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Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 08/09/2011

Lunchline: Yes, you did deserve that ticket

Global tension is at a definite high these days. Between the financial crises, riots in England, beheadings in Indonesia and grisly hate crimes in the South, things are ugly. If you consider yourself a citizen of the globe, these are trying times.

Victor Stewart issues a parking ticket while working his beat. (Amanda Voisard - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Being a parking enforcement officer in the District would seem to be a thankless job. If you were a person on the front lines of one of the more controversial parts of basic civic life, I imagine it would be easy to develop an ornery personality to deal with self-important types who are willing to flout rules - and then start confrontations when called on it. Victor Stewart, who covers an area from U Street to Dupont Circle, is not that guy. The Post’s Mark Berman chronicles life on the job for one of the most reasonable city workers I’ve ever heard of.

I can deal with a certain amount of noise on Metro. A loud conversation here and there doesn’t particularly bother me but the ABSOLUTE worst is when a rando strikes up a conversation about something you definitely don’t care about, just because they have to be talking at all times. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t ever played the ‘I don’t speak English’ card to avoid these awful chats. The Post’s Petula Dvorak took a ride with some oversharers recently and attributes the culture of TMI in public to Facebook and Twitter.

One of the most storied traditions on Capitol HIll is coming to a close. The House page program, which allowed teenagers to do menial, somewhat ceremonial jobs such as shuffling documents or ringing bells for votes over a semester or summer, is now a victim of budget cuts. And while some alums are outraged, others are surprised it didn’t happen earlier. The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold reports on why the “familiar extras in the Capitol’s dramas” who have been around in some form since 1774 have worked their last day.

Pisco is officially a “thing” in this country. You can’t go anywhere during the summer without seeing the refreshing grape brandy from South America on a sidewalk cafe during happy hour. And although multiple lands claim pisco as their national liquor, Americans still have a few things to learn about pisco etiquette. Slate’s Troy Patterson breaks down the history and nuance of the drink while offering one simple piece of advice: Don’t hate pisco because it’s fashionable.

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg. (Ron Cortes - AP)
I mentioned yesterday that Stephen Strasburg’s rehab start would be the most exciting thing to happen to Hagerstown all year, and I was way wrong on that. Turns out that last week, a Little League game against a rival town exploded in a parent brawl. Goodness. On another note, D.C. Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg will have you know that Springbrook High School grads Bram Weinstein and Steve Weissman will now totally rule all alumni rankings that don’t involve former NFL player Shawn Springs.

Extra Bites

• I know a couple kids headed off for their first years in college pretty soon and I’ll take this opportunity to refer them to Campus Overload’s Jenna Johnson, and her bucket list for Freshman Year. And here’s some simple advice from me: Go to class. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised.

• As I was glued to the screen last night watching images of England burn to the ground, I couldn’t help but wonder what the political street artist Banksy thought of the whole mess.

• Last and nowhere near least.The karoake cab driver. Unreal.

• I’ll be back on the chat box machine today, so be sure to send in some questions!

Check out my Facebook fan page anytime, or you can email me your questions at

By  |  12:18 PM ET, 08/09/2011

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