Washington, D.C. is a city of monuments. As the country further spirals downward into recession, the federal government will have to make tough decisions as to how to spend precious funding. Well, the city of monuments will soon be implementing a new sign system to the tune of $2.2 million. Let me write that out with all the zeros: $2,200,000.00. Yes, I’m thinking the same thing.
What the hell kind of signs are going to be erected in the city of monuments, you ask? Well, apparently the signage will be used to identify such iconic structures as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
Cue the crickets.
Proponents of the measure argue that the signage is necessary because many foreign and American tourists are unable to identify these buildings. The National Park Service reports that they often field telephone inquiries from individuals wondering if there is a Nordstrom on the National Mall.
First of all, are you serious? In our current economic state, should our first priority be ensuring that people know that the Lincoln Memorial, with a ginormous statue of Lincoln sitting, is the Lincoln Memorial and not the Washington Monument? Apparently, free tourist pamphlets with maps (along with the gigantic maps placed all over DC), are insufficient to inform foreign and American tourists of the names of the monuments that they visit. What a travesty! So you’re saying that we should spend $2.2 million to ensure that someone doesn’t post a picture of Junior standing in front of the Washington Monument, and mistakenly label that picture, “Junior at the White House.” Or to prevent someone posting a video of Junior delivering the Gettysburg Address in the Jefferson Memorial? And allow me to put on my lawyer hat for a moment. If we put signs in front of every major building or monument, where do you draw the line? If, theoretically, the idea is for tourists to be able to specifically identify everything they visit in DC, shall we start putting signs on trees, distinguishing the cedars from the junipers? What about putting a sign on a bike rack that says, “BIKE RACK” or putting a sign on a fountain that says “FOUNTAIN”?
Second of all, with or without signs, the National Park Service will continue to field phone calls from idiots. Perhaps, instead, they should just change the name of the National Mall so that no one confuses the large empty field with that of a 2-3 story structure containing a Forever 21, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and Nordstrom.
Finally, $2.2 million? What the hell kind of signs are being erected? Are they going to be created out of pure gold and decorated with diamonds? There aren’t that many monuments in DC, so I can’t figure out how the total cost could possibly equal $2.2 million. Hell, if you’re looking for a job, you should probably think about working in the signage industry, because I can’t even imagine what the profit margin is on this baby.
Well, perhaps DC can prove me wrong. Perhaps the signage will actually be money well-spent, and for some reason, tourists who are on the bubble about visiting DC will decide to make the trip because of the $2.2 million signage. If that happens, I’ll have to change my tactics in getting Tina Fey’s attention, because my current campaign sure as hell is going nowhere fast. If I win the lottery, I could purchase a $2.2 million sign to be placed in Queens in front of the 30 Rock studios, on which I’ll have a flashing and scrolling marquee with my URL and contact information. Course, if I win the lottery, will I want to work at all? I suppose I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there.
Discover me, Tina Fey!