Categories
In Our World

Everything's Smaller in New Orleans

As on-again, off-again Ernesto bears down on Florida, we're reminded that it was one year ago today that Hurricane Katrina was battering New Orleans, and this produced an entirely new paradigm. As people in Texas like to say that everything there is bigger, when you speak of New…

As on-again, off-again Ernesto bears down on Florida, we’re reminded that it was one year ago today that Hurricane Katrina was battering New Orleans, and this produced an entirely new paradigm. As people in Texas like to say that everything there is bigger, when you speak of New Orleans, everything there is smaller. Before you go and get upset, bear with me. I’m not trying to insult anyone.

Let’s start with the fact that some four hundred thousand resdents are still missing. I don’t mean that they are absent and need to be found, I simply mean that the population of the city is that much smaller than it was at this time last year. Well, at this time a week ago last year. You know what I mean. That’s the first indication that things are smaller. While some are undoubtedly trickling back in, it will be quite some time before this city is anywhere near its prior size – if it ever is that size again. And this isn’t the only thing that has become smaller.

With a smaller population comes a smaller phone book. Frankly I think printing up a phone book is a waste of time and money. The other day they dropped two of them on our front porch and they went straght to the recycle bin, just like they have done for the last four or five years. I can’t tell you the last time I looked in a printed phone book for something. Couple that with the fact that the city is a fraction of its former size and you have (wait for it) a smaller phone book. Next.

Some enterprising folks have begun to realize that here, a year after the storm hit, there are still people waiting to have repairs done. There are still homes that cannot be inhabited. The demand for certain types of repair work is overwhelming – the only part of the phone book that grew is for those workers who do that work. So these entrepreneurs decided to come up with a solution. The answer? Smaller houses.

I’m sure that some people will complain that the people who can least afford it are being made to live in small shacks or something, but I think these things look pretty nice. And no, I’m not going to live in one because I have a home that’s working perfectly fine at the moment, thankyouverymuch. But if I didn’t and wasn’t getting much satisfaction out of whoever was supposed to be giving me some, you can bet I’d consider it.

In any case, Lowe’s is partnering with the people who came up with these houses and they will be able to deliver the houses in bundles. The first bundle comes and you start putting it together (or the person you hire will be able to do so). When you’re finishing up with that, the second bundle arrives. As you get near the end of that one, the final bundle arrives and as you complete that bundle, you’re done. These houses aren’t mansions by any means, but they look a whole lot nicer than those FEMA trailers that are rotting about now. Sometimes good things do come in small packages.