By Robin Ye

Greetings from our Nation’s Capital! This post was originally going to be only about wildfires in the U.S. and my experience at the EPA, but this weekend was a #gamechanger so I have to make an aside.

Chicago’s leaders like to say Chicago is “The Most American of American Cities” – whatever the hell that means – but technically anything D.C. lays claim to becomes “National” – and thereby decreed American.

I think I’ve figured this out. That porta potty on the National Mall becomes the National Porta Potty. That pothole stunting traffic is that damned National pothole. Okay, great. Subtle, harmless, even a little bit funny. Then Friday happened.

For those who haven’t had the D.C. experience before, let me set some context. Last Friday, I attended a Washington Nationals baseball game in the warm August night along with 30,000 of my closest friends. It was “Beltway Burger Night” so a cheeseburger, fries, and coke accompanied my ticket. There was a hat-wave segment in-between innings where you would wave your cap with a shit-eating grin along to the Best of Blake Shelton. There were thick clouds of burger grease pumping out of the grill vents into the air up in the nosebleeds (it was awesome). There was the famous President’s Race (Abe Lincoln won… He always wins…). There was the Navy Drill Team doing their best rendition of Cadet Kelly. After the game, “Freedom Fireworks” were set to display to a medley of country’s top hits. Twelve (12) straight minutes of country. I was in awe. I was terrified. This was… my future? I love baseball, and MEAT, and Hilary Duff as much as the next guy, but I had never seen such an ~American~ sight.

All of this is to say: D.C. is really good at this American business, sorry Chicago. Case closed.

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