#44: Hammond, LA 8/23/16

Louisiana! Land of crawdads and Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler on the Hammond city council!

“Mr. President,” drawled Councilman Jason Hood, “several weeks ago I saw an article in our local paper about a young man doing a service project for Miss Louise. I don’t do a lot of this, but I wanted to bring him here”–to show him a good time on Bourbon Street?!–“to recognize him for what he has achieved.”

The councilman added, “Kyle, come on up–I’m gonna give the people an example what kind of person gets this [Eagle Scout] badge: nine Medal of Honor winners were Eagle Scouts. One former president, Supreme Court justice, several astronauts, and numerous prominent, successful businessmen.”

Hey, kid: if you’re not a president, justice, or astronaut, you’ve let Councilman Jason Hood down.

Oh, sure, overlook the serial killers and ne’er-do-wells who also made Eagle Scout. Come on, council. This is Louisiana–let’s hear about debauchery and booze! Like you, the well-dressed man looking for an alcohol permit:

“We ask all applicants of alcohol permits to come before council to make sure you understand the laws,” lectured council President Michael Williams. “Any sale to minors is not going to be tolerated.”

“Yes, sir. I understand that. Yes, sir,” obediently responded the man as he clutched the podium.

Mayor Pete Panepinto came to his defense. “Mr. Richardson runs a clothing store on the corner. So if he runs it anything like he runs that store, it’s gonna be great.”

Suddenly, a movement caught Williams’s eye. “I’m sorry, Miss Louise?”

A woman with short blonde hair and a blue t-shirt rushed forward and planted herself behind Mr. Richardson.

“I’m sure that you’ve checked the proximity to the church that’s right there as to whether there would be any kind of a–”

Several council members gestured in objection. “Further down! Much further down!”

“Thank you,” Miss Louise said politely, returning to her seat. The council approved Mr. Richardson’s alcohol license.

Miss Louise: friend of Eagle Scouts, protector of churches

Well, I’ll be damned. I’ve seen more drama at a middle school PTA meeting. Surely there must be someone willing to raise a ruckus in this sleepy burb!

“Ordinance to approve request to rezone a lot at 28 South Orange Street,” President Williams read, glancing up just in time to see a towering woman marching deliberately towards the podium.

“I got held up on a case this afternoon, so I missed the opportunity for public comment,” she brushed aside the council. “But Orange Street is my street. And if you’ll entertain me–”

“Sure,” President Williams murmured.

“I drive down that street several times a day. I’m also secretary for the neighborhood association. Our neighbors are cautiously supportive of the rezoning. But in the future, who’s to say what’s gonna happen with that property?”

She dropped her notes on the podium for emphasis. “We’re here to say that we’re supportive of development…just not forget that we’re back there.”

A long pause lingered. Would someone cue The  Breakfast Club theme? Eventually, President Williams mumbled, “so moved.”

It passed unanimously.

Final thoughts: I give 10 out of 10 stars to Miss Louise for vigilantly protecting the Lord’s House from the scourge of alcohol-serving restaurants.


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