Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dear DC Metro

People on Facebook seem to like taking these quizzes that tell them whether they are Lawful Good, Neutral, or Chaotic Evil.  I'll save you the trouble.  You are just chaos.  There is no neutral, good, or evil.  You are just an ancient god, slithering below the earth's surface, waking only to move us, your pawns, into whatever configurations your ambivalence dictates.

No, this isn't about the second to last time I was on the Metro, when I got stuck in the same car as the homeless reverend dressed like a street performer robot that tried to tell us all that Metro Jesus choo choo chooses us as his people to save us.  That whole thing was too ridiculous even by my standards to warrant any more mention than this.  This was about the mess that happened when I just tried to get to DC to my friend Layla's 30th birthday party.

I've had some odd experiences with 30th birthday events before, so may I should have expected this.  Since I abhor driving in the city even more than puns or watching James Franco mug for the camera, I leave my car at the end of the line station for the Metro and take the train in. Unfortunately, the end of the line closest to me has been dubbed the most dangerous Metro stop, because nothing can ever be good and simple for me.

After parking my car, I stopped to hide the valuable things in my car that the colorful local methheads might want to steal and turn into more meth or meth themed origami.  As I did so, a very pretty blond woman walked by.  I said hello, she replied in turn in a cute German accent.  She got behind the wheel, and started to pull out, then gave me a sweet smile and a little fingertip wave.  This is fairly unheard of territory for me, and I chalked it up to the fact that perhaps the German's have a better appreciation of me, not unlike their love of Hasselhoff.  I waved back, she smiled wider, and the Metro gods screamed in fury and caused her to back right into a parked Escalade, because they hate love and meet/cutes.  I checked to make sure she was ok, and I was able to pop the quarter panel back on her car.  She asked if I had any paper to leave a note, and I produced my pocket notepad and pen.  We then parted ways, and three seconds later I hung my head in shame for not asking for her number.

There are maybe ten stops from the end of the line to my destination.  For once, I got the first seven stops without incident.  I had a seat I could actually fit my legs into, and the air conditioning kept the car nice and cool.  Then, as we got deeper into the city, bodies started stacking like cord wood.  I gave up my seat for an older lady and her daughter, then was instantly surrounded by more and more people as the standing room came to a premium.  Joined body heat made temperatures soar, and by my exit, the only difference between my Metro car and a Dutch rave would be slightly less people hopped up on ecstasy and grinding on each other. This was compounded by the fact that there were so many people both on the train and trying to get on, that my train was stopped for ten minutes to sort out the mess. 

Exiting the train, I was unleashed into an even hotter, more retched smelling sea of humanity.  I had to ascend two level and cross hundreds of yards of platform to get to the street surface.  Already running later than I should have been for the surprise party, slogging through a mass of tourists in town to see flowers on trees was nowhere near top of my "Makes me happy and giggly" list.  People refused to move, or would stop every three feet in front of me to apparently take pictures of other tourists in a Metro station, because that is really something they'll want to remember ten years from now.  Finally, I gave up and tried a hail mary and decided to use my superior Greg size to start moving through the crowd, whether they wanted me to or not. The masses, obstinate and yet squishy, would still not yield.  My lizard brain panicked, and took over my mouth. 

"Celebrity coming through!" I bellowed.  Heads turned.
 "Val Kilmer coming through!  I was Batman, dammit!"

This threw people off just enough that they would move aside and turn to look for the Iceman.  By the time they realized I am a liar and a cad, I was already tricking other people with my Bat-lies.  Soon, I was street-side, and the fresh air never smelled so wonderful.

The delay from the stopped car and the journey through the valley of tourists had set me back very far.  I now had about ten minutes to go five blocks or so and get  to my friend's apartment before she got home, or I would miss the surprise. I booked it to the building, and, arriving at the glass front door, found the birthday girl and her husband Spike talking with someone.  Spike turned, I waved, and he frantically flailed his arms, indicating that I needed to run away or possibly steal third base.  I chose to pass directly behind them, and took off running for the elevators.  Somehow, 6'9" and 280lbs of Greg running past them went unnoticed, and I went safely into the elevator to their apartment on the 6th floor. 

Tired from the sprint from the Metro, and the gallop to the elevators, I moved quickly down the hall and knocked to get let into the apartment before the couple got off the elevator.  No one answered.  I knocked more feverishly.  Still no answer.  Then, it dawned on me that the party was not happening in the apartment, it was on the roof, and the elevator would not open unless I had a key fob.

I was on the sixth floor.

The roof was on thirteen.

I had to beat them to the roof, and that meant the stairs.

I believe I may have caught my breath in enough time to wheeze "Surprise" and then vomit thirteen stories down onto Massachusetts Avenue, all while wearing a festive birthday hat.

So, I must thank you Metro, for throwing hot German girls, thousands of tourists, train delays, and robot hobo preachers at me.  Without you, I might never have a story to tell. 


  1. In rare form tonight, sir. Well done.

    Also, the "I am Val Kilmer" thing did not happen.

    1. I will go so far as to contact the transit authority and request surveillance tapes. I in fact said exactly what I wrote, and it worked better than any threat.

    2. This post is giving me China PTSD flashbacks. I was once on a Beijing subway car so crowded that the woman standing in front of me got her ponytail into my mouth and I couldn't raise my hands to get it out. I ended up biting down and pulling her hair so she would jerk her head forward.

    3. Shhhhhhhhhh. Go to your happy place. Go to the Sizzler in your mind.


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