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|| News Item: Posted 2000-08-28

Road Warrior: Mongo Sneaks Past Security at the Democratic National Convention
By Mongo

Photo by
(Dateline: Los Angeles, CA.10 minutes in the past.)

It's 1:00 PM in the afternoon and traffic is backed up several miles down the 110 Freeway.

The Democratic National Convention doesn't start for another 3 days and traffic is already fucked up.

Jumping off the Harbor and weaving in and out of surface traffic, I pull right up to the parking structure at the convention center. There's a rent-a-cop at the gate turning people away cause they don't have the correct parking pass.

Lurching forward to the gate, I flash him an old "National Press Credential" (remember the red, white, and blue one the Secret Service issued back in late 70's?) He looks at it and waves me through.

I don't think he was paying too much attention, cause instead of my picture on the credential, I've got a cut out of Saddam Hussein pasted over it.

LAYER 1 security - DEFEATED!

Ok, that was relatively hassle-free, so I park the car and take the escalator up into the Media work center. Stroll around for a while, walk past a couple of patrol officers, then some Sheriffs, and on out towards the Staples Center.

LAYER 2 security - DEFEATED!

Down the stairs, to the loading dock, I saunter over to the credential cabana. A fresh faced, neatly groomed, young man wearing a tie, looks at my 20 year old credential that has a photo of the leader of Iraq wearing a beret staring back at him.

"What can I do for you today sir?"

"I need to go recon the arena."

The kid picks up a clipboard and peels a little "Avery" adhesive label off a sheet, (it's stamped VISITOR) and sticks it below the picture of the wacky Iraqi. I can only guess that he's to young to remember the Gulf War.

"Down the ramp and to the left and you'll be on the main floor."

LAYER 3 security - DEFEATED!

So I'm wandering around inside the Staples Center, ON the convention floor, AT the podium where "Big Al" will be making his acceptance speech in a week.

Not being one much for politics, (I just like going to the media parties) I snap a few pix of myself doing the victory dance in front of the podium (this will warm my mother's heart, cause she hates the Republicans)

Meandering back over to the Media Center, I'm confronted by a big ass, and I mean gigantic rent-a-cop (no shit, this guy could be Shaq's evil twin brother).

"Sorry sir, you can't come in here with that credential."

"Ummm, ok, why not? It's the one they just issued me at the credential cabana"

"I can't let you in with that credential sir. You need to have the pre convention credential."

"Let me get this straight. I can run amok on the convention floor, where the Vice President of the United States is going to be, using this little Avery sticker stamped "visitor" BUT I can't get back into the Media work center?"

"I can't let you in with that credential sir."

"Who would BOMB the Media center? If you killed all the journalists, then nobody could report the story.

Even madman Saddam knows that."

"You mean the guy in the picture (as he's pointing at my credential)?"

I gotta admit, I was impressed. The guy stood his ground and did his job, so I turned around and set off in search of the credential desk.

As I made my way along the concrete crash barriers, I see all these cops standing in formation, with their riot helmets, side handle batons, black leather gloves, elbow pads, kneepads Wait a sec, helmets, and kneepads, oh crap, it's football season again.


Photo by Mongo

Photo by Mongo
The problem with most kneepads is that they aren't designed for kneeling; they're designed for protecting the kneecap from impact damage due to rollerblading, or civil disobedience actions.

You know the kind I'm talking about, the ones with the hard plastic shell that makes it almost impossible to run up and down the sidelines and Velcro straps that cut off the circulation to your lower legs, causing them to fall asleep.

Mongo want better kneepads.

Mongo found better kneepads.

Bucket BOSS brand "PRO Kneelers" Professional grade garden knee pads.


*30% thicker than most kneepads

*Ultra light pad conforms to the contour of your knee

*Stitched on cap prevents debris from getting lodged underneath cap

*All season, no skid protective shell

*Elongated shell for more knee protection

The very best thing about these pads is the straps. Instead of a couple of elastic straps, that wear out or bunch up behind your knee, these feature an innovative WIDE, neoprene comfort strap doesn't bind and is softer and more durable than elastic.

You and buy these at just about any Home Depot, or order them from Duluth Trading.

(Mongo Johnson, a former noodle chef and movie location caterer (his credits include "Animal House," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Enter The Dragon" currently is the "Travel Consultant to the Stars" based in Los Angeles, CA.)

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