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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Earl's on the road again...

Well, this short trip to Washington D.C. is almost over.

Saturday was monument day as we traveled to the major landmarks in the District of Columbia.

At the Jefferson Memorial I had great fun climbing on the back of the statue of Thomas Jefferson and yelling "Giddap!!" For once, the Park Police got into the spirit of things, drawing their guns and firing into the air repeatedly. Unfortunately, they winged Thomas, taking off an ear. He's being moved to the National Gallery's Van Gogh exhibit, but somehow, I don't think it's going to last.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was quite wet as I kept falling into the waterfalls.

The Lincoln Memorial didn't work out as I planned. Instead of sitting in Lincoln's lap (The Park Police at the Jefferson Memorial had called ahead to warn them I was coming), I had to settle for doing an impression of Abe Vigoda, of TV's Barney Miller, on the memorial steps. People didn't seem to get the connection.

We then went to the Vietnam and WWII Memorials. No jokes here. They were both quite stirring. However, I did notice that certain people took to wading in the WWII Memorial pool right next to the signs which said, "Please respect the memorial - no wading..." I recommend flogging.

The Washington Monument was as tall as I remember it being when I lived here in the 70's. We couldn't go to the top as all the tickets were gone. I fancied an attempt to climb it from the outside, but all that got me was a severe leg burn and the merciless laughter of a group of Japanese tourists. The flashbulbs nearly blinded me for life.

We also saw the White House and Marine One, the President's helicopter. I'm sure George W. waved at me, even though I actually missed the copter itself. The White House was as magnificent looking as I remember, but much farther away. At my age, the walking was brutal, at yet, I still fancied joining the games of football/soccer just off the Mall. It was all ladies though, and I gave up getting outclassed by women footballers 5 years ago.

Today was all National Zoo. I can say that you have not truly experienced nature in all its magnificent glory until you've had a massive gorilla break wind five feet in front of you. At least that's what it smelled like had happened. For all I know though, it may have been the sweaty large man well to the right of me.

The cheetahs were impressive, especially the mother with cubs, who had a slight run in with some zookeepers. The zookeepers used long staves to keep the cheetah at bay. This seemed to work only because cheetahs aren't bright enough to realize that they could easily sprint past the staff and bite the dickens out of these pale, slow keepers. Fortunately, it did not come to that.

We saw the giant panda, whose name was Shing Shing, or Ling-Ling, or Ding-Ding or something like that. He seemed as bored as the youngest Fando.

There was much more, but I'm out of time. I will leave you with one interesting fact about the National Zoo. They seem to have the world's largest collection of golden maned marmosets in the world, as there seemed to be a pen of them every other window in the small-mammal house. I suspect they may be running the place.


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