Mr. Rogers was a hell of a lot bigger than I thought he was. I saw his sweater at the Smithsonian last night. It was a big sweater. I was standing next to a guy and I said, "You know, his mother made all of his sweaters." The guy just looked at me as if to say, "I no longer want to stand next to you."
The coolest part about the Smithsonian was an exact reproduction of Julia Child's kitchen. They brought in all of her pots, pans, blenders, wisks, rolling pins, etc. and completely recreated her kitchen. Most of you know how much Deb and I enjoy cooking shows and there I was, just a foot away from the sauce pan of the matriarch of all cooking shows. The half-inch of plexi between me and the sauce pan didn't diminish the experience.
We ventured into the musical instruments collection on display. My co-worker, Dennis, and I stopped to look at a set of Stradivarious violins and cellos. We were alone in the room with these priceless instruments that are housed in a wooden armoire. I leaned against the armoire and Dennis suddenly looked alarmed. I was puzzled by his reaction. Then I looked at the violins and cellos. They were shaking and moving inside the armoire. In fact, I promise you, if I had used that armoire to brace myself against a sneeze I would knocked those suckers right off their pedestals.
On the walk back I asked Dennis, "Would I be exaggerating if I said I almost knocked over a bunch of Stradivarious violins?" Dennis said I wouldn't be exaggerating. So I thought about what I would tell my cellmate after I went to prison if I had sneezed. "What're you in for?," he'd ask. "I scratched up a violin," I'd tell him. Then he'd sell me for a pack of Camels.
It hasn't all been tourism. I have been working. My job means I spend most of my day talking with strangers. Some of them are strange strangers. One guy told me he has every window and door in his house wired to a security system. He has steel framed security doors at every entrance. He has a trained dog that barks at every little, odd sound. Then he told me he sleeps with a .357 under his pillow and his wife has a shotgun under the bed.
I'm not exaggerations his description. In fact, I think I left some stuff out. So I had to ask him if he had a lot of break ins.
He said his car was stolen once.
Now I'm watching Janet Reno in the audience at the Democratic National Convention. Looks like she's having a lot of fun. She just happy she lives in Florida now instead of Washington. I'm sure she'd tell you it's too freakin' humid in D.C.