A Rant About Water Security
This water bottle fascism is getting ridiculous. My friend Amy was stopped at the gate by security on Saturday. Her crime: One or two "teeth" had come disengaged from the seal on her just-purchased water bottle and it was deemed "open."
Nationals Park policy states, "Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind (except factory-sealed, plastic water bottles, no larger than 1 liter and juice boxes) are prohibited at Nationals Park.Only one bottle of water per person will be permitted."
Amy was told to either throw her new bottle of water away or drink the whole thing before she could enter. "But the security guard was very polite about it," she said.
So she drank the whole bottle outside the gate. And since no containers of any kind are allowed, she squashed it down and folded it into her pocket so she could bring it in for refills. (Refills were her sole reason for buying the bottle. $4 is too much to pay inside the ballpark and you need more than one bottle for a three-hour game on a hot day).
On Memorial Day, my friend Heather and I walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the ballpark and got pretty thirsty along the way. I had water with me, but didn't want to open it before getting to the ballpark. So we went thirsty until we entered the gates and could safely open the bottle.
I've seen several people open their bottles to take sips in the block between metro and the ballpark gate, only to have it confiscated because it's no longer "factory sealed." Take a look at the collection boxes at the gates on any given day. All water bottles, little else.
I mean, really. Do we really have to strategize like this to get a bottle of water "safely" into the game?
Let me tell you something, Mr. Nationals Management. While your security guards were scrutinizing water bottle tops closely enough to catch a couple of disengaged "teeth" on the seal (which, by the way, Amy didn't even see when she bought the thing), one of my friends and his buddies were bringing in entire flasks of alcohol. Another of my friends has been bringing in pepper spray to every single game she attends. And I once sailed through the gates with a steak knife unwittingly left in my lunch box. But, by God, that seal on my water bottle was intact.
There must have been some good reason for the policy. Maybe too many people were trying to sneak in water bottles filled with vodka, I don't know. But I think enforcement is getting a little over the top. It's the only thing security scrutinizes and I know I'm not the only fan noticing it.
This isn't about trying to get away with anything. I know there are lots of drink options at the park and there are water fountains everywhere (I counted 8 on the lower level alone). Once you do get your water bottle past the Gestapo, you can refill 'til the cows come home. And I know I should be grateful I can bring water to the park at all.
My point is, it just shouldn't be such a big deal. It's WATER. Man's most basic need in a notoriously hot and humid city. There are plenty of other safety issues that security guards should be minding. When expensive, EMPTY, water bottles are being confiscated while knives, pepper spray and flasks of alcohol are sailing through, I think it's time to rethink priorities a little.
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