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.

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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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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