Three days after Katrina struck New Orleans, local radio station WWL interviewed Mayor Ray Nagin and it was a vintage performance. Of course, back then it came as a pleasant surprise that Ray had an excitable side to him.
The other day I was shopping on Magazine St. (between Sip Wine store and the Rendezvouz Tavern) and I went into this novelty shop, where I noticed a prominent sign: "We have acquired a new shipment of ‘Da Mayor in Your Pocket.’" Sensing this was a hot item, I asked the salesperson and was led to a little pocket recording device that has some of the funnier parts of his Sept 1st radio interview. I paid the $10 and put it in my knapsack, not sure if it was worth the money. It has turned out to be one of the best investments I’ve made. Whenever I show this to people they howl and ask if they can borrow it to show other people nearby.
I haven’t taken it out of the packaging because that’s more than half the fun. On the front, below Nagin’s figure, it says "C’mon Bra, try me." And it has a small explanatory caption too: "Things got bad. He got mad." Finally, on the back of the package there are pro forma advertising notices and junk, but then there is the large warning (intentionally funny?): "NOT TO BE USED UNDER WATER."
If you are from New Orleans and have a sense of humor, or know someone like that, then you should buy this toy. Unfortunately, they didn’t include my favorite quote from the interview, the one where he was asked if President Bush had done anything helpful in the wake of Katrina. Here is Nagin’s wonderful response.