Passengers on Metro's Red Line found themselves in veritable sardine cans one morning when Metro was single-tracking, and so Janet Ammerman decided it was all right to look over the shoulder of a woman she was pressed up against.
The woman was reading her Kindle, and Ammerman, commuting from Chevy Chase, read along with each page flip, she told Potomac Diary. It was a potboiler of kings, queens and plenty of skullduggery.
When she grew tired of spying, she turned her gaze to a woman sandwiched to her left, who was sending a text message. "I'm reading the lady in front of me's Kindle," she was typing.
IS AN EASY-BAKE OVEN NEXT?
On Capitol Hill, there is a small swatch of grass created by intersecting roads, and on this small swatch of grass, a pop-up park.
A collection of plastic toys has appeared, one by one, under a patch of shady trees near a busy bus stop. There's a playhouse big enough for a few kids to sit inside. A toy kitchen appeared one day, then a kid-size picnic table and a spinning octopus that makes kids nice and dizzy.
No one knows who has been contributing the toys, but they look too big to fit in the snug rowhouses nearby. The pop-up park has become a playground for neighborhood tots and kids waiting for buses, who don't have a real park nearby.
The latest arrival? A coveted baby doll stroller. BYODoll.
WAITING FOR OSCAR SEASON
Near the AMC Mazza Gallerie in Friendship Heights, a young man bumped into an older woman as they left an overstuffed elevator. Her bottle of pinot noir flew through the air and crashed to the ground in terrible slow motion.
But the man quickly made right by offering the woman $20 in movie gift certificates.
"I'll probably wait until the holidays to use them," the woman said. "Nothing is worth seeing right now. But thank you, that's a kind gesture."
LIFE OF LUXURY?
A retired Fairfax County resident introduced himself to a young woman, mentioning that his middle name was Freud. His great-great-uncle was the famous psychologist, he explained. Another relative was Edward Bernays, the "father of public relations," who used "Uncle Sigmund's ideas."
"He invented the idea that instead of selling a car, you sell a really sexy vehicle to pick up babes in," the retiree explained. But his own career did not follow his relatives' -- he spent decades in the Navy and government. "Since then I've been leading the life of the idle rich. Except I'm not very idle. And I don't know what happened to the rich."
ELEPHANT AT THE CAPITOL
Euphonium player James Hicks was tooting merrily along with the U.S. Navy Band at its outdoor concert on the steps of the Capitol when his sheet music blew off his stand, defying the long clothespin Hicks had used to keep it down and landing on the keyboard behind him.
All was well -- the song was nearly over, and the pianist returned the music to Hicks. Two songs later, he was announced as the soloist, to the delight of the brass lovers in the audience. To strap down his solo music, Hicks used two clothespins.
The small comedy was bested only by a narrator's slip: Instead of "element of the score," he described "the most stirring elephant of the score."