I ruined the Constitution
Our D.C. trip was fantastic. Perfect weather, good food (thanks for the Banana Cafe and Jaleo recommendations, internet), saw everything we wanted to see and more. Secret star: Air and Space Museum. Totally pleasant surprise, thousands of people on class trips aside. Laurence Fishburne as planetarium show narrator gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. (Our own AMNH offers Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford, and while Ford has the better nighttime sky voice, Hanks has the more interesting show.) Heather spotted a helicopter on display and became so excited and confused that she started singing the Magnum P.I. theme. I was like, “What? What are you doing? Is that Airwolf?” Thanks, public schools! Thanks, television! Also saw the Spirit of St. Louis, which apparently was made out of construction paper. Seriously, I would not fly across my backyard in that thing, much less the Atlantic. But I don’t have a backyard, so let’s move on to the part where I ruined the Constitution.
Oh wait! First I have to tell you that Ford’s Theater was showing a matinee of Shenandoh starring Scott Bakula. Too many Quantum Leap jokes to choose from there. I saw a pillow stained with Lincoln’s blood and totally teared up. Also, I was standing next to a group of cargo-shorted, be-visored high school senior trip boys who were having this debate:
Brah 1: What did the guy yell, after he killed him?
Brah 2: Something Latin.
Brah 1: Right, because it was what Julius Caesar yelled when they killed him, too.
Brah 3: No dude, he just said “Et tu Brutus?”
Me (unable to hold it in any longer): He yelled Sic semper tyrannis, which means “Thus always to tyrants,” and allegedly Brutus said it when he killed Caesar.
Brahs (nod, don’t make eye contact, edge away)
Me (calling after): It’s also the Virginia state motto!
Proving that I’ve still got what it takes to make an entire group of high school boys uninterested in and annoyed by me.
So. We went to the National Archives to see the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They’re kept in a darker room under special lights in special glass cases and all that. No flash photography allowed. As we walk into the room, the guard says, “Ladies, there’s no line system,” and boy was he right, but there should be, because some people were seriously hogging some documents. One thing this trip taught me is that while I’m way into America, not so big on Americans. Like the one lady in front of me who wanted to take twenty pictures of the Constitution from every angle instead of just buying a postcard or looking it up on the freaking internet. So while I waited for my turn in the no-line system, I turned my camera off to save the battery, but when she moved suddenly, I saw my window, turned the camera back on, aimed and shot. And immediately realized that I had forgotten to re-turn off my flash, thus adding my name under Nicolas Cage’s on the list of People Who Are No Longer Allowed Near the Constitution.
Pictures live here.