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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Inaugural Packages

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Hard to believe, but in just a little over a week the presidential inauguration will be taking place in Washington. Iíve been watching the mail for my invitation to some of the activities, but it either must have been stolen or lost. I would have thought mine would have arrived by this time.

In anticipation of the arrival of my invitation, I have been searching the Internet to see if there are any Ďdealsí to be had in the way of travel and accommodation packages.

There are.

The high-end package goes for $205,000. Look at this figure, I have stated it correctly. Thatís $205,000 American dollars. Now, before you throw this paper down and refuse to consider this special offer, look at what you will get. For two people, youíll have your own private jet to take you to D.C. and then back home. Youíll spend your time in a 3,500 square foot hotel room. Well, itís not really a room, since it has a total of 14 rooms. Yours will have a gym, a kitchen, game room and of course your own butler. You will be fitted for a custom made gown and tux for the evenings activities. You get matching watches. A five-course dinner for eight. Manicures out the wazoo and an American flag that was flown over the Capital. Oh, yes and you get to keep the bathrobes.

Thatís the $205,000 package. The one for a million has some additional stuff, but I decided to pass on this one as last year was fairly lean for me and I donít think I could swing for it at this time. Perhaps the next one. I did notice that for this package they give you two actors who pretend to be Secret Service Agents and who follow you around the entire time youíre in the city. I suppose they wear those long trench coats and constantly talk into their wrists. Since they arenít real guys I wonder whom they are calling? Probably checking on their cleaning or if the photos have come back from the one hour place.------ I know this year itís too late to make up my mind to go since Iíve waited so long. Iím sure all of the good packages have already been taken by now. This got me to thinking about an opportunity for the next inauguration four years from now. I think a great idea would be for someone to put together a travel package for the Ďlittle guyí. You know the Ďaverage Americaní, something everyone who wanted to go could afford if they were working at Wal-Mart. This is an event that should be accessible for all of America, not just the rich. This is part of our history and all of us should have an opportunity to participate.
Now how about this? For $795 (payable by check or Visa) you get the following: Remember this is for a party of twoÖso you want to think about who might want to invite.
  1. Roundtrip bus tickets to the Nations capital with reserved seats. Complementary six pack of Bud and three commemorative Cheeze Whiz cracker boxes.

  2. Pool side room for three nights with king size bed at the Motel Six closest to downtown Washington D.C. The plastic flowers are guaranteed to be freshly washed. Large towels, clean sheets and bedspread come with this offer. Extra coffee will be provided. The mini bar will have another six-pack of Bud along with several bags of red, white and blue M&Mís. A select assortment of chips and bean dip will be available. A free copy of USA Today will be given to you each morning. Long distance phone calls are not free. In room movies are not free. HBO is free. The radio is free. Bottled water is available at the front desk.

  3. Dinner for the two of you at Steak and Ale in downtown D.C. You will be transported to dinner via your own private taxicab with an English-speaking driver. The dinner menu includes any entrťe listed except the Kensington Club and the Caesar salad. Both can be added for $3.50 additional. Desserts are included. Wine and mixed drinks are available for a small fee. Tips are not included.

  4. Your Inauguration Day activities will consist of a guaranteed standing place along the parade route with two (2) hand held American flags, which are yours to keep as a memento of this special occasion. An attempt will be made to locate your standing position close to a closed circuit television of the actual swearing in ceremony.

  5. Inauguration night will find you and your guest on the steps of any of the hotels holding the inauguration balls. You will be able to see for yourself, the guests as they arrive and depart. For the first twenty-five couples who sign up for this exciting opportunity, each will receive a ash tray from the very hotel you are visiting on this once in a lifetime evening.

  6. The morning after, you and your guest will celebrate your trip at the Golden Room of the Dennyís, located conveniently next door to your hotel. There you and others on the trip will share their memories, have their group photos made and be available to go to the head of the buffet line as well as take advantage of all the coffee and juice you can drink. Tips are not included.
Well, there you have it. The trip of a lifetime for America.

Iíll keep you posted on additional details in the next couple of years.

© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
Letters From North America - January 12 , 2005 column

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