DC FACTS OF LIFE
For those of you who have lived/worked/commuted in DC, you already know most of this, and
if you have moved out of the area, it brings a smile, knowing that you no longer have to put up
with it on a daily basis. For those of you who have not spent time in the DC area: Pay attention
- these are the facts of life here...


First, you must learn to call it by its rightful name. It is DC, or "the District". Only tourists call it Washington.

Next, if your road map of Montgomery County is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one.  It's
obsolete. If in Loudoun or Fairfax County and your map is one day old, it's already obsolete. There is no such
thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in D.C. It's just another chase, usually on the BW Parkway.

All directions start with "The Beltway"...which has no beginning and no end, just one continuous loop that locals
believe is somehow clarified by and "inner" and "outer"  loop  designation. This makes no sense to ANYONE
outside the Beltway.

The morning rush hour is from 5 to 11 AM. The evening rush hour is from 1 to 8 PM. Friday's rush hour starts
Thursday morning, especially during the summer on Route 50 eastbound or either direction on I-95 south of the
Beltway.

If there is a ball game at the Redskins stadium, there is no point in driving anywhere near PG County. Tip: Never
say PG County to anyone from Mitchellville, Upper Marlboro or Fort Washington. They'll blow a vessel in their
neck and go into a seizure.

If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rearended and probably shot at. If you run the red light, be sure to
smile for the $100 picture you will receive courtesy of DMV. (However, if you don't go as soon as the light turns
green, you will get cussed out in 382 languages, none of them English.)

Rain causes an immediate 50 point drop of IQ in drivers. Snow causes an immediate 100 point drop in IQ and a
rush to the Giant for toilet paper and milk.

If your destination is only a mile away, it will take at least 30 minutes to get there due to traffic congestion. The
idiot in the BMW SUV who thinks he has to conduct a conference call to negotiate world peace while swerving all
over the world. The scores of newcomers who decide to cross the road when there's a mass of cars coming at
them going 80 mph thus causing everyone to slam on their brakes which leads to an accident...  and the
rubberneckers people who have to stare at the fender bender.

Construction on I-270 is a way of life and a permanent source of scorn and cynical entertainment. It's ironic that
it's called an "Interstate" but runs only from Bethesda to Frederick (Unless you consider Montgomery County
another state, which some do. I consider it a foreign country, the Peoples Republic Of Montgomery whose
dictator, Mao Tse  "Doug" Duncan is now saying that we in the USA must welcome illegal immigrants with open
arms. I hope all of 'em go there. Post directions in Spanish (what else?) on your local community Notices board)
Opening in the 60's, it has been torn up and under construction ever since. Also, it has a "Spur" section which is
even more confusing. All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we're in Takoma Park".

If someone actually has their turn signal on, they are by definition, a tourist. Car horns are actually "Road Rage"
indicators. Heed the warning. All old ladies in Buicks have the right of way in the area of Leisure World.

Many roads mysteriously change their names as you cross intersections. Don't ask why, no one knows. If you      
stop to ask directions in Southeast..well, just don't, unless you're asking directions to the nearest drug dealer       
or looking to buy guns.

A taxi ride across town will cost you $12.50. A taxi ride two blocks will cost you $16.75 (It's a zone thing ; you        
wouldn't understand.)

Traveling south out of DC on Interstate 395/295/95 is the most dangerous, scariest thing you will ever do. There
is nothing more comforting then four lanes of traffic cruising along at 85 mph, bumper to bumper.

The minimum acceptable speed on the Beltway is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy. The Beltway is
our daily version of a NASCAR reality show. Strap up and collect points as you go. The open lane for passing on
all Maryland interstates is the far right lane because no self-respecting Marylander would ever be caught driving
in the "slow" lane. Unofficially, both shoulders are fair game also. The far left lanes on all Maryland interstates are
official "chat" lanes reserved for drivers who wish to talk on their cell phones.

All mini-vans and SUV's have priority clearance to use the far left at whatever speed the driver feels most        
comfortable multi-tasking in.

If it's 10 degrees, it's Orioles' opening day.

If it's 110 degrees, it's the Skins opening day.

If the humidity is 90% + and the temperature is 90+, then it's May, June, July, August, September, and sometimes
October.

Always remember this little rule on the Metro: Stand right, walk left. People WILL knock you down the Metro        
elevator and shout nasty things -- again, in every language known to man EXCEPT English (do what I do: Use
sign language. You know what sign) if you do not follow this rule. DC'ers are busy, important people who don't
have time to stand behind the 40 kids in Boy Scout Troop 325 visiting from  Nebraska. And they'll tell you that,
too!

A handy-dandy tip when bar hopping: Unless you're on a first-name basis with the President, Condy Rice, certain
Senators or Representatives, or Donald Rumsfield..you get the idea: No one cares about you or your life story.
Again, DC'ers are busy, important people who only want to talk to other busy, important people. They're not
friendly folks looking to meet new like-minded people; they only want to know what you can do for them.
Otherwise, get out of the way and stop boring 'em.

You'll eventually grow to appreciate the loony people who leave strange boxes, usually full of refrigerator parts or
fans, near buildings, or the idiot pilots who can't see the BIG WHITE HOUSE that every 3rd grader in the nation
would identify by sight.

You'll appreciate the pilot in a no fly zone because it means that you'll get a day off due to your place of work   
being evacuated. And it won't count as a vacation day.