From Willis Shawver. Follow him on Twitter at @WShawver or email him at Willis[AT]borderstan.com.
After living in a city for a while, you start to pick up on some of the unwritten rules that apply to that particular city. I’ve definitely learned a few unwritten rules while living here in the District.
Keep your commute under 30 minutes. Stand on the right, walk on the left. Parking on Connecticut Ave after 7:30 am on a weekday will get you a $100 ticket. Okay, maybe that’s a written rule, but you get the idea.
And what it is the most important rule I’ve learned while living here? The Metro Rule.
I haven’t always lived in the District. When I first moved to the area more than 10 years ago, I lived in a far off place called Fair-A-Fax. It’s a magical place full of things called CostCo, Applebees and McMansions. People do this thing they call “driving.” It’s all very strange. While I might have lived out in the suburbs, I worked in downtown DC. Right across from Camelot. Great lunch buffet, by the way.
To get to work every day, I would drive 15 minutes to the nearest Metro station, park, ride the Metro for 35 minutes and then walk 10 minutes to my office. Then I would do it all again in reverse later that same day. Practically two hours of my day lost to the commute.
Like any good 20-something with a job in the city, I attended my fair share of happy hours and social events after work. Sometimes those social events included drinking. Okay, a lot of those social events included drinking. And the one constant after every event, was the long Metro ride home.
And do you know what Metro stations and Metro cars don’t have? Bathrooms. Henceforth, the Metro Rule was born.
Met·ro Rule (metrō ro͞ol) noun
Definition: The idea that an individual should visit the lavatory before leaving their current location.
Example of Metro Rule: Brian decided it was a good idea to apply the Metro Rule after closing out his tab at the bar.
I truly believe that Metro turnstiles are cursed. As soon as you walk through… BOOM! You’ve got to go. And what’s that? A 15-minute wait for the next Red Line train, AND you’ve got to transfer at Chinatown? This is not looking good my friend. You should have Metro Ruled. Yes, it’s a verb too.
You might say to yourself, “I don’t have to go. I just went!” (Sigh) Your body is lying to you. You do have to go. Or maybe you’re not even taking the Metro. That’s why the rule applies to all modes of transportation. Bus. Bike. Cab. Walking. It doesn’t matter, the rule applies!
There are NO exceptions to the Metro Rule. None. Well, maybe a couple. Long bathroom lines can be a deterrent to the Metro Rule. Proximity to your next destination is also a factor. Are you literally walking next store or just a few blocks away? Ok, fine. Hold it, but you’ve been warned.
Ultimately, the Metro Rule is infallible. When applied consistently and correctly, the rule will bring peace of mind and … relief to those who believe in the power of preemptive peeing.