Do you remember the millions of dollars that was raised to support victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? ( You know on the telethons like where Kanye West started improvising about how well George W. likes black people) Well that money is going to the Red Cross, and one of the ways they are utilizing it is by paying for accomodations for 'displaced evacuees' at hotels.
Check out Kevin's posting at the watercooler for more details on how this is working out.
In the meantime, however, we have a few of them staying here at the one hotel -- he calls down and asks if I can print up a flyer for him, I tell him that I'd see what I could do, he comes down to tell me he wants to have his driver's license blown-up and he wants it to say, "I'm from New Orleans. So what!"
So I do it for him, he looks at it and says, "How about, 'yeah, I'm from New Orleans. So what.' you know - so what?!"
I add the 'yeah' and print it again. "How about 'Donations'."
Donations. O.K. I add 'Donations.' "You know 'Donations accepted here. Tip jar."
So I make the changes, and print it out for him.
"I've been up here working at the jazz fest. Volunteer work. I'm glad to do it. You know they don't pay to do that, I sit up there and sell water. I must've sold a lot a water today. They don't have real jazz here in Clearwater. It's not like New Orleans. It's bluegrass, really. They call it jazz. Hah!"
"You know, I'm from New Orleans. Hah! I know jazz music. I had pictures up on my wall. I...uh...I don't have no wall now. I don't have no house. It's all gone. It's all.....gone."
"Yeah, donations accepted here."
While I was talking to him, an older man in a room had broken his leg and the guy with him had come down and wanted to know how to get to the hospital. I asked if he wanted an ambulance, an he said no, but wondered if I could give him directions to a hospital. I told him I could, but he didn't know if that's what they were going to do or not. So he went back up to the room and eventually they called an ambulance themselves.
Mr. New Orleans says, "I don't need no more excitement in my life, I'm getting out of here."