I can’t talk about world war z yet (thanks for the embargo!) but I can talk about the epic odyssey back from the theater.
Prologue: The movie
For those not in the know, World War Z is a zombie movie about very fast zombies. I brought this guy with me.
Chapter 1: Mazza Gallerie.
As soon as the film cut to credits, I whip out my smartphone and looked up Metro schedule. Five minutes till the next Glenmont train. Roger thinks we can make it. The line coming out of the theater disagrees.
A minute passes and we finally make it to the escalators. Unfortunately, everyone on the moving staircase decides to take it fucking easy, make a pina colada or whatever and not budge an inch (relative to me). They even block the god damend walking column (the left side of the escalator, for any tourists out there)! Fuck.
Maybe a minute passes and we finally get out of the geriatric escalator. I choose to Sprint to the left, realizing too late that it was the worst possible direction as going right would have been much quicker, and running straight/back would’ve been funnier. Why did Mazza Gallerie place its escalators off-center? Probably engineering. Probably fuck you.
We reach the next escalator after another minute. I think we were screwed, so I take out my phone to verify. Huzzah, the fucking Red Line was delayed. I have literally never been more happy to see Metro fuck up. Thank you, Transit God. (I imagine the Transit God to look like a cross between Apocalypse Now Brando and Paul Blart) We have four (FOUR!) minutes to get from the second floor escalator to the basement and then down two more escalators.
If you know anything about D.C. Metro escalators, you’ll know that this isn’t as done a deal as it sounds. If you don’t know anything about D.C. Metro escalators, think a shittier, constantly broken version of the Great Wall.
Anyways, I shout to Roger, who was a bit ahead of me by now, that we had 4 minutes. A lovely chap in a blue dress shirt hears this and realizes that we’re heading for the same train. He asks me to repeat. I say 3 minutes as time is linear. We get out on the first floor and Roger sprints for the doors instead of the basement escalator. I verbally disabuse Roger of his navigational sense, and we (along with the blue chap) sprint for the basement escalator.
Thankfully, the folks on this escalator get it. They know what’s up. We move to the basement with 3 minutes still remaining. This is when the full out sprinting goes down. Having watched world war z, a movie in which SO many people get mowed down by sprinting zombies, our desperate quest elicits some laughs and zombie jokes from the moviegoers walking at a casual stroll. I’m glad our misery amused someone.
Down the janky Mazza Gallerie Metro entrance escalator and down the Shit Wall. We get to the station proper with a bit over a minute to go. Roger and I (and presumably the blue chap) slow our roll. The SmarTrip reader asks me to swipe again, and again. And again. Fucking hell.
But lo, we were on the bloody Metro platform! Having ridden this route numerous times, I direct Mr. Roger to head as far ahead as he can. We manage to get in the first door of the second car, putting us at a decent place to make the next connection.
Intermission: Gallery Place
When we hit Farragut North, I fire up Safari and find out that there would be a roughly one minute gap between our train arriving at Gallery Place and the Greenbelt train arriving on the lower level. I tell Roger this and we end up exerting some unnecessary effort getting down to Chinatown (dated reference). We get on the Green Line train a little sweaty, but no harm done.
During the ride, someone commented on how “Dying of the Light” should have a “we told you so” sticker at the end.
Chapter 2: Shuttle UM
As is my wont, I look up shuttle arrivals a few stops before College Park. There’s a 104 leaving in five minutes. Hey, that’s just enough time for our train to get into the stat…oh wait, that’s the wrong stop. Well, fuck, we just missed a bus.
I didn’t want to wait another 20 minutes for the next shuttle, so I looked up Purple shuttle arrivals on Route 1. Oh hey, we’ll have 8 minutes to walk there. This might work. Better yet, it was a Purple which would take us directly home, as opposed to the 104 where we’d have to connect to a Purple. Cool.
I ask Roger if he’s down with a little more hustling. He says: aw yeah, bro that’d be mad Down and gangsta and stuff brah. Not in those exact words.
We pull Up into the station with 7 minutes remaining. Well, fuck. This wasn’t going to plan. Down the escalators, through the gates (swipe again times three) and up some more escalators to the wondrous back entrance of the College Park Metro Station. I, myself, prefer to be here on weekends, when the smell of illegal boozing and crappy dubstep permeates the air. It’s a Pavlovian thing.
We get onto College Avenue with 5 Minutes to spare. I start a countdown timer. I think it was set to the Django theme. We go at a fast walk towards Route 1, about a half mile away. We’re making good progress. I think this might work. Roger agrees. Dark foggy night is a little disconcerting after world war z, but we might make it! We might make it! We might-DJANGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, DJANGO.
FUCK! THERE’S THE BUS! OH MY GOD. RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING FUCK MY SHOE LACE! Oh thank god, the bus needs to make a left turn at a red sto-OH FUCK IT’S GREEN
JESUS BED SHITTING FUCK!
Roger pulls ahead of me. The bus rounds the turn. Roger gesticulates wildly as he rounds the turn too. The stupid fucking maryland Book exchange wall blocks me view past the turn.
shoelace be damned, I’m going to go fast, mom.
I round the corner and there is the bus, Stopped! But, holy fucking shit is that bus stop farther away than I remember. Roger’s maybe halfway between me and the stop. The bus waits. The bus waits. The bus waits. The bus-WHY ARE YOU DRIVING AWAY THIS IS NOT OPTIMAL…CRAP!
I reach the bus stop a bit later, defeated, but lo, there was another bus! It was a Blue! I tell Roger that we might be able to take the Blue train into College Town and choo-choo Our way onto the Purple thanks to the Purple’s terribly circuitous route. Roger and I get on the Blue.
The Purple gets to campus Drive. I look up shuttle arrivals – 6 minutes. We can totally do this. Wait, why is the bus going straight? God damn it! Roger audibly wonders aloud when the bus will get back onto the campus.
The bus driver responds in about 10 minutes. Roger says something about trying connect to a Purple. Something that I totally didn’t hear because, at that moment, I was blanking out from an Unyielding, infinite existential depression stemming from missing the Purple connection and possibly a (or several) cerebral hemorrhages (or she-morrhages).
I come back to when I realize that this Magical bus driver was a total bro and had stopped near the paint Branch trail. Roger figures that we could cut through it and CSIC and get onto the Stadium Drive stop. After disabusing Roger further of his navigational intuition and driving up TomTom stocks in the process, we decide to take the Paint Branch Trail and get onto the bus a bit later into its route, near Comcast Stadium.
We start off this last leg of the trip sprinting. But then the years of pointedly not engaging in marathon training hits us and we both slow down to a half limp/half fast walk. We hit a fork in the road. I get really confused for a moment. Do we go left or do we go straight? Well, we should go straight. Wait, no, there’s bridge if we go straight. Uh, left?
It is here in which Roger redeems himself by pointing us in the right direction: straight (counterintuitively enough). We emerge into a parking lot with a fantastic view of the Purple bus stop. Less awesome was the vast stretch of cars between us and the stop.
Roger suggested that the bus will probably leave the stop just as we get within spitting distance. I counter-suggested a suicide pact if that should occur. Okay, I didn’t suggest a suicide pact. Also, suicide isn’t a laughing matter. I’m sorry.
I wish I could say that we made a suitably cinematic last minute, dash onto an almost departing bus. But, instead, we just straight up missed that fucker. In plain, fucking, view.
Whoops, nope, that was the Claritin-D talking. We did make the bus with time to spare. Once on the bus, Roger and I exchanged a bro-fist (consensual but not sexual).
Chapter The End
After re-reading this blog post, I realized that I just spent a considerable amount of time that I could’ve spent sleeping recounting and talking up a fairly unremarkable story.
But I’m okay with this, because Roger is the hero we deserve and the hero we need. I mean, shit, have you looked at all his swag? Jesus.