Report from Obamapalooza: Day Two

05/25/2011 12:40 pm ET

DENVER - The dark underbelly of the 2008 Democratic National Convention revealed itself when I tried to use the bathroom at the Hyatt, only to be told I needed an official "passport." Why are the Democrats requiring special papers to cross into a 5-star border? A hotel is not a rogue state. (Except, of course, for Motel 6.)

Also dark is Denver's famed dark blue, big bear statue, which stands on twenty-foot hind legs and peers into the convention center, staring down delegates and looking like it's about to devour any number of important caucuses.

But the much-vaunted public transportation system is the darkest of all. The innocuously named Hybrid Electric Alternative Powered Vehicles quietly speed down streets, hunting for hapless non-Denverites to sideswipe. Several times they came so close I thought I had met my Hybrid Electric Alternative Powered death.

Then there are things that are too baffling to be dark. Next to the big bear statue, carved into the sidewalk, are these words: "I see what you mean" - Lawrence Argent, Public Art Program. Those aren't inspirational words, those are conversational words. That's like building a monument and carving, "Honey, are we out of milk?"

Also confusing is a regular group of young McCain supporters. They carry signs and chant slogans. They look like they don't quite know what they're doing here. Every time I see them, I think, do they not know McCain isn't at this convention? Then I think, what do I know? Maybe the Democrats actually have a McCain delegation. Democrats for McCain. Or Democrats for Darkness. After all, they have a big tent--so big you could drive a Hybrid Electric Alternative Powered Vehicle through it.

I'd love to continue, but after being turned back from the Hyatt, the luxury nation-state, I'm going to use the restroom in the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant near the convention center. The last time I was there I was thanked six times for coming. That was dark. Usually it's nine.

John Marshall is performing stand-up comedy in Breaking Convention, with Scott Blakeman, Jimmy Tingle and Will Durst, Aug. 26 & 27 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 28 at 1 p.m., The Bug Theater, 3654 Navajo Street, Denver, 303-477-5977, m/event/39035.