Even though I in no way follow the phases of the moon, heck I can’t even keep track of the days of the week now that I am not working , I would have bet my mom’s favorite teddy bear on the fact that the moon was full this weekend. As a teacher, we often joked about how the students were more wound up and craziness ensued around the time of the full moon. Apparently, the same holds true for adult behavior during those times as well. Etymology even points us in this direction: lunacy, lunatic…
The plan for Saturday was pedicures in the morning with Erin (necessary after the blister incident in June) and then Transformers 3 in the evening with Thad. It sounded like a great way to spend a Saturday, and really, when all was said and done, it was a good day. But, between the great parts, there were some really odd ones.
After having my feet doted on at a salon at Eastern Market, my pretty pink toenails headed out to meet Thad downtown for lunch. As we traipsed about town after lunch at the Old Ebbit Grill, we ran into our first peculiar event of the day. In front of us, a woman dressed in nearly all white with long baggy sleeves, long baggy pants and hair partially covered in a blue scarf, exited the Macy’s store. Not a handful of paces later, a large man stormed out of the store and grabbed this woman by the shoulders. He started hollering at her, “Are you stupid or something? Are you dumb?” Thad and I watched, dumbfounded. At first we weren’t sure if this man was related to her and this was some type of domestic dispute or something else entirely, but soon two other employees rolled out of the store behind the main security guard. It seems this woman was being accused of shoplifting, as the three workers roughly escorted her back into the building. The whole incident took place in just a matter of seconds, but it was rather strange to witness.
Strolling onward, we did a bit of window shopping and then decided to head home to get out of the sun for a few hours before the movie. The Metro system is always good for people watching and Saturday was possibly the best I’ve seen it. Out of laziness, we took the blue train from DC back to Crystal City. The train car was full, but not packed. Thad and I were lucky enough to have front row seats for the show that was about to commence. Two stops into what we thought would be an uneventful ride home, a middle-aged gentleman and his teenage daughter boarded the train. The man instantly struck me as a bit of an odd duck and it wasn’t long until my hunch was confirmed for an entire car-load of passengers. As this man got on the train, he was on a cell phone, talking rather loudly. The one side of the conversation that I could hear went something like this:
Man: If you talk to her, tell her I borrowed her phone because mine doesn’t work in the subway. I have her phone. I’m not lying. I borrowed it because mine doesn’t work in the tunnels!
Man: No, don’t call her. If she asks, tell her I took it for today. Don’t make this harder. I’m not lying. I’m not going to break it. I’m not going to smash it. I borrowed her phone because mine doesn’t work in the subway.
Man: It isn’t my phone. It is hers. I’m borrowing it just for today. It’s not my phone. My phone doesn’t work in the subway. I am using hers today. Mine doesn’t work.
The conversation continued this way endlessly. Everyone on the train could have succinctly explained that the phone wasn’t his and why he had it, but whoever he was talking to just didn’t seem to get it. At first, people politely read their newspapers or stared at the empty space above the heads of the others, but this whole tirade soon became too much for everyone to handle. The quiet giggling started with one young gal as her boyfriend taped the incident on a phone, but quickly spread throughout the front of the car. A good minute into the routine, the women around us were passing out tissues to wipe away running mascara and holding their hands over their faces in a vain attempt to disguise their own laughter. As this under-the-breath chuckling continued, I thought the poor man’s daughter was going to die of shame.
Once the borrower-of-the-cellphone finished his call, he turned to his daughter and told her to text the apparent receiver of the call that he had borrowed the phone because his didn’t work in the Metro. (Really? That point wasn’t made painfully clear in the phone call itself?) Again, a long conversation occurred about the ownership and reason for borrowing the phone. She quietly told him that everyone was looking at them and he was embarrassing her, but he loudly proclaimed he didn’t care and told her to “Go stand in the corner!” This guy totally sent his mortified teenage daughter to stand in the corner of the moving train!
A stop later, the daughter was un-banished from the corner so that the dad could tell her that they needed to get off and trade to the yellow line. “We need to get on the yellow line. Yellow, like a bus.” As if this poor girl was color blind! Luckily for the gal, their stop finally arrived and she was able to escape into the catacombs that are the DC Metro system. I was impressed with how calmly this young lady dealt with her obviously wacky dad and hope to heaven that whoever actually owns that cell phone is a bit more relaxed and less excruciating to travel with!
Relief was felt throughout the train after the exit of this odd little family and we made our way home in relative normalcy. If only that normalcy had lasted the extent of the day. It was time to see one of the great cartoons from our childhood played out on the big screen, so after packing my sweater in preparation for the inevitably arctic setting of the movie theater, we headed into Chinatown. A vat of soda later, as the climactic battle between Autobot and Decepticon waged in full force, our theater was suddenly filled with strobe lights. At first we both chalked it up to an idiot with a cell phone, but it quickly became apparent that the lights went along with the evacuation notice being broadcast over the loudspeakers. You know the old saying about not yelling “fire” in a theater? That’s where we were at! Only, this theater is located on the third floor of a building. So, let’s see: 14 theaters, opening weekend of Harry Potter, massive amounts of people= recipe for disaster. Luckily, things went much smoother than I was imagining as this all happened. With an undercurrent of panic, the crowd maintained order was we exited the theater, headed down a back stairwell and into the streets behind the movie house.
At this point there seemed to be little information or plan. It didn’t take long before the lack of fire was apparent, but the alarms continued to go off, people were everywhere and organization was not to be found. Rather than wait an hour to see the last ten minutes of the movie, we assumed the Autobots won (mostly because Optimus Prime is awesome!) and decided to enjoy the mild evening.
Our day of full-moon incidents ended with one other small occurrence. As we wandered out of Chinatown and toward the Capital Building, we walked through an area of town filled with bars and their Saturday evening patrons. One man, having just been forcefully invited to leave one such establishment, decided to take his anger out on a guy headed into that same place. He proceeded to stand in the middle of the sidewalk and scream at this seemingly random and innocent older guy headed into the bar. The funny part about this whole thing was that the drunk guy’s insults included a lot of “fat” and “huge” (all of course proceeded by a lovely, multi-functional four-letter word that starts with an “f.”) Problem? The receiver of the verbal abuse was in no way fat; he really wasn’t even a politically correct “bigger.” “Balding” or “aging” would have been much more accurate insults!
What was there to do at this point other than come home and instantly Google “full moon” to see if that would explain the craziness of the day. In 0.12 seconds, I had 56,000 hits, with the top one confirming my suspicions-Friday night had been a full moon. From the seizure of a shoplifter to awkward moments on the subway and theater fires to misplaced insults, it was definitely full-moon worthy day!