My First First Lady
My coveted ticket

I managed to score a ticket to see First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday. I am on her mailing list and she wrote to me personally, along with thousands and thousands of others, that she was coming to town and would just love to see me.

She gave three locations where her minions, aka the President Obama Re-election Campaign workers, would be giving out FREE tickets to see her on a First Come, First Served, one ticket per person basis.

Since there were a finite amount of tickets and, I presumed, an infinite number of people who would want them, I decided I would get there early. So for the 1:00 PM call I was shooting to arrive at high noon and, thinking there was a possibility I would be standing in the 95 degree heat for a while, 3 frozen bottles of water, only one of which would fit in my pocket.

The Obama Re-election office was less than 5 miles away, so it took only about 15 minutes to get there. However, I go no where without my new, little Sansa music machine. It’s a terrific machine, smaller than a pack of matches. It has an internal 8 GB hard drive, and a slot for micro-memory card, in which I added another 16 GB of memory, giving me a grand total of 9,514 tunes of every genre you can name. I throw the thing on random shuffle and head out, windows open. Just as I pull up to the people lined up outside the the songs switches from a Reggae tune to, and I wish I were making this up, Louis Armstrong’s version of “Shine.”

There were about 50 people ahead of me when I arrived.

Luckily no one already standing in line was paying attention to the music emanating from my car. I joined the line and waited. And waited. And waited. I was disconcerted. Every 5 minutes someone new came by and asked us to fill out a form and to make sure we had our 2012 Voter Registration Card ready, or we’d not get tickets. Every 5 minutes I explained to somebody new that I don’t have a 2012 Voter Registration Card because I wasn’t allowed to vote. When a one of the volunteers asked if if it was because I was a felon, I changed my response to “I don’t have a 2012 Voter Registration Card because I’m not a citizen.” That didn’t make me many friends either, but at least I wasn’t mistaken for a felon.

Even though they were all telling us we needed a Voters Registration Card to get a ticket, when I explained they said “Don’t worry about it,” but I was. Mostly because they all kept saying we needed it to get the ticket, before they told me privately that I didn’t need it to get a ticket. That didn’t give me much assurance, especially because I heard many people arguing with the volunteers. Loud voices were yelling, “If we needed to bring out Voters Registration Card, it should have been in the email!!!” and “I don’t take my Voter Registration Card everywhere I go!!!” and “You people done fucked up!!!”

In the end no one asked anyone for a voter registration card once we were getting out ticket to see the First Lady, so all that anger and frustration in line seemed to be just for the fun and entertainment of the volunteers.

I arrived at noon and left at 1:45, most of that time standing in the oppressive heat. I had long finished the frozen water I carried and when I got back to the car the other two bottles were almost completely melted, but at least they were still cold.

Here are a few of the other pics I took while waiting.

Still life: Gecko with cockroach on a wall. In Florida they call these Palmetto bugs so they can pretend they’re not roaches.

I tried to get one of these signs for my window, but they didn’t have any more. There was also one that said
“African Americans for Obama” which I wanted, because I have racist neighbours, but they were out of those too.


About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.