Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Tourist Hunting Guide

Who would have thought a bunch of blooming Cherry Blossoms (some of which smell oddly like sperm*) would draw thousands of tourists to D.C. Every year I’m shocked these trees lure the common folk, but they do. After spending way too long navigating lower 14th Street trying to get the hell out of the city, I decided to create the…

Handy Reference Guide for Spotting and Avoiding Tourists

Use this easy checklist to determine if you are about to get sucked into the tourist vortex – a time suckage of the worst proportions, the tourist will delay traffic, ask stupid questions and stop to point at buildings most of us have come to despise as the places that have sucked out our souls one painful day at a time (White House anyone? The Capitol?)

  • Is there more than 1 child per adult? (It’s too expensive here in the city to have more than 1 kid.)
  • Do they walk around in wonderment, with smiles on their faces? (No one smiles here. D.C. is worse than N.Y. in that aspect.)
  • Do they all stop like they slammed into an invisible “mime’s wall” when the opposing light turns yellow and they want to cross the street? (I prefer tourists in Vegas who chance it and usually get run over. Survival of the fittest.)
  • Can you see at least three inches of black roots in otherwise bleached hair? Do they overcompensate for the lack of updated color by…
  • spending 3 hours curling and flat-ironing into a perfect Laura-Bush-esque bouffant? (Natives know we can’t fight the humidity here so we don’t even try.)
  • Speaking of bushes, if you get this far with a tourist, do they know what a Brazilian is? (Ask Sixes. She recently requested a Brazilian in Pennsyltuckey and they said, “Where are you going that you’ll need that?” Sixes emailed “E” and I to lament her woe, and E expertly replied, “Honey you’re in the country now. You’ll have to forgive her. She’s used to girls hacking away at their pubes with a lawnmower.”)
  • Are they wearing sneakers to any place that is not a muddy dog park? (Nikes are not proper outerwear.)
  • Did you spot scrunchies? (They still make these?)
  • Did they show up at a $100 a plate restaurant in their Wranglers and college sweatshirt?
  • Can you overhear talk of how “wonderful” D.C. is and how maybe they will go home and dial up to the internet to see if there are any jobs here?
  • Are you following an out-of-area plated car driving around Dupont Circle right now, missing their turn over and over and over??? (I’m beeping my horn at you and you have no clue that I’m considering macing you in the face.)
  • Is Old Ebbitt Grill suddenly jam-packed with people in the aforementioned Wranglers, college sweats, scrunchies and hats announcing their place of employment or hometown ball team?

What To Do if One Approaches You

  • Back away slowly. They are likely to ask directions and you don’t want to be sucked into that mess of explaining L’enfant and the illogic behind the design of our city.
  • Tell them they won’t like it here because law abiding citizens aren’t allowed to carry guns, but hoodlums and thugs can get away with murder, literally.
  • Tell them our justice system doesn’t resemble any of the following TV shows: Hill Street Blues, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, and that our law enforcement mostly sit around eating donuts.
  • DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT! You might end up hearing about how great Wisconsin is and how the next time you leave D.C. you should go out and visit and stay with them on their air mattress.
  • Stay strong. It’s almost over. Sorry to inform though that soon, the interns will be here. Sixes will have to do an intern-avoidance post. Wait. Forget that. She doesn’t avoid anything young, innocent, and in pants.

*Re: Trees smelling like Sperm. If you don’t believe me, I urge you to walk from U Street to T Street, down 17th, on the east side of the street. If it doesn’t remind you of the last time a guy came all over your face, then it’s been way too long since you’ve been laid.


  1. Muskego Jeff

    Wisconsin sucks. Anybody who says otherwise isn’t from here.

    Regarding the smell of the trees, I’ll take your word for how they smell. I’m really Really REALLY hoping I never find out if your comparison is accurate.

  2. Washington Cube

    Ginko trees smell like sperm. Just thought you’d want to know. Back to you at the studio….

  3. Global Chameleon

    Hilarious and dead-on, particularly the mime wall and the air mattress. and I learned something new about trees today…

  4. E

    Cube: Ginko trees smell like someone VOMITED sperm. I’m not sure why one would vomit sperm, though. Perhaps a deep-throat gone wrong? Or an allergy? The guy didn’t warn her first and she was thinking of spitting? God forbid you slurp down those extra calories.

    God. I think I’ll be doing my own Tourist post, but later on in the summer when we’re in NYC. “If you see a bus full of people and are subsequently blinded by the simultaneous flashing of 50+ cameras, welcome to New York City.”

  5. sixesandsevens

    Favorite line: “Can you overhear talk of how wonderful D.C. is and how maybe they will go home and dial up to the internet to see if there are any jobs here?” [VOMIT. May they move here and have their souls promptly sucked out like the rest of us]

    This rule also applies to summer interns, which yes I will do a post on the Pros and Cums of Interns sometime in early June. Stay tuned.

    Now that said:

    1) I love walking on and squishing the “stink berries” that come off the Ginko trees. I often pretend they are the eye-balls of someone easy to despise…like the soul sucking, bland, bob haired, non-tailored Ann Taylor wearing shit bags in DC.

    2) Velvie you forgot to mention the shear BULK of each individual tourist. Tourists should be limited in number, frequency and SIZE in DC. and by size I mean that DC should only accomodate a set weight amount per person or number of persons, similarly to the rules in an elevator. Paris has this rule down pat. If you can’t fit it the stairwell of Notre Dame…get OUT!

    3) You forgot to mention about tourists on the metro, but that’s because you rarely ride the metro. IF they can understand how to get a fare card, spent 10 minutes trying to get the card in the turnstile and then stare puzzled at the opening: then the metro becomes “suddenly jam-packed with people in the aforementioned Wranglers, college sweats, scrunchies and hats announcing their place of employment or hometown ball team” with their 10 kids in 5 strollers blocking the doors saying stuff like “dang momma this thang stops purdy quick-like. You butter hang on to dat ‘der pole.” Or they stare at the people of color as if they don’t understand why they get to ride in the same train as the white folks. I love to watch them clutch their purses and slide over and hug the window when anyone sits beside them. I always have to resist sending some unsuspecting a-hole tourista on the green line somewhere far far far from the city.

    ..and forget what they are like when they try to hail a taxi…

    Sorry for the long comment, but I can really get going on hating anything in DC much less hating tourists.

    The only thing we get here in Pennsyltuckey that is similar to tourists are yokels looking for the Farm Show. I love giving directions because I have NO IDEA IN HELL where it is, but my directions are believable to boot!

  6. I-66

    That’s one thing I love about New York City. The peds are fearless there. They know full well that cars, cabs especially, are going to be barely making yellows and running red lights at breakneck speed. Undaunted, the peds step into the crosswalk the moment the light turns yellow, bopping along to the beat of their iPod or talking on their cell phone, generally unaware that they’re about to narrowly avert being sent flying through the air by a cab.

    I’m glad some other people are aware of how these trees smell. Get out and see the blossoms, touristy kids. The smell of your future is in the air.

  7. JohnnyDC


    I feel you are cheating these tourists out of a true DC experience.

    What people should do, is stick your finger in your pocket and say “hold em up!!! give me your wallets!!!”

    I mean, whats DC without a little street mugging?

    And dont worry about the cops… they wont show up for days.

  8. sixesandsevens

    or they will be double parked in front of the 7-11 on 17th street.

  9. mama

    you forgot the fanny packs, and the clutching of the fanny packs while on the metro (as DC is the “big city” and therefore full of pickpockets). and maybe you left this last thing out because i think every DC resident has yelled about it at the top of their lungs: the tourists simply don’t get the whole STAND ON THE LEFT, WALK ON THE RIGHT part of metro escalator riding. i haven’t lived there for nearly two years, and this post made me want to come visit just to mow them down with uzis.

  10. sixesandsevens


  11. I-66

    Oh yes. I will never forget the last time I got off the metro at Woodley. The family on the escalator that prevented me from walking by taking up the entire width caused me to endure the most excruciatingly painful escalator ride ever. It’s already an eternal ride regardless of whether you’re walking, but to couple that with their inane touristy chatter… I wanted to kill them all.

  12. Uncle Keith

    I like to treat tourists like street people. When they stop me to ask for anything, I hand them a quarter and tell them not to spend it on drugs or alcohol.

  13. Marissa

    Hmm…maybe it’s just me, but often I can’t tell natives apart from tourists. I hate to say it, but there are lots of native scrunchies here. Too many. I’ve seen ’em and it ain’t pretty.

  14. Ibid

    Technically, pollen is tree sperm, so yeah, the place smells like sperm.

  15. Dara

    While on my way home through tourist central a couple of weeks ago, I had a similar series of observations. I did note, however, that one of the best ways to tell that they’re clearly tourists is if (1) they’re wearing matching outfits and (2) they are completely unaware that stopping and congregating at the top of the escalator blocks normal pedestrian traffic flows.

  16. Velvet

    Jeff – I actually should have picked Michigan. I think that’s the worst of the states.

    Cube – The ginko trees smell like a combo of vomit and shit to me.

    Global Chameleon – I think it’s just a couple of them, but they are over here in Dupont. Come on down and sniff.

    E – Again, you are not allowed to leave. NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE!

    Sixes – Christ, you are way overdue for a post.

    I 66 – So it’s not just me? I said this whole cherry blossom / sperm thing at the dog park the other day and THAT raised some eyebrows.

    JohnnyDC – True true. Perhaps we can arrange a mugging of some unsuspecting tourists! I’m going after with the ones holding Krispy Kremes.

    Mama – Sixes is right. I don’t ride the metro. I try really hard to avoid it. Something about a bunch of assholes pushing and sneezing and touching everything, and I can feel the flu coming on as soon as I hear, “Doors OPEN!” But yeah, stand on the right, christ. That’s not hard. I usually say it OUT LOUD while busting through the escalators.

    Marissa – I work in NoVa. I see scrunchies at work too. It’s a bit scary.

    Ibid – Hmm. Who knew?

    Dara – OMFG! MATCHING OUTFITS! I forgot about that! I think it’s so they can find each other in the big city.

  17. bettyjoan

    YES! Jason and I have been saying since we moved here that those trees smell awful–but until now, we haven’t been able to put our fingers on exactly which kind of awful. Thanks, Velvet! 😉

  18. Mr. X

    Yea – THANKS VELVET! Do those trees grow inside?

  19. Washington Cube

    I was sitting here tonight thinking, “I left a comment on someone’s blog that trees smell like sperm. Who was that?” Like it could be anywhere else BUT here.

    The Eastern Chestnut tree also smells like sperm, and while we’re on the topic, have you ever noticed how fascinated men are with their sperm? It reminds me of that passage in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”:

    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

    Of course, he was talking about Neal Cassidy who was characterized as “Dean” in “On the Road,” and “Dean” said, “Oh, smell the people!’ yelled Dean with his face out the window, sniffling. ‘Ah, God! Life!'”

  20. I-66

    I’m not fascinated with my own spooge. Once it leaves my body, it is no longer my responsibility.

  21. Hammer

    I was going to make a pithy comment involving tourists, meerkats and the Hard Rock Cafe, but like so many other of Velvet’s posts, this thing has already morphed into some sort of sperm encounter group.

    Sweet mercy, Cube – sometimes a tree is just a tree. Making eveything about sperm is almost too easy – sort of like adding “in bed” to cookie fortunes. Take your boy Jack Kerouac for instance:

    J.K.: “I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”

    Cube interpretation: “I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great sperm.”

    J.K.: “I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

    Cube interpretation: “I had nothing to offer anybody except my own sperm.”

    And lastly…

    J.K.: “My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”

    Cube interpretation: “My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of my sperm.”

    It’s only Tuesday, people. Tighten up!

  22. sixesandsevens

    Tight on Tuesday is the name of the game my friend.

  23. BMW

    No sixes, the name of the game is post your goddamned CUNT already for the world to see

  24. Washington Cube

    Yeah! Where is our Sixes post on blow jobs and sperm and such? It’s Tuesday, for Cri sakes.

    66’r? I have known men who could spend hours staring at or discussing their release, who demand essays and poems be written. Creation! Art! Life! Busy enough little bees that they know not to have it land on their favorite shirt, or it can bleach like Clorox. And why hasn’t Clorox thought of this as part of some advertising campaign? Strong enough to…. Now with….. Smells like…..

    Mr. Hammah. You made me laugh. Velvet could write about a chipped curb on Connecticut Avenue and it would turn into a sex issue. Surely one of her readers had sex, pressed up against a car, at that very spot. Or they had such vigorous sex…they chipped the concrete…at that very spot. Nothing surprises me on this blog. NOTHING!

  25. E

    Amen, Cube. Isn’t that the point of ViD? Smut patrol? This blog is pap-smeared annually and ANALyzed for smut content. Says so on the homepage. Too little of smut and it’s an abnormal pap, which could be cancerous to the operation of the blog and its vagina. Tuesdays are for cunts, not tight asses!

  26. I-66

    Sixes: Your game is tight on Tuesday, but loose every other day of the week? Tight on Tuesday, but only if you practice your kegels? Tight on Tuesday, but only with a little vinegar?

    Velvet: When I have my dog, I will bring it to the dog park, just so I can participate in eyebrow raising.

    Cube: Please… I’m like “spit or swallow, I don’t care, just don’t get it on me.” Taking a page out of the Hammer book, I offer you limerick…

    There once was an audacious highway
    Who banged this chick on a holy high day
    She did give good head
    And when she finished he said
    “Oh God! Just don’t send it my way!”

  27. sixesandsevens

    It’s CUNT tuesday until aftermidnight bitch asses. Hold your cocks and I’ll be on it later. I like to tease you and make you wait.

  28. Washington Cube

    66. You are normal. There are many creatures out there who think otherwise. They’d be in ecstasy if you took a 00 sable art brush and wrote their name in sperm filagree on their thigh THEN licked it up.

  29. Uncle Keith

    Sixes don’t be a tease.

  30. I-66

    Just out of curiousity, how many points do I get for running over a tourist? 5? 7 if they’re moving?

    And Cube, I don’t think I have a sable brush.

  31. Washington Cube

    66? I do. 🙂

  32. sixesandsevens

    I’m a tease? that whole paint brush scenario is the ultimate. BOYS!

  33. Washington Cube


    Your fan club is WAITING. :::starting the wave in my row::

  34. sixesandsevens


  35. anonymous

    I don’t need to smell no stinkin’ tree to know it’s been far too long since I got laid!

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