Jan 30, 200906:31 PM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
Morgus’ Solution: How To Keep The Quarter Clean
I got to interview Morgus the Magnificent this past week. During the 1960s Morgus was the rage in local television when, on Saturday nights, he would introduce horror movies on television. Between segments, he would have skits featuring his mummy servant Chopsley and a skeleton-headed computer named Eric (Eon Research Infinity Computer). Morgus wore a tattered white lab coat and always looked a little ghoulish. Some thought him to be a spoof, others recognized him as the genius he claimed to be. After all, only he had the intellect to write a scientific book entitled, Molecules I Have Known.
Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus still claim to live in his laboratory located atop the "old city icehouse" in the French Quarter, and Chopsely is still by his side obeying his commands. In 1962 a movie about him was made called The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus. Today, the doctor scoffs at the word "Wacky" in the title and claims that he did not know the film was being made, even as cameras and bright lights followed him around for a couple of months. (Nevertheless, Morgus is graciously willing to plug the fact that the film will be shown on Cox Cable's Channel 10 this Saturday night, Feb. 7 and urges everyone to make an evening out of watching it).
Morgus is too important to the universal good to waste much time on self-promotion; instead he preferred to use the interview time to speak of the world's problems, number one being the mayor's threat to reduce the cleaning operation in the French Quarter. Since the old city icehouse is located in the Quarter (apparently for security reason, Morgus never reveals its exact location) the Doctor has come up with a plan to keep the streets clean,
"Get prisoners to do it," Morgus explains. "Tell them for every day they spend cleaning the Quarter they will get a day off their sentence. They will jump at the chance."
While the idea is interesting, it is hardly novel. Prisoners have been doing work around town for years, but here is where Morgus shows a genius side far in advance of the rest of us:
"Have all the prisoners dress as clowns," Morgus adds. "That way the tourists will see them and think that it Mardi Gras all year round. It will be good for tourism." Pure brilliance.
It is time for us to start respecting Morgus for the scientific star that he is. After all, it was he who many years ago installed his own personal turbine at the bottom of the river which generates the electricity for his icehouse home. "I never have to pay Entergy," Morgus gloats. And it was he who dared to experiment with an "Instant People Machine" with the ability to turn people into sand and sand into people.
Mention has been made about his running for mayor next year, but he may be too important for that. Nevertheless, the council and mayor should consider his street cleaning proposal and we should feel confident in the city's recovery as long as the light is still burning atop the old city icehouse.
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