But I digress, and let me just apologize in advance because boy am I prickly tonight. I've noticed this strange phenomenon recently and I swear I never saw growing up or even in the past few years. So obviously I live in the big city, and one of its chief charms is the constant police and ambulance activity - it's like urban church bells. You're having dinner outside at St. Ex, or just walking down the street, and--hey, where's that siren coming from? Oh, it's over there, yup, there it goes - probably heading towards Howard or GW. No more than 30 seconds later, it is gone from our sights and our ears, continuing on its all-too-decent mission of serving, protecting, and saving lives. Everyone goes back to their entrees or their stroll down 14th, no harm no foul, right? Right??
Well, that's what's weird. Let's say for the sake of argument I've seen about 5 ambulances in the past 3 weeks - by no means out of the ordinary. What the hell is up with people sticking their fingers in their ears as though the ambulance is trying to dock directly in their external auditory meatus (see photo)?? When did we become a city of sissies who can't stand seconds - not minutes, seconds - of slightly-louder-than-average-city-din? I've started counting; I was just leaving Creme not 20 minutes ago and wouldn't you know, an ambulance rolls by, EMTs probably doing chest compressions on some poor old woman heading to Howard to be brought back to life, or maybe some cute little kid who needs a new liver. And I counted no less than five bratty annoying weenies I wanted to smack sticking their fingers in their ears and looking around like they just realized they stepped on a rat and it exploded in three pieces, like, oh my god the assault on my sensitive eardrums! It's an ambulance, people - do me a favor and grow a pair. And at that moment of looking around at the yuppie, toothless losers who have over-evolved to the point where they couldn't survive the common cold if they were in the medicine aisle at Rite Aid, I turned inward to my own personal Jesus and prayed and prayed that the one time one of these beings-bearing-no-resemblance-to-their-ape-ancestors-with-no-ability-to-cope-against-the-most-mundane-of-challenges needs an ambulance to get to Georgetown so they can get a brain or a pair transplant, the dedicated EMT looks out the window at all the other gutless wonders with fingers applied to ears and goes "wow, this siren appears to be hurting those sensitive souls out there! I'd better turn it off and just go with the traffic." And you get stuck behind a metro bus with 8 bikers needing to load their bikes on the front of the bus so they can get on. And they give the brain meant for you to a drunk homeless guy.