21 January 2009

Moths Drawn to the Globama Flame

[19 Jan. 2009]

In spite of my jeremiad about the challenges of living in the Capitol City in the grips of Inaugural lockdown, people enchanted with the change to Obama as our Nation’s 44th President are inspired to come to Washington. Alas, some of these sojourns are not well thought out.

Let me offer two anecdotes of two moths drawn to the Globama flame. A couple hopped in their car driving from Georgia hoping to make it to Washington, DC for the swearing in ceremony. Well, they must have taken their directions from the rock group the B-52's as they lost once they left the Atlanta highway, so they turned back.

Another example of irrational exuberance for the Inauguration is an Atlanta mother who wanted to drive to DC so her two toddlers could be here for the change. She decided to do this with a little more than 24 hours before the oath was administered. It would be at least 10 hour drive. She could stay with relatives outside of the beltway. We tried to give her the realities to make prudent choices.

She would have to be at a Metro station at 4:00 a.m. to get any sort of place. The weather report predicts that the high will be 30 degrees F. (probably in the teens and 20s while she was waiting for six hours). Since she had no ticket for the parade route, more than likely she would have to go through nine security checkpoints to get to the mall. Strollers and backpacks are banned. The is a woeful paucity of porto-potties. If either of her children had to relief themselves, she would lose her standing place, then take off the layers of bundled clothing in a porto-potty and then muscle to find another perch to see the events on large screens set up along the mall.

I think our reality checkpoint was effective. She is checking out staying in Atlanta and watching the Oath of Office at a movie theater, sponsored by MSNBC-Obama. Better than figuratively crashing and burning in the chill of the National Mall with two small children.

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