A cautionary doggerel about the inaugural

GETTING THERE

January 19, 2009|By MICHAEL DRESSER

Somewhere in metropolitan Baltimore, somebody will get out of bed today and decide - without previous planning - that tomorrow's inauguration couldn't possibly go on without their presence.

For that person, a little advice, with abject and groveling apologies to the ghost of the great Dr. Seuss:

Marvin K. Mooney, won't you please stay home?

Why go to D.C. when it feels like Nome?

There's plenty of better places to chill

When Obama makes his charge up Capitol Hill.

Avoid D.C. at any cost. Go to the woods. Take a hike. Get lost.

Avoid D.C. if you are old. Avoid D.C. if you get cold. Avoid D.C. if you're too young. Avoid it if you have one lung.

Avoid the Mall although you're tall. If short, you're gonna miss it all.

Stay in Maryland if you limp. Stay in-state if you're a wimp.

Stay here if you're sane and grounded. Pretend your car has been impounded.

Do not go there in a car, fool. Watch Barack speak from a bar stool.

Do not go there on a sled. Rosebud's gone. Go back to bed.

Do not go there on a bus. Stay here with the rest of us. (We'll treat it just like Festivus.)

Do not go there on a steed. More horse poop D.C. don't need.

Do not try to land a yacht. The Secret Service likes it not.

Peddle not upon a bi-yak. Or paddle over on a kayak. (Unless you go with Salma Hayek.)

Do not go there for the glow. The toilets they will overflow.

Do not go there for the thrill. CNN's got overkill.

Do not go there for the buzz. Or go down there just becuz. Place is gonna crawl with fuzz. (Read here Wednesday how it wuz.)

Do not go for love or sex. Don't hop a freight on CSX.

No matter if you're gay or hetero, kindly do not board the Metero.

Stay off the dreaded 95 corridor. Traffic never will be horrider.

That includes both harbor tunnels where all the Northeast's traffic funnels.

(A tip for those who locals be: The bridge beside the Point is Key.)

Beware Montgomery. Eschew Prince George's. Stay in Balmer, looking gorgeous.

Don't drive down to old Greenbelt. They'll pack you in the train like smelt.

And with all the strength that's in ya, avoid the bridges to Virginia.

(Except that Nice one way down south, halfway to Potomac's mouth.)

Penn Line's sold out. So's the Camden. Might as well just watch from Hampden.

Can't get seats on the Acela. Even if your name's George Della. (You know, that state senator fella.)

Don't worry yourself into the morgue. Persistence is futile, says the Borg.

Don't weep and wail and gnash your teeth. Watch through the eyes of Olberman, Keith.

Or if you fear he'll act too smiley, turn to Fox and Bill O'Reilly.

Pull up a beer or maybe a spritzer. Stay toasty warm with Wolfie Blitzer.

Take it from me, if not your mama. Home's a sweet place to watch Obama.

But Marvin K. of the Mooney clan has a serious case of "Yes We Can."

So in spite of the doggerel from Me All-Knowing,

Look out, D.C., Marvin's going.

And that, for you of the Mooney ilk, raises the question of how to get there. For the planning-averse, driving to Washington is truly a dumb idea. State Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari suggests two viable ways for those he diplomatically calls "late deciders" to get there and back:

* Take the Baltimore light rail to BWI ($1.60 each way) and catch the B30 Metrobus ($3.10 cash) to Greenbelt Metro. The Washington transit agency has doubled scheduled service and will have extra buses in reserve, Porcari said. Don't go too early. The first bus out of BWI comes at 7 a.m. Don't stay late. The B30 turns into an expensive taxi after 10 p.m.

* Catch a Maryland Transit Administration commuter bus, at $10 round-trip, to the Washington Metro system. Buses depart at regular intervals through the morning from such spots as Kent Island, Annapolis, Columbia, Scaggsville-Burtonsville and Frederick. They return to the same Metro stations in the evening. Seats are not reserved but bring exact change. Information on exact routes and times is available at www.mtamaryland.com.

Neither of these itineraries will spare you the prospect of long lines at Metro fare machines (day pass $7.80) if you don't already have a SmartTrip card. You should also expect lines at fare gates, lines to escalators and lines to get into lines. Hey, there's a price to pay for waiting until the last minute.

Have a good time, and send your inaugural transportation horror stories to gettingthere@baltsun.com.

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