City Desk

The Needle: No Bombs Edition

Why Does Everybody Have a Bomb?: Rush hour is bad, but it's not quite bad enough that the appropriate response is to threaten to blow things up. A woman riding the Red Line this morning, however, apparently thought differently; authorities closed the system from Grosvenor to Shady Grove for two hours after she declared she had a bomb and announced that Metro had "killed [her] family." A few dozen people fled the train, jumping onto the tracks even though the electrified third rail was live. The bomb threat was a hoax (and the woman responsible has been involuntarily committed to a facility for mental health care). Unfortunately, it's likely to mean Metro doubles down on its security searches of passengers, nonetheless. -3

Put On Some Pants: As a general rule, it's probably a bad idea to pick on someone's attire if the person you're picking on is carrying a machine gun. But that appears to be what Capitol Police management have done; new rules prohibiting some cops on the Hill from wearing shorts, no matter how hot it gets, were reportedly motivated by concerns that the officers would look silly carrying automatic rifles without long pants. Considering most of the tourists walking past the cops are dressed as if they only begrudgingly got out of bed, maybe the new orders are targeted at the wrong people. -1

You Get A Car!: Not convinced the real estate market is still struggling? Maybe word that a home for sale in Bloomingdale comes with a BMW will convince you. The house is $459,000; the car is worth $40,000. The buyer will actually only get to drive it for two years, as the listing agents are paying for a lease—but by then, their ARM will be about to reset, too, and they'll have bigger problems. -1

Dial-a-Fare: When SmarTrip cards debuted on Metro in the late 1990s, it was already a bit behind; after all, New York's subway had similar cards that could also be used on buses (which Metro didn't add to the system until years later). Metro officials now may scrap it, instead allowing passengers to pay with their cell phones or credit cards directly. Which will be fine, except at the handful of stations where cell phone service remains spotty. Free ride, anyone? +1

Friday's Needle rating: 56 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 52

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  • kevlarlover

    Need to refresh our arithmetic skills, eh? -3-1-1+1=?

  • Mike Madden

    More like need to not add up the tally until I'm done writing the post. Thanks!

  • oldmh

    I suggest finding a different word besides "hoax" to describe the bomb threat on the red line this morning. "Hoax" suggests the person wasintentionally pretending to be dangerous. While this person did not have a bomb, reports suggest that she was crazy and believed everything she was saying and wasn't trying to fool anyone. I'm relieved that she didn't have a bomb but I wouldn't say this was a hoax.

  • noodlez

    YO MAD MIKE I EXPECT MY $.50 CHECK N THE MAIL.

    AL B SHORAH FORGOT TO CHANGE THE NEEDLE WHILE RUNNING OUT THE DOOR TO MAN THE WCP FLOAT. FRIDAY’S NEEDLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET @ 62

    THE QofL NEEDLE SHOULD CURRENTLY BE SET AT 56.

    HOPEFULLY THE WEATHER FROM THE PAST TWO DAYS CAN PUSH THAT MICKEY BLICK BACK PAST 60.

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