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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

Category Archives: DC!

I woke up on Saturday morning (which was unsurprising but good) and learned that it was about seventy degrees outside in the heart of DC (which was great) in the middle of November (which is weird), less than a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving (which is delicious).

Not wanting to pass up one final opportunity to get sun poisoning, I donned my trusty New York Mets Lenny Dykstra #4 tee-shirt (thanks to Stephen V.) and headed to Kalorama Park.

My plan for the afternoon was simple: bask in the sunshine, finish the two-hundred page book I’ve been reading for two moths, go to town on an anjou pear, and secretly hope that puppies of all shapes and sizes (but especially those with disproportionally large heads) meander all day in my direction.

On the way to the park (which, for the record, more closely resembled a construction site), I stopped at a local used bookstore, Idle Time Books, because that’s just the kind of guy that I am.

Actually, I hadn’t necessarily planned on it, but they have one of those “$1 BOOKS” carts constantly stationed outside the store, luring me with promises of cheap entertainment.  The Cart never ceases to pique my interest, and incidentally never ceases to disappoint me each time in new and exciting ways.  After thirty seconds, I being to recognize that I am eye-browsing a collection of works arranged in preparation for a trip to the 1400’s to convince Gutenberg to destroy his precious printing press prototype.

The Cart is letting me down again.

No big deal.

There is an softcover arcing in my back pocket, pulling mightily at the machined threads that contain it, making every effort to expand the size of the space it has been unapologetically thrust.  There is a just-washed pear in my left hand, and for some reason, a commanding baritone roar in the distance.

Someone is yelling.

Someone is yelling something.

Someone is yelling something at someone.

Someone is yelling something at someone for some reason.

And then I hear it.  At least I think I hear it.

“Are you a Mets fan?”

And then I know hear it.

“HEY! ARE YOU A METS FAN?!”

Really?  Someone is yelling about a Mets fan? Is who a Mets fan?  Who cares if someone is a Mets fan?

And then I look down at my Lenny Dykstra jersey.

Wait, am I a Mets fan?

I look up.

His head is poked out the window of his car.  A squad car.  There is a District of Columbia police officer staring at me, expecting eyes wide open.

“Hey!” he calls, badge reflecting the sun.  “Are you a Mets fan?”

Baffled, I nod my head and gleefully call back, “Yeah!”

As an added bonus, I make sure to give the officer an idiotic thumbs-up gesture with my non-pear hand.  And although this probably turns out to be the kindest hand gesture he receives all day, it’s also the kind of thing that only an inherently awkward person would think to do in a situation like this.

I wait for his answer, for camaraderie.

I wait for him to smile and bellow, “LET’S GO METS!”

I wait for commiseration.

I want for him to frown and say, “Maybe next year, ya know?”

I wait for anything.

I wait.

He looks at me, grinning.

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

And then — zoom!

Like the smile on my face, he is gone.

with his head poked out the window of his squad car
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Wyoming Population: ~544,000 (0.17% of US population)
Wyoming Representatives: 1 (voting) (0.23% overall representation)
Wyoming Senators: 2 (2% overall representation)

District of Columbia Population: ~600,000 (0.19% of US population)
District of Columbia Representatives: 1 (non-voting) (Unrepresented)
District of Columbia Senators: 0 (Unrepresented)

According to Wikipedia, “In the financial year 2007, D.C. residents and businesses paid $20.4 billion in federal taxes; more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest federal taxes per capita.”  (See: IRS)

That is no joke.

“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.” -Justice Hugo Black, Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964).

That is no joke, either.

This morning, I raced a girl to the Columbia Heights metro stop.  She was quick, though not quite quick enough.  She walked at a steady, swift pace, but she was a poor judge of when the light would gracefully go green and eliminate the chance that we would end up in a DCist article.  She was feisty.

Oh, and also, she had no idea we were racing.

But we were.

(And I won.)

I am not completely sure why this is true, but if you are outside, and if you have legs, and if you are using those legs to propel yourself forward, chances are we are racing.  (Chances are also that I am winning.)  That said, to be fair to myself, I only participate in My Human Race when I am walking alone and am by definition “quite bored.”

The goal of The Race is simple: pass all people who can reasonably be passed.

The rules are simple, too.

The first (and most important — that’s why it’s the first!) is that no one may pick up on the very real and serious fact that you are racing them.  That makes running illegal.  Arms-pumping speed-walking is illegal.  Pushing people out of the way is illegal (unless you are being chased by a panther).  If you are walking passed someone and they think to themselves, “What in the world is this guys problem?”, chances are you are doing something illegal (again, unless you are being chased by a panther).

I guess that’s the only rule.

For more experienced metropolitan racers, a special version of MHR can be played during rush hour in DC.  Additional rules are as follows:

2. No one who is not violating Rule 1 may pass you.  Ever.
3. You must pass at least one person between the escalator to the metro and the metro card reader.
4. You must pass at least one person between the metro card reader and the platform.
5. When your train has reached its destination, you must pass at least one person between your metro car and the (exit) card reader.
6. You must pass at least one person between the (exit) card reader and the escalator.
7. You must pass at least one person between the escalator and your job where no one appreciates you.
8. One point for each adult passed.  One-half point for each child, old person, and pregnant lady.
9. You must reconsider your priorities and life-choices that have brought you to the point of race-walking unknowing strangers.
10. Cry self to sleep.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to gradually get in front of everyone I see.

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