Death Trip To Hell Town

  and people make fun of baltimore

WALK INTO THE LIGHT

Fellow Americans! As you can see above, your Comics Curmudgeon survived his journey into one of Washington’s many terrifying underground doom caves (where they really were singing “God Bless America,” followed by about thirty seconds of “Lean On Me,” until they ran out of widely known lyrics) when the glowing radiance of Barack Obama’s spiritual form appeared and lifted us to safety. What other miraculous and wondrous things would appear on this most blessed of days?

When last you heard, I had found my way onto the Mall near the Washington Monument. If you like pictures of the backs of people’s heads, here’s another one, in which gives you a good sense of how tiny the nearest “jumbo” tron appeared from our position.

Dear girl in the blue hat: You seemed nice, but you were too tall.

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At one point I was trying to read the close-captioning on the jumbotron through binoculars, at which point it occurred to me that this was an experience that was going through so many layers of mediation that surely it could have happened somewhere warm and with a couch and indoor plumbing. During the interminable lead-up, it was impossible to hear more than about three words in a row coming out of the distant speakers, which led to me to fear that the event would be a total bust. But when the inaugural address actually started, in a true Barackian miracle, we could hear, possibly because everyone shut up, though there was an eerie half-second-delayed echo off of the monument.

Everyone seemed cheerful, and they didn’t do that infuriating political speech thing where you clap after every single God-damned sentence. There were these two dudes who kept occasionally unfurling the flag of Cameroon, which is a town in our new president’s birthplace nation of Kenya; presumably this was some sort of coded signal about how Obama is going to give the whole country away to Africa, soon.

We fled the scene the moment the address was over (sorry, inaugural poet! I’m sure your poem was nice!) and then stumbled upon the following glorious sight:

TRIUMPH OF HOPE

Naturally, upon seeing this I assumed that either these dudes’ campaign was a total success and that everyone had taken their own trash home with them, or that Obama had emptied all the trash cans with his magical Muslim unicorn powers. Sadly, it actually turns out that people were just actively avoiding the trash cans, to show their contempt for America.

We all headed over to Mrs. Comics Curmudgeon’s aunt’s house in Southwest, where we ate delicious hors d’oeuvres and urinated in real toilets at her elitist inauguration party, unlike the rest of you rabble, who probably ate half-melted Kit-Kat bars from your jacket pockets and just peed in your pants.

Then it was back to Union Station for our trip back to Baltimore, a leisurely half-hour stroll that obviously turned into a baffling, terrifying death march, in which the inauguration route blocked every possible route to the train station, and baffled law enforcement officers from a dozen different agencies seemed wholly unfamiliar with anything happening more than thirty yards from the intersection where they had been told to stand and glower at people. At one point we stumbled onto a “staging area” for the inauguration parade, where we spotted the following enormous fiberglass hunk of Communist propaganda:

Don't scab for the bosses Don't listen to their lies

I’m pretty sure this float, with its radical left slogans like “Health Care For All” and “Good Jobs Green Jobs”, is from the SEIU or the Wobblies or something, and it presages Obama’s future socialist dictatorship in which the rich will be rounded up and put into camps. Nearby was this other float, from Joe Biden’s personal fiefdom of Delaware, which depicted the Constitution as a fifty-foot-long scroll, because why not, really.

From the people who brought you your credit card bill

Then by some miracle we actually got to Union Station, which of course was a scene of total chaos. The fire marshall had closed down all entrances to the station, resulting in a hopeful but confused mob milling around outside in an increasingly bad-natured manner. Matters were not helped by yet more disparate police officers (including some with Chicago flags on their uniforms … Rod Blagojevich’s secret gestapo?) giving contradictory answers to basic questions. There were desperate cries for a medic just a few feet from me, but it turned out to just be because somebody barfed. People waved their commemorative tickets above their heads, intermittently, as if that would help, somehow.

Look -- more backs of heads!  I am not a very good photographer, really.

To show how hungry this mob was for leadership (OMG METAPHOR FOR AMERICA?), when some dude with an extremely makeshift MARC sign came into view (MARC being the local commuter rail service that would take us back to Maryland), the entire crowd began to enthusiastically chant “MARC! MARC! MARC!” only to sort of trail off when said dude wandered off, never to be seen again. Finally, the day was seized by this fellow, who wielded his megaphone with authority, convinced everyone not to shove, and got us all into the station in a reasonably safe and orderly fashion.

man of the hour!

I didn’t catch your name, sir, but I think of you as the day’s greatest hero, and will always remember you, though I am dubious about that weird thigh-strap thing for your badge. Anyway, we went into the station and got on the train (which was totally not at all crowded and we all had seats) and got back to Baltimore and then I went home and had a microwave pizza and George W. Bush wasn’t president anymore and never, ever will be again, the end.

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger

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43 comments

  1. jagorev

    George W. Bush wasn’t president anymore and never, ever will be again, the end.

    Or will he? *cue horror movie music*

    Coming soon to a theater near you: George W. Bush Returns, In a Neiman Marcus Skirt

  2. Styrofoam Boots

    Beautiful story. I shall read it to my kids every night before bedtime. Kids which I don’t have. Kids which, if I had them, would most certainly be illegitimate. Unsupported by my welfare money. And deformed. God, I’m so wasted.

  3. BillyClubb

    But when the inaugural address actually started, in a true Barackian miracle…

    See, the Republicans were right, “Barack the Magic Negro” was a statement of fact, not a dig at our new Prez.

  4. Kev-O-Tron

    Well said Mr. Curmudgeon. I had a similar experience except my friends and I drove in. As far as seeing the Jumbo… I saw a lot of other guys domes but the sound was good.

    Jesus you have to be crazy to stick around for that parade. Parades blow. period. and I watched it on teevee in a warm room and it was sucky.

  5. gliberal

    Cheney could have been his own float. Pathetic rolling incontinent Nazi. Dick Cheney, because he dicked you.

  6. bhosp

    I’m pretty sure Biden was going to use that Constitution float to jump over the Potomac on a motorcycle or something but then he didn’t, out of Respect For Ted Kennedy.

  7. Snarkfest

    Back problems are a sure sign of held in aggression and anger.

    Dicky- take a deep breath and repeat after me:

    He’s B L A C K…L I B E R A L…B L A C K…L I B E R A L…

    oooh. Feel that G R I N D I N G stabbing pain radiating up the spine till it shoots out your eyes and splushes over Lynnys head like a bucket of hot Gollum spluge.

    and that’s what it felt like to be an American these past 8 years- now you get to be ONE OF US!!

  8. DoctorCulturae

    [re=224183]gliberal[/re]: What evil plotting is Dick Deadeye working on now, with his gang of liars in exile…

  9. shortsshortsshorts

    [re=224189]bhosp[/re]: I AGREE WITH YOU HE WILL NOT BRING BACK THE GOLD STANDARD OR PRIVATIZED FIRE AND POLICE PROTECTION. MORE LIKE LOWBAMA HAHAHAAHAHAHA RON PAUL 08 LETS BURN THIS BITCH!11!!!!!!!1

  10. Terry

    “George W. Bush wasn’t president anymore and never, ever will be again, the end.”

    Halellujah. Just that. Halellujah.

  11. Infinite Freedom

    That sounds remarkably similar to my experience, except we snuck into the train station through the parking garage. Leg badges are hott…

  12. Pop Socket

    What a heartwarming story. Especially the part about a flush toilet. I still have nightmares about nearly getting crushed to death on the Federal Triangle Metro escalator (which astoundingly was working) in 2001. Just don’t ask me why I was at the first Dubya inauguration. It’s not a part of my life I’m very proud of.

  13. wheelie

    Great write-up!

    Don’t have a sad for missing the poet chick. She was terrible, so terrible that I will always remember this day as “The One Where I Watched a Rubbish Poet Deliver Her Re-Arranged Prose on TV, and Also This Black Hooosein Guy Got Made President. And Fucked Up the Oath. Additionally.”

  14. Mr Blifil

    You went home to microwave pizza, Bush went home to adoring throngs of thousands of paid operatives and assorted homeless people to make it seem like he’s popular too. All told, you had the better evening.

  15. Welshman

    I dunno, from Wales I’ve been watching it, this GREAT NATIONAL HISTORICAL MOMENT thing, all day but I didn’t really connect in that deep emotional way that Sky News and the BBC kept insisting I should. Maybe it was the Welsh weather with wet squalls sweeping up the Menai Straits and smashing directly against my windows or the EU doubling within four weeks the forecast of economic contraction in Europe or just the further fall in share prices. I went to the Post Office and no one there looked particularly inspired, not that they ever do. Carys, she that does my cleaning for me, came up from the village in the afternoon and nodded at the TV and said “Americans” enigmatically and wandered off to get the Hoover. Which was a bit depressing because that is what she used to say when she saw Bush on TV, so Barry has still some connecting to do in some of the remoter parts of the World. Mind you, they are now showing Barack and Michelle dancing together which looks kinda of sweet but they are doing that sort of shuffle none dance that my ex and I used to do because neither of us knew the formal moves. Anyhow, Sally the Psycho Dog has not left the bedroom all day, even when Glynne came to discuss the new flooring and, surprisingly, when Big Graham arrived with the Devon Cheddar cheese that he bought in Harrods in London yesterday for me. So I have to add her to Carys as parts of the World untouched as yet by the GREAT NATIONAL HISTORIC MOMENT. I don’t suppose he will really mind. Certainly Former-now-really-gone-very-ex-Preznit Bush never did.

  16. V572625694

    [re=224205]wheelie[/re]: Barry didn’t fuck up the oath. Roberts tried to trick him by reading it wrong, which, had Barry repeated it incorrectly, would’ve invalidated his inauguration. Four more years! Yeah!

    Except Barry didn’t fall for it, and paused until Roberts got it right. He’s so smart, that Barry.

  17. Lascauxcaveman

    [re=224234]Welshman[/re]: Geez. You can afford your own cleaning woman, Devon Cheddar and a new floor. STFU and quit whining, you simpleminded Welsh twit. We’re living in cardboard boxes and eating hobo beans here, whatwhat.

  18. Lascauxcaveman

    [re=224234]Welshman[/re]: HaHa! Just kidding. I’m drinking a potent Scots Whisky (sic) tonight (hic).

  19. Gallowglass

    Don’t stress about leaving early. The poet and the doddering methuselah they had do the benediction both sucked. Barry’s a hard act to follow and it was too freaking cold to stick around listening to bad poetry and mumbled prayers.

  20. shortsshortsshorts

    NOBODY WANTS TO BURN THIS BITCH????? RON PAUL FOUGHTED FER ALL OF YOU AND YOU PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF REPRESENTATIVE GUBERMINT. YOU FUCKING PEOPLE. YOU FUCKING GODDAMN LIBERALS. THE LIZARD PEOPLE WILL FIGHT BACK. JUST YOU WAIT.

  21. chascates

    I’m sitting in my book-strewn studio in south Austin but out of respect for those that Made the Effort I turned my A/C down to 40, wet my pants, and ate a really shitty package of ‘healthy’ snack chips.
    SOLIDARITY!

  22. jbd

    [re=224287]Gallowglass[/re]: I dunno. The poet was god-awful, but I thought the doddering methuselah might have been the best part of the whole deal.

    But I also watched it from home the first time and from another home the second time. And it was warm.

    We had duck. It seemed appropriate.

  23. villageatrois

    [re=224234]Welshman[/re]: “nodded at the TV and said “Americans” enigmatically and wandered off to get the Hoover”

    It’s a cultural thing. We Americans always say “get the Hoover” just as Great Depressions start. At least the Depression part is universal.

  24. villageatrois

    In re: 4th photo, float with US map — how come only Minnesota and New Mexico get stars? Franken has not been seated and Richardson had to quit the cabinet because of some sort of sudden “prior commitment”. Also, someone detached Alaska, and rubbed a shit load of Preparation-H on that Stateroid before setting it adrift.

    In re: 5th photo, the “Constitution” scroll — It’s a combo slide and trampoline, and the keys sound a note and light up when you step on them like the toy store piano in “Big”. There are 88 keys, one for each of the original states. A little short of the stripey parts, probably so as not to be seen as a veiled reference to Christmas.

  25. jbd

    [re=224334]villageatrois[/re]: I seriously can’t help thinking about how awesome it would be if we donate Alaska to Canada in exchange for, I don’t know, Ontario. And they totally wouldn’t get it that they’d been royally fucked. That’s change I can believe in.

    (At this point I have to maintain a 1:3 ratio of anti-Canada posts. This was pretty much required.)

  26. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    it turned out to just be because somebody barfed.

    That person represented every freeper in the world.

  27. windupbird

    George W. Bush wasn’t president anymore and never, ever will be again, the end.

    But he’s still OUT THERE, somewhere…….twisting the ends of his invisible mustache…………

  28. finallyhappy

    I was there- at 5 Am- welcoming people to the mall,Rachel maddow walked by and spoke to me(not on camera- so I can’t prove it) and then by 1:30 PM, I was in a massive crush near L’enfant Plaza for an hour(kind of like the parties you people attend) where many people spoke badly about Adrian Fenty. I got out somehow- walking with others through construction sites or something- and I walked in a circuitous route back to the mall, past the parade closures to 19th and K- where there WERE NO PEOPLE. I finally got on some metro around 6 PM.

    By the way, did you see when Biden took the oath of office, cheney shed his skin and turned into a hideous beast who flew above the Capitol- and spun off into the sky

  29. nutcracker

    I watched with friends from a nice warm bar in Savannah, serving 4 oz. 44 cent beers to
    commemorate Hopey being our 44th Prez. The pictures and sound on the big screen tv were
    great, the temperature and indoor plumbing comfy, and the company excellent. As a native of
    DC, I can imagine what a mess it was. I only attended one previous inauguration myself,
    Nixon’s second, but I was at the fringes of the crowd, hurling tomatos and rotten eggs.
    When does the Special Prosecutor begin working on the Bush/Cheney treason trial?

  30. Neon Trotsky

    Well, I for one enjoyed the Siberian Death March for Hope and Change 2009®! The bone-chilling cold meant that I was awake and alert for everything, from the five renditions of “My Country Tis of Thee” to Rick Warren pronouncing the Obama children as “Mal and Sashá.” Hooray!

    Also, going through the tunnel was like Independence Day or Cloverfield or what have you, except instead of running away from murderous aliens we were running toward a (probably not illegal alien? where’s the birth certificate?!) hopeful half-muslin president to be! Hooray!

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