Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Your Wallet Or Your Ass?

Gentrification is the magic pixie dust of Washington. A few sprinkles, and a Starbucks springs to life. A good shake or two, and you wind up with a trendy gastropub, a wine bar, or an upscale pizza joint.

Progress has even been working its way to my little corner of the colony. Our ice cream truck has been upgraded. It used to make a whooping sound, have bars on the windows, and never come to a complete stop. Instead, the kids would trot alongside it to buy their Rocket Pops. But now, it plays actual tinkly music and stops right at the corner.

All this change has me worried. I enjoy skanky, trashy, dirty Washington.

Saturday night, I decided to console myself with a few beers at the Red Derby. My friend Sean and I walked up 14th Street together, and we came face to face with the Washington we remembered. Sure, there were the people smoking pot right there on the sidewalk, groups of bored teenagers, and loads of fast food joints. But, the best moment of all was when a drunk homeless dude lurched in my direction.

I sidestepped him deftly, no harm was done, and we continued up the street. And then I asked the question:

Me: Hey, Sean, was that guy going for my wallet or my ass?

Sean: Your ass, I think.

Me: Good, I’d rather be violated than have to go get a new license from the DC DMV.

Somehow, I just don't think I'd ever adjust to a life in the suburbs.


rachaelgking said...

Amen, woman. Amen. Life would be so boring without the occasional grope, petty theft, and exchange of expletives with a complete stranger.

Shannon said...

LivLuv - you know, "grope" is really a terrific word. And I love how I wasn't in the least bit freaked. I probably should have been.

Lemmonex said...

I spent a summer on a ranch in Colorado and I was freaked the whole time about bear attacks and nature in general. I can handle a drunken brawl with a panhandler, but mountain lion maulings scare the crap out of me.

FoggyDew said...

It's probably easier to deal with because you at least have a chance with a well-placed knee or punch to the throat and a quick exit. Try that with a mountain lion or a bear? You're just going to piss him off.

Shannon said...

Lem - Mountain lions don't freak me out, but any time I'm in the boonies I start worrying about tornadoes.

Foggy - I TOTALLY could have taken that guy in a fight.

Ibid said...

That's one of the great things about this city.
I got to witness a hand off once in the Metro. Not sure if it was drugs or spies but Guy A bumped into Guy B at the base of the escalator and passed something to Guy B. They apologized, and then I followed Guy B up the stairs as he slipped whatever Guy A handed him into his pocket.

Back where I grew up I'd get in trouble if I caused grievous bodily harm to the fundamentalist "christians" who liked to smack around the less pious. Here, as long as they started it, I'd be told that the fuckers had it coming.

Bears, lions, and sharks... punch them in the nose and they'll go away. Mind you, that's only if you're bad ass enough to get that punch in.

J said...

I might become a legal DC resident next year. I am intensely scared of the DMV. Thanks for assuaging my fears :)

Shannon said...

Ibid - I bet you are just manly enough to pop a shark.

Justin - New DMV slogan:

"The DC DMV: Better Than a Groping!"

Ibid said...

Justin, try to get your license changed at the DMV in that mall in Georgetown. They still make you come back two more times for arbitrary paperwork changes, but the lines are a lot shorter than in downtown DC.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

I have nothing for this one - so Hi is all I have.

Shannon said...

Ibid - plus, Justin could do a little shopping.

Zip - Hi!

Velvet said...

I dunno. I sort of miss the giant shopping centers. I do! You can get everything in the burbs!

J said...

Are you kidding me? I love getting groped.

Wait, there's a DC DMV in Georgetown? Wow. I almost said "That's convenient!" (I live up Wisconsin a little bit), but quickly caught myself.

I was right across from that mall for a decent chunk of yesterday, waiting for the 38B that never came. When will I stop thinking Metrobus is worth my time? Disappointment after disappointment and I keep putting my faith in it.

Ibid said...

There was a few years ago when I got my license renewed. They may have moved on. They were in the lowest level off in a corner.

Shannon said...

Velvet - you can get everything in the burbs...except for nearly groped by a homeless guy. And who would trade an experience like that?

Justin - I remember there was a DMV in the mall, I have no idea if it's still there. Today's DC DMV is a long sight better than 2000 Original Flavor DMV.

Ibid - thanks!

Anonymous said...

all of you realize that you would never have moved into that neighborhood 15-20 years ago right? i mean you can't hate gentrification that much when you are a beneficiary.

Shannon said...

Anon - well, 15-20 years ago I was 11-16 years old, so I wasn't really going to live anywhere without my parents' permission.

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