Overheard in Washington 

The Monumental Egyptians 

This morning on my walk to work in DC from the metro station I got caught up in an extra large gaggle of pre-teen kids on a school trip. As I tried to get past them like a salmon swimming upstream, I overheard two boys talking to each other. 
Boy 1: I only know one of the monuments in Washington, it’s the one that’s all pointy on top. 

Boy 2: Uh, you mean the Washington monument?

Boy 1: That can’t be the Washington monument, it’s Egyptian! 


Boy 2: Well I don’t know anything about it being Egyptian, but that’s the Washington monument.

The other boy seemed unconvinced. 

I can only assume that by “Egyptian,” he meant a pyramid … Which the Washington Monument is not, but I guess it’s in the family of an obelisk. 

They were young enough that I give them a pass for their lack of knowledge on the matter. I hope they enjoyed the trip and got to see many varieties of monuments. 



OH: I walked past a man and a woman who were standing on a street corner near the U.S. Capitol building, looking at a map. Even though they were not speaking English, you could tell they were arguing. And I’m pretty sure I heard the guy mutter the word “nag” as he turned to cross the street, the woman trailing after him.

I guess nagging is universal. And a day spent tromping all over downtown DC can wear down the most loving of couples.

My favorite OH tho was some years ago on the National Mall. I was waiting for the light to turn so I could cross the street. It was a lovely summer day and the area was chock full of tourists milling around. A young couple with a baby in a carriage came up to me, pointed to the nearest building and asked me what it was.

Filled with DC pride, I said “Oh, that’s the National Gallery of Art!”

The husband turned to his wife and said flatly: “You don’t wanna look at no art, do ya?”

She shook her head no, and they kept on going.

oh well.