Some days, the world spills in.
Take Tuesday for example. I came out of a meeting to find a message on my office phone. It was left by the woman who runs my 3-year-old daughter’s school.
“Please come and get your daughter,” she said. “There is a bomb threat. We are dismissing early.”
That’s all she said. Not your typical afternoon message. My daughter’s school is Columbia Heights, a neighborhood north of downtown D.C. It is propitiously lacking in terrorist targets.
So I take a cab in the middle of the day up to the school to grab my daughter, who is, thankfully, oblivious to the world we now in live in, where a crazy bomb threat can empty a few city blocks. She instead accused me of screwing up the days of the week and dropping her off on Saturday. In her mind, I had returned to rectify my error.
As we went to the subway, a Metro employee told me there the “bomb threat” had merely been a suspicious package. This, in fact, was the package:
I had seen this “person” earlier that morning surrounded by police and had incorrectly assumed it was a homeless man who was for some reason known only to him wearing a giant dog head. (You have to give the residents walking by him credit for being only mildly interested, as if seeing a homeless man dressed as a minotaur happens all the time.)
Instead, this wasn’t a person at all. It was a mannequin of a “homeless” polar bear, left there by as yet unidentified artist to protest global warming. Others have been popping up around the city.
The Washington police department was not edified. Instead it shut down the Metro station, emptied the block, and “defused” the bear. By the time I grabbed my daughter, the bear was already gone. And we had an afternoon to kill.
We went to the park. All dogs there had to be leashed. Bears too.