All of those making fun of Aretha Franklin's inaugural hat are missing the bigger worry whenever the "Queen of Soul" makes a public appearance.

So now, I guess this non-hat wearer must defend Franklin's chapeau. She has made some poor decisions in the hat department but this was not one of them. The heather gray chapeau in wool felt shaped like a bow on a gift was an interesting, bold choice. It was elegant, yet practical because it kept her head warm and, more importantly, made her face look smaller. (Like me, Franklin needs to back away from the chicken wings.)

 And speaking of places where Franklin is not small, I was tremendously relieved that she attended the inauguration wearing enough material to cover her bosoms. Unfortunately, Re-Re will show off her chi-chis at the drop of a hat (even though nobody wants to see that much of her anymore). Brace yourself and Google images of Franklin to get a taste of the embarrassing trip down memory lane.

Franklin's hat wasn't any worse than many seen on Queen Elizabeth. Maybe that's why Michigan milliner Luke Song has been getting calls from England about the hat, according to the Detroit Free Press, which reported he has sold a bunch hats as a result of Franklin showcasing this one. Song's store is, by the way, "Church Lady Central," according to a source in Michigan.

So lay off Re-Re's hat. But before you do, one more bit of fun. Check to see President Obama photoshopped into Franklin's hat with the caption "I Am Sasha's Fierce Father."

You're no Belafonte

When I arrived in D.C. for the inauguration I ran into Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr. at the airport.

To confirm the sighting, as I always request that my tipsters to do, I asked the congressman if he was Conyers. "I'm Harry Belafonte," said Conyers with a mischievous smile. I told Conyers that while he and Belafonte are a couple of extremely handsome old guys, they don't look enough alike to cause confusion. Off Conyers went, rolling his luggage behind him.

What terrible T's

Sales of Obama T-shirts were not going well, various D.C. vendors told me.

Not surprising, even though the price was right at about $10 for many. You have never seen such a collection of horribly gaudy T-shirts featuring such a handsome family. Mostly black T-shirts for some strange reason. As a T-shirt creator and connoisseur, I don't know what makers of Obama T-shirts were thinking. There were one or two clever ones, such as the "Mission Impossible" shirt showing Obama, in his dark glasses, getting out of a vehicle. But the rest mostly stunk.

Coming Sunday

Sunday's column includes interviews about how poorly managed the inauguration was.

I know it was a security success, but the fact that people with tickets didn't get access is leaving a bad taste in some mouths. And I did not even fully get into the media misinformation.

Radio and TV stations were saying the Metro rail lots were full. When I got dropped off at the Greenbelt Station, there must have been 1,000 spaces available.

The next snafu involved the orderly crowd waiting to enter the subway system. A bad situation nearly developed when a magna cum laude graduate of the Barney Fife Police Academy started yelling that they were closing the gates to the station. Then the Fifelet started pushing the crowd backward, creating the only real pushing experienced during my 11/2 hour wait. Was the bored Fifelet trying to create a police incident?

The crowd was in a serene mood, waiting patiently to get to the Washington Mall. Fifelet's yelling and pushing did prompt a few cries of dissatisfaction. Eventually the cops who were up at their squads, socializing instead of working or helping in anyway to direct the growing crowd, came over to assist the Fifelet. A line was established allowing groups of people into the station.

Washington and environs were a mess as officials dealt with the large number of people who wanted to be there.

One street official to whom I complained about not being able to use my media credential, arranged by FOX9, said the system was only prepared to succeed with a crowd of 3 million. I reminded him that 4 million were expected.

There was poor planning, poor communications and poor execution of whatever the plan was. If event management, as opposed to crowd suppression, was the game plan, somebody in D.C. should have contacted Minnesota's Ridgeway International.

Poor work by the Metro and police could not change the fact that last week Disney World had nothing on D.C. when it came to being the happiest place on Earth. There was nothing but positive energy flowing from the millions happy to be at the inauguration or in the vicinity.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.