Living just 2 blocks from the DC line leaves one wondering . . . is it better on the other side? And what criteria should be used to judge? I’m not talking about comparing Mount Rainier to the cool parts of DC. I’m talking about the EDGE of glory — what differences can be noticed by literally walking a couple of blocks over the line.
1. Boozin’ it
Is it true that cheaper liquor can be bought in DC? I stopped in to the “Last Stop Before Maryland” store and asked the clerk what I should buy before stepping over the line. Last stop, right? Surprisingly he seemed unsure, but then pointed me to the Miller Light. One 6-pack for $5.49 + 10% tax = $6.04. I like to do my homework, so I interrupted a guy at the bus stop who looked like he might be a “regular customer.” He concurred with the clerk with enthusiasm. He danced as he told me, “Don’t let them bandits in Maryland take you for a riiiiide.”
Throwing caution to the wind, I headed to the “bandits” at Party Time Liquors in MD. Miller Lite 6-pack $5.99 + 9% tax =$6.53!
Dude was right! And as instructed, I did not partake in the ride.
So although the sales tax was higher in DC, the prices were still low enough to make me want to go on a bender. But a word to wise, before loading up your duffle bags with cheap booze from DC, be advised that is actually illegal to “import” alcohol into Maryland. Importing, in this case, means walking 2 blocks. BUT, if you do want to risk it, there are great rewards. Public intoxication in DC carries a whopping $500 fine (um hello, mr. bus stop man). But get blasted on the streets in Maryland, and it’s a mere $100.
Bottom Line: Load up in DC; get loaded in Maryland.
2. Scooby Snax
*Warning: this could permanently alter your childhood image of Scooby Doo
While we’re on the subject of partying, I should school you on the regional drug specialties. While walking my own shaggy mutt, I’ve run across several of these Scooby Snax packages on the ground. “Is it a delicious peanut buttery treat?” I wondered? No. It’s the leading brand of a dangerous drug called synthetic marijuana, otherwise known at “spice” or as the package says, “herbal incense.” But this stuff is no joke, and it’s legal in DC. I once talked to a guy at a wedding who said he was addicted to spice. He said it made his heart beat so fast he thought it was going to explode. Rawt Ro. Let’s jump back in the Mystery Machine gang. Those meddling kids have gone and manufactured some crazy sh*t that Maryland has sense enough to take off the shelves of the 7-11 stores.
Like any good journalist, to research Scooby Snax, I consulted the number one source for accurate drug information: YouTube.
I couldn’t resist sharing this edited clip of a YouTube sensation named Jay Muise, who regularly attracts over 50,000 views for his video reviews of various “incense” products.
Get a load of this joker:
Maryland you win this one. Scooby Snax irreversibly tarnishes the name of a fave childhood cartoon. It shouldn’t be legal.
Your grandma must be making the speeding laws in DC. She’s got 25 mph signs all over the city and she’s serious about cracking that whip if you violate her rules. Big brother speed cameras are a ubiquitous presence in both DC and Maryland. The difference is that in DC that camera will nab you if you are going even ONE MILE above your grandma’s limit. In Maryland you’re allowed a 12 mph buffer. That doesn’t make getting a ticket any less irritating (The narrator says from personal experience), but it’s a little somethin’.
The photo above was taken on South Dakota Ave. in DC. With 4 lanes and at the bottom of a hill, how is it even possible to go 25 mph?
Maryland, although you are a royal pain, I respect the buffer. Win by a nose.
4. Buying a fake assault rifle
My last probing detail about living a life “on the border” comes from a unique situation in which I was buying props for a museum exhibit. The exhibit was about living conditions for soldiers in Afghanistan. I was going to cut out a photograph of the gun every soldier is issued — the M4 carbine assault rifle manufactured by Colt. But then it came to my attention, that I didn’t have to settle for a photograph. No. I could buy a BB gun that looked exactly like the real thing from Wal-mart online! In small print there was a disclaimer: a list of 10 states, plus Puerto Rico and all of Canada where this weapon was illegal — BB or not. DC was one of these restricted areas. But Maryland apparently thinks owning a BB gun that looks like it could pump out 700 rounds per minute would make a great addition to any kid’s toy chest.
I don’t even want to think about what a guy on Scooby Snax would do with this weapon when he found out that beer was 50 cents more expensive at his local Maryland liquor store.
DC, banning this scary piece of plastic gives you bonus common sense points.
In summary, living on the edge of glory has its advantages. If I keep doing my research I can live the life I’ve always dreamed . . . racing at speeds of exactly 25 mph across borders to get small discounts on booze, buying drugs that will inspire me to make mind-numbing videos, and shooting sh*t with my replica assault rife. It doesn’t get much better than this.