I often find myself with pamphlets being shoved in my face as I enter the Metro station in the morning. Many are as commonplace as someone advertising their candidacy for a local school board seat, or coupons to Au Bon Pain. But it's the kids asking for a "second for Greenpeace" or passing out anti-World Bank junk who really bring out the regret one feels when they think of the EXACT right thing to say a few seconds too late.
Take the Women Against War or whatever flier from a few weeks ago. I was deeply and personally offended by this woman assuming that because I have internal reproductive organs that I would be anti-war; and the squeaky little feminist inside me was furious at the suggestion that women should wear pink in order to show their resolve. So the lady shoves this pamphlet in my face and starts oozing about Pink Day. I looked at her, shook my head and gave her a bit of a snort. Only after she was five feet away from me, did I come up with "for just one day, could you think with your brain instead of your vagina?" But it was too late. As I stewed about having missed my golden opportunity for a fantastic zinger, I realized, what does the flier say? She was passing it out on the assumption that nothing more than shared gender meant shared mentality; it must be rife with other uproarious assumptions! Two! Two windows of comedy opened before only to be shut with a snort and a head nod! I vowed then to fight my instincts from now on and actually *take* the propaganda. Who knows what I could be missing.
My instincts reigned supreme today. As I approached the escalators going down into the Metro stop, two young men in drab slacks carrying courier bags were handing out booklets. I overheard one say "What happens next!?!?" dodged him, and neared the second one as he was fumbling to get another booklet out of his bag to push onto me. He harks, "Harry Truman caused the greatest financial crisis of our history!" and pulls out a booklet with what looked like a picture of the U.N.: people were crowded around a table and there was block lettering overtop that I didn't get to focus on. After that quick glance, I scoffed and snorted and got on the escalator, bookless. I realized my error about halfway down the stairs. I even considered pulling one off the top of the trash can, as papers shoved in people's hands at the top of the escalator often end up there, but alas, everyone must have been as instinctually challenged as me. Why must I deny myself comedy? What would be the worst that could happen? There may have been a well-thought-out argument in there. It may *not* have been funny. But I'll never know.