Photographer: Jonathan Drake/Bloomberg News
Washington Bids to Host First Swamp Olympics
Let’s be honest: My adopted city of Washington has a lot of problems.
Our income taxes, which top out at 9 percent, are too low. Our budget surplus is too big. In 2013, we were ranked only 9th on the list of the ten U.S. cities with the worst traffic, falling three places from 2012 as we lost out to cities like Austin. At the moment, many of the city’s major arteries are not under construction. And since it is summer, the city is sleepy, as politicians and staff head home, and the rest of the city that serves them goes on vacation. Can you say BOR-ing?
Luckily for Washingtonians, intrepid business leaders have a plan to fix these problems: They are exploring a bid on the 2024 Olympics. Obviously, this solution to summer doldrums is not permanent, but at least it will give us one summer of unbearable traffic congestion and overcrowding, and of course, we’ll have the bills to remember it by for years to come.
Unfortunately, I fear that whatever secretive committee selects these things will probably notice the same thing that drives so many Washingtonians out at this time of year: We live in a swamp. Much of this city was swampland in the 19th century, and it's still hot, humid, filled with mosquitoes as numerous and persistent as NSA wiretaps. During these months, any activity more strenuous than walking to the bus stop is best conducted inside.
On the other hand, this is the committee that selected Atlanta as a venue, despite similar objections. And if there’s one comfort, it’s that Washingtonians are already used to officials making it impossible to get around with their security theater and unnecessary motorcades. On this front, if no other, we’re already ready to show the world how it’s done.