City Desk

The Needle: I Paid for Those Turkeys Edition

Flapjake Fenty: Anyone wondering what Still Mayor Adrian Fenty will be doing for a living when his title changes to Former Mayor Adrian Fenty can wonder no more. Turns out the IHOP uniform suits him fine. The only problem will be when the obsessive triathlete has to take orders from customers eager to try the chain's "Bacon 'N Beef Burgers," which are made from ground beef and ground bacon. And sometimes, as in the case of the Bacon 'N Beef Bacon & Egg Cheeseburger, also topped with bacon. (And egg, and cheese.) +1

Buses Won't Shut Up: Get used to being yelled at by the buses on your street. Metro officials say a pilot program in which buses shout warnings at pedestrians—"Bus is turning!" "Look both ways!"—will continue for about a year. Might the program produce better results if if also included a loudspeaker that yelled at the bus drivers? "Pedestrian is crossing!" "Don't run them over!" -3

Turkeys on Layaway?: Cultivating an image as a politician who helps constituents out isn't easy. Especially not for politicians like D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry, whose reputations tend to precede them into just about any deal. The latest proof: Giant Food wouldn't hand over the 2,000 turkeys Barry had lined up for needy Ward 8 residents until the former mayor actually coughed up the $26,000 in private and corporate donations the supermarket chain demanded for the birds. Giant relented, in the end, but will the turkeys thaw in time to cook? +2

Missing in Action: For 30 years, Vietnam War veterans manned a booth between the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, selling souvenirs to raise money to support their protests on behalf of nearly 1,800 soldiers who were never accounted for in the war. Late last night, though, an apparently accidental fire burned the booth down. Which makes the booth's nickname—"The Last Firebase"—sadly ironic. -1

No Flights for You: Don't even bother hustling off to the airport tomorrow if you're running late to catch your flight. Chances are, you won't make it through security, because a protest against the Transportation Security Administration's new body scanners and groping pat-downs will mean massive delays. Then again, driving won't be much more fun, thanks to Delaware. We may have overpaid for our Amtrak tickets, but at least the train means no traffic and no one has to touch your junk. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 46 Today's score: -2 Today's Needle rating: 44

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