You know where you could be right this moment, which is about 7:30 in the morning Houston time?
You could be waiting in FREEZING Washington, DC, getting on line to go through security checks so you could wait for hours and hours to watch Barack Obama's inauguration from a half-mile away.
On the one hand, you will be able to say you were there. And just like any baby boomer who went to Woodstock forgets about (or romanticizes) the hassles, you will be able to say "I was there." And that's a very, very big thing to be able to say, to be able to tell your grandchildren.
On the other hand, here in Houston it'll be 62 degrees.
Personally, we'd rather be freezing there than warm here, but the fact remains that the great majority of Houstonians will be watching the festivities on TV. (This is despite the Houston Chronicle's efforts to quote and photograph every local it can who made the DC trip, which makes it seem like millions of thousands of locals are there; the nation's dailies have learned -- a little late, namely the Wednesday after Election Day -- that this Obama guy is a cash cow for print.)
So chances are you're watching events on TV, having told your boss about a very convenient dentist's appointment.
What to watch for? We've got some ideas.
1. What is David Gergen's hair doing today? Almost as fascinating as Obama's rise to power has been the constantly changing status of the part in CNN commentator David Gergen's hair. Often it's a tubular curve any surfer would lust for, starting about an eighth of an inch above his ear and thence trying incredibly to cover the remaining 93 percent of his scalp. Lately, though, it seems Gergen just might be coming to grips with the simple fact that is blindingly obvious to the rest of America -- that he is fucking bald. And has been for years. Will the new birth that is Inauguration Day bring with it a bold new style that says "Yeah, I know, I've been kidding myself all these years"? We'll see.
2. Which network will embarrass itself most trying to "outhip" everyone? "Check out our so-called 'Facebomb' page, which is a social networking website that -- oh, wait, I'm told it's actually called 'Facebook'... And one of our correspondents will be "Twittering" utterly banal 140-character updates like 'can't believe the lines for security' or 'did I tell you yet it's cold? lol'!"
We're hoping NBC has an lolcats/inauguration page. I can haz oath of office?
3. Will Joe Biden's Botoxed forehead move? We're guessing "no."
4. Which corporation will most shamelessly attempt to piggyback on the occasion? Tough, tough category. We've already seen some cringe-inducing ads from Pepsi (or is it Coke? No one cares.) The Martin Luther King heirs are making a mint over licensing this footage. "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will both realize the convenience and versatility of the Swiffer!!"
5. Just how fucking cold will network correspondents get? There's nothing better than watching the usually exquisitely made-up, pampered, powdered and uber-coiffed TV folks (and believe us, we're not just talking about the women) deal with the elements. Would we look any better out there? No way. But then we don't spend a half-hour in make-up determinedly trying to look casually chic every day. We can only hope that bald spots are exposed, stiff hairdos that aren't supposed to look stiff suddenly erupt, that some supposedly youngish-looking guy or gal ends up resembling Giants coach Tom Coughlin freezing his red nose off in a playoff game. Can we get Larry King out in the elements?
-- Richard Connelly
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