You know you live in DC when you're away from home, you say "y'all," people laugh at you, and you verbally crush them into dirt, using skills wielded only by lobbyists, lawyers, Federal officials and their loved ones.
You're out of town, you strike up a conversation with someone, they ask you where you went to law school, and you didn't.
Rednecks think you're a Yankee. Yankees think you're a redneck. They're both wrong.
You view New York as Satan's Outlet Mall: fun but dangerous. You're aware that NY has more people and they're more conspicuous about moving money around, which deludes New Yorkers into thinking they wield real power. This delusion is very funny to you. People in other towns don't get the joke.
You love New Yorkers who live in DC, because the New Yorkers with any social skills, courage or social responsibility move to DC. You believe that DC is the town of the REAL big shots because our big shots keep their status a secret and don't have to prove anything.
When other people compare cities, you're humble yet proud of DC. You view DC as the quiet guy on the varsity football team. Years later, you find out he had sex with everyone else's girlfriend because he knew the virtue of keeping his mouth shut.
You know you live in DC when you've been warned not explain to "real Americans" how the government actually works, "because they can't handle it, and it just depresses them."
You know you live in DC when you're in another town, you gawk like a hillbilly at billboards and skyscrapers because the're illegal back home, a street hustler tries to sell you a watch, you establish dominance over the hustler with two words and a look, then go back to gawking at the billboards and skyscrapers without a beat.
In the sentence above, you didn't see anything strange about using the phrase "establish dominance" to refer to the way you talk to human beings.
You see nothing weird about ordering a bagel with scrapple (boiled pork and cornmeal), or eating it with a cold Mountain Dew on the way to the symphony.
Your rent is 2/3 of your salary, and you eat ramen noodles to pay for the Brooks Brothers suits you have to wear to work because "You're a role model for the country."
A perfect PR day is getting your boss on television and out of the newspaper.
Newspapers all over the country are abuzz with "shocking news from the Nation's Capital," which you thought was public knowledge, because you overheard it last year in a conversation, or you read half the facts in the paper three months ago and put two and two together.
You try to explain to out-of-towners why a press leak can be a "good thing," in terms you think everyone understands, and no one understands you.
You respond to out-of-towner complaints about the government with a suggestion that they apply for a Federal job or run for the Senate. You don't understand why they get angry at this.
A call for a "job interview" is an offer to practice for a real job interview. A real job interview is when you get a call for an "informal chat."
Federal labor laws don't apply to employees of Congress, because denying Congresspersons the right to throw phones at their employees would "interfere with the legislative process." You understand and accept this.
You think people from L.A. are shallow because they talk about who they know who knows Steven Spielberg. Meanwhile, you can draw the organizational chart between you and the President.
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