Today I headed into the big city to participate in a hunt for some weirdness…Toynbee Tiles specifically. For the uninitiated Toynbee Tiles are (usually) license plated sized asphalt sheets embedded in the street that display cryptic messages (ex. Toynbee Idea In Movie 2001 Resurrect Dead On Planet Jupiter). The tiles have appeared in two dozen American cities and four others in South America. No one knows for sure where they come from or who creates them. Although the 2011 documentary Resurrect Deal: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tilesoffers up some interesting hypothesis about them. I am not signing off on them but it is an excellent movie if you are interested in learning more.
Unfortunately I was not able to find any. At one time there were several in our nation’s capital but they appear to have all been paved over. At least that seemed to have been the case off the National Mall where we were looking. In spite of my disappointment I couldn’t help but find humor in our fruitless venture. Surrounded by tourists gawking at our capital’s splendor my friend and I were staring at the ground but looking just as intently.
The day was not without weirdness though. On my way into the city I was riding the train with a guy and his kid (or possible pizzagate captive) who elected to sit on the floor of the car since there were no seats available. To be fair this isn’t weird but it is really really disgusting. For some reason DC transportation officials thought it was a good idea to put carpet on the city’s trains. Call me crazy but the top 3 places carpet doesn’t belong (in no particular order) are bars, locker rooms, and subways.
Once I got off the train I rendezvoused with my friend and we began our search for the tiles. We had hardly walked half a block when some guy pulled up alongside us with a very strange question.
“You guys no where Dress Barn is?”
I looked at him incredulously. Was he serious? What in the hell is Dress Barn and why would two random 30-something males know where one is? We let him know that we were sorry, but we couldn’t help him on his quest.
Sometime after the Dress Barn fiasco we gave up looking for Toynbee Tiles and decided to explore the Air and Space Museum. We were examining the lunar module and I noticed the placard said the one on display was never on the moon and was only used for training.
“That makes since because we never landed on the moon,” I said.
I was hoping someone would overhear my moon landing hoax rhetoric and chime in but no one bit to my chagrin. Later when we were exploring an exhibit about the Earth I had similar results when I began discussing flat earth theory.
Speaking of conspiracies did you know the Sputnik satellite is on display at the Smithsonian? I only mention it because I think it would be fun to make up a conspiracy about it being in DC. I’m pretty sure if I went on a Reddit messageboard and mention this some internet crazy would be intrigued. I would speculate how odd it was Russia would lend it to us, and the only reason I could come up with for doing so would be to spy on Smithsonian visitors. The fact that its a replica of the original satellite would hopefully give my “theory” credibility. I would even dub it Sputnikgate.