DECONSCRIPTION-Writings of Curtis Cottrell

Napoleona Bicentennial

Home | 2010s Poems | 2000s Poems | 1990s Poems | 1980s Poems | 1970s Poems | Beastar | Carsonogenic | Comics Trip | Crow's Nest | Epigrams | Evangeline | Hollow Fame | Hunter's Epitaph | Icaries | Incubation | Menstruation | Napoleona Bicentennial | Nympholepsy | Osmosis of Elvis | Paddy Gonne | Record Reviews | Shock Trouper | Sonnets | Tanka | USAROKA | Xenossey | About Curtis

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the La Grande Salle à Manger of Napoleon House in New Orleans for our bicentennial celebration of the rescue of Napoleon from exile.  We are pleased to have you, the honorable ambassadors of the thirteen United States, as our guests.  Our nations have long been allies against the monarchies of Europe.  Your nation’s dedication to states’ rights and your Tea Party’s resistance to taxation have maintained the sovereignty and independence of your thirteen states.


Napoleona stretches from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Arctic Sea in the north and from the Appalachians in the east to Sierra Nevada in the west.  We have helped the United States enforce the Monroe Doctrine and kept the monarchies of Europe from interfering with the affairs of the western hemisphere.  Our alliances in South America go back to the days of Simon Bolivar and have evolved into the thriving trade and commerce of modern times.  Your nation has also supported us in our border conflicts with Florida and Mexicali.  As your poet Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.”


The United States and Napoleona have joined as allies in several conflicts.  You all know about our Cajun hero Davy Crochet in his coonass coonskin cap defending the Alamo against a clanking horde of ironclad steam armadillos and a flying armada of Mexicali airships.   We will commemorate that battle on another day.  Napoleona later joined the U.S. in its war against the air pirates of Cuba, who were hijacking airships for their bootleg liquor smuggling operations during the U.S. Prohibition Era.  Scarface Capone’s Havana gangsters in cigar-shaped dirigibles with shiny black gondolas sank many of our balloons with their machine guns.  And when Cuba won its independence from Florida, we had yet another generation of hijackers.  Who could foresee what would happen to your World Trade Center?


Tonight we are here to celebrate Jean Lafitte’s rescue of Napoleon from British exile on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.  You see on the banquet table before you ice sculptures representing Lafitte’s submarines The Copper Crawfish and The Stainless Steel Snapping Turtle.  Napoleon was wise when he refused to sell Louisiana to the United States.  Instead he sent the greatest scientists of Europe to the Momus Antoine Morgus Laboratory, a research and development center in Baton Rouge.  Our Ministry of Information applied the animal magnetism and hypnotic suggestion of Franz Anton Mesmer’s dynamic psychiatry to social psychology.  Mathematicians from the schools of Lagrange and Fourier, chemists from the school of Lavoisier, physicists from the school of Laplace and electrical engineers trained by Galvani and Volta harnessed the power of steam and electricity to propel our armored submarines.  British ships perforated by broadsides of grapeshot were crushed by the claws of The Copper Crawfish and the jaws of The Stainless Steel Snapping Turtle.  After that, the European navies were afraid to enter our waters.


When Napoleon arrived in New Orleans, the first thing he did was close Maspero’s slave market over there across the street.  Some of the emancipated slaves took free passage to Africa or Haiti, but many remained.  Their descendants have contributed to our culture, especially in the culinary and musical arts.  I pay my respects to Chef Augustin Olivier, who has prepared a sumptuous feast for us tonight.  Chef is descended from Pompei DuSable, who patented the clockwork steam autoperipatetic “Whistling Waiters,” which serve us tonight thanks to the state museum.  And you will be whistling the tunes of our most distinguished composer Professor Alain Toussaint providing our dinner music on a steam calliope.


This banquet room was Napoleon’s headquarters when he arrived.  He set up a system of coureurs de bois on hydrofoils hovering over the waterways on cushions of steam.  After dinner I will show you the electric steamships and aquahorticultural submarines in New Orleans harbor from the cupola on the roof and--hidden behind these walls--the secret chamber that was built to hide him from the British.  It is said that Napoleon met his creole mistress Colinda in that secret room, and on a moonless night, you can still smell his Hové cologne.  And it was in that room that Napoleon was ambushed with high powered air guns by assassins, who vanished silently into the dark.


Whereas your country is mapped with a Cartesian grid, ours is defined by frontage on our waterways.  When Lasalle claimed all the lands draining into the Mississippi River, he set up a branching system that organized chaos into complexity.  Because we have always had our courier system, our citizens can vote on each statute in our code of laws.  Our state is organized into phalanxes nominating and electing representatives and executives, who can be removed swiftly by a vote of no confidence.  In this way, Napoleona is managed with unity of action and harmonious collaboration.


With the help of Prime Minister Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, ally of Washington and hero of your American war of independence, Napoleon won the support of the children of the royalists who fled to south Louisiana before the French revolution.  Born in the new world, these bluebloods showed their nobility in their dedication to the service of others.  These citizen chevaliers distinguished themselves in science, medicine, architecture and civil engineering.  Our great public works are a memorial to their unselfish service.  Our interurban railroads, intra-coastal canals, intercontinental aerodromes, and the Eiffel Tower that punctuates the New Orleans skyline on St. Charles Avenue still throb with the steam of their ardor.


Although our nations have shared common interests, we have developed in different ways.  The United States is rich in coal and oil to power its factories.  Napoleona, on the other hand, has harnessed the power of its rivers and prairies with hydroelectric dams, solar panels and wind turbines.  We learned from the Native American tribes a respect for the Earth, who is our Holy Mother.


The coureurs de bois traveled with the missionary brothers of the church spreading French language, culture and the gospel of sharing to natives who had practiced conservation for generations.  These noble savages welcomed us as long as we respected the land.  Pollution of our environment is the greatest offence to society, punishable by exile as the laws of Athens and the Napoleonic Code mandate.


Napoleona has one religion and hundreds of cheeses while America has hundreds of religions, but only one kind of cheese.  As Henry the Eighth broke from Rome over the issue of marriage, so did Napoleona.  But in our case, the breakup was over marriage of the clergy.  When our missionary scholars took the daughters of native medicine men as wives, the French and natives truly joined hands in brotherhood.  These brothers and sisters passed their learning on to their children who became teachers and healers in our charity hospital system, the top of our arch of triumph.  The pelican on the flag of Napoleona feeds her hungry children with blood from her own compassionate heart.  Our public healthcare system founded by The Daughters of Charity at Hotel Dieu hospital and medical school in New Orleans has extended its clinics throughout our entire state.  We may not be the wealthiest, but Napoleona is the healthiest nation in the world.


Napoleon strengthened the alliances with the natives that had been forged before what you Americans call the French and Indian War.  As the natives assimilated us into their culture, Napoleona extended its influence into Canada by connecting with the Québécois to drive out the British.  With supporting salvos from Frank Reade’s American ironclads, Lafitte’s navy cut the British lines of supply, and Canada was ours.  When Napoleona bought Alaska from Russia, we could finally fish the Pacific.  We have always fished the Gulf of Mexico and must have a clean water supply.  Our undersea aquahorticulture plantations have gone far beyond the seaweed that Nemo and the Nautilus harvested on Crespo, the underwater island.  Yes, my friends, talking about seafood is getting me hungry!


Napoleona has always been dedicated to liberty, equality and the brotherhood of all citizens.  The United States has likewise valued its own inalienable rights.  We share a love of liberty and a determination to protect it at all costs.  I could go on all night about the history and accomplishments of Napoleona, but I don’t want the turtle soup to get cold, and we are all ready for some delicious crawfish étouffeé.  So before the benediction by Father Philippe K. Gras, let us raise our champagne glasses high and drink a toast to celebrate the bicentennial of our beloved Napoleona!  Bon appétit, here’s a toast to Napoleon.  May all the citizens of Napoleona enjoy liberty, equality and brotherhood and help the United States achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!  Salut!