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we headed over to Capitol Hill today, a little after lunch, to pick up said tickets from jojo’s member (who is super cool himself, and someone i worked with a lot back in the days of comrade bernie sanders).
we got there a little after 2pm, thinking it would be an easy in-and-out before they shut down around three … but instead, we walked straight into the fourth circle of hell.
the metro platform was backed up, with an easy hundred people waiting to just get *out* of the turnstiles.
it only got worse when we got topside.
there are probably three entrances to each of the three house buildings, so a total of nine different paths to get to your tickets. when we arrived, each of the lines had hundreds (if not thousands) already lined up.
i was surprised, but then i started doing the math … 435 members of the house (times) two-hundred tickets per member (equals) approximately 87,000 tickets.
factor in that (a) everybody had to be present to pick up the tickets, (b) they only allowed one day to pick up the tickets, and (c) there was only six hours in which to distribute them …
a little more math reveals that the powers that be thought *each* door/security queue/metal detector could move just about 2,000 people *every* hour.
i’m sad to say they were wildly, and stoopidly optimistic.
now, there is a happy ending … because we lucked out. i worked in said house office building for four years and i knew it had a back door … and thought to check to see if there was a line there.
we also lucked out, because the throngs were so bad at the front (it went up and down the length of the building twice) that they decided to open the back door (where we were looking) at the exact moment we arrived.
we were (maybe) fifty or sixty people back from the door when it opened.
after that, it was all gravy.
we just had to find our room, the lady sparkler had to pretend she was her sister (we had an old passport for ID that it turned out we didn’t have to use) and i had to smile, nod, and say “duude” a lot (trying to pass myself off as a left coaster).
it wasn’t until we walked out the front that we realized how incredibly fortunate we were. there was an easy two thousand people waiting to get in just that *one* entrance.
i would love to know how late those offices had to stay open tonight. my guess was that there was a line well past dark.
first the bus yesterday, now the tickets today. let’s see if the luck holds through tomorrow …