Things To Do In DC When You're DEAD (tired)

PAGE II - The DC at Night (in Color!!)

It took a little while, but we eventually got back to Crystal City where we bumped into the goddamn Captain Rugged and Foxfur right out on the street!

And I said "Nay, we are but men."

And I said "Nay. We are but men." ROCK! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, ahhh, ahhh-ah-ah, Ohhh, whoah, ah-whoah-oh!

We all headed up to Bloodberry's and Firefly's Wash's room for a short breather, and I think most of us were ready to retire for the night at that point, but being a part of the actual wedding party, Captain Rugged had just gotten done with the rehearsal dinner and hadn't gotten to do much of anything that day (other than travel, strangely enough on the same flight that Bloodberry and the Mr. were on for the second leg of their trip, though nobody noticed till they landed because they're funny that way), so he was eager to head on over to the National Mall for some late night touristy shit. I'm always up for doing more fun shit, and Captain Rugged is just so goddamn cute when he wants something so badly (and irresistibly grabs my butt... Or did I grab his?), so I was in, and eventually everybody else joined up too (well, except for Foxfur, who wanted to go do her own thing having to do with yaoi manga I'm guessing). It was on like Donkey Kong playing Pong! While singing a song. All night long.

Walking through the Crystal City maze-like mall again (with its looooong corridors and all) made everything come back to me in a flash! We all HAD been there before! Otakon '98 was held at a hotel in the area, and almost this same exact group all went together and marched through those same hallways looking for grub! Hell, the Megaplayboy even got his mad mack working on some chicks who needed their tampons changed or something... Everything all comes full circle back to DC. Always.

It was around 10:30 at night by this point, and it was still Nazi-flesh-meltingly hot outside. Even being in the subways, far underground, didn't do jack to cool us down any. Oh, and the Metro was still quite crowded at that point in time too. I was quite impressed with that. Every other city I've seen up till this point (with the exception of Vegas and New York) is usually winding down by 10, but not Washington!... Except for our elected officials who bailed on the week by Tuesday at noon, Washington seemed to be picking up speed.

So I guided everyone back to the L'Enfant Station (after our train broke down in the middle of a claustrophobic tunnel for 20 minutes and that crazy guy stripped down to his boxers and proceeded to run from our caboose to beyond our sight into the next car while screaming "Muthafuckas! We alls gonna DIE!"), and we alls found ourselves in a very surreal world as we walked up the escalator to the middle of a DC all lit up like some kind of crazy computer effect. The town was all dark and calm, but every white edifice was lit up with an almost infinite amount of spotlights so that they stuck out of the darkness like a glow-in-the-dark novelty condom on a giant cawk. There were people all about too, and the whole museum district had this palpable sense of assurance to it. It was very strange, but I felt safer there that night than I did during the day. It was like being a piece of fruit at a fat man's breakfast table that his wife puts there out of unearned hope, amid the eggs, bacon, sausage, and slices of cold pizza. I simply KNEW I wouldn't be molested or chewed on (unless I asked Captain Rugged to oblige). It was weird indeed.

And then, as we rounded past the Air and Space Museum and came into full view of both the Capitol on our right and the Washington Monument on our left, with everything set aglow by a bright full moon, and I knew that it was my time to fulfill the promise I made to the MegaPlayboy back in 1998, when we took an afternoon off from Otakon and hit the Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian... I had to get the most stupendous and ultimate Washington Monument picture ever taken. The one taken all those years ago just didn't come out well at all with my old film camera. The alignment had to be perfect, and I needed my new, trusty digital cam for that...

Monumental indeed.

And so I got it.

After wowing my compatriots with my amazing photography skillz, we started walking toward the giant phallus that pierced the heavens. But before we got too far we all thought that we were hearing something... It was like there was a rave going on in the middle of the Washington Mall at 11PM on a Friday night. There were the tell-tale signs with the *Boom-Boom!* bass and the crazy electronic, shitty, 90s techno, and terrible 80s rock music coming from somewhere nearby. And then, we found it. And it was sad.

Hirshhorn, more like BLURSHhorn!

Really? You rent out a goddamn museum for the night, and THIS is the best crap you can come up with? DC, you make me sad.

After pondering just what in the hell the Non-Dance Party DC was all about for a few minutes (Mehve said it was probably a "Sweet Sixteen" party after all the actual 16ers already broke off and found unused museum wings and unoccupied bathroom stalls to christen the event the only way horny 16 year-olds know how), we continued on our journey, which was made very uncomfortable by the fact that it was still 95-degrees, and 99% humidity (well, DC was originally a swamp, so this isn't really all that surprising... Annoying and moist, just not surprising). If you look at the picture of me with the Washington Monument above you'll see that I was covered in a film of sweat and grime. At least I wasn't Bloodberry though (which probably would have been interesting for an hour or so, but then... well, let's not go there), as she was forced to wear her heels from dinner since her flip-flops rubbed the flesh right from her feet. What makes the heels thing even worse is the fact that the Mall is made of nothing but grass and/or gravel. YOU try walking around on gravel in heels for a mile and see how you feel. I've done that and crossed a gravel pit naked (on my hands and knees, with a studded leash) before, barking like a dog. Not fun.

Christ! The Mall seemed to go on forever, but eventually we made it to the base of the Washington Monument. It's big. It actually made me feel just a trifle bit, well, not "envious" or "inadequate," but "in the company of fellow gods."

Eets so PURteeee!

Pretty lights make for a pretty Rossman.



This picture was taken just after we arrived at the giant, white, stone cock, and we all pretty much collapsed out of total exhaustion. I'd been up for almost 20 hours by this point, and I'd been moving (or drinking) on my feet for eleven. I simply wanted to capture the moment of fatigue and majestic awe that my friends had as we sat there...

Then, after I fixed the pic up for this page, Captain Rugged pointed out to me, "Wow.. it looks like I'm really 'admiring' [Psycho Weasel]..." Like the picture of the vase where all I can see anymore are the two faces that frame it, that's all I can see in this photo now. I still can't decide if it makes it more or less magical though.

As we chilled at the base of the monument, we began to hear a bit of a commotion down by the World War II Memorial, (in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial). There was a chartered bus down there, with something written on some posterboard in a window on the side, but it was too far away to make it out. Eventually we found we were rested enough, and we began to march again toward... well, I guess we all assumed at that time that we would simply continue on toward Lincoln's giant, stone building, even though nobody ever said anything about it up till then. Which was kind of dumb of us I suppose, but fuck you.

It was about halfway down the path to the street that separated the Mall from the WWII Memorial and beyond, that we heard the absolute loudest and pissed off voice that I have ever born witness to. I will never forget what this angry voice said till the day I die. Honestly, it may even be my last words: "GET IN THE GODDAMN PICTURE!" I swear to God that it echoed all around us like the sound of a sasquatch chastising its child after it left telltale tracks all around a popular human campsite. People up by the Washington Monument were saying "What the hell was that?!" We could see midnight strollers in the Mall proper stopping and looking around too, and Non-Dance Party DC actually had the needle screeeech off the record it was playing when that bellow sounded. Then came less loud, but still furious, declarations down by the bus we'd seen earlier, stating that certain assholes would be Kirk Cameroned (i.e. "left behind") if they didn't hurry the goddamn hell up. Needless to say we then ran down to the bus to see these fucks in person.

Pretty!As we approached the big, white bus on 17th Street we could clearly see the sign in the window. It read something like "Carrie's Big 21!", and it was obvious that the whole thing was a party bus, what with the flashing lights inside, and lots of intoxicated cat calls and giggles pouring from the cracked-open windows. There were still about 10 or so of Carrie's presumed friends on the lawn outside the bus by the time we got down there, though it wasn't clear if they were waiting to get back on or just trying to get into a goddamn picture. Then Bloodberry (who had taken off her pumps and was walking in the grass) said, "That's weird... The grass is kind of wet over here." And that's when the sprinklers turned on directly below the kids who were next to the bus. Dresses when flying high, guys started drunkenly swearing, and we began laughing (from our safe, dry distance) so hard that I forgot to take a picture of the most excellent event before everybody hurried into their transport and it burned rubber down the street. Honestly, who the fuck tours War Memorials on a 21st birthday party bus?

After that, we quietly walked through the WWII Memorial (honestly, what took people so goddamn long to build this thing? It should have been erected back in 19-fucking-45!), and then down the duck shit-strewn path next to the Reflecting Pool, all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. It's actually smaller than I thought it'd be (granted, I thought it'd be as big as a sideways Chrysler Building).

By this point it was just past 1AM, and I was so frickin' tired that I didn't even think to reenact some of my favorite movie scenes at the monument (like Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire, Forrest Gump jumping into the reflecting pool to run to his slutty girlfriend Jenny who was there with a ton of dirty hippies, or GI Joe, when Serpentor took over Washington and placed his thrown in Abe's lap)... Hell, I was lucky I remembered to get Firefly's Wash to even take a single picture of me.

Abe versus Cobra Commander... who would win?

All hail COBRAAAAAAA! Worlds Without End, baby! Booyah!

After that we all collapsed amid the crowd on the steps of Lincoln's own Memorial (oh yeah, there were at least 50 or so people there at that time), and we began to think about just how in the hell we were going to make it back to our hotel. The closest Metro station was close to a mile away, and each of us knew we'd never make it. I suggested we camp there, and turn all feral and shit, and live off of tourists' half-eaten garbage and make new lives for ourselves seeing as all hope was lost!!!! But then Bloodberry slapped some sense into be with a spiked shoe, and as I began to see colors again I pointed North to a street near us and said, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! HA! Ha-ha ha-HA!" Everybody looked and saw the taxi I was gesticulating at, and I think some of them didn't want to punch me for a small instant.

With four of us in one cab (Bloodberry and the Mr. were in the other), the combined cost of getting us back to our hotel (about 4 miles away) was about $2 cheaper than what that fucker who first picked me up at the airport charged me for a 1 mile ride. Ugh... I was too tired to be anything but pass-out exhausted though, and promptly faded into the Nevernever as soon as I made it back to my room. But despite all that, I really didn't get a good night sleep. I hate hotels and their lumpy beds, and it's nigh but impossible for me to snooze soundly without my hand between two pillows. But despite my usual hotel problems, it was a good first fucking freedom-filled festival of a day. America... Fuck yeah.