Okay, so everyone knows we call New Orleans the Big Easy, right? ‘Cept, sometimes when we call it the Big Sleazy? Okay, here are some variations I’ve heard lately that I’d like to share:
The Big Stinky
The Big Queasy
And of course the Big Uneasy, ‘cause ain’t nothing easy in this town these days.
And my personal favorite: The Big Squeegee
We’re also called the Crescent City, except the paper called us the Anti-depressant City. Heh-heh. By the way, the cover of Gambit (our alternative weekly, publishing again) this week screamed “Wigging Out!” which is what New Orleanians are doing these days. I enjoyed the anti-depressant thing because when I was describing my alternation between not sleeping and being unable to stay awake, as well as nightmares about hurricanes and waking up in a panic convinced I have to evacuate RIGHT NOW, not to mention the mood swings, depression, and sudden eruptions of fury, Arwen and Holly (both psychiatrists) told me I have classic, textbook Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (it’s not just for war veterans anymore!). So Arwen scored me a shopping bag of Zoloft from a drug rep – sometimes it’s handy to buy a house with a doctor, even if we’re not actually living in it at the moment. It’s sitting in my cabinet right now, because I haven’t had one of Those Nightmares in about a month and I’ve been sleeping pretty well, so clearly the alcohol is working.
When I first came back to New Orleans, I took Darv to pick up his car in this abandoned parking garage. We drive into the garage, past the half-up and twisted gates and into this completely dark and empty garage. We drive up a few stories and, because we’re in a garage, the radio goes all white noise, “ssssssssssss.” We drive past all these clearly abandoned cars, and there are no other people to be seen anywhere. Plus, since the electricity is out, no lights shine. Let me tell you, nothing says post-apocalyptic United States like a dead parking garage. So, there I am, in the dead parking garage, the radio going “ssssssss,” and as Darv gets out to try to start his car, I’m thinking, “If Darv’s car doesn’t start, the zombies are coming.” I was absolutely expecting zombies to come out from behind cars and around corners, all stumbling and decaying and hungry for brains, but fortunately Darv’s car did start, so no zombies.
All of which is to say, I’ve come up with a new tourist slogan for my beleaguered city, something that focuses on the positive, something that will really bring the people and their money back to the city. You ready? Okay, how about:
New Orleans – Still No Zombies!
What do you think? It’s snappy, and works with the whole voodoo thing we got going on. Clearly my talents were being wasted in academia and I really belong in advertising.
Here’s some others I came up with:
New Orleans – Now It All Smells Like Bourbon Street!
Or how about:
New Orleans – Like the Third World, But You Can Drink the Water!
I think I’m on to something here.