Every Wednesday morning when I step off the escalator at Dupont Circle metro, I’m greeted by my favorite Express distributor’s weekly chant:


Happy HUMP Dayyyy



GOOOOOD morning it’s HUMP day GET your paaaperrr

Gosh I love that guy. Last Friday I had a day off of work and on Monday Express guy asked if I was out sick or had vacation. He’s awesome.

The area he works is pretty competitive. There’s a guy selling umbrellas for $5 (one of these days I’m going to give in and get one), there are usually some people from some organization selling boxes of Krispy Kremes for $5 (I refuse to give in to that one), and one day there was even a man handing out free pocket-sized bibles, but I picked up plenty of those on the Drillfield.

There is also a guy distributing the Examiner, who I usually snub but began to like at one point (here). Well I liked him until one day when I came up the escalator and he was fighting with my Express guy over which paper was better. I heard this exchange before politely interrupting and retrieving my Express:

Examiner guy: Get your paper! They’re both the same anyway…. get your Examiner!

Express guy: They’re not the same! Express is a smaller version of the Post! What’s the Examiner? …. Not the Washington Post that’s for sure

Examiner guy: Express is not at all like the Post

… and so on …

It got intense, but I do have to say that Express is not the Post and sometimes I can’t believe it’s even associated with the Post. The writing is pretty bad and has a ‘young, sarcastic’ tone, the likes of which I only saw on the Opinions page of our college paper. But it is somewhat entertaining and a nice compact size for metro reading. And at least it’s free and a lot of people are reading some form of the news because of it.

Anywho, this morning when Express guy was doing his normal Hump Day paper peddling, I thought of how – even though his papers are free – he and Examiner guy are kind of like Newsies — the 2009 version at least. Newsies was a 1992 Disney film (ahem, musical) starring a young Christian Bale (Batman!) that took place in 1899 New York City and followed the plight of poor, hungry orphans turned newsboys. The newsies form a union and strike against the newspaper publishers Pulitzer and Hearst (you might have heard of them) when they raise the distribution costs of their newspapers, putting an undue strain on the already thin pockets of the boys.

Anyway, the newsies are precious and the movie is one of my favorites (only since befriending Jessie). To help illustrate my point, I’m including a video of the opening scene (or close to it) called “Carry the Banner.” I honestly imagine all the paper distributors in DC participating in this scene…

Here’s a bonus, because it’s Hump Day and it makes me happy: