Friday, January 16, 2009

Only the Best for Our Inaugural Guests

Among the various notices that festively cover poles and trees across the city are official notices (usually along parking areas to let folks know that if they leave their car there during certain hours, it will be towed). To make sure that we offer the best possible city experience for our guests over the next week, bright red/orange signs have been posted on poles in certain areas of downtown that declare the space a "Prostitution Free Zone." According to DC law, "while a Prostitution Free Zone is in effect, it is unlawful for a group of two or more persons to congregate in a public space or property in that area for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or prostitution-related offenses." I'll leave the bigger issue of doesn't such a posting suggest that normal these areas condone prostitution to others and another day.

But what, you might ask, about all those uggy homeless folks who haven't pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made something of themselves, preferring instead to sleep in freezing cold weather and eat in soup kitchens or grab sandwiches handed out of trucks. How can we stop them from spoiling the ambiance of the moment? Well never fear! DC & the Feds have let the homeless people who have made their homes down around the mall or Capitol hill that they're going to have to find someplace else to try not to freeze to death. But hey, after they've been pushed out so the area can be secured, they can come back in on Tuesday morning with anyone else who wants to get into the area to watch the parade. But they can't take much with them, so they get to choose between all of their belongings or going back to where they've been living. But hey, it'll be worth it to make sure that they don't spoil any camera shots or precious moments for visitors. As Traci Hughes, the DC police spokesperson said, "We're not discouraging people from attending." Of course not, I wouldn't be the least big discouraged about attending an event in my building after getting kicked out and then told I can only come back if I don't bring my stuff with me. I would find that comforting and encouraging. So much so that I'd probably go hang out in the Prostitute Free Zones to celebrate.

The city's homeless population is estimated at about 6,000. There are just over 2,000 beds available for homeless in the city Monday night. So that's only about 4,000 folks who will get to celebrate the inaugural by trying extra hard not to die. Good luck on that guys, and thanks for your part in making DC look good for the guests!


Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

it's a bit of a stretch to compare, but i am reminded of the old joke about nixon going to the ussr in '72. he commented to leonid brezhnev in the kremlin about how wonderful the streets looked. brezhnev replied that they had rounded up all the bums, troublemakers, dissidents and other people likely to cause difficulties and shot them. nixon was very impressed with this and so ordered the secret service/fbi to do the same thing when brezhnev returned the visit the next year. at one point in the conversation, an aide came into the room and whispered something in brezhnev's ear, after which brezhnev went white. when nixon asked him what was the matter, brezhnev gasped, "they rounded up the entire soviet embassy staff and shot them last night!"

12:22 AM  

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