Hunkerin' Down

Friday, January 16, 2009

The forecasts are in. The local news is all over it. Heck, the national news is all over it. A storm's coming. And it's gonna be a big one.

It's called... Hurricane 4 million people.

The Washington, DC area is on lock down. Literally. For the next four days (at least), Tyler and I are lying low. We're grocery shopping like a blizzard's coming, stocking up on Blockbuster rentals, and not leaving the house. I would LOVE to take part in the inaugural events but the mayhem that's ensuing has changed my mind. History's still going to happen, we'll just be watching from the couch.

Every night on the news, there's some new controversy on what streets will be open and confusion on where you can cross the street. Practice parade runs have failed. The police department doesn't know what's going on, the city council knows less. The city as been declared to be in a state of national emergency and miles of barricades are set up everywhere. 5,000 policemen will be on patrol, 7,000 National Guardsmen are coming in, and there's one port-a-potty per every 5,000 people. Businesses are being shut down without warning, hotel and B&B owners are upset because some guests won't even be able to get to the hotel, you have to show ID to come and go from your own apartment, and to top it all off, the city council has decided it's a good idea to keep bars open 24 hours a day for four days straight. Throw in the notoriously bad weather of DC in January and you've got yourself one heck of a party. And what's helpful in a time of chaos, confusion, bad weather, and celebration? That's right reader: lots and lots of alcohol. News reports estimate it will be like the 4th of July ten times over...and I've done 4th of July on the National Mall. It's no walk in the park.

All of the bridges are also being shut down, as well as most of the surrounding interstates (in case you're not up to snuff on the geography of DC, it's surrounded by water on three sides.). The only direct way in from Virginia is by bridge. So if you want to enter the city, you have to either drive up and around through Maryland or take the metro in. But the metro can barely handle a Nat's game.

I hate that this is my first inauguration (and a history making one at that) and I'm not willing to go, but every night the news further confirms my decision. We're going to a friend's house to have an Inauguration Brunch, so at least we're celebrating! My refusal to attend is not a political statement, merely an act of self-preservation. So, if you're sad you can't make it, don't be. Snuggle up and watch on the couch like the rest of the locals. And if you ARE going, I wish you luck, you crazy, freezing people! Don't forget to pack your adult diapers.

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