Whatever This Is, Don’t Kick It, You Drunk.

What is this?
What is this?

I had a considerable wait last night at the Adams Morgan Metro stop after having a beer with my brother, who is in town for CPAC. No, I don’t agree with his politics; I just drink beer with him when the opportunity arises.

Anyway, I was waiting for my train and saw one of those weird contraptions pictured at right. I have often seen these and wondered if they are the chemical sniffers Metro has installed in many of the stations. Can anyone out there tell me for sure?

About a minute after I took this picture, I heard a commotion and saw a visibly drunk woman being guided by a visibly more sober man. She was talking loudly and weaving as she moved. As she approached the above machine, she gave it a good kick and laughed like a hyena. She continued to walk around, being helped along, kept from falling on the rails by his steady hand.

DrunkAdams Morgan Drunk

When one train came the man got on, looking very relieved to be done with her and like he hoped she wouldn’t join him. It appeared to be a satyisfactory ending to a bad date, at least for him. I looked around the corner and saw her, sitting on the floor, going through her purse. The train took off and she remained. I tried to stay close in case she needed help, but also wanted to be out of range of a drunken eruption. Eventually my train came and she got on as well and passed out, so I was glad she was at least on her way somewhere.

Remember the old days when alcoholism was funny? Remember Otis from The Andy Griffith Show? Remember how the big thing was to not let him get behind the wheel and how funny it was that he had to be under half-time supervision? Remember the Drunken Master, of Jackie Chan fame, and all his humorous antics? Seeing drunks up close is not nearly as funny as when they are on the screen. It reminds me of my days working in a homeless shelter and seeing people with various substance abuse issues trying to get back on their feet. At least then it was hopeful because people were trying to change, regardless of their success in that endeavor. This woman on Metro last night – that’s just sad.

There’s nothing like a drunk to make you want to take a drink or quit drinking altogether.

3 Comments so far

  1. KCinDC (unregistered) on February 7th, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

    Not suggesting it happened in this case, but it’s also important not to assume people are drunk when they might be having some other medical problem. That’s one reason the journalist David Rosenbaum died after being hit on the head by muggers in DC.

  2. RumorsDaily (unregistered) on February 7th, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    It’s hard to see how you’d be able to tell the difference without getting close enough for, as Carl described it, a drunken eruption, which most of us would like to avoid.

    If someone is asking for help, of course you help, but if someone is drunkenly minding their own business, I don’t know that you can really do much.

  3. Wonger (unregistered) on February 8th, 2008 @ 8:08 am

    And yes, those are CBW detectors. Not so much for alarm purposes as they are for forensic roles. Machine cycles air through filters. Filters are removed and tested daily.

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