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Yesterday, colleague and all around finger-on-the-pulse guy Andrew Beaujon talked to some people at a mall, not the Mall, and realized that nobody from Virginia was going to actually attend Barack Obama’s inauguration.

I believe he’s right.

And with even less reporting, and though lacking Andrew’s finger-on-the-pulse gifts, I’m ready to make a companion declaration: Nobody from Petworth is going to actually attend Barack Obama’s inauguration, either.

Petworth is a neighborhood that loves its public displays.

But everybody I’ve talked to around here lately, neighbors and fellow breakfasters at the fabulous Tony’s Place, tells the same tale of wanting to attend the ceremony but losing interest because of all the reported hassles.

“I’m just going to watch it on TV at my church,” said the lady sitting on the stool next to me at Tony’s.

I’ve gone to a lot of these things. Since Carter’s, I’ve only missed the second term swearing-ins for Bush II and Reagan’s in 1985. And I only missed Reagan’s 1985 ceremony because there wasn’t one.

But, like ALL OF PETWORTH, I’ve lost the will to show up at Obama’s.

Again, given the hassles, most of which are clearly designed not for safety but just to keep the hoi polloi away, why doesn’t the government just do the honest thing and cease with these faux open ceremonies?