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Kate Goes To Washington: Capitol Hill Goofin'

A sudden beam of light arched across D.C.’s capitol rotunda and seared my corneas with it’s hot, white glow. Every tourist under the now blindingly bright dome scrambled to find their sunglasses while shielding their faces with the other. My eyes adjusted enough where I could see a silhouette. A tall, thin figure with excellent, 70s sports hair slowly emerged.

My God, the cause of this brilliant effervescence?

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Eck teeth

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley’s dazzling teeth, nestled safely under his stately ‘stache. I couldn’t help but ask him for a quick photo, even though I knew it would make my own chompers look like moldy corn in comparison.

Standing next to him was Tony La Russa, former MLB player turned coach who is now VP of the Red Sox. I would have asked for his photo, too, but I’d already made Eck very uncomfortable by loitering creepily behind them both for a couple minutes while I worked up the guts to say something along the lines of, “Excuse me, um, haha, um, super random, but would you mind if I just did a quick snapperoonie of a photo with you? haha, Sorrey!”

Full disclosure, the only reason I noticed either of them was because my guide, a wonderful Stoolie (who’s asked to remain anonymous), pointed them out. Days before he’d reached out to me after seeing I was coming to D.C.

Hi Kate, not exactly a museum, but I can give a tour of the US Capitol tomorrow if you are at all interested. Least I can do to keep the pirate ship afloat.

When has meeting a stranger from the interwebs ever gone wrong? I prayed he wasn’t the same guy who keeps commenting that I need a boob job on my posts, ’cause he’d be even more disappointed in person.

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I figured with all The Man’s cameras in D.C. they’d at least be able to find him if he whacked me. But he turned out to be a terrific gent; a long-time Barstool fan who recalled seeing the original Barstool gambling/sports publications as a kid. When El Presidente launched a campaign to become the Mayor of Boston in 2013 he even reached out to see if he could help run the campaign.

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Now he works at the Capitol & was able to take me behind the scenes. If the Capitol was an English Muffin, we went into every nook and cranny. He was also extremely patient as I went full-on basic bitcc and took photos of anything and everything.

Here’s the spot where John Quincy Adams was taken for fresh air and collapsed after an intracerebral hemorrhage on the house floor. (He would live for 2 days before passing away on bed-rest nearby in the Speaker’s Room.)

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Here’s one of many tiny doors that I was jazzed about, where they used to keep fire hoses back in the day. (The fire hoses were added in hindsight, after the Library of Congress burned down on Christmas Eve, 1851. The only guy around to try and put it out was a guard with a bucket. The library is now located elsewhere.)

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You get the idea.

Before running into Eck, the highlight of my day was meeting Bill of ‘I’m Just A Bill’ fame, especially since the creator of Schoolhouse Rock passed away last week. Bill explained that he was a legislative proposal that, if passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the President, would make it to the big show & become a law. Hope he makes going slow in the fast lane a highly punishable criminal offense.

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Down in the underbelly of the 225-year-old building, Stoolie Guide took me by the old office from his internship days. Once when he was new & trying to find the bathroom, he accidentally stumbled upon the spot Washington was supposed to be buried. SpOooOoooOoky. (George opted for some prime real estate out at Mount Vernon instead.)

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Stoolie Guide has shaken hands with Gen. Mattis, who introduced himself simply as “Jim”. He’s shared an elevator with John McCain who “couldn’t have been nicer”, bumped into Jeff Sessions in the bathroom which freaked him out a little bit, and just last week passed by Khloe Kardashian who was there to lobby congress over cosmetic laws. He also noted that Ted Cruz wears some wacky alligator boots.

We went into all sorts of meeting rooms where lots of big decisions are made, like political alliances and PR strategies for whoever gets caught cheating on their significant other with a woman named Bambi Suxalot. I got a little bit of a histor-e-rection imagining all of the keystones of American history who had sat in these rooms, walked these halls and shaped our nation. I also felt a little embarrassed at how ignorant I’ve become on our branches of government. I took this quiz on the constitution and only scored 54%. Years of Social Studies classes slowly washed out of my mind one Miller Lite at a time… Sad.

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Back outside, Stoolie Guide was kind enough to bear with me as I insisted on doing a photo of myself throwing Cherry Blossom petals in the air.

The whole time I was looking out the corner of my eye to make sure no one was snapping a photo of him losing his dignity, 5th Year style.

I definitely owed him a beer so we went to an Irish pub nearby & had a few pints outside. Along the way we stepped over a used condom (D.C. totally fucks) & then passed a restaurant with a rat running wild in the street display case. It was bringing in quite the grossed-out audience & Stoolie Guide was kind enough to go inside and let them know while I shrieked with delight and filmed out front like a garbage human.

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Then I dragged him along to meet up with some of my friends at a swanky hotel, where we all sat around drinking complimentary wine because no one checked to see if we were really guests. Across from us, John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, was working on his phone. In the lobby, a bougie mother-of-the-bride was losing her marbles while guests walked by with a wide variety of tiny, boutique dogs. I sipped my pinot & cracked open a bag of Old Bay cheese curls, as a lady is wont to do.

Good friends, $free.99 wine, top notch cheese curls, excellent people-watching and a job with an awesome community where people like Stoolie Guide offer to take time out of their weekend to help a gal out. Despite the circus the place can be sometimes, I’m still happy every time I visit the show.

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