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Police were everywhere at CarolinaFest

By Doug Robarchek

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Welcome to Smurf City.

Charlotte, where some people argue about who is the most conservative the way theologians argue about who is the most holy, this week is the Bluest city in America.

Uptown wasn’t as crowded as we expected Monday morning, though. Maybe it was because of Labor Day, or the threat of rain, or maybe it was the tight security. But as long as the rain held off, the crowds got larger, at some points even outnumbering police.

Man, were there police! There were officers from all over North Carolina and even a sizeable contingent from Chicago. We assume the Chicago group was brought in to prevent any outbreak of peace and serenity.

Actually, the Chicago police were friendly. One, who didn’t want to be quoted by name, said he loved Charlotte. “I want to move here,” he said. It does have the advantage of not being Chicago.

We even saw a large truck marked “FBI Bomb Technicians.” We tried not to get too close in case they were taking their work home with them.

In addition to out-of-town police, there was a rumor that hundreds of prostitutes from across the country had arrived in Charlotte. And that was just for the Secret Service.

Delegate John Perry of San Angelo, Texas – “No relation to (Texas Gov.) Rick Perry and I wouldn’t admit it if I was” – took our personal political quiz:

Outfront: Do you believe it would be wrong to elect a president named after a baseball glove?

John Perry: Mitt? I don’t think it would be wrong to elect him because of his name. Just his policies.

O: Do you think a woman could get pregnant from sex with Todd Akin?

JP: I would hope her body would find some way to shut that down.

O: Do you think Hurricane Isaac was God trying to tell the Republicans something?

JP: I do. I think they should have named it Hurricane Instant Karma.

Tim Kubik of the Colorado delegation said he loved Charlotte. “It’s a nice walkable city.” Of course, uptown had to be walkable Monday. You certainly couldn’t drive. Traffic was moving very slowly. At one point we considered calling the post office and changing our mailing address to “Stonewall Street, third car from the corner of Tryon.”

A final note: cabdriver Charles Ezechukwu says Democrats are good tippers. So that answers one question: Apparently they’re free with their own money, too.

Robarchek is retired Observer humor columnist
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