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Clemenza's Corner (Top 10 for September 2005 -- Special Evacuation Observations Edition)

Posted: September 24, 2005

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Business Administrator's Note: Despite my best efforts to make Shaking Through into a well-oiled machine, Hurricane Katrina has scattered our staff to the four winds. After weeks of blissful silence, I finally received this missive from our B-movie guy Clemenza, who is apparently hiding out somewhere in Florida, suckling at the government teat. Vincenzo's on his way to hunt down his friend and colleague right now (see entry #7 below). Me? I'm going for a brisk jog along the levees. Rita, schmita... -- Alan Sargent, Shaking Through Business Administrator
10. What in the Corey Haim is Mother Nature's problem? Why ain't no wicked weather chasing O.J. around the golf course? That would be justice, to see The Juice get hit in the head by a basketball-sized piece of hail. But no, instead, my ass is chased from state to state as I live the film The Day After Tomorrow.
09. Trapped in gridlock for a thirteenth straight hour, I had a vision of stopping in one of these small Mississippi towns and setting myself up as a demigod, a backwoods Colonel Kurtz. Alas, the gridlock broke and the vision passed.
08. First came the storm and then came the looters. Now, let me ask you, how far-fetched does the urban apocalypse of Death Wish III seem? Somewhere the Giggler is running around with my brand-spanking-new Flat Panel monitor. Heads will roll when I return... And return I shall.
07. I survived a 24-hour evacuation, passed safely across the lightly guarded Florida border, and (thanks to a credit card "borrowed" from Vincenzo) rented a plush beachside condo to ride out the storm in the level of comfort to which I have become accustomed. Emboldened, I stood atop a bridge in Escambia Bay and shouted to the wind, "Don't bring that weak stuff in here!" As I did so -- in a moment reminiscent of Jacob's Ladder -- a man with no face passed me in a black sedan, blasting me with what Ben Folds so succinctly described as "hate and bass". Yes, eerie, I know. But these are dangerous times, friends, strange and dangerous times...
06. Regarding levees: I just saw a show about the levees in Holland. These Ricola-chewing jackanapes got multiple staggered floodwalls of 30-40 feet, gigantic dams and canals to deal with floods. Meanwhile, we Americans sit below sea level, protected by levees smaller than the mound of mashed potatoes on a Pre-Subway Jared's dinner plate.
05. Regarding levees 2: Here my ass is below sea level; Iím paying 9.5% sales tax, Federal tax, state tax, capital gains tax, and the only thing standing between me and drowning is a five-foot pile of dirt that some dude wearing a Marshall Tucker Band T-shirt pushed up to the waterís edge using his brother-in-law's stolen Bobcat! Yes, I sleep the sleep of angels knowing this, but as I often say, I am but one man totally alone in a world of indifference and stupidity.
04. Apparently, federal funds to finance making the levees higher than the expected storm-surge a Category 3 or stronger hurricane might bring were redirected toward a bill that would make Mr. T's birthday a federal holiday. Mother Nature is truly the least of our problems.
03. Note to the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.: Next time you come to a city ravaged by hurricane-force winds and inundated by floodwater, bring a pail instead of a microphone. Thanks for the non-opportunistic support.
02. What's with these lame-ass storm names? First Hurricane Katrina and now Rita... RITA! Thereís no way Iím getting killed by anything named "Rita." Other names I refuse to be injured by are Mabel, Sissy, Moesha and, last but not least, Barney. Wanna kill this evacuee, Mother Nature? Better come strapped with a much, much tougher name like Ace, Big Rig, Jesse, or Steel Hawthorne. Rita just ainít cuttiní it.
01. Why bother rebuilding? I say letís just go total Waterworld and grow gills. Jet skis and a wildly overacting Dennis Hopper are optional.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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