The Capitol Visitor Center – a lovely place, if you can ever find it — is actually pretty nice. Brand spanking new. And with unusual security measures, too. The guard greets you outside the doors — no food or beverages, no liquids, nothing flammable, no aerosols. Okay, no prob.
We walk in, put our bags on the conveyer belt and walk through the metal detector. Oops, pumps must have metal in them. Have to take them off and put them on the belt and go back through. No biggie.
But then the guard asks me if the black tote bag is mine. It is. He pulls something out of my bag and holds it up.
You can’t take this in, ma’am.
Me, confused: My water bottle?
You can’t take this in.
But it’s empty.
You can’t take this into the building.
Can I leave it here and pick it up when I’m done?
No, you can’t bring it into the building.
You have to take it outside.
So I can leave it outside the doors?
Makes no sense, but I don’t want to get arrested either. I’ve seen 24 and read the NYT stories.
I left the bottle outside. I would have taken a picture of the actual offending water bottle sitting sadly on the ledge outside the door. I should have. Instead, I left it outside the Capitol Visitor Center and when I came back two hours later, it was gone.
Someone now has the perfect water bottle — BPA free, wide mouth for putting scoops full of ice inside, convenient loop for carrying by the index finger as you’re strolling down the sidewalk.
Rest in peace water bottle. At least you’re amongst your own now – sitting happily with all the other bottles left outside the entrance.