Family is the most important reason I leave Washington for Christmas, but not the only one. Aside from the Christmas decorations downtown, the festive spirit is lacking.
Case in point: A few days ago I was in a D.C. watering hole. A trio of middle-aged Georgetown women came in after having seen the movie Frost/Nixon. After one drink, they began arguing over the U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia. Neither side of the argument was well represented — think a bad caricature of Fox News versus a bad caricature of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The pro-Georgia woman kept screaming something about being a Slav and how we rightfully own foreign countries in a way that the KGB does not. The pro-Russia woman apparently thought a bratwurst was a vegetable, which limits my confidence in her ability to sort out the sovereignty of nations.
Before too long, the discussion became heated. “Your opinion is offensive to me! Shut up, Grace, just shut up!” The other woman, perhaps channeling 1950s pop, replied, “You don’t own me!” The first woman proceeded to shriek obscenities at the second and told her to find a new ride home. The bartender interceded, saying he’d had enough of this nonsense and asked the loudest of these “ladies” to leave.
As the woman stormed out, she turned to the manager and told him that the other women were having a nervous breakdown. “Well, they weren’t the ones yelling,” he informed her. “F–k you!” she screamed at him. (Assume the missing word is “firetruck” if that is more in keeping with your holiday spirit.) “Merry Christmas,” he replied cheerfully.
Merry Christmas, indeed.