I spent the last day of 2015 at the Washington Monument. It was a fun and very memorable day.
Visitor: Where can we get tickets?
Me: That stone building at the bottom of the–oh wait, today’s tickets are all gone.
Visitor: How do you know that?
Me: They just put that pink paper in the window, that means tickets are gone.
Visitor: I don’t think you actually know that.
Me: You are welcome to walk down there and check.
Visitor, about 10 minutes later, after walking down and back up the hill: There are no more tickets for today.
Visitor’s Wife: She told us that 10 minutes ago.
Me: How may are in your group?
Me: 21, OK well we can only take 8 or fewer people in security at once, so we’ll split you up in to groups of 7 just for security.
Visitor: OK, fine.
Me: Then you can all link up again once you’re inside.
Visitor: Do we have to?
Visitor whose 2 tween sons would not stop talking: Would you like to keep my kids down here?
Me: Well, not really, but if you leave them here we will put them to work.
Visitor: I will pay you to take them.
Me: How much? I am going to DisneyWorld next week…
Visitor, pointing: Who are those people over there?
Me: The Park Police?
Visitor: Those people in the blue and black shirts.
Me: The Park Police.
Visitor: Are they carrying weapons?
Me: They certainly appear to be.
Visitor: Why are they carrying weapons?
Me: Because it’s New Year’s Eve in Washington,
Visitor: Is something going to happen?
Me: We certainly hope not.
Visitor: So why are they carrying weapons?
Me: Well, probably to make sure nothing happens.
Visitor: Is there a discount for locals?
Me: Tickets are free. What kind of discount would you like?
Visitor: To not need a ticket.
Visitor: I think your signs are perfectly clear and adequate, but SOME members of my group want me to check with you to make sure we are in the right line.
Me: You are in the right line.
Visitor: I was sure, and again, I think your signage is clear, but SOME people insisted I check.
Me: Nothing wrong with checking. And I have those kind of people in my life too.
Visitor: I have to warn you, my husband is on a mission today.
Me: Oh, really? What mission is that?
Husband: I am going to leave here with one of those hats (pointing to the Rangers wearing flat hats).
Me: Uh, good luck with that.
Husband: I’m going to get one.
Me, to wife: Prepare the bail money and be ready to fish him out of the federal lockup tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. Or, it is a holiday weekend, probably not until Monday.
Visitor holding a map: Look kids, there is the White House (points to the Capitol building).
Visitor’s granddaughter: So where is the Capitol, behind it?
Visitor: Umm, I guess so (looks down at her map with a puzzled look).
Me: That is the Capitol, the White House is over there.
Visitor: Wait, ummm… (turns her map all around to try to get her bearings).
Teenage visitors: Can you take a selfie of us?
Me: Actually I can’t.
Teenage visitors: Why not, are you not allowed?
Me: Oh, I’m allowed, but if I take a picture of you it’s not a selfie.
Teenage visitors: I don’t get it.
Me: If you have any chewing gum…
Visitors put candy mints in their mouths
Me: Candy, or chewing tobacco, you have to spit them out in that trash can before you go through security. Or you could just chew them so they are gone when you go inside.
Visitor: You have really bad timing.
Me: In 8 years, this is the first time that has happened.
Family who I previously told about the ticket policy (they did not have tickets) walks up from the line.
Me: I’m sorry, you need tickets and they are all gone for today.
Daughter: But we are visiting here.
Me, to both lines: How many of you are visiting us here today?
Almost everyone raises their hands
Me: See, almost everyone is visiting us today. I’m really sorry, but you have to have tickets to go up.
Visitor, after they walked away: You are much more firm than I am.
Me: I hear that at least 25 times every day I am up here. Plus, did you see the Capitol tour tickets stuck to their jackets?
Visitor: Yes, but I didn’t know that’s what they were.
Me: So they knew how to get tickets for the Capitol tour, but I’m supposed to let them up here because they didn’t know how to get tickets?
Visitor: Wow, you’re good!
Visitor: So you’re a volunteer?
Me: I am.
Visitor: So you don’t get paid?
Me: I don’t get paid.
Visitor: But do they get paid? (points to Rangers)
Me: Yes, everyone in green gets paid.
Visitor: Are any of the men single?
Me: Yes, a few of them are.
Visitor: That one in the fuzzy hat, is he single?
Me: He is.
Visitor’s daughter: Come on, Mom. Stop.
Visitor: What? I’m just asking.
About 30 minutes later, after they went inside and I told the Ranger what she said:
Ranger: So which one is my future ex-wife?
Me: That one in the black vest and white sweater.