I looked to my left and to my right. “Ohmigod! It worked!” I squealed to my friend Carson who was, like me, laying at the bottom of the Washington Monument. According to our friend and Washington D.C. local, Sheba, if you lay on your back at the bottom of the Washington Monument and put your feet up, all of the gawking tourists will follow suit. And follow suit they did. Not even thirty seconds after we had propped our feet up, more then a couple dozen out-of-towners had done the same. This is probably due to the same phenomenon that is at play when you randomly form a line and strangers stand behind you. Or when you look up at a blank piece of sky and everyone else on the sidewalk stops to scope out what your staring at.
While we were marveling at our trend-setting skills our thoughts were interrupted by a little voice asking, “Can I take a picture with you guys?”. I tilted my head back and saw blue socks, red shorts, and little blue Sketchers that belonged to a boy about seven years old, by our guess. Proudly donned from head to toe in red, white, and blue obviously purchased from a street vendor somewhere on Constitution Ave, he was easily the cutest seven year old in D.C. so how could we say no? He plopped down between Carson and I while his equally patriotic father snapped away.
Looking at the 555 foot monument (http://www.nps.gov/wamo/index.htm) from this new angle was a dizzying perspective change. So much so that when we stood up it looked like we all had just spun around with our heads on baseball bats and should now be looking for a pinata. Still trying to regain our balance, the red, white and blue boy informed us that he was going to tell us a “Fun fact.” Fun Fact- There are 50 American flags around the Washington Monument because there are 50 United States of America. Despite the fact that me and anyone else who had been on an Old Town Trolley tour (http://www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc/washington-monument.asp) already knew this, I could feel myself getting sucked into his amazement over Washington D.C. trivia. No matter how old or cool you think you are, a seven year old’s enthusiasm is so infectious you can’t help catching it.
After our stop at the Washington Monument we walked down the mall to the Lincoln memorial and also visited the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. On our trek back to the Smithsonian Metro stop we passed by the Washington Monument again. I was amazed too see the base of the monument hidden behind people laying on their back with their feet propped up. We had started a chain reaction – The people that had laid down after seeing us had set the example for the next wave of tourists and so on. I nudged Carson and pointed them out saying, “We started that. Look at what we did.”
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