Simon Says (Rather Emphatically)
I'm so glad she didn't say "conduit."
I don't report news. I don't give political insights. I don't tell you what to do on the paths. I sit in front of a computer and write stuff that makes me laugh. It's a great gig, but today I'm going to give you the story behind the story.
While my editor got to spend time interviewing Robert E. Simon about the social history of Reston, I got my own tidbit. I found out what our founder's biggest pet peeve is. Bob Simon wants you calling the burrowed passageways which allow pedestrians unimpeded access to the paths by their rightful name. They are underpasses.
If you refer to them as "tunnels," which Ms. Goff did, you will receive an abrupt correction, a patient explanation and a steely glance. Mr. Simon is 96 years old and he is a gentleman. However, he knows how to enforce his preferred nomenclature and he knows how to scold.
So, when Ms. Goff mentioned that the arts were back thanks to IPAR's efforts on the "tunnels," Mr. Simon narrowed his eyes and clarified, "Underpasses. It drives me crazy when people call them tunnels. There are 55 miles of pathways and 29 underpasses. I am under the impression that if we went for the Guinness Book of World Records, Reston would end up with the most underpasses per inhabitant. "
He tapped his cane on the floor of the Lake Anne Coffee House and I was scared a phoenix was going to fly into the room and peck Karen's eyes out. For one painful moment, we were naughty students at Hogwarts. Except she was Harry Potter and I was some pathetic kid from Hufflepuff who happened to be there.
And that's my big story. Robert E. Simon stunned my loud friend into silence for three seconds and none of us are supposed to call the underpasses "tunnels." Oh, and I got to meet a real-life wizard.
Tuesday 11:30 a.m.
Too Many Fry Guys Makes Me Grimace
Today I am back to writing prose as even free verse could not afford me the latitude to discuss the gravity of this topic. While brows are furrowed all over Reston at the prospect of the metro clogging up Wiehle Avenue in the future, I have the distinct impression that another modern convenience has already achieved that goal.
I know. We love to refer to the fast-food complex across from the fire station as McTaco Hut. However, is it not true that one of the three rises above as first among equals? I'll give you a hint. It's golden and has arches and I am not loving it.
The breakfast crowd turning on Roger Bacon Drive (Yeah, I like the irony too) from Wiehle ties up traffic in both directions. I'm sure the service must be fast and pleasant and the food quite consistently pleasing to earn such customer loyalty, but it would be a little more awesome if we could encourage a broader array of breakfast options among the red-haired clown's followers.
And that's just breakfast. There's a consistent uptick in traffic at that intersection just in time for lunch and dinner as well. May I just add that there are plenty of places to eat in Reston at a variety of price points? Hell, you could probably talk the firefighters into giving you a little bit of what they're eating. I hear they do a good job.
However, I do not want to simply curse the darkness. I am here to light a candle. Here's what I suggest. Reston, eat what you want wherever you want, but I'm going to need you to either drive or have it your way (yes, I am aware that's the other guys.) You may not drive through (or "thru") at the restaurant credited to Ray Kroc during daylight hours.
Lookit, we already live in a place where the colors of our homes are decided for us so this is just an extension of the Master Plan. Walk your sesame seed buns across Wiehle Avenue if you want a McFlurry. What's that you say? You feel unsafe crossing such a busy road? Yeah, we noticed, but you're either walking or you're eating something else. We deserve a break today.