March 30, 2005

Gratuitous Llama Tourist Advice

You are Here.

Yes, Spring has definitely returned to Your Nation's Capital and with it have come the returning flocks of tourons.

I've often tried to give some pointers to such visitors about the etiquette of riding the District's Metro system. However, judging from their behavior, they must all be on package tours from the Bizarro World, since they tend to do exactly the opposite of what I suggest.

Thus, this year I am going to try some reverse psychology. (Ut-bay on't-day ell-tay em-thay!) Therefore, I present to you:

Robbo the Llama-Butcher's Top Ten Dee Cee Metro Hints

10. Metro escalators are specially designed so that you and your friends can stand side-by-side. A lot of money went into getting the width right. Take advantage of it.

9. Prizes are given for the best imitation of the automated "Please stand clear of the doors, thank you," voice. Keep trying - you could be the next winner!

8. Every local commuter keeps a running tab in their head on how many stops it is to get to the Smithsonian. Feel free to ask as often as you like - they'll keep track so you don't have to!

7. Don't believe those signs that say you can't exit a Metro parking lot without a SmarTrip card. Just tool on up to the gate and wait. It'll open. Trust me.

6. Metro trains travel both above and below ground but a surprising number of local residents are unaware of this. Be sure to remind them whenever your train enters or exits a tunnel.

5. Everybody wants to know about Mary-Jo's hysterectomy.

4. For national security reasons, do not begin fishing around in your purse or pocket for your fare card until you reach the turnstile. Cards readied in hand before you get there will be confiscated by the WMATA Transit Police.

3. Scrambling in or out of a car before the doors slam shut is the only excitement most local commuters get in our otherwise boring days. Don't make it any less challenging by getting out of the way or moving your luggage.

2. Fare card machines will not accept any currency larger than a nickel. Be sure to get plenty of change before attempting to purchase a card.

1. There's always room for one more person!

Well, hope this helps! Good luck and welcome to Washington!

UPDATE from Steve: Ohmigod! Mary-Jo had a hysterectomy? Those bastards!

Posted by Robert at March 30, 2005 01:33 PM

You forgot to tell them that when they eat on the Metro trains, make sure it's somethign that's drippy and sticky. >:)

Posted by: Lysander at March 30, 2005 03:44 PM


Lysander - no food or beverage allowed on the Metro. And no joke, the WMATA Transit Police will take you down if they see you on the train with it.

Posted by: jen at March 30, 2005 06:49 PM

How about: it's not transportation, it's a ride!

Posted by: Leopold Stotch at March 30, 2005 08:12 PM

Jen -

I know you're not supposed to; it was a reverse psychology list I was adding to ;)

Posted by: Lysander at March 31, 2005 07:53 PM
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