Sunday, March 09, 2008

A stripper thwarted: How WMATA - like a good parent or guardian - kept me off the pole

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than in a strip-dancing class?

Indeed! I packed up my gym bag, donned long yoga pants (“to prevent chafing,” I’d been warned) and descended down into the bowels of Metro to meet my friends at the Arlington studio.

And in those bowels I remained for the better part of three hours. I did not learn how to strut in stilleto heels. I did not find out how to twirl tassels in opposing directions. Instead I hunched on a cold cement bench until my tailbone was sore and my hands black with the ink of this week’s City Paper, the sounds of “attention passengers – we’re single tracking” reverberating in my ear.

It took over 20 minutes for the first train to arrive, and by the time it did, the Friendship Heights station was crowded like an airport on December 23. “Red line to Glenmont!” Finally - I would have just enough time to get to Metro center and connect with the Orange line. I hopped aboard and listened to my tunes (a little Shakira to get my hips warmed up) as the train gently swayed. And swayed.
Hmmmm…Tenleytown sure was far away. Why had I never noticed this before?

Well, maybe because this train was going to Bethesda instead.

Sweet Lincoln’s mullet. I checked my cell phone’s time against that of the next Glenmont-bound train. There was no way in hell I would make it in time for the class. So I texted my fellow strumpets and told them I’d met them for post-class drinks instead around 3 o’clock.

Yes, drinking at 3 p.m. Because stripper-dancing naturally leads to such debauchery. Maybe these Metro shenanigans were a conspiracy to keep us on the wholesome path. {ed note: too late for that!}

I descended anew. Goodbye, daylight!

The yuppie mosh pit at the bottom of the escalator was not a good sign. During this more than 30-minute wait, I read every page of the City Paper. I started with Savage Love and Wild Side so I would have something racy to contribute to the conversation, moving on to the intricate relationship between the Washington Post and Adrian Fenty’s press office. Then the movie reviews in which CP by editorial decree finds every movie viewed underwhelming. By the time the train arrived, only classified ads for intern group homes remained unexamined.

I grabbed a seat. And a good thing I did. Every stretch between two stops seemed to take a full 10 minutes. Were hamsters pushing the train? The train stopped in Van Ness, never again to accelerate. “Mechanical problems.” As we were evacuated, only the presence of small children prevented an uprising.

At this time, I knew I had to give up on my afternoon plans, being that evening plans required me to be dressed up and at a certain location in a timely fashion. And once I got to Arlington God only knew how long it would take me to get back. Walking home from Van Ness (there was a run on cabs, for obvious reasons) I realized something: If DVD players had been available in the Metro stations and cars, as they are in air travel, I’d been able to watch a good portion of Gone With the Wind, well past the burning of Atlanta and renovations of Tara.

I would miss drinks, I realized. My Saturday afternoon would be as wholesome (and as technology-enabled) as a rerun of Little House on the Prairie.

Dear Metro – I appreciate your role in making Washington a public transit-friendly city and making my car-free life possible. However, today, you disappointed me. Today I was counting on you to deliver me to Virginia in a timely fashion in exchange for my $1.85 so I could learn how to dance like a contestant on Rock of Love while getting a physician-approved aerobic workout. Instead I spent nearly $4 for the pleasure of walking up Connecticut Avenue in the rain. No, Metro, you did not open doors for me today. At all.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Yuppie mosh pits! Intern group homes! Revolving tassels! (do they teach how to make one go one way and the other the other way?) Writers take note, this is one well-crafted blog post, and, for those of us 3,000 miles away from the DC Metro, this very unpleasant experience caused some ROFL.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Thanks for the comment:) I never did figure out the rotation part, since I never got there, alas. The repair and maintenance unpleasantness is scheduled to continue through March...ugh

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Crazy Ivan said...

That's too bad METRO was unable to get you to your "pole-ing" place on time. It seems as if METRO does not care too much about it's weekend customers. I guess they'd catch less crap about inconveniencing the few, than the many... but talking future stripper here!!

Head to Lowes for the appropriate length of 1.5 inch diameter theaded pipe and two 1.5 inch floor flanges. Attach one flange at each end of the pipe, then affix one end to the floor and one to the ceiling. Voila... One Stripper Pole.

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous zandria said...

How frustrating! It's at times like these that I'm glad I live right outside of DC and don't have to take the metro on the weekends.

Too bad you missed the class! Sounds like fun!

At 11:36 AM, Blogger KCinDC said...

Too much trouble, Ivan. If you want a pole, there are perfectly good ones on the Metro. I'm surprised GC didn't mention those.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger lacochran said...

Maybe with the recent rate hike, Metro can afford stronger hamsters.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Alex said...

When plans for debauchery are thwarted by Fate, the only appropriate response is to give Fate the finger and double the debauchery next time!


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