I went to a Presidential Inauguration once…

Barack Obama is going to become president and his inauguration is THE most important thing ever to happen, if you watch/listen the cable news anchors. 50 million people are going to show up in DC on January 20th and watch the inauguration.  Probably the planet will tilt off its axis because so many followers will converge onto that part of the globe for this occasion. But, guess what?

They’ll wish they stayed home.

Yes, it’s history. It’s a must see. But I went to an inauguration in 1996 for Clinton when I lived in Washington DC as a grad student, because how often does one get a chance to see an inauguration, right? Once was enough, I think. First, it was cold (I think mid-20s). Second, you had to arrive early if you wanted a good spot (that is, a ‘good spot’ in a bad location, a pre-assigned roped off section, indicated by your Inauguration card). So, there at 7:30 am in the morning, and you’re on your feet for the next 6 hours. Nearly everyone is positioned about 10 miles from the stage.  Unless you are Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel, or Rick Warren, that is, and have a ticket to row 1. Seriously, there’s a few ‘up close with seats’ sections and I wasn’t offered one of those seats – you gotta be somebody to be in that section (the only consolation is that those special people are just as cold as you).

It's, uh, gonna be cold.
It's, uh, gonna be cold.

I compare it to going to a professional football game. You get the wrong seats, and you don’t know what is going on at the game and you end up watching the jumbotron for 3 hours instead. Football is great on television, but lousy, sometimes, in person. Same goes for the Inauguration. When I was at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, I could barely make out Hillary Clinton, so that’s saying something, cuz I think she was wearing some ugly dress. And I have no idea what Bill Clinton said at that inauguration. Or anybody else, for that matter. Maya Angelou was there. I Know I Why the Caged Bird Froze to Death, I think was the name of her poem. I don’t know if Monica was in town at that time, but I bet she watched it on television.

So, I’m just saying: If you can’t make the inauguration – don’t feel too bad. Sleep in, make some breakfast, and watch it on television. Just know that the people down there will be excited to be there. And they will have serious nose-drip and watery eyes from the cold weather, and their feet will be freezing, and all the Starbucks coffee the world won’t make it any more comfortable.

And I didn’t go into the traffic nightmare!

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