And now, here comes the but.
I think I reached a tipping point today.
With the increasingly popular cherry blossoms out in full force, the tourists have really descended. And over the last few days, it has reached code-red levels on my commute. I'm a race car in the red, that's all I'm saying.
Run! Don't make eye contact, just get away!
The problem doesn't lie with all tourists. Just the stupid, oblivious ones. Those who insist on taking the train during rush hour, and being totally unprepared for the experience. Like here are the Gundersens from Eu Claire, milling around in front of the ticket gate, blocking everyone's way, while Dad curses euphemistically as he tries to figure out how the ding-dang tickets go into the slot. The babies are screeching and the older kids are fruiting off while Mom chases futilely after them. "Tyler? Tyler? Get back here. This is counterproductive behavior, young man. Remember our discussion? On just this very topic? Caitlin! Don't touch that. Tyler! TYLER, DON'T KISS YOUR SISTER! That is WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE!!!!"
I maneuver past them and board the train. But a few stops down, there's a huge, extended, rather permed family (I'm guessing they're from Indiana) waiting. The doors open. They hover uncertainly in front of them (again, blocking everyone's path). They wonder aloud: "Do you think this is the right traaaaaaain? Should we get oooonnnnnn? Excuse me, siiirrrrrrrrrr? Does this go to Washington, deeee ceeeeeeeeee?????" At the very last second, they decide to waddle aboard. All twenty-seven of them. Shouting and playing grab-ass and laughing like hyenas. All the while, the doors are trying to close on them, which just makes them laugh harder, blithely unaware of the fact that blocking the doors is the fastest way to break the train, meaning we'd all have to get off and cram onto the next one. Looks like I picked the wrong day to leave my gun at home. (Thanks for getting me all paranoid, Jim Webb aid guy.)
So tourists, if you're reading, I want to say one thing: This is a real, working city. This is not Six Flags. The subway is not a roller coaster. Some of us are just trying to go to work. You are driving me crazy every morning. Like, bat shit crazy.
I could go on. And on. I could talk about you constantly breaking the ironclad rule of not standing on the left side of the escalator. And a new concern is that you are actually destroying the very thing you've come to see. But I guess I'll stop. In the meantime, I've got my eye on you. Better shape up. Or at least, wait until 9:30 to ride the train? Thanks.
- Escalators Survive Tourists, Tree Roots Not So Much [Express]
- Webb Aid Tried to Take Gun Into Senate Building [Washington Post]
- Standing on the Left? You Must Be on Vacation [Washington Post]
- Smothered With Love [Washington Post]
Technorati tags: cherry blossoms, Washington, D.C., tourists