When you see President Obama speak on television, you probably never think of all the logistics it takes to get him to that location, do you? I know because I never did until yesterday.
I work in St. Charles, Missouri; for an agency that will go unnamed. I get off work at 3:00 pm and I usually run right out the door. But yesterday I decided to stay and work out for 30 minutes, something that’s as rare as a total solar eclipse. So I didn’t leave work until about 3:45 pm.
I walked to my car, got in and took off down the road. Within two miles of my work, I hit a major wall of traffic. I kept seeing the traffic light turn green, but no one was moving. What the…? I thought.
I watched as cars started taking any side-streets they could. That’s when it hit me, Shit! Obama’s in town.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an Obama guy and have been since I saw him speak at the National Democratic Convention five years ago. But I hate traffic at least as much as I like Obama, and I’m not happy with him at this point because I know he’s the one causing it.
So I cut up this little side road thinking, This leads me to the highway, not thinking that this secret on-ramp, really isn’t a secret to the Police, FBI and Secret Service, not to mention the hundred or so other locals that thought they had a secret way too.
So there I am, stuck in another Great Wall of China traffic line, when I look up at the on-ramp at Boone’s Lick Road and I-70. That’s when a dozen or so cop cars passed by, then about eight black suburban’s, and then the two black limousines with little American flags on the front. Bringing up the rear was another dozen or so police cars. The caboose was a black ambulance, which was weird because I had never seen a black ambulance.
As soon as they passed I thought, Cool, now they’ll open the on-ramps and we all can go. But nooooo! I waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally I drove on the wrong side of the road for about 100 feet and made a U-Turn in a doctor’s office parking lot and went back down the way I came. But there was no luck there either—more traffic, so I went to a local sub-shop and ordered a sandwich.
After I ordered, I sat down. The speech had just started. I asked the bartender to turn up the television. He kind of gave me an attitude until I said, “Hey, if I’m going to be stuck here, I want to hear what the guy has to say.”
“Me too,” another guy said. I watched as the volume bar on the T.V. climbed higher and higher.
When my food came, I took a few bites and watched part of the speech. When I looked out the window, I realized that the traffic was gone. I stood up and looked toward the Interstate. Traffic was flowing. I slammed my sandwich down and got the hell out of dodge. I didn’t want to be stuck out in St. Charles for another three hours.
On the ride home cops were at every on-ramp. I kept thinking they were going to say, “You! Stop right there! We’re closing this show down, starting with you!” But once I crossed the bridge going East, I knew I was home free.
So just remember the next time the President makes a speech in some po-dunk town that you’ve never heard of, some poor fool was the first in line, stuck in traffic, watching the Presidents motorcade roll by.
But in case you want to see what it really looked like, here’s a clip: