts alone and reestablish those mangrove swamps on the shore.

HAS LIMPY EVER GOTTEN LAID IN THIS STATE: No. I'd like to fix that though. Sure, I could have picked someone up while I was down there, but once you wander by a bar with a sign that says "You won't believe they're not women", you start to get a little wary.

Next Up: I'm not sure, since the book is at home, but based on our being in the southeast, and my mastery of the alphabet, I do believe we may be going to visit Syd! Pack some heat. And yes, I said "pack"


Blogger B.E. Earl said...

First off, I loved Kim Basinger in "No Mercy". That was one hot illiterate slave girl!

Secondly, I love New Orleans! Been there three times...all non-work related trips. I didn't have the greatest time the first two trips, but I also didn't explore much. Stuck mostly to Bourbon Street.

On my third trip (6 months pre-Katrina) I spent a lot of time researching the whole city and it made all the difference in the world. I would wake my friends up early just to ride the streetcars to go 30 minutes away for a great breakfast joint. Spent a lot of time in the Garden District and Faubourg-Marigny. I came to love the city and it's people on tht trip.

I need to go back. Soon.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Just remember, making fun of Mississippi is like picking on the handicapped kid.

10:07 AM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Hurricanes have not been proven -- at this point, it's just as likely that they're the product of environmental extremist fantasy. Go ahead and build your city. Levees are real! Whereas hurricanes? Who knows??

10:28 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Earl, she didn't seem to be much for housecelaning though. Your last visit to New Orleans is exactly what I'd like to do the next time I get down there.

Syd, pipe down and go play right-field.

Eclectic, does that mean there's a Hurricane Fairy? Because that would be awesome.

11:51 AM  
Blogger tysgirl said...

You can take Mrs. Limpy to New Orleans and drop the short Limpy's off at my house on the way. I'll give them back when you're done, I promise.

4:33 PM  
Blogger tysgirl said...

P.S. Please bring fuzzy Limpy also.

I mean the dog, you fucking pervert.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

New Orleans is definitely one of the best cities in the world. I'd love to see it on an oil company expense account, but even on my own nickel (well, thousands of my own nickels, actually) it's pretty awsome. My favorite places are mostly outside the French quarter (Dick & Jenny's, Jacques Imo's, the Columns Hotel) -- I don't like crowds, especially not drunk crowds -- though I really like the Napoleon House (which doesn't have drunk crowds, at least not when I was there, but is in the French quarter). I actually liked the French quarter better post-Katrina than pre, though I suppose my personal enochlophobia (I had to look it up) is not a good reason to wish a cat 5 hurricane, or the federal government, on any city...

4:53 PM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

thanks for this very interesting lesson on this very interesting state.

I just know you're saving the best state for last.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Rat In A Cage said...

One of your most masterful pieces yet. Looks like the hypster doofi over there at that Wikan website gave you some good material to lambast. I've been there myself, and it is indeed a fun place. I was on vacation so I'll spare you the details of all the funs things one can do when not there on work. I do remember the tits. Lots of bare ones, and I wasn't even there during Mardi Gras. Awesome music, and some killer drinks. I stayed at a place in the French Quarter so that added even more fun. Speaking of fun. Two wins in a row since Giradi went all Pinella old school apeshit!!! Way to go, Joe! Fire those fuck heads up & let's start winning some damn games!!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Rat In A Cage said...

Thanks for such a great post!

11:29 AM  
Blogger B.E. Earl said...

If you go back, I have a whole list of places for you to visit outside of the French Quarter.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

spent 4 days in New Orleans last summer.

Had a blast.

want to go back during the winter...or some other season when it's not so freakin' HOT!

8:39 PM  
Blogger puerileuwaite said...

Way to reveal the ending, "Joyous Interruptus" ... what's the point in continuing to work my way through "The World At War" (other than for Sir Laurence Olivier's wonderful narration?) now?

And how can anyone disparage a place that is associated with not one, but TWO of the best bargains in American history (see list immediately following)?

In reverse order ...

3) Manhatten* (* at the time, it WAS a deal)
2) Louisiana Purchase
1) Tits for plastic beads

And bad 'doo or not, I'd sure like to riverboat down through Miss Louisana's delta!

(p.s. - "Brown Pelican" sounds too much like a euphemism for something almost as unsavory ... )

8:56 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

I need to go there. Never been.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I find it interesting that you’re on Louisiana: I was just reading a speech by Huey Long.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Cedar said...

I spent a year in New Orleans one week. I really like New Orleans too. And even the "women" confuse me. All I kept hearing was, "Ris, that's a trannie. Ris that's a trannie." I think only the tourist are women. Did you check to see if Ms. LA had an adam's apple and big hands? I think Ann Coulter is from New Orleans.

Did you go to Cafe Du Monde and have Beignets?

8:03 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Tysgirl, sorry, but the furry one wouldn't do well. She's terrified of other dogs, even smaller ones, (which Sheena isn't). Frankly, it's kind of embarrassing.

Frank, thanks for the ideas. Columns Hotel looks cool.

Rhonda, the Mid-west is coming up, although thanks to the tyranny of the alphabet, Wisconsin is still a long ways off.

Rat, nice Wikipedia babe. Click the link folks.

Earl, pass it along.

BP, also summer would be the hurricane season. Perhaps not the best time to visit.

Pug, masteful play of the rvierboat trip to Ms. LA's delta. Just masterful. Now if you'd worked "estuary" in there, I'd have to give up writing entirely.

Liz, everyone should go at least once. Probably in the next couple of years.

Nick, I don't know as much about Long as I should. Wasn't he assasinated?

Cedar, Ann is actually from CT, although both she and we try to hide that fact. Love the "spent a year in NO one week" line.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Party Girl said...

Yeah, if you have to bury your dead above the ground, probably not good on the flood control.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Yep, Long, who was called “The Kingfish,” was assassinated in 1935. If you’re really interested in him, may I suggest that you read Robert Penn Warren’s excellent novel, “All the King’s Men” (or see the movie Oscar winning 1949 movie). The character “Willie Stark” is Long. Both the book and movie was excellent.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Lil Bit said...

Been to N.O., pre-flood, in the "off season", but never during Mardi Gras, but sooooooo want to see how many beads I could get. LOL!

12:23 PM  

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