…This is the first that I have heard of the Purple Tunnel of Doom.

As God as my witness, I was not aware before today that thousands of people with purple tickets to Obama’s 2009 Inauguration were trapped in a unheated, dirty tunnel in January and forced to wait hours for an Inaugural that most of them ended up not being able to actually access.

…No, seriously, that’s precisely what happened.

By late morning, purple ticket-holders packed the massive freeway tunnel wall to wall. With the temperature below freezing–icicles hung from the ceiling–children huddled with their parents for warmth. The walls were covered in soot from years of cars passing through, so people passed the time painting dirt murals with their fingers. Some played tic-tac-toe with the soot while others drew the Obama campaign logo. After hours of waiting, one person wrote, “FREE THE TUNNEL PEOPLE!!!” There were no bathrooms inside the tunnel, so men made their own artistic contributions to the tunnel walls when nature called.


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