As some of you know, last week Jo Ann and I took a trip to Washington, D.C. for a day or so. Actually, we were on our way to Wild Wonderful West Virginia for a family get together and birthday party for my brother-in-law Don and his twin brother Dave. We were flying into Washington and, ever being the dedicated servant to my constituents, I thought it would give me one good day to straighten out some of the mess up there. I mean who could pass up the chance to impart a little country wisdom and ‘school’ Hussein Obama, Crazy Harry Reid, Pretty Boy Boehner and the rest. I promised that I would have a real heart to heart talk with all of them that they would not soon forget.
Unfortunately my fellow Americans, I was nefariously thwarted in my the powers that be and was unable to carry out my mission. I should have known no one up here in Washington was interested in hearing what those of us outside the Beltway think. After all, we are just those people in those fly-over states, right?
Apparently since the NSA has been intercepting and/or monitoring my emails, cellphone calls, internet activities and possibly even my brain waves, the opposition was forewarned that I was on a mission and had prepared accordingly. I guess maybe I should feel honored in some way that I was seen as such a threat to good order and discipline, but I didn’t think that at the time.
On Wednesday morning, Jo Ann and I got up and caught the Metro train into downtown Washington. We emerged from underground in the Federal Triangle, not far from the White House. We promptly headed down Pennsylvania Avenue. I was hoping to catch the President right after he’d had his breakfast. I am usually in a jovial mood after a good breakfast, but then again, Michelle is probably feeding him the same stuff she is serving in school cafeterias, so this was not certain. But, I had work to do and needed to get started early.
We walked on over the White House Visitors Center, where we got our first indication of how are day was going to go. Not only was it closed, it was barricaded shut and had chain link security fences around it.
Not very hospitable if you ask me. Apparently, The Government had word that I was coming and was making sure I did not get anywhere close to POTUS on this day. A slight set back for sure, but I was not ready to give up yet.
We tried to get closer to the White House itself. After all, what could it hurt to just knock on the door and ask if the President was home and had a minute to chat? Boy was I wrong. It seems that the White House Police and the Secret Service were on the lookout for me. There were police officers and vehicles everywhere. I think I spotted a flyer with my picture on it, but I’m not sure. I only got a glimpse from a distance. It could have been George Clooney, who probably WAS on the guest list. I tried to explain to the fellow at the gate who I was, but that did not get me very far. We were invited to leave the immediate area of the White House and not come back. My claim that I was a taxpaying American citizen seemed to impress him even less that when I told him who I was.
I continued to try to find a way in, but once they knew I was close, the Secret Service threw up a perimeter to keep me at a distance. This is about as close as I could get.
Note the police car blocking the intersection. I was not close enough to actually see the snipers on the roof with those rifles with big scopes, but I am pretty sure they could see me.
Figuring this wasn’t working out quite like I planned, we headed down to the Mall to regroup and modify our plan. We stopped for water and sustenance between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial. As I was feeding the bird a few crackers, I noticed the “Do Not Feed the Wildlife” signs. I was confused by this and stopped a passing Park Service ranger and asked. He explained that they want the birds and squirrels to provide for themselves and do not want them to become dependent on hand outs. The irony of this, while I was sitting a few blocks from the Treasury Department, that hands out entitlement checks to almost half the country on the first of every month, was not lost on me. This is one of the things we needed to talk about.
While we were in the park in the Mall, I got excited because I though I spotted the President taking a stroll.
But, when I ran after him, it turned out to just be a mounted police officer on a horse. Damn it. At this point I also noticed that there were also a lot of stealthy looking helicopters buzzing around, which led me to the conclusion that it may be time to move along.
Since the Executive Branch part of my plan did not work out, I figured it was time to head up to Capitol Hill and try to parlay with my elected representatives. What could it hurt. Congressmen and Senators always seem to be happy to see home folks. I mean, I actually voted for some of them and at least two of them are spending a lot of money these days trying to get me to vote for them again. It seemed perfect. But, even the best laid plans of mice and men seem to sometimes go awry.
We rode the Metro up to Capitol Hill. Not only was this the fastest way to get there, but it was also underground, which helped with the helicopter thing and possibly impede the collection of my electronic data. We got to the Capitol, but it seems that no one was around. Really? I am beginning to see a pattern. Here I am outside.
Lights on, nobody is home!
You can see that the place is pretty well empty; the only ones around seemed to be the Capitol Police. We spotted a pretty swanky looking place across the street behind the Capitol called the “Capitol Hill Club”. There seemed to be a lot of well dressed people going inside who looked like they needed a drink. I figured there might be some people in there I needed to talk to. Boy was that a bad idea. Not only was I not a member, but when you show up there wearing seersucker shorts, a golf shirt and loafers, there is apparently some rule that gets you thrown out. And I don’t mean asked rudely to leave, I mean physically thrown out the door. Oh well. I have been thrown out of a lot better places than that.
We continued our walk around the Capitol and spotted the Russell Senate Office Building. It was huge, but seemingly deserted. We walked around trying to find a way to get inside. But, when we finally found the gates, not only were they closed, but they were chained shut!
Seems no one wanted to get a lecture from Robbie today. I encountered the Capitol Police. They did not seemed to be impressed when I told them who I was. Long story, but let’s just say I was counseled and released without formal charges and let it go at that.
I thought about taking my grievances across the street to this place.
After all, I am a member here. But, this is the one place in Washington were people seem to know what they are doing, even if it is only by a slim 5-4 majority. But let’s face it, even here it is probably impossible to find a Judge on a Wednesday afternoon.
At that point we decided we had tried our best and were hungry, so we decided to retire across the Potomac for the day and regroup. All in all, I will admit that it did not go quite like I planned. But we tried. And, being a good public servant, I did come up with some ideas to improve things in Watson that I would like to share.
Washington is, by any definition, a world class city. I would like to see Watson in the same light. It would improve things and bring in all those tourist dollars. So here are some suggestions based on my trip to D.C.:
1. We need public transportation. I would propose that we take out that stupid grass median on Hwy 16 and replace it with Metro train system. We could start at the old train station in Denham Springs and run up Hwy 16 to the ballpark in Watson. We could make a yellow line that runs down Hwy 1019 from Amite Church Road up to Walgreens and blue line that runs out Springfield Road to the Fore Road and reconnects to the main line at the ballpark. World class cities need good public transportation.
2. We need an HOV lane to improve commuting. It could run south in the morning and north in the afternoon. Since we are already using the median for the Metro, I am not sure yet where we would put it. Maybe we would have to elevate the Metro tracks. I will have to get back to you on the details.
3. We need more ambulances. We usually have only one or two ambulances on Hwy 16 each day. A world class city needs good emergency medical services. A case in point is Washington. No matter where you go or what time of day it is, there is always at least one ambulance, with lights and siren, headed somewhere. It is almost comforting knowing they are there.
4. We need more police agencies. Right now we only have the Sheriff’s office and they do a great job. But Washington has plenty of cops and so many police agencies it is hard to keep up. They have the D.C. Police, Capitol Police, White House Police, Park Service Police, Treasury Department Police, Supreme Court Police, The Smithsonian Police, National Zoo Police, United State Postal Service Police, Government Printing Office Police, Homeland Security Police and the FBI Uniformed Police. The latter guards the FBI Building, which seems strange since you would think a building of armed FBI agents could guard there own building, but what do I know. The point is, world class cities have many, many police agencies.
5. We need to build some monuments and museums. This is what seems to bring in the tourist dollars, especially foreign tourist dollars. I know we have never had a president from Watson, but that should not stop us. We could build a memorial to Mr. Earl Allen, who was from Watson and was the President of the Police Jury forever. We could build a monument to the Big Fight after the 1975 Live Oak High/Louisiana Training Institute football game, both of which we won by the way. As far as museums are concerned, there is a lot of natural history around here. For a start, I am sure my friends Berlin and Bobby Jo would be willing to loan us the $500 Damn It Dog dog turd to get things rolling. World class cities have monuments and museums. On a side note, I think we should charge some type of admission. Most of these things in Washington are free. On the one hand, it is good as a taxpayer not to have to pay for things that you have already paid for. But what about all those foreigners? Maybe it should cost them $5 to ride to the top of the Washington Monument. I mean, even at Disney World, you have to show a valid Florida ID to get the Florida resident discount. Makes sense to me.
6. We need more well dressed men walking around wearing black or navy suits with white shirts and red ties. This seems to be the uniform of the day in Washington. And, after all, it is a world class city.
7. We need to do more running. Everywhere you go in Washington, no matter what time of day, there are lots of people running. Even in the heat of the day. I am not sure what they are running to or from, but they definitely love running. I am not sure what this has to do with being a world class city, but we need more people running. And I don’t mean just a small group Wednesday nights either!
8. We need to build more large public buildings with ample parking right next to them and then build concrete and steel barricades that makes parking closer that a half mile from the door impossible. I am not exactly sure why this is a good idea, but it seems to be all the rage in Washington.
Those are just some ideas. I am sure I will think of others as time goes by. I will keep you posted!
We also need more good looking women and Smokey the Bear life likes!