(Originally Posted on Facebook Wednesday, January 21, 2009)
Okay, let me first say that I had a GLORIOUS time in DC at the inauguration. It was one of the best moments in my life so far. Nothing can change that. I am truly happy that I was there and witnessed history. Just like our parents and grand parents can say they were there with Martin Luther King…I was there with President Barack Hussein Obama. But this is my RANT list – so how do I rant about such a wonderful event? Well, let me show you. AND – if I can rant, rave and make you laugh all in the same post, I want you to send me a virtual $1.00 in the comments section!! Now – I will try to break down my Inauguration Experience so that you can experience it with me.
Day 1: Driving to DC was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. There was no traffic coming from the south – probably because I was passing through a buncha RED states – and they weren’t trying to see the White House get painted Black! But yo – I didn’t get to my hotel room until about 10:30 pm. I was SO tired! And then I get there and … what do you MEAN there is a problem with the hot water? What do you MEAN there are only 2 beds in this double suite? We are supposed to have 4 beds!!! You sons a beyoches!!! How are we going to get all these folks in these two little-ass beds? … Never fear – I had a DIVA rolling with me. It always pays to have a lawyer in your group. And we ended up at a different hotel even closer to DC – the Crowne Plaza in Tyson’s Corner. Sweet! Shout out to my DIVA – who’s not on Facebook so there’s no point in calling her name. She knows she is Divalicious! LOL!
Day 2: Okay, we’ve got all day to hang out in DC and just shop out on the mall. We start with breakfast at this quaint little diner. We run into some folks from Atlanta who are just having a BALL at the table next to us. There was such a sense of fellowship between us all that it was palpable in the air. We ended up exchanging information, just in case we ever ran across each other again. That started the day off so perfectly!
So we hit the DC Mall area. There’s folks out there getting their hustle on (“git yo’ Obama buttons! 3 for $5.00!) and people just milling about. The DIVA had a bead on some actual tickets to the ingauguration ceremony, so we decide after breakfast to go to her congressman’s office (they know her up in there). We get in a cab and this bastard of a cab driver decides that he can milk us for more money if he sits in traffic. Oh, really? Do you know that I will stiff you on this bill and jump out this cab, nikka!! And that’s what we did! We paid him what was fair for a 1-mile ride (ya bastard!), and bailed. We had to pull the lawyer off of him – she was ready to file suit! But we gotta go. So we ended up walking uphill for about a mile to the Rayburn building to try to get our tickets. That was the coldest mile EVER!
But here’s where the story gets mushy. We go into the congressman’s office and get the two tickets that the DIVA already had. She begs for 2 more for me and my friend. They make us wait around until 5:15 when the offices are closing so that anyone who wants a ticket could have made it there. So we wait, and wait…. and wait. Finally, we got 2 more tickets. Silver standing area! AWESOME!! And then we walk outside and there’s this little old lady named Miss Mary from San Diego. She had waited for over 5 hrs to get her ticket and they told her they were out for her district. So the DIVA had her go back to the congressman that she knew and see if they had any left. If not, DIVA was going to give Miss Mary her own ticket. Now that’s the very personification of Christian Charity. That’s only one of the reasons she is a Diva! It was very touching – but it turned out to be unnecessary, as Miss Mary was able to get her own ticket!!! How great is that?!?! Miss Mary testified to us about the goodness of God and whatHe was doing in her life, and how she was going to celebrate her 70th birthday next month. She invited herself to dinner with us (how do you do that?) but then turned us down (huh?) because she didn’t want to walk in the cold.
Dinner was another fabulous event. We hooked up with some more Spelman and Morehouse people and went to this restuarant where EVERYONE was an Obama supporter. It was like being at the Superbowl. At one point, we started a wave through the restaurant! Every 5 minutes, there was a spontaneous exclamation of “Heeeeyyyyy” which would catch on and pretty soon the whole place was yelling to the rafters. All this over POLITICS!!! Once in a lifetime, dude. For real. So cool!!
Okay – Day 3 is inauguration day, and I’m going to break this down by hour, and emotion:
4:00 am: Am I really awake? I’m thirsty, but we all decided that we would stop drinking fluids last night in an effort to not have to pee while we are out on the mall. Whose idea was it to get to the train station at 4:00? It is cold as witch’s teat out here! (who coined that phrase?) But OBAMA HERE WE COME! (Sidebar – the DIVA told us we were dumb as posts and she was going to meet us at a civilized hour.)
5:00 am: Off the train, and into a throng of easily 200,000 people. These are the early birds! We get in line to get in the silver section, and watch all these folks cutting in front of us. Everyone in line started chanting “Don’t Cut Line!” but they ignored us. And the cops didn’t do anything about it – they wren’t there for line discipline – they were there to keep people out of the street. But in spite of this – there were no fights or riots. (Sidebar – yes, Miss Mary was out at 5 in the morning. Beat that!!)
5:01 – 7:59 am: I am so cold I want to cry. But if I cry, it will freeze to my face and make me colder. I can’t feel my toes. My fingers hurt. My back hurts. My feet probably hurt too – don’t know, can’t feel ’em. We rewrote the lyrics to Uncle Luke’s song, in an effort to warm/cheer ourselves up: Sunlight’s comin’! Sunlight’s comin’! Rise! Rise! (it worked for about 5 minutes and then I was cold again.)
8:00 am: We finally get inside the Silver area and right underneath the jumbotron! Check my pictures when I put them up and you can see where I was standing. By 8:00 am though, I am so cold, I am delirious. There is a little boy sitting on a blanket behind us, crying about his feet hurting. I feel you, kid! Me and my girl start singing old New Edition songs to dance and stay warm. It’s working!
9:00 am: And if it isn’t love… why do I feel this way? Why does she stay on.. my mind?
10:00 am: Candy girl… you are my world! You look so sweet… you’re a special treat!
11:00 am: I’m cold. Colder than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t dance anymore – I have cramps in my calves and thighs. I think the little boy on the blanket is frozen solid. I haven’t seen him move in about 2 hrs. The thought crosses my mind – if I pee on myself, I will be warm, at least for a few minutes. But I can’t pee. I haven’t had anything to drink since yesterday. I wish I could shoot myself in the foot, because I’ve heard that bullets are hot going through flesh. Somebody just set me on fire. One of my friends has the bright idea that if they punch a cop, they can at least sit in the squad car and be warm. Oh! It’s starting!!!…
Okay – if you missed EVERYTHING, here is a summary: Some kids sang, some world-respected musicians performed, Aretha Franklin sang and she didn’t dress crazy (Change really HAS come to America!) and then Barack did his thing. As he took the oath of office, I got a little teary-eyed… either from the enormity of the moment or from the fact that the freezing wind was slapping me in my face. And then he gave a speech that said, in a nutshell: “Thanks. It’s time to get to work. We’ve got a lot to do. Go get a job. Peace out.” I love him!! He could’ve asked everyone of the millions of people out there for $50 bucks to help out with the deficit, and he would have gotten it.
As we are waiting for the trains to open back up, I am again amazed at the relative patience and understanding that everyone had. Nobody started a fight or a riot – at least not that I know of or saw. And we got back to the hotel in about 90 minutes – not bad, all things considered. But wait – where’s my 3 buttons that I bought on the mall?!?!? They were “official”!! Dangit!! Shoot – Barack owes me $5.00!!!!
Rant Volume 4 done, and I’m out.