Earnest Pettie, comedy writer
You’re a mayor or city councilor of a small city, township, or village that has seen an influx of potential residents due to the colossal destruction Hurricane Katrina visited upon New Orleans. You’d love to entice these displaced to make homes within your fair town. Ideally, you might print up a letter, flier or some other notice to be floated among the shelters and makeshift communities. Unfortunately, your secretary of the treasury has informed you that there’s nothing in the treasury for hiring a secretary, and your letter remains undrafted. The Idea Men, as always, ride to your rescue with a form letter your city council can purchase from Office Depot to mail to your new refugees. For towns too cheap to purchase the form letter, fattening our pockets ever so slightly, feel free to copy and paste the contents of the letter as published below.
Dear Potential Resident,
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our town. Unfortunately, the conditions that brought you here were, to say the least, unpleasant. Mother Nature makes her presence known with awesome power, and New Orleans has had the misfortune of being her most recent host. But take a look around! At first glance, you’ll notice dry land. Look beyond that, though, and you’ll see good schools, civic pride, and three first-rate shopping malls. You may be here for a while, but we hope you’ll stay for good. While you’re here, though, here are some tips for assimilating yourself into our local culture.
According to the World Book Encyclopedia, New Orleans had much to offer its residents in terms of culture, commerce, and economic development. Our city isn’t in the World Book Encyclopedia, yet. That shouldn’t deter you from considering our town your new home. We like to think of our city as a land of opportunity, and you should too. There are many job opportunities, for instance, at one of our three first-rate shopping malls. For the family-minded, we have many educational opportunities. Our Junior College has just been upgraded to a Community College, which means our associate’s degrees now match up against associate’s degrees from anywhere in the country. Yes, opportunities abound here in ______________.
Many of you will choose to return to New Orleans. You’re going to need mops, and we’d be honored if you’d stop by a House Depot at the mall to pick up those mops and any sponges, brooms or dustpans you might need. We bid you good luck, To those of you who choose to remain here, we welcome you and look forward to your contribution, unless you’re a criminal.