DC Duck

Well, it’s July, so I’m in Maryland for the Shore Leave Convention. And as usual, I took a day to go to Washington, DC and do the tourist thing.

This year, I just wandered and walked around. And walked. And walked.

I’m gonna guesstimate that I put about 10 miles on my feet yesterday, and they’re not really used to it.

But it was SO worth it.

Especially considering that I had my two trusty companions: my camera and Mr. Duckie.

The first thing I noticed was the Washington Monument.

I’m not sure if it’s intended to be a huge phallic symbol or a huge middle finger, but either way the message is clear: you do NOT f*** with the United States. We f*** with you.

Then, I noticed
a strip of grass
on the Mall. Either it was a tribute to Mr. T, or the sloppiest mowing job I’ve seen in years. Either way, it was a classic example of Your Tax Dollars At Work.

Nearby, I noticed one rather stately building. It turned out to be the Source Of All Evil headquarters of the IRS. Mr. Duckie insisted on expressing his opinion.

Down at the World War II Memorial, I was seriously moved. It is one amazing piece of work. Naturally, I found myself drawn to the New Hampshire pillar, and one rather remarkable (and historically significant) piece of graffiti.

There didn’t seem to be any sort of explanatory plaque for the graffiti, so I strongly suspect it’s a sort of “Easter Egg” on the monument. I find I really like that.

Then, past the World War II Memorial, I spent some time at the Lincoln Memorial.

Then, it was on to the White House. There I saw two rather amusing sights: the traditional nut with the protest sign, and a giant honking badge emblem on the side of an SUV. Tell me — am I the only one who finds “SECRET SERVICE — UNIFORMED DIVISION” a really funny oxymoron?

I ended up walking around and around and around, with no real destinations in mind. One thing I noticed was the license plates of cars registered in the District. Where my own plates read “LIVE FREE OR DIE,” however, these proclaimed “TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.” Whiny gits… that reminds me; I ought to do a piece some time on why I actually approve of DC not having statehood.

However, I was in the 500 block of K Street NW when I spotted a MISSING PET/MISSING PERSON style sign.

It turned out to be a MURDER VICTIM sign, and on the spot the guy had been killed. I thought that was a good sign to turn around and head back the way I came.

I eventually found my way back to the Metro, then to Union Station for the train ride back to Baltimore (where my hosts live). That’s when I learned a new and deep and abiding hatred for Amtrak.

You see, the only seats left on the next train were Business Class. That roughly doubled the fare. In exchange, I got to walk the entire length of the train to board, to ride at the very front of the car, where the air conditioning was not working.

Yup. Pay more, get worse.

It was a hell of a long day, and as I finish typing this on a Sunday morning, my feet still hurt.

But it was a hell of a great day.

States Of The Union
Life in Florida VII