Our Nation’s Capitol
Our Nation’s Capitol
OK, I’m back from vacation, and let me say I could have stayed away from here forever. It’s not so much that I hate this place, I just like being other places more. I should probably move, but then whatever city I move to will become “this place”, and I’ll get sick of it anyways, so I might as well save myself the misery of moving, and just take as many vacations as my broken budget will allow.
So I spent this vacation in Our Nation’s Capitol (It’s Washington D.C. for all you OBE students). It was quite a different experience from the time I was there a few years ago. Back then I chugged a 40 of O.E. on the steps of Congress and smashed the bottle on the polished granite walkway tread by so many scumbags before me. I felt pretty cool. To think of it now makes me a little ill (silly acts of juvenile rebellion, not drinking O.E.).
My latest trip to D.C. was a little more thoughtful. I spent many an afternoon quietly looking around the different museums of the mall, silently reflecting on as much history and stuffed dead animals as I could stomach. It really surprised me how cool the American History Museum is. You’d figure the museum would just be a big “Rah! Rah! Let’s Give America a Big Blowjob For Being The Best At Everything” display, but it’s really quite well done, featuring everything from an exhibit on Japanese-American internment during WW2 to African-American migration from farms to the cities during the industrial revolution. Near one exhibit there was a placard that basically said “These exhibits may be challenging to your ideas, and we hope to cause some thought about America in that swollen tourist head of yours”.
Maybe the most moving part of the museum was the hallway full of objects left at the Vietnam Memorial. The exhibit was full of everything from 6 packs of Bud to barbed wire crosses to teddy bears sewn from uniform name tags. It was really interesting to see what things of value were given to the memorial and what relationships the war severed. Husbands and wives, parents and children, lovers, drinking buddies, church members, you name it. I was somehow able to keep from reading the letters of little kids to “daddy in heaven”, probably because I knew I’d end up like the other 30 tough guys next to me trying their hardest not to cry. The display put human faces back into a war that now seems more remembered for the people who protested against it than the people whose lives it really fucked up. Seeing those last gifts of remembrance had way more of an anti-war impact on me than any peace sign stuck to the back of a VW bug.
After thoroughly depressing myself, I decided to lighten up. I took a trip to the Walter Reed Medical Museum in nearby Silver Springs where, with a head full of pills and the infamous Scurvy C. as my guide, I was treated to many a medical spectacle. The bullet that killed Lincoln, the severed leg of some poor soul who died of Elephantitus, cyclopean fetuses, gynecological implements of the 15th century, the history of facial reconstruction, massive colonic polyps. There even was a full display on the “gin blossom” (that drunk old man disease that turns the nose into a strawberry, not the inane pop band that turns your brain into a strawberry), and like all the other museums in D.C., it’s totally free.
Shit, even the zoo is free. One friend I stayed with lived across the street from it and after a few screwdrivers at the nearby Zoo Bar, and I was ready to talk to the animals. Whenever I go to the zoo I realize how much bigger freaks people are than the locked up animals. The poor majestic beasts just pace around in their cages all day, getting yelled at by slack jawed idiots in tank tops. “Hey Mr. Bear, look over here! Grrrrrr.!” Yeah, let’s see that same fucking guy out in the woods without razor wire and a 40 foot trench protecting his puffy pink ass. We’ll see how bad he wants the bear’s attention then. It took every ounce of my willpower not to push anyone into the timber wolf cage.
I can’t decide if the highlight of the zoo was the ducks I saw fucking, or the monkeys I saw fucking. Whichever, there was a lot of fucking.
But now I’m back in LA, broke and bummed. Nothing like coming home to 346 emails in your inbox and 6 credit card bills in your mailbox. Plus, I left half a chicken carcass in the garbage can before I left, which turned my apartment into The Mark Driver National Fruitfly Preserve. If anyone wants to come visit, I’ll be charging off-season rates until July. Actually, I’m looking into getting a pet chicken to help with the bug problem. If there’s gonna be a food chain in my apartment, I wanna be at the top of it.