Monday, August 13, 2007

Metro grits teeth, smiles passive-aggressively at tourists

I love tourists in DC, especially the ones with fanny packs who look lost--they could be someone from my hometown! perhaps even my parents! I always ask them if they need directions, and smile so as to counteract the rudeness they have surely encountered in The Big City.

But I HATE HATE them on the metro. They don't know you're not supposed to stand on the left, so they block the whole escalator and inevitably make you miss your train. Not their fault, but enough to inspire medium-to-intense misanthropy (or perhaps touranthropy?)

Metro has instituted announcements ostensibly aimed at this problem, which are masterpieces of passive-aggression:
"Hi. Welcome to Metro. We have a lot of escalators in our system. You'll notice that most people stand on the right side. And while you're riding, hold the handrail for your safety. Enjoy your trip, and thank you for riding Metro."

It's all, "Hi, how was your day? Oh, that's great! Yeah, mine was good too. Hey, do you mind doing your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink because I just hate that when people live their dishes in the sink so the food dries on and it attracts mice it's really a pet peeve of mine like what do you think I'm your mother or something? OK, great talking to you! Have a nice night!"

I would like to think this is a mad genius attempt to communicate in terms Midwestern tourists understand, but some tourists are actually not Midwesterners, it turns out. Now the Metro will be populated by DC residents in ugly, sensible work shoes trying to shove their way up the left side past the Germans and Californians, on whom passive-aggressiveness is lost, while Midwesterners in sneakers and fanny packs cling to the right, terrified for their lives and worrying about what they did to make everybody mad at them. Tragic.

1 comment:

Mr. T&A said...

The dishwashing "hypothetical" hits a bit close to home, methinks.