Loitering President


Each Thursday we try to get to know different DC-area residents by walking up to total strangers, introducing ourselves, and asking the same question: “What are you thankful for?” Whether people want to give a shout out to an Express worker they pass each morning by the Metro, give thanks that they weren’t injured during the DC Earthquake, or are madly in love and want to shout it from a mountaintop, we’ve found that each answer reveals a telling detail about who we are as a city and how we live.

This week, we talked to Thomas, a Virginia resident who penned the Declaration of Independence. When we saw the Founding Father, he was loitering outside Chop’t in Chinatown looking a bit frustrated.

“All men may be created equal, but somehow I got stuck with a four-foot head. Do you have any idea what it’s like having to stand outside restaurants and yell your order to the cashier because you can’t fit through the doorway? I have literally been here for about two hours trying to get someone’s attention. You’d think that some 250 years after the Enlightenment, society would be more accommodating. Also: Would it kill this place to offer a tobacco wrap?

Sorry, what was the question? Oh. Well, I’m thankful that I’m currently one-upping George in this year’s standings. To be honest, I’m not one for sport, but when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for three people to keep one man named Teddy from winning a race, that’s a challenge I’ll embrace. Plus, Sally Hemings says exercise is good for me.

I’m also thankful for the steam locomotive. I can now do the DC-to-Monticello jaunt in, like, 12 hours flat. What’s really amazing is that we, the people, can figure out how to transfer steam to act as a working fluid within an external combustion system, but we can’t figure out a way to tailor clothes properly to fit an eight-foot-tall president. Seriously, I look like a child.” —Thomas, Monticello