the george washington memorial parkway

To get from Bethesda, Maryland, where I was staying, to Dulles Airport, where I was departing, one drives along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Yes, the Memorial Parkway, in case anyone wasn't sure if this five-lane highway was built while Washington was still alive.

I imagine the descendants of Washington attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and getting choked up.

"George would have loved that off-ramp."
"They chopped down an entire orchard of cherry trees to clear space for this overpass."
"Once when George's wooden teeth broke, they were replaced by a set made out of asphalt. So this is perfect"

Contrary to what you might expect, the George Washington Memorial Parkway does not cross the Delaware.

The George Washington Parkway has some notable features. The Articles of Confederation are the supreme law of the road from Leesburg Pike to Bailey's Crossroads. The Bott's Dots are made out of wood, not plastic. And drivers are honest when they get pulled over:

"Do you know how fast you were going?"
"Officer, I cannot tell a lie. 77 in a 65 zone. Also, there's weed in the glove box."

Doesn't Washington have enough stuff already? On my trip to the East Coast, I saw the George Washington Bridge, George Washington University, the Washington Monument, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and got a handful of dollar coins, on which George Washington had replaced Sacagawea. True, the dollar coin is the most infuriating coin that exists, but does Washington really need to be pictured on a second coin, when he's also on the dollar bill?

Who should be on the dollar coin instead? Sacagawea or good ol' Susan B. would be fine, but I'd be happy with:

1. Someone who's not already on a different coin.
2. Someone who didn't own a whole bunch of slaves.

Is that so much to ask? (Yes.)

Maybe I am underestimating the power of the George Washington lobby inside the Beltway. I did find it suspicious that Congress authorized a $5 million bailout for the powdered wig industry. However, there's a provision that, should they violate willingly or knowingly the injunctions attached to said bailout, they will be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony. So that's something.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on February 5, 2009 8:15 PM.

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