For last week’s investigation, I decided to take part in the ultimate patriotic Mainstream activity–the Inauguration of President Barack Obama!
If you’re rolling your eyes because you think this is another gloaty blog entry about someone’s awesome, pimped-out day with Barack, Michelle, and Bono. Don’t worry! Real Mainstreamers didn’t have access to up-close seats and fancy balls! That would require money, or fame, or enough leisure time to spend weeks (months?) volunteering for the campaign. Also, Mainstreamers are kind of lazy, so volunteering is a less likely spare time activity than, say, seeing Marley and Me.
No, my diary of the great day consists of gems such as an overpriced Amtrak ticket, bad beer, and getting kicked in the face. Key findings: The Mall is sort of ugly. So are Americans trying to get back to New York. Also, when you are half a mile from the Jumbotron screen, Aretha Franklin looks a lot like my white Republican aunt.
Monday, Jan 19th
5:00 pm. Board Amtrak train at Penn station. Smells like pee in here. Was my ticket really $349? Yes. Yes it was. Buy an $8 beer and settle next to window.
5:15 pm. Nap.
5:30 pm. The party starts! Group in front of me turns on boom box, jolting me out of nap. It’s Mainstream 1989! Hammer time! Someone passes out special Obama magazines and cans of Budweiser.
Hurray, new regime! Obama = free beer!
6:15 pm. Elderly lady boards in New Jersey, sees I am whitest person on train, grabs seat next to me. She eyes my beer with disdain. Immediate suspicions arise that she is of the enemy camp.
6:30 pm. Suspicions confirmed!
“Look how happy they are,” she whispers. “One of them in office. I voted for McCain, but look! It’s SO cute!” She gets off in Delaware. Good riddance! Train party continues. Some girl has tickets to the Western Ball. We open up a world of hate on her.
(I just learned to say that on the train ride.)
9:00 pm. Arrive at Union Station, slightly drunk. TV camera! Media! Cool “Hope” banners! Oh, those are Pepsi ads. Oooo, should I have a Pepsi? Pepsi is so good! Gross.
10:00 pm. Find Wooch, the owner of the couch I will be inhabiting this evening. Shit, it’s cold out here. We wade through crowds to get a very bad burger. Am offered the “Obama” drink special: Bailey’s and Tangerine Vodka!
11:00 pm. Obama drinks vomitous. Couch face plant.
Tuesday January 20th
6:30 am. Wake up. It’s like Christmas! Look out windows, see that huge crowd is already streaming toward Mall. Must beat them! Put on long johns, two sweaters, two hats, huge coat containing sundries and granola bars. Wooch says I look like Unabomber and will not be making friends or meeting anyone hot for a patriotic Obama fling.
7:00 am. Wooch is right. In Starbucks, people see me and look nervously away. Stupid coat. Line too long. 50 people waiting for bathroom. Rumors of 50,000 per toilet at the Mall! We will pee in our hats!
8:00 am. Arrive at Mall. Stake out spot! It’s not even that crowded. Is this a hoax? I mean, people are here, but I have plenty of room. Also there are about 7,000 empty toilets. Try to talk to people around me, but no one is interested except the unemployed guy who is bitching, bitching, bitching. I hope Obama cures him.
8:30 am. Wow. This guy is still complaining. I’m sorry about your marketing job in Baltimore. I know, the mortgage. It sucks! God! When does this thing start? Cold. Consume granola bar for warmth.
9:00 am. So bored! Why is patriotism so dull? Nothing on Jumbotron but some boys’ choir. Wait is that live or did that happen Sunday? Where’s the announcer? Can we watch a quick 30 Rock instead?
9:30 am. More people are coming now. I hear someone say that someone else heard on the radio that there are two million people here. The most ever! But wait. They are all moving into my f_cking spot! Listen, I got here at 8:00 am, Turd Face! Get that toddler off your shoulders. You and your big hat.
10:00 am. Famous people are starting to arrive! Beyonce! Yay! Bill and Hillary! Yay! Ted Kennedy! Still alive? Yay! No one up there is wearing a hat. Do they have special heaters? Why do they all look so good when we all look like bread march refugees?
10:10 am. Biden’s wife is wearing do-me boots!
10: 12 am. I can’t feel my feet. Can you step on my feet for me?
10:15 am. OMG! There they are!!!! The Obaaaaamaaaas! Michele, Barack, Malia, Sasha! So awesome! Yeeeeeessssss!!!
10:30 am. Aretha Franklin. Hat. Ha ha.
10:35 am. Dude, I told you. Toddler down or I pull him down for you.
10: 37 am. Sorry. Please stop crying, little guy. I was—sorry.
10:45 am OMG, it’s starting! Biden is sworn in! Hot old wife looks on. Rivers of Mainstreamer tears.
10:50 am. Classical Music break. Boooooring. The crowd breaks the sacred silence to talk amongst themselves..
–”Yo Yo Ma? Yo MaMA.”
–”Put your fingers in your armpits. It works.”
–”Do you think Burger King will be too crazy?”
–”Hey, let me see your ipod.”
11:00 am. OMG! YES! NEW PRESID—
Wait, did he just fuck up? Or is that the Jumbotron? Why is the sound not working? Fuck!
11:30 am. Oh, this speech is good. It IS the age of Responsibility! We WILL face these challenges! We ARE America…
11: 40 am. sooooo cold…space out…granola bar…
11:50 am. Yes! Thunderous applause! WE ARE SAVED!
12:10 pm. Poet lady speaking. Trying to hear her, but crowd pushing us to side.
Ow! Fall down! Foot on face! Lady, you just stepped on my face! Wooch, did she just—I thought so! Ow.
12:30 pm. Yes, Burger King is mobbed.
12:45 pm. A limo! Is that Beyonce? Where is she eating lunch? Even crappy Pret-a-Manger is mobbed. This town sucks.
1:15-3:30 pm. Hoard plastic booth at Coucous Castle. Couscous pretty good, actually. Put toes in Styrofoam cups of hot water. Ow. Watch taped showing of the speech again. Looks better from here.
3:45 pm. Bye, Wooch. Metro to Union station “crazy”, but if you’ve been in rush hour in New York, whatever.
3:50 pm. Union Station temporarily closed because of a bomb sweep for some ball. Maybe the Western Ball? Riot. Man hits policeman on head, who shoves him and begins whining to me because I have a friendly face.
“Why did you all come here anyway?”
I tell him I’m not sure. We are now friends, so he sneaks me into station through a secret Port-o-Let opening.
4:00 pm. In station. Made it! suckers. Buy Audacity of Hope. Brainwashed! Of course. Mainstream K.
4:15 pm. Buy another $8 beer. Board train to Penn Station.
4:30 pm. Train leaves. Good luck Obama! And you owe me, buddy. I did it all for you.
- Yours from the new Age of Responsibility,
- Mainstream K