I'm going to break form today and talk about something other than writing. Because it's the height of tourist season here in D.C., and I'm at my wit's end. Having lived here nearly a decade, and having relied on public transportation during that time, I've come into contact with hundreds of tourists in the wild. And I'm tired of seeing the same patterns over and over again from you guys. At this point, I can tell a tourist from a mile away, with one eye closed and wearing a scratched-up monocle in the other eye. If you're traveling to the nation's capital this summer and want to blend into your surroundings, take heed of these characteristics that will call you out as a tourist right away and probably get you mugged.
You might be a tourist if...
1.) You're wearing a T-shirt that reads "Go Hard or Go Home."
2.) You insist on blocking the full width of the aisle on a subway car with your body while people try to squeeze past in order to get to, you know, work.
3.) You talk in a stream-of-consciousness about how you can't wait to see the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery and then proceed to miss your stop.
4.) You're wearing a crisp, not-worn-in baseball hat of the Washington Nationals.
5.) You smile.
6.) You call attention to your cluelessness by bending over at the waist, staring blankly at the subway map for fifteen minutes.
7.) You talk at the top of your lungs at 8 A.M. Just so you know, everyone hates you.
8.) You leap with no invitation into other people's conversations. I remember once overhearing two D.C. young professionals discussing a college they'd both considered attending many years before, but neither of them could remember where it was. Some random guy with a crisp white baseball hat chimed in and said, "Oh, that's in Oklahoma. We're from Oklahoma!" The two professionals smiled politely and then turned their back to him, continuing their conversation.
Message: Get away you annoying little man before I scream!
9.) You're carrying a giant plastic bag with the words "National Holocaust Museum" on it. You may as well just throw your wallet on the ground and call it a day.
10.) You have more than three children. No one in the city has more than three children. It's the law.
These are just a few tips to avoid being marked as an easy target by thieves, or even just keep from being an ass to your fellow man. Do with them what you may!