When visiting our nation's capital, two things stand out: One, the lack of people roaming the streets midday, and the average age of people when you do finally see them. In fact, I now see why visitors to Rome always ask me, "Does anyone work here?" I believe that's due to the numbers of government employees who get out at 2pm (but work saturdays), if that's still the case. Of course, don't ask a Milanese, but I think Romans are quite hard-working. They did away with the siestas and Italians generally clock in a good 11 hours at work. And then, of course, you have to consider the numbers who work in their regular jobs and then work in their other (black market) jobs...but I digress.
Once you get beyond the lack of humans on those huge thoroughfares lining Washington DC, you then notice the sheer numbers of homeless. It seems the homeless really took note of that inscription upon Lady Liberty (see entry below). It's no wonder they dim the lights so low in the subway. Everyone sort of seems like they're taking part in a fine evening cabaret, shopping carts and all. That lighting did wonders for my self-esteem.
But after hanging out at Union Station at lunchtime, I was very nervous to leave the place and go down into the subway there. Judging by the faces of all these yuppies, I was convinced that the moment I stepped out onto the curb, a huge machine would scoop me up for soylent green. Nowhere did I see anyone over 40. And, adding credence to my theory, only the homeless seemed to age here -- perhaps they would soil the food rations?
Now I see why we hold our graying Supreme Court Justices in such high regard. We put them in a special building, robes and all. They can't ever leave their office, lest they, too, get scooped up and made into soylent green. So, they're only replaced when they die -- in fact, come to think of it, those who have 'retired', were never seen thereafter in public.
Let's just say, I was happy to leave DC safe and sound.