It's clear now that last week's inaugural marked not only the beginning of President Obama's four-year-term, but also that of America's four-year quest to find new ways, daily, of complaining about how poorly Washington DC managed the small crowd of several million dense, testy travelers, each of whom expected to have the city, and Obama, to him- or herself. But now the clamor has gotten much, much louder, and it's from the attendees' mothers.
A Vienna, Va.-based company called Envision EMI ran one of many packaged trips for students -- teenagers! -- that, for the cool sum of $2,400 to $2,900 in this case, would take your kid to inauguration, including some guest lectures, museum trips, receptions, and a ball. All children love Barack Obama, so many parents were willing to shell out exorbitant sums to this professional-looking babysitter company. Think of this as the "New American" equivalent of buying your child a pony or a go-kart just to stop the whining.
The parents, however, apparently signed those checks without reading any news articles about how hellish the inauguration would be. Many of them are now hearing complaints from their sobbing children about the various crimes of the Envision EMI company. Danielle Moore's 14-year-old child "Spencer" went to a so-called "event with hot chocolate" inauguration morning, only to find that the hot chocolate was all gone! Teresa Abbey's 16-year-old, Morgan, was left without "adult supervision" on the multimillion-person Mall, and she and a friend had to find their way back to the hotel!
And the saddest tale of all:
Christina Breshears of Portland, Ore., said her daughter Maddie, 12, bought a 1950s-style gown for the student inaugural ball. Maddie didn't feel much like a princess at the event, which took place at a University of Maryland conference room.
And the brochure had probably promised London's Buckingham Palace!
Jim Newell never got a pony as a child, a haunting memory that clouds his writing at Wonkette and IvyGate.