Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shut It Down!


I woke up this morning to the news that our elected officials a few miles down the road in Washington have come up with a plan to keep the government open for business.  And while I know that is good news for so many, I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness for what could have been......

With the Federal Government shut down, my commute to work would be pure bliss.  MetroRail cars normally packed to the gills with lanyard-wearing government overhead would be immediately replaced with empty seats and breathing room; my bag would no longer get caught in the closing doors behind me as I wriggled my body into the usual pancake position; and the platform would be absent of the normal mooing cattle en route to their cubicles. 

The excrutiatingly slow line at Starbucks would cease to exist, my Grande Bold and Mallorca Sweet Bread would be served in an instant. 

At the cross walks, the usual beehive of people would no longer be rushing to get their few millisecond-head start on the white light.  I'd be maybe one of two waiting patiently.

The DOD busses would no longer park in the middle of the road whenever they desire, thereby allowing the free flow of traffic for the first time since.... well, since the last government shutdown I suppose.

The White House, US Capitol, National Archives, Smithsonian and other tourtist destinations would be closed for business, therby nearly eliminating probably the largest hinderance to my daily routine:  THE TOURIST.

Daffodils, Tulips and Cherry Blossoms would immediately bloom with the knowledge that the Federal beaurocracy was no longer there to stifle their growth.  Children would play freely in city parks, doors would no longer need to be locked. 

There would be no more motorcades to stop traffic for 30 minutes at a time.

There would be no emergencies because there would be no FEMA.  There would be no Pentagon because there would be no more wars.  Planes would take off and land safely without the pesky neusance of air traffic controllers buzzing in their ears all the time.  The FBI would have nothing to investigate, and the homeland would be secure because the only thing terrorists want to attack is the Federal government anyway, which would be at home earning their wages on their couches and loveseats.  Difficult targets.

The Department of the Interior would no longer be there to establish guidelines on drape and carpet designs and lighting schemes in all federal buildings.  The IRS would stop being douche bags.  The Department of Agriculture would no longer do..... whatever it is they do. 

Alas, it's not to be... but what a blissful day it would have been for me and the 37 other non-government people who live and work in this city.  Just for one day to erase the madness, eliminate the insane, and omit the overabundance.

Now that's change I could believe in.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When the Line Stops Moving



What the hell?

I've been standing in line for five minutes now at the Starbucks on the corner of 8th Avenue and E 35th Street in Midtown.  That in itself isn't so much the issue as the fact that the line has STOPPED moving.  When I walked in, I was number six in line.  Now, five minutes later, I'm still number six in line.  What's going on?

There are literally dozens of people behind me about to reach the same conclusion about our shared fate in this inherently doomed queue.  My attention is focused on the customer standing at the register, my eyes are trained like daggers on the back of her head.  What on God's Earth did you order that seems to have this barista so suddenly ineffective in doing her job; a job that in all likelihood she's done for at least a few hours, if not years?  I mean, is the mochachino not foaming properly?  All I want is a small cofee (cough, excuse me, "tall" coffee).

The guy behind me is nervously chewing gum.  I wonder if he's going to remove the gum from his mouth before he takes a sip of his coffee.  There's a service animal in the front of the restaurant looking at this line with equal amazement and gratitude that his master already has their bit of java.  Another guy is pecking angrily at his Blackberry, periodically switching between heavy sighs and dirty looks towards nobody in particular.  I wonder if he is as perplexed about lady in front as I am.

Two more minutes.  Now I really want to know what this lady ordered.  I mean seriously.  You know what?  I'm resolved.  If this line doesn't start flowing in the next 2 minutes, I'm going to leave.  This is ridiculous, there has to be another Starbucks around here somewhere.  I'm out of here.

Oh, wait, the line just moved.  I guess I'll stay and wait it out.