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Draplin Design Co., North America


We got up as early as we could, somewhere around “the crack of noon” and “like we give a fuck,” cleaned up, dressed and jumped on the Metro over to the Rayburn House to pick up our tickets for the Inauguration. Here’s what we were greeted by, after getting off the subway: Long-ass lines.

We found our building and got in line. One guy tried to buy his way into the line with a 50-dollar bill, only to be muscled to the end of the line by the democratic mob. It was awesome. We got in the building, went through security and quickly found Oregon Congressman Blumenauer’s office. We got our tickets, and then walked into his office and met the bow-tied man himself. Portland! Progressive! Rides a bicycle! We got a handshake and I said something stupid like, “I’m high as hell on Obama.” to the Congressman. I remember the brie in his teeth from the snack table. There you go.

Now, with all the excitement, long lines and wildness, it took us a couple minutes to realize just where we were. What did it for me was walking by Barney Frank’s office. Much respect to Congressman Frank. He’s been a thorn in the side of the Bush Administation for a long time, and an advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, and for that, we have great respect for guts like that. Civil rights for ALL, people. He was out doing interviews, but we got to meet one of his aides named, “Diego,” who proudly told us he was the first transgender citizen hired on Capital Hill. Progress, people, progress. Keep up the good work, Mr. Frank.

We passed up Representative John Murtha’s office and I had a good laugh at the thought of that old coot giving grief to Bush, and weathering a barrage of criticism at a time when it wasn’t too popular to stand up to those crooks. A war hero for the ages. Much respect, Mr. Murtha.

We walked those halls smiling wide, passing up assorted Michigan offices and committee chambers and what not. It was just exciting as hell to be so close to elected officials.

Then we stopped into Congressman John Conyer’s office, walked in, and walked right into his office. Llike we owned the joint. Michigan! Now, if he knew how close I was to doing a “Dukes of Hazzard” hood slide across his desk, well, I wouldn’t be asked back. I just wanted to tackle that incredible pile of books and papers and awards and what not. I was just blown away to be in his office. Incredible view, too!

We made it out without incident and began our foraging for food. We did make a quick stop at the National Postal Museum, which, sadly, was underwhelming due to party planners setting up some sort of a gala or something. Best part of the museum was the “rare stamp room.” Ben-O, put this one on the list, if anything, just to see that “errors” sections. Philatelists, unite.

Aimless and hungry, we just started walking and didn’t let up. We hammered over to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, then past the FDR Memorial, and one last pitstop at the Lincoln Memorial to see how the tear-down of the stage was going. We made it over to the White House to oogle one more time, and I have to say, I was outside those gates steaming mad at Bush. It was cold as hell, so, with my steam, and the bitter cold, it was a stalemate and I didn’t jump the fence and storm the gates.

Eight years later, it a mystery to me how the guy ever got to the top. Dumbfounded, still. Bummed, forever.

Check out our travels on Day 5 of this mission: DDC vs. DC, Day 05

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