First ever Smug Pug Award!

This past Sunday morning I was laying in my bed, wishing I had some coffee and perhaps a helper monkey and reading DCist, when I came across this article by Kriston Capps:
We Apologize for the Fact that you Still Can't Get Up There

Unsuck DC Metro looks back in time at a novel proposal ever so briefly considered by WMATA, one that never loses its commonsensical appeal:
Screw the broken escalators, let's have stairs! A look at the minutes from the 2006 Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee meeting finds that Metro could save some $1.2 million in annual operating expenses by replacing escalators with stairs -- you know, turning the escalators off -- at some 14 Metro stations. Stations with three or more escalators were only to see one set of escalators turned into stairs (but why?), while stations with those 12 kilometer-long escalators like Tenleytown would be unaffected (but why not?).

It's my understanding that the disabled and the elderly are advised to take Metro's elevators and to plot their Metro routes by elevator availability whenever using Metro. So the argument that strikes me as the obvious case against stairs is mitigated. On the other hand, stairs promote health and would save the Metro system money. On the other other hand, it seems that at any given time there are a fixed number of Metro escalators that are (broken) stairs anyway.

Would stairs slow ridership? Would tourists make moving onto and off of station platforms even more difficult if they were responsible for their own locomotion? Would this happen on a large scale? My guess: Like all healthy, cost-saving measures, the change would be both positive and super annoying.

"Hmm. That was an impressive level of smuggery," I mused to my invisible helper monkey. But I shrugged it off and moved on to the next article, also by Kriston Capps:

You Kids Get Off My Lot

"College kids with cars pay a parking premium if they keep their wheels on campus," reports the Washington Post, in the best news I've heard all day. It's expensive, and colleges intend to keep it that way. George Washington University students, for example, must pay $550 per semester for a parking decal and Georgetown students pay even more -- $656 per semester -- to park at satellite lots in Rosslyn; other Metro area schools must pay similarly high fees to keep a car at school. This seems wholly reasonable for schools located in an urban environment that is well served by public transportation. College campuses, too, are designed to offer students many (if not all) the services they require in one place, from health clinics to computer software stores. Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester? If anything, it seems that students -- who, I'm sure we can all agree, don't really do anything with those cars but cause trouble -- aren't paying enough to park their jalopies in the District.

And holy Jimminy James Christ if that is not the most self-satisfied piece of yowzah I have ever read in my entire life. Not to be mean or anything. You know I fear blog wars like I fear Meeks, D&D nights, leather horse art and...Ren Fest? (Damnit!) But both of these articles express a truly impressive and infuriating level of smug. What crawled up your tawt asshole, K-Dawg? Why are you trying to make me hoof it up stairs and utilize public transportation? I hate the public. I don't want to transport with them. And that's my choice!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's examine the first article, shall we?

Upon first glance, I was totally on Kriston's side. I think we can all agree that the metro is about as reliable as a molestery uncle and needs to be fixed, but turning off the escalators? Really? Why? So we can replace the 1.2 million dollars Metro will save from cutting operating expenses with the new 1.2 million dollar "Oh-my-God-I'm-Having-a-Fucking-Heart-Attack" Fund? Metro escalators aren't like malls escalatorsthey go hundreds of feet below street level. That's steep. Like, really steep. Like, challenging to walk up them, steep. And I consider myself to be a relatively fit person. I go to the gym roughly 4-5 days a week but I still gasp for air like I just finished the Iron Man Challenge after walking a broken set of Dupont escalator stairs. And honestly, I don't think replacing the escalator system with stairs is a horrible idea. New York's MTA stairs are pretty effective, but they're a platform-stairs-platform-stairs set-up that makes jogging up and down them pretty effortless. The average Washingtonian can't jauntily jog up and down a steep, stopped metro escalator.

And I will gladly be the fat kid who says out loud that I would rather move out of this city than have to wheeze my way up and down stopped metro stairs day in and day out just because Kriston Capps think it would make the city healthier. Because who are you, Ms. Mr. Capps, to decide how to make people healthier? You're like that office manager who only stocks the fridge with water because soda rots your teeth and wastes calories. I'm a grown-ass woman. Let me make my own health choices. If you health-rape me, I will blow my whistle.

I guess we're all supposed to ascertain from Kriston's article that she he can run up and down stopped metro stairs with grace and ease. Well good for fucking you. Guess what? I can do the electric slide at double speed and rock the fucking wheels off any bar mitzvah. And good for fucking me! We all excel in different physical arenas. Should I propose that we get healthier and save on transportation expenses by forgoing the metro completely and electric sliding our way to work? Uh, Boogie-oogie-oogie-fuck-no! Sure I'd love it if that were the case, but not everybody else would. And part of living in a civilized society and being a good person is thinking about others and not being so god-damn impressed with yourself. Oogie-Oogie.

Next Article:

Guess what? I went to a DC school and had a car. All four years. And it helped me out exponentially. Frankly, I don't even understand how this made it into DCist in the first place. This isn't so much news as what sounds like a whiny rant from someone who didn't have a car in college.

I can't decide which part of this article I find the most smug and offensive, so let's just go through point by point, shall we?

"This seems wholly reasonable for schools located in an urban environment that is well served by public transportation."
- Only GW is really a self-sustaining urban campus. AU is in the middle of bumble-fuck nowhere Spring Valley and Georgetown is in...well...Georgetown, where there isn't a metro. It just takes shit longer to get done in these parts of town. And didn't we just go over how unreliable the metro is? Junior year, for example, I took 18 credits and had an internship AND a job (OH SHIT! IT'S A MOTHERFUCKING SMUG-OFF!) I had to zip my ass from AU all over town and life would have been considerably more difficult if I had to rely on public transportation (and this wasn't even factoring in hypothetical steep-stair-hiking time!) Shit was just easier with a car and I'm really grateful that I had one. Does that make me less of a person?...Not really. It kind of just makes me a mediocre person with a car.

"College campuses, too, are designed to offer students many (if not all) the services they require in one place, from health clinics to computer software stores. Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester?"
- You just sound fucking crazy right now. College campuses aren't Utopian little societies where you only leave once a semester to fly home. Which also sound a little cultish to me, frankly. Reasons I left campus via car: to visit my parents more than once a semester because I like them, buy art supplies besides the one piece of poster board and glue stick the bookstore carried, go to my internship, go to my job, take friends to run errands not accessible via metro or metrobus, weekend road trips, weekly traditional California Tortilla night, go to the doctor (I'm terribly sorry I don't trust my person to the campus provided student health center where the answer to everything is pregnancy or spinal meningitis,) and that's just naming a few. And I don't think these are terribly frivolous or ludicrous reasons to leave campus either. I mean college isn't the Army, I'm pretty sure you're allowed to leave any time you want...

"Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester?"
- Again, who are you to dictate how many times people leave campus to see their parents or friends? Hi, AU (bless it's heart) was boring as fuck-all, sometimes it was necessary to leave. And that was my prerogative. I had the means, I had the desire, so I left. Again, does this make me a bad person? ...Again, not really.

"I'm sure we can all agree, students don't really do anything with those cars but cause trouble."
- What 1950's American Graffiti movie are you living in?! I worked in Georgetown for two years and never once saw drags of GU kids hot-rodding down M street in their Thunderbirds, a-blastin' their rock 'n' roll music, drinkin' their caffeinated colas and shaking their hips all provocative and un-Christian-like. Mostly I just saw a lot of Vineyard Vines tote bags and popped collars.

"If anything, it seems students...aren't paying enough to park their jalopies in the District."
- You sound pleasant.

The ultimate irony here, of course, is that I'm being smug about not being smug and in the end who gives a shit, but still! K. Capps pissed me off with her his award-winning level of smug. So I'm going to give her him an award!

Congratuatlions Kriston Capps, you are the first winner of the 2birds1blog's Smug Pug Award!


Thank you for enriching our community with your extreme sense of self-satisfaction.
I recommend you watch the South Park episode entitled "Smug Alert!" and mentally replace Mr. Broflovski with yourself. Given my aversion to steep stairs, I will also allow you to replace Cartman with me.


Brendan said...

I'd say some Metro escalators are more necessary than others. I'm not thinking about the ones that go from gate to street, but the ones that go from platform to gate. Those are like 12 steps. If you take the money maintaining them, and put it towards safety, I'd say turn 'em off.

Abbie said...

I think she had some valid points though. Spending that much money to maintain escalators is pretty insane. But naturally it is also insane to assume that the vast number of people using the metro who can not physically move themselves up and down that many stairs should then adjust their transportation plans to revolve around elevators. Maybe escalator maintenance guys need to be paid less.

And, honestly? I hate that influx of college kids primarily because they ALL bring their cars. And that doubles the amount of time it takes to get anywhere in a car (or bus which is what I do). But this is America. And you can't tell people they can't have a car and can't drive it down their 200 foot driveway to get the mail if they feel like it. So if people will pay $600 to have their car, then by all means! Charge that! This is a capitalist government for christ's sake.

Lauren said...

HAH fab award, I so agree. Already commented over the weekend on her idiotic article about college kids with cars-- I'm an AU student with a car who interns in McLean, buys groceries, goes to the beach, etc..

Unknown said...

Hmm. I haven't experienced DC metro escalators, but Chicago has the NY-style, stair-platform-stair setup you described. That's fine and dandy, and I'm with you, I think long lines of people trudging up steep escalators sounds like an ugly game of human dominos waiting to happen.

And where does she get off bitching about these students' cars? Lots of the schools are already making it prohibitively expensive, and kids still bring them. Obviously there's some need for a car than racing and banging in the back seat. If the kids are gonna pay the fees to have them, let them have them! I'll pass on K. Capps's idea of College "1984" Edition.

Grant said...

New York's subway is, like, three feet below street level. My roommate and I hear people talking on the street while waiting for the C train in the morning. Meanwhile, most Metro stations are located roughly adjacent to the outer core. Seriously, I think they have to air condition those things because otherwise people would die from being submerged in liquid magma. I totally could have (and usually did) walked or run up the forty or so steps at College Park. But dude, Dupont? Seriously? That's like a mile underground.

Rachel said...

I think more people would drive, if they had to take the stairs...She definitely doesnt wear heels, ever, because by the end of a long day, there is fucking way Im climbing 439 steps in heels.

Also, who wants more college kids on the metro? Not me....they are annoying enough in my Friday night dose, I dont need a rush hour dose as well.

Chanes said...

uh-maze-ing. please tell me they will be posting your response to her articles in their next edition!

Jennifer said...

"College campuses, too, are designed to offer students many (if not all) the services they require in one place."

Was she talking with my father?! I had to explain that college isn't a prison (no really) and I should be able to leave anytime I want. & NO they don't have everything I need on campus.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

General note:

My bad. Kriston Capps is a dude. Sorry homeboy.


katiebee33 said...

Amen sister...college kids are a part of life in most cities and an important economic engine. As annoying as they may be, I sure had a lot of fun spending my tip money I made from AU kids when I worked at the Malt Shop.

Trout said...

Your college said everything was spinal meningitis? Lucky! Spinal meningitis sounds way cooler. We always got "viral bronchitis". How lame is that?

Margo said...

Dupont's Metro station is located in the center of the earth- if I had to walk up those (broken) stairs EVERYDAY, I would die. The 12 steps from gate to platform, fine. The 7,432 from street level to the gate in the 8th circle of hell, I will fight you for. Mr. Capps probably has a horse hair mane that touches everyone on the Metro trying to hold onto a pole anyway.

poelondon said...

Kriston = stupid name, mkay? Probably a straight up Ren Faire furry/meek.

Let's not forget that DC's lovely metro system is home to the longest continuous escalator in the Western Hemisphere and second longest in the world. Wheaton station is 230 feet followed by Rosslyn at 205 feet.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

HAHAHA Oh Margo...

And viral bronchitis is so the new black.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Psh, you can't sprint up 230 feet? Fatty...

Jenna said...

I wish I was making this up (because I was in serious pain), but I do like having the story for my File-O’-Crazy. One fine winter day, I pulled a muscle in my back right around my shoulder blade. Had to take a heating pad to every class. When I needed some advice on muscle relaxers or something heavier, I went to the AU Health Center (when it was still in Nebraska Hall). They diagnosed me with a urinary tract infection and wrote me a script for antibiotics. That was a weird day.

Anonymous said...

this smug pug kinda seems like a big deal... writing for the guardian? http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/kristoncapps

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

HAHAH Jenna. You slut, you.

And Anon: He may indeed be kind of a big deal, but that doesn't mean he's not the smuggest pug in the kennel, you dig? I've locked horns with bigger names. (Suzy Soro WHAT?!)

The Kuh said...

I have spent three summers in DC, and I think I will have nightmares now that Mr. SmugPug has put the image of all those escalators replaced by stairs in my fragile brain. The imagery of that is more horrifying than when that chick's eye got cut off in "Hostel".

sean said...

Here's what I'd like them to do. I'd like them to shut down the escalators for ONE DAY (announced in advance, so I could call in sick that day) at some of the stations that are deeper underground. I swear to god, they'd have them running the next day. The alternative would be dealing with the angry, punch-drunk mob who somehow found torches and pitchforks (there's a torch and pitchfork outlet at 14th and H) and are now a legitimate threat to WMATA/national security.

Anonymous said...

blog dramz stress me out. who's ready for a recrap?!

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

I know, I know, I'm sorry. I just get so fired up sometimes. And then by the time I calmed down I had already photoshopped the Smug Pug Award so I couldn't not post it.

Zen-like recrap tomorrow, I promise.

Emily said...

Wait, I think there's another problem w/ K. Capps' logic. Has anyone ever noticed the LOOOONG list of "elevator outages" in DC? If we replace escalators with stairs, thus saving a bajillion dollars, the district is going to shortly lose all those funds due to the lawsuits that probs would be filed by the number of people (old, lazy, bikers etc) who would have to get off three stops past their norm and take a shuttle bus to their destination. This isn't just a bad idea, it's discrimination against my lazy ass.

Unknown said...

Maybe Capps is a smug pug BECAUSE he thinks he's kind of a big deal? And people know him?

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

I mean, I've seen his office. It does have many leather bound books and smells of rich mahogany.

Caroline said...

But if they turn off the escalators, what would happen to the rolling briefcases?

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

They'll have to re-invent rolling briefcases that you either carry or wear across your back. Oh wait...

EasyWayIn said...

"Boogie-oogie-oogie-fuck-no"- utter brilliance

Sabrina said...

I generally don't mind walking down escalators. It's the up bit that kills me. I used to live in Rosslyn, which still loves to claim that it has one of the longest escalators in the world. And fuck, they're not joking.

And as a GW (grad) student, I totally have my car, although I don't live on campus. While I'm not lazy, I like to make my life simple when I can. Like, I hate having to lug groceries on the Metro, or having to backtrack to get places on the Metro when it's a straight shot in the car.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

God Sabrina. Way do you need to worry about lugging around groceries to begin with? Don't you have an organic vegetable garden in your back yard?

Caitlin said...

I completely agree with you on all of this.

Fuck walking up stairs in the Metro. I am lazy, and I will stay that way. Everytime I get on one of the center-of-earth-deep escalators, I usually think to myself, "Damn this would suck if it wasn't moving", and the image in my brain is horrific. No thanks.

I plan on attending college in DC as well, WITH MY CAR. There are plenty of places in and around the district I plan on visiting with my car. I have a dog, she needs the car. Visiting family costs $200 cheaper by car.

So yeah, fuck this lady. Or guy or whatever.

I'm with you.

ing said...

I have no idea how I found this blog, but I must say your shit cracks me up. I hope you're taking your writing seriously because you are David Sedaris funny. Get your ass on This American Life or something. For reals.

Rachel said...

Did anyone else read the hilarious words behind the pug!!! so funny

Lindsay said...

while I read (and enjoyed! and agreed with!) this whole post, the point that stuck out to me the most was the "i don't trust my campus nurse to diagnose anything but babies and spinal meningitis..." and i said WHOA! I'm really, really glad to know that it wasn't only at my lovely university health center that every SINGLE diagnosis was either the flu or "you're pregnant." can't tell you how many heart attacks must have been treated following that bit of news, including the one my virgin roommate had when she was "diagnosed." in addition, every "flu" came with the same six over-the-counter prescriptions... umm thanks. i'm glad ours wasn't the only multi-million dollar-invested health center that couldn't be counted on for anything but a good laugh and some cough syrup.

steffington said...

Holy fuck that is expensive. My first college didn't allow cars at all because it was in a city. My second college charged $60 for the YEAR.

And at my final college (don't judge) parking passes were free. They just gave in to the inevitable that a school with a population of 1200 is boring as fuck, and students are going to leave.

But even if it were in a city like DC, I can not see how students having cars is going to wreak havoc all over. So you might have to walk a little further than normal because someone parked where you normally do...wouldn't that just help people become healthier? And if you don't like it, move from a college town.

Amy said...

but you DO appreciate public transportation stairs. :)

see: http://www.2birds1blog.com/2009/01/you-know-what-ruffles-my-feathers.html

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Amy. The smiley face. You know better than that homegirl.

Anonymous said...

this is probably what that ol' Crusty Capps probably looks like: http://tinyurl.com/l9dax6

Mia R said...

I'm sure someone's already said it...but while the city schools like GW, GU, AU, etc. offer parking decals (in lots that are totally and completely inconvenient) at an outrageous price, I found cheaper parking during my time at GW just by going on craigslist.

I lived on the magically self sustaining campus of GW and still preferred to take my car across the bridge where my grocery store wasn't infested with rats (i.e. Watergate Safeway).

And last time I did some sort of tom foolery with my vehicle...I was the DD and took a few of my drunk counterparts to taco bell. If anything, I did the world a favor and got them off the sidewalks and into my car where they'd only irritate me.

What an ahole. Thanks for calling that smug jerk out.

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Mayle said...

Uh, Boogie-oogie-oogie-fuck-no!


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