Midseason Replacement

Earnest Pettie, comedy writer

Form Letter to send to Katrina’s Refugees

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.

  • In New Orleans you have the famous/infamous Bourbon Street. Here we have bourbon. Please drink responsibly.
  • New Orleans is world-famous for its jazz music which can be heard pouring onto Bourbon Street from local bars and restaurants. Here in ____________ all of our jazz is of the “smooth” variety and can be found on the FM radio on the far left side of your dial.
  • In New Orleans, you probably often noticed yourself surrounded by black people. If that ever happens to you here, the chances are good that you’ve wandered too far east of downtown. It would be best if you grabbed your cell phone and wallet and hurried back across the railroad tracks on 4th Street.
  • If you’re here through next Spring, you likely will begin to miss your annual Mardi Gras festival. Regrettably, we haven’t yet put on a Mardi Gras festival. There are a couple motions before the city council right now to incorporate Mardi Gras into our civic calendar, and our local Office of Tourism is investigating the viability of putting on such a festival. In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy our annual Azalea festival. What the festival lacks in debauchery, it more than compensates with foliage.
  • And needless to say, asking women to show their breasts in exchange for beads is frowned upon here. The rate of exchange here is fifteen dollars per set of breasts, and all activity is to be confined to areas East of downtown.

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.



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This entry was posted on July 25, 2006 by in Uncategorized.

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