Wednesday, March 30, 2011
My fury raged to a new boil with yesterday's commute, which avoided the harrowing hell of the 14th Street Bridge and instead took Constitution. Since Cherry Blossom Time began, it has been progressively worse driving into the city--this is because of the Tourons (my wife's term for the less considerate visitors we get) who flock in and weave in and out of traffic and park in the through lanes illegally. Helpful tip--when a sign says you have 3 hour parking until 4 PM, that means you can't be parked there after 4 PM. You will get towed. And motorists who are better armed than me will shoot out your windows. Remember, anything eastbound on Constitution is coming from Virginia, where even the Democrats are pro-NRA. These are not drivers you want to provoke. Of course, the Touron Creed always goes like this--"if it weren't for my boorish clopping around your city, you wouldn't have my tourist dollars to prop up your economy!" Yes, because the $20 you spent at Johnny Rockets before parking for free at the Mall and going into the free museums has kept the city from the brink of financial ruin. Agreed, the presence of tourists--even the buffoonish jerks among them--is to be expected in a fine town like this, but is there no way teach them a lesson or two? For this, I propose all D.C. residents agree to: 1) Once a year, visit the places where the tourons come from. Des Moines, Iowa, Erie, Pennsylvania, Battle Creek, Michigan--you name it, these tourist-deprived areas are about to feel our wrath. 2) Show up with fanny packs, sneakers, baseball caps and bright shirts. We're going for conspicuous, people. 3) Walk in a way that takes over the whole sidewalk. 4) Park wherever. And drive slow. 5) Take forever to do anything. Seat at a restaurant? Ask the hostess whether the burgers come on a plate or you have to bring your own plate. Going into the Cereal Museum? Ask whether the "suggested donation" is required or optional. Yes, the locals in those towns may not like it, but they depend on our tourist dollars! That should more than make up for it.