As an inaugural ball, the "Counter Inaugural Ball II" was, well, counter.
While across town at the Convention Center, tuxedoed and gowned Republicans were paying hundreds of dollars for tickets to the official gala, blue-jeaned and down-jacketed liberals were crowding into George Washington University's Marvin Theater for the Public Interest Follies' second inaugural poke at the political establishment. Some highlights:
* Republican Television -- the cable station "with your favorite reactionary rockers" like "Lionel Richie's" "Running With the Right"; "Cyndi Lauper's" "Girls Just Wanna Stay Home"; "Prince's" "When Liberals Cry"; and "Tina Turner's" "Rollin' in the Money."
* "All the President's Children" -- The "Reagan children," Maureen, Michael, Ron, Patti and her yoga instructor husband Paul Grilley, portrayed by actors, all gathered outside together for the inauguration Sunday. As the only ones in the stands at the Capitol (Nancy neglected to tell them the ceremony was at the White House), they spent most of their time commiserating about the neglect they had suffered.
* "The Baby With the Bath Water" -- At the long-awaited reunion of the Reagans and son Michael, the Reagans learn they have a new granddaughter -- Deficit Reagan. But no one wants to hold the child, who is tossed around:
MR: "Dad, she deserves your attention. Why, if it wasn't for you, Deficit wouldn't exist."
RR: "Michael, I wish you hadn't said that." (Throws Deficit over his head).
MR: "Dad, what have you done with Deficit?"
RR: "Gosh darn it son, the little bugger up and disappeared."
* "Holy Union" -- The televised marriage of Church and State, in which State vowed to take Christian Church as her "lawfully wedded husband, to raise taxes to support, in spiritual and financial sickness, and to obey, until Armageddon do you part."
And in the spirit of fair play, the liberals also came in for a few gibes. A hotline caller, who had "mainlined" conservative political tracts and spent his days waiting for the Heritage Foundation to put out new policy papers, was called back into the liberal fold by being made to repeat "President Newt Gingrich" several times. But the counselor's efforts failed when the caller learned that, because of a cut in the hotline's HHS grant, he would have to pay $65 for the call.
Still, as the first number declared, the ball was "a swell party." So swell that tonight's performance, like Saturday's, is completely sold out. But, like several people outside the theater Saturday, you can always pray for liberal ticket scalpers.