Trust us, this is the best view possible come 12:30.
As a D.C. native, the past couple weeks have been spent fielding cryptically obtuse text messages. Invariably, the sender asks a very non-specific question, about which I'm supposed to provide an answer. It reads, simply, "Are you going?"
Of course, you, me, Anderson Cooper, and everyone else in the Free World knows what they're referring to: Obaguration Day! Living history! The day we're all hoping won't live in infamy!
That's right, it's finally upon us. And judging from the fact that I've gotten this same question from a few Nashvillians, I have a sense that some of you out there are feeling some pangs of...guilt, regret (what exactly IS this emotion?) that you too won't be celebrating on the Mall.
So allow me to save you the hand-wringing: You're better off staying home...
Want proof? Here's proof.
A guy who calls himself the "Father of Potty Parity" says that the 5,000 Port-A-Johns provided by the Presidential Committee are insufficient, and could lead to bowel-shattering delays
. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has somehow formulated that each less personal space than you'd find in a phonebooth
. Metro, which can't run smoothly during a Friday rush hour, is expected to absorb the load of one to three million EXTRA travelers
. And because the Secret Service closed all three bridges coming into the city from Virginia
, most people across the river will be forced to walk to the festivities.
Anecdotally, a friend of mine woke up at 5:30 this morning, walked two hours to get to the mall, and is currently waiting in sub-freezing temperatures, probably trying, and most certainly failing
, to reach me on her cell phone so she can brag that she's there and I'm not.
In this way, the inauguration is kind of like New Years in Times Square, times a million. Both are clusterfucks of the highest degree. But people will go to no ends justifying the EXPERIENCE, mostly out of some vague need to have something interesting to tell their grandkids.
Of course, all this would be different if you were a VIP of some sort; grandstand seating, inaugural balls and the like. But I don't know anyone but commoners, the kinds of people who'll count themselves lucky if they catch a glimpse of Malia's hand on the jumbo-screen.
So take heart, Obama-loving Nashvillians. There's a TV screen somewhere close by where this whole experience can be had with very little effort. And I imagine you even have a toilet nearby as well. Central air, too? Now that's just a bonus.