Tuesday, July 20, 2010

shambles p.i.: the federal gov't edition

It's so silly that we here in Washington, DC, don't have voting rights and not just because, at this point, it's become unconstitutional. No, it's because the f*cking Capitol and all the Congressional buildings are on our turf. It's like having an awesome moonbounce on your property but only allowing guests to use it. The occupants of the place just have to sit there and watch. Oh, and pay for it, too.

We deserve to use our f*cking moonbounce, dammit!

We also deserve to wear a goddamn pair of shorts if the heat index calls for dying if you don't. However, some of us here in the District can't even control that thanks to the feds, at least according to this Washington Post article, which says when it comes to National Park rangers, federal code for DC dictates that they must where wool PANTS regardless of what time of year it is:

"Individual park superintendents decide whether rangers wear long wool pants or shorts, depending on geography, the time of year and the location. In the District, park rangers on the Mall must wear long wool pants at all times, regardless of the climate."

Of course, thanks to the Washington Post's shoddy reporting, we never find out who exactly the park superintendent is who made this decision, but I'm sure he probably lives in Virginia and is also against us getting in the moonbounce. The Post does, however, provide a quote from the National Park Service press person, David Barna, who basically sums up all the reasons I hate DC in one tiny sentence:

"This is the nation’s capital, it's a solemn place. We like to convey that very professional look here in the District of Columbia."

Even if that so-called "professional look" results in an increased chance of heatstroke and death. Wow. Solemn to the max!

But seriously, has Mr. Barna ever even been to DC in the summer? Commuting in from your air-conditioned condo in McLean in your air-conditioned Range Rover into an air-conditioned parking lot to your air-conditioned office doesn't count. But I don't know. Maybe it's not like that. Unlike Jared Cohen and Alec Ross, I couldn't find Barna's Facebook page. For all I know, he does live in DC, runs to work each day and gets his jollies from letting his junk sweat in his wool pants at the FDR memorial. Yeah. I'm sure it's the latter.

But really, this moronic misconception in DC that says one must look like a sweaty dork to look professional is what makes this city so easy to unleash Shambles P.I. in. Unless we're talking about Daisy Duke jorts, shorts not only can look just as professional as pants, but in DC when 98 is considered a cool summer day, shorts make you look, well, not retarded.

Law Enforcement Cheetah = So Necessary

Of course, I joke. Not because I don't think Lt. Dangle looks professional, but because I just don't think short-shorts are flattering on the average American now that footlong cheeseburgers can be bought and sold in the open...

The point is, I understand the benefits of having a dress code for any sort of law enforcement figure. It makes them easy to spot, it gives them an air of authority and, yes, it looks professional. What I don't understand, though, is this outdated notion the DC superintendent seems to have that says to look respectable you have to be uncomfortable.

Whomp, whomp...

In closing, I'd like to recite a poem using the eloquent lyrics of Lil' John, ahem:

3,6,9 damn she fine

Hopin' she can sock it to me one mo' time

Get low, Get low

Get low, Get low

To the window, to the wall

To the sweat drop down my balls

My balls.


Patty Duke said...

Speaking as one who had to wear those heavy ass wool pants at the National Gallery of Art in the summer, where I worked in a air conditioned building, it's total abuse to have those things in 98 degree weather.

When I changed in to regular clothes, I always felt 10 pounds lighter.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

If you want statehood, do it the old-fashioned way -- write a state constitution and present it to Congress and ask for admission to the Union.

Patrick B said...

Wool pants? Thats like Lint Sandpaper, or Plastic Sandwich. This isn't the 1800's we can make non-wrinkle microfiber pants that would look just as sharp. To keep it DC maybe in a nice black on black seersucker.
I've been seriously considering following a path to become a park ranger thanks for the heads up to never request a post in DC.
Not that I would, really what fun is being a park ranger in a city.
Maybe now I think they deserve those wool pants.

Boomhauer said...

As a po-po in D.C., there's no way I could get through the summer in D.C. wearing the wool/polyester action slacks...my taint would rapidly become a tropical rain forest. Thank baby jesus for cotton cargo pants.

Marissa said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in my logic here. I once had to wear a uniform for a job, too. It was ridiculous, ill-fitting and uncomfortable, mostly because I was in Russia and we had the opposite problem. It was way to cold for thin cotton garb.

Like the old saying goes, the more comfortable the taint or vajayjay, the more secure our nation. Right? Right.

David said...

Okay, I'll reply to your questions. I've worked in DC for 35 years. I ran 4 miles on the Mall every morning so I know it's hot here. I drive a Prius to do my part. I do wear the green and grey uniform (with long wool pants). My son is a ranger on the Mall. We are proud of our uniform and the traditions it represents, and yes, I do have a facebook page. Thank you for your concern about our comfort and safety. Anything else?
David Barna
chief of public affairs
national park service

Marissa said...


Mr. Barna,

I believe you are the most DC-famous person to ever comment on this tiny blog. I appreciate it greatly, however, I still don't understand the wool-pants-in-summer tradition, just as I will never understand the thin-cotton-shirt-in-Russian-winter tradition at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. I just think you can take pride in your outfit without being uncomfortable, or as our police contributor called it more or less, "having a sweaty taint." But I suppose, that's between NPS and the park rangers (and their taints? ...sorry). It's one thing for me not to be able to imagine wool in DC's heat, but I'm not the one on the job, so...

Also, not being able to easily Google you and find out personal information is a plus for a government official, so many of whom seem to want to whore themselves out for personal gain these days. Yes, that's a compliment to you for keeping your professional priorities your professional priorities and your personal life, well, personal.

As far as further questions, I do not have any more at the given time, but I think it's great that you asked. You just made this cynic a little less so.

Hope you'll stop by again,