Wednesday, June 21, 2006

When Tempers Fray in Katrinaville

I came out to my car this morning to find my rear right tire flat as one of Dali’s melted clock faces. Again.

There was a time not so many months ago when we here in Katrinaville were pretty cocky about our survival skills. We’d been through hell, but we could still laugh; we made jokes about smelly refrigerators and blue roofs and MREs. I’ve noticed lately people don’t laugh much any more. Many have become snippy to the point of being rude, while others are just dangerous. There was a guy living in a FEMA trailer a couple of blocks from me who flipped out completely. He was convinced government snipers were going to kill him. The sheriff’s department tried to commit him; he shot back. They brought in SWAT teams and… You guessed it: government snipers killed him.

He was one of eight people who died violently in the area in just three days last week. In response, the governor finally gave in to the mayor’s request to bring back the National Guard. They should never have left. For months now, thieves have been picking clean what’s left of the city. I don’t like the idea of seeing soldiers with machine guns on the streets again, but I like the alternative even less.

As I write, I hear a rumble of thunder. I’m hoping for rain. After drowning in Katrina’s storm surge last August, we’re now having a drought—the worst on record. How ironic.


Charles Gramlich said...

I found out the other day that there was a police chase on my university's campus one night last week and that shots were fired. At least one building had windows shot out. That's a little frightening. I wonder if the gangs are coming back but are having to fight over new turf, turf that isn't still off limits because of Katrina damage?

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