The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

I hate the cherry blossoms. There, I said it.

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Note from the Capital Weather Gang: Josh is a nut. Funny, but a nut. His views do not necessarily represent us as a whole, but we are one of those inclusive gangs open to all opinions. Even the wrong ones.

Washington has two seasons: cherry blossom season, which lasts about 15 minutes, and talking about cherry blossom season, which lasts the other 525,585 minutes. Among things I hate, the stupid pink flowers rank right up there with crawl spaces, heights and rainy Monday mornings. I also don’t understand how pistachio ice cream is a thing.

Perhaps these annoying blossoms are a welcome sign to everyone that spring has arrived after a hellacious winter of freezing temperatures and many feet of snow. Oh, wait, breaking news: We didn’t actually have winter this year. I do find it ironic and slightly comical that once these trees started to bloom, Old Man Winter was like, I’ll show these fools.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s neat that these trees were gifted to us by Japan. You know what we gave Japan in return? McDonald’s. While the tree-gifting was an extremely nice gesture, perhaps it would’ve been more beneficial had Japan provided us with the blueprints on how to build Toyota Camrys or given us the ramen noodle recipe. If you want me to be completely honest, I think the gift of trees was just Japan’s way of distracting us so that it could invent the Xbox first. But I’m a glass-half-empty kind of guy.

Time to confess: I’ve never actually been to the Cherry Blossom Festival. I’d rather go to D.C. when everyone from Nebraska and Canada are not there. I like people from Nebraska and Canada, but only in small doses. If I wanted to go to Montreal or Omaha, I would.

Not to mention, we have one cherry blossom tree on our street, a street that is aptly named Blossom Drive. If I really yearn to immerse myself in cherry blossoms, I trespass onto the guy’s property and bathe myself in the sweet color of pink blossoms. Until he calls the police. Then I flee. And no, that isn’t my photo on the neighborhood telephone poles. That ruggedly handsome guy just happens to looks like me.

But of course, this is Washington. We hype everything. “Blizzards” are two inches of wet snow on grassy surfaces. We hail a “successful” Redskin season when they finish 8-7-1, miss the playoffs and then promptly fire their general manager. Hooray! We rave about that chili place, but it’s basically canned Hormel Chili, right? Same great taste without the long lines. The 930 Club is THE BEST — if you like standing on concrete for hours at a time while sweaty people bump into you.

Hype is just what we do. The museums are fun. Nationals Park is great. Parking in the nation’s capital is fun only if you have no sense of humor, hate your vehicle and love street signs that send you mixed signals. I do enjoy the zoo, but it is possible to walk 42 miles and see only the prairie dogs. Trust me. It has happened more than once. I saw more stuffed animals in the zoo’s gift shop than actual animals.

Then again, I live in a quiet Maryland suburb. Perhaps I haven’t immersed myself enough to fully appreciate D.C. yet. I was born at Providence Hospital so I spent the first two nights of my life within the District borders but haven’t slept a night there since. That was mainly the fault of my parents, who didn’t actually live there, and I, as a newborn, wasn’t quite ready to forge my own path.

There is even a 10-mile run around the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin, which is odd because the basin is only 3.5 miles long, which means you either run in circles or you run beyond the trees themselves. I’ve never done the race because, again, it’s in the city. Also, I don’t run. Unless I’m chasing a doughnut.

So if you are thinking of venturing down to the Tidal Basin to see these pink blossoms, or to run the race, please enjoy yourself. Have a great time. Take a high-definition photo and send it to me. Of the trees. Not of yourself. How narcissistic would that be?

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