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A New Feature

December 6, 2007, 7:59 am

On this day in history, in 1884, workers completed what quickly became the nation’s best known phallic symbol memorial, the Washington Monument. Speaking of which, have you ever heard my story about the size and musculature of George Washington’s thighs? Well, maybe another time. But I will say this: impressive. To say the least. Both the story and the thighs.

And the monument also, come to think of it. It still defines Washington’s skyline and punctuates the Mall like an exclamation point. (Rudy!, if elected, will no doubt claim it as his, using the special powers of eminent domain vested in him as Punctuator in Chief.) Still, though iconic, the Washington obelisk is hardly the best memorial in DC. That honor goes to Maya Lin’s Vietnam wall. Or, if you’re willing to do some reading — and you’re a bit maudlin like me — Lincoln’s neoclassical temple. The Washington monument doesn’t really evoke the first president. Unless it’s depicting, in the abstract, his thighs. Which were like granite.

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