Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Necessary Quotation Marks

From Jill:

One of my most frequently muttered terms in life is "WTF WMATA," and the other night was no different. I was traveling from my apartment a few blocks North of the Van Ness to Cleveland Park.

For such a short trip, I prefer to take the bus so I don't have to deal with escalators, long train waits, and being underground in general.

NextBus told me that a string of five buses would be passing my apartment in about a 10-minute period, so I figured I'd head out in the middle of that bunch. I missed the first four, and was patiently awaiting the last bus of that string, with the next bunch of buses not coming for a half hour.

What should I see from my little bus bench, but the L4 I'm waiting for FLYING by me in the left lane. I throw up my arms to indicate "WTF WMATA?!," only to have the driver throw the same gesture right back at me, as if out of the two of us, I am the one who has broken the bus protocol.

Being naive, I assume that since this man has seen a rider who he has passed, if said rider begins to run down the street after him, he will stop at the next bus stop.

Obviously, I forgot that I was dealing with WMATA.

He proceeds to get into the right hand lane to wait at a stop light, with me still running after him.

The light turns green, and he stays in the right lane long enough for a break in the traffic so he can get back into his careening lane.


It's hot, so I decide I'll suck it up and take the Metro instead of walking.

I walk down the two stopped escalators, and for once, the train arrives quickly and takes me to the next station without incident.

I'm about ready to start kicking Metro equipment when I look up and see a sign that makes it all better.

"'Escalator' out of service"

I don't care if it was a witty station manager acknowledging that, at best, these things should be referred to as "escalators," or if this is just another example of questionable WMATA quotation use, but either way, it gave me the strength to wake up the next morning and board that train once again.
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