Friday, December 29, 2006

Dignitaries

We get Tuesday off for Ford's funeral! I work for a non-profit that follows the government closing schedule. We were all really hoping for a four-day weekend, and we're excited it came through. We figured that after they did it for Reagan, they'd have to for Ford. At least, that was what we were banking on.

It's weird being in DC. You get so cavalier about all these government things. Inaugurations, for example, are inconvenient. Well, except Clinton's, which was the last one I was really excited about. But for the most part, all this government stuff means traffic, road closings, people in the way.

And here you are regularly stopped for motorcades, or police or some sort of emergency something. Sirens don't faze people. There are so many sirens on a daily basis that I think people here have become inured to them. Most drivers don't even seem inclined to pull over for ambulances or fire trucks. It's quite shocking.

Last fall I was out walking with a friend down on the Mall. From where we live, it's a good 6 mile loop down to the Capitol, past the Washington Monument, around the Reflecting Pool and down to the Lincoln, and back up to our neighborhood. When the weather is nice, it's a lovely walk.

So we were walking up 17th Street, and the police had the street blocked off. In fact, we were asked to step back - we'd walked too close. I tried to chat up the policeman, find out who was coming through, but he was having none of it. He woundn't tell us who was coming through or how long it would take.

So we stepped back and waited. We considered walking around it, but it would've meant walking all the way around the Ellipse, and it was getting dark. Much easier to just wait.

And so we waited. And waited. And waited.

We dislike the current regime with more intensity that we'd care to admit. All of our bitterness towards them was oozing out our pores as we waited for this motorcade. It turns out that it's DC - not federal - tax dollars that pays for their motorcades and such. We're aggravated that we're paying for all this. And having to wait for them.

Finally, finally the procession started arriving. Police and police and secret service cars and police and cars and a big, dark, van. And police and secret service and so on and so forth.

"Wow! More than just Bush and Cheney!"

"Definitely. Oh, wait, somebody just got to town...I just saw it in the Post this morning. He must be in there with all of them."

The tourists were exicted about someone important! We simply felt inconvenienced.

And so we kept waiting and waiting for them to pass. It was dark. We were getting cold. We wanted to go home.

"Fucking dignitaries."

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