Arnold Schwarzenegger smells good… and other observations from the McCain rally…

So, how do I know exactly what Arnie “Eet’s not a toomah” Schwarzenegger smells like?  Read on for a fantastic and almost unbelieveable tale…

It was an ordinary Friday that was pretty indistinguishable from any other start to the weekend.  A few friends of mine from work were headed to the McCain Victory Rally at Nationwide Arena; it was scheduled to start at 5 but they were leaving early to make sure they got there in time to get a good parking spot.  I had a few things to wrap up but I finally ended up getting out of there around 4:15 – usually it would have been a problem but people had left work much earlier than usual to prepare for Trick-or-Treat, which started at 6.  Plus, I was headed *towards* downtown instead of fleeing to the suburbs.

I digress.  I ended up swapping multiple text messages with Jennifer on my way to the arena about where to park, where to meet, and hallelujah – she lucked into some VIP tickets!  I found some pretty cheap parking off Vine street for less than $10 and quickly made my way to the Arena District.  I met Jen at the corner and we proceeded through the Secret Service’s metal detector gauntlet.  A well-meaning usher tried to direct us up to the nose bleed seats but we waved our super special VIP passes and tried to get to Section 120 where Jen’s husband, Pete, was saving us some seats.

Entering Section 120 we see that it’s mainly deserted and then we realize why… it’s right behind the giant red barn that’s the backdrop for the stage.  However, we have a great view of the little mini stage where it looks like Hank Williams Jr’s guitar and mic are set up.  Pretty soon one of the OSU College Republicans recognizes Jen or Pete and all of a sudden we’re in the second row with a much better view hanging out with the CRs in their reserved area.  NICE!

Hank Williams Jr. comes out and plays a few of his well-known songs including ‘All my Rowdy Friends’ and ‘A Country Boy Can Survive” but then surprises the heck out of me when he breaks into a well-known Waylon Jennings ballad… you may recognize it as the theme song to the Dukes of Hazzard.  Following that he broke into a pretty decent rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘I Walk the Line.”  The whole time we’re probably 25 feet away from him; he’s a lot thinner than I had expected him to be.  Once he was done he sprinted to the back and everyone got ready for McCain and Schwarzenegger to make their grand entrance.

We’d heard rumors that he would be riding his Straight Talk Express bus directly into the arena and saw some interesting tape marks on the large aisle next to where we were seated.  A Secret Service agent and a member of McCain’s staff came to our section and said that he needed a few people to ‘fill in a section.’  The entire front row emptied out and I missed out on sitting in the special section by 2 people.  However, I soon found out that we got the better half of the deal.

After all of this, I’m now one person away from the railing separating our section from the entrance.  We heard the engine of the bus idling and knew it wouldn’t be long until it made its entrance behind the black curtain.  A few seconds later the MC announces the Straight Talk express and John McCain entering the building and we see the lights of the bus as it slowly made its way to us.  John McCain was standing in the staircase waving to everyone while his wife stood on the step above him.  Standing in the aisle waitin to make their entrance were Arnold, Senator Lindsey Graham from SC, McCain’s daughter, and Hank Williams, Jr. 

The bus pulls in, makes its way over the ramp placed there for that purpose and glides to a smooth effortless stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR SECTION.  We were the first people McCain and the other members of the bus saw when they stepped off the bus.  They made their way to our section all smiles and waves.  I was the first hand that Arnold shook as he made his way through our section.  Shortly thereafter John McCain made his way to us and shook hands.  I was surprised that he was able to raise his hands that high to shake hands as we were slightly elevated, but he made it happen.  He almost missed shaking Pete’s hand but I think I said something like, “John!  You missed a veteran!” as Pete is a Navy vet.  He quickly turned back to us and shook Pete’s hand.

Due to the acoustics of the arena and our seating arrangements we didn’t get to hear much of the speeches but I was able to watch it all again on YouTube.  The funniest part was when Arnold told the crowd that he needed to bring Obama to the Arnold Classic (held in Columbus every year in March) so he could work on, “his skinny little legs. We’ll make him do some squats.”

Anyways, it was a good time – much better than I could have ever anticipated.  I need to figure out a way to repay Jen’s kindness. Hopefully, voting for McCain on Tuesday is a good start.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Claire
    Nov 02, 2008 @ 22:24:56

    Hey Lady! Sounds like you had a good time!!! Fun! I hope we don’t have to wait in line too long on Tuesday, but I am totally going to vote even if I have to stand there all day. The stakes are high in this election and I admire McCain’s experience. Let’s hope for a win!


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