the woo girls
17 April, 2006
Group blog project! (blogject?) Let us construct a taxonomy of Adams-Morgan nightlife.
First you must split everyone up by race, because despite the neighborhood's vaunted "diversity", when DC comes here to play they come in monochrome groups and go into bars where everyone is the same color as them. (My favorite exception so far? Kokopooli's, the legendary-in-my-own-mind pool hall on 18th and Kalorama, where tables are $10/hour max, and the jukebox is not trying to prove anything, and there is a dartboard and foosball and hookahs and couches, and the pool balls have candy fillings and the bathroom attendants give massages and everybody knows your name…where am I? What's going on? Oh yes. Blogging. Diversity. Kokopoolis: integrated.)
Moving on. So. Taxonomy. After you've split everyone up roughly by race you can look within the groups a little more. Since my bedroom is within earshot of the intersection of Drunk and Crazy, I began this work by sound, and the first group to emerge was the Woo Girls.
Woo girls were so identified about a month or so ago, during my Weekend of Many Eric/ks. They were named by Roscoe, the bouncer at (can you see this coming?) Kokopooli's.
Despite their recent naming by this expert in the field, this researcher had noted woo girls on many previous occasions, dating back to last August when she moved into the area. They are named for their call. Usually takes a few drinks for it to be fully voiced, but once it is, the piercing "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"s can be heard for blocks.
If you need to spot them before this (that is, before they have arrived at Chloe or Saki, or "slummed it" at Millie and Al's) you need only position yourself on the 18th street side of the SunTrust Bank plaza on 18th and Columbia, and look for the hair-blow-dried-out blondes (they are all blonde) getting out of Virginia cabs in teetering ugly heels, painted-on jeans, and camisole tops. Many display glittery markings, and most (all?) carry small purses so trendy your eyes may hurt if you look directly at them. N.B.: this is their dress year-round, they do not feel the cold. Even on 20deg nights they wear only the camisoles and do not even toss a wrap over their shoulders! And I know you can get glittery wraps! I've seen them on other groups of nightlife.
They do not always take cabs — they can use public transportation, although their ability in this sphere is limited. An example: one Friday night I left the Woodley Park Metro station to find a 98 bus right outside at the stop, ready to leave. Now, this bus exists only to take people back and forth from the Metro down 18th to go along U Street and back again. It costs something ridiculous like a quarter (I don't know because my SmarTrip card takes care of me). Two woo girls who had been in front of me on the escalator conferred a bit about how to get to Adams-Morgan. Oh let's not walk, says one. (The shoes.) So they hailed a cab, and got into it just as I boarded the bus. La la la, across the bridge, up the hill, 30 seconds later here we are. They got out of the cab just as I got off the bus, at the bank plaza. I considered telling them about the $8 they had just wasted, but as I was working out how to do that without laughing, they were already across the street, compelled by the power of Chloe.
Behaviorally, they can be classified as lightweight herd animals. They are never seen alone, and their packs sometimes exhibit a hierarchy and sometimes don't. Lightweight: one of their number has usually overindulged by 11:30. (At that hour, every few steps you can trip over tiny blonde women kneeling in the gutters holding back each others' hair.) Once stomachs are voided and minimal vestibular function is regained, they hail cabs — again, as a group, although occasionally if the original pack is big enough only a smaller subgroup will split off — and hie back to where they came from.
How far do they roam? I have a colleague at NIH who resides near Crazy, as I do, but in Georgetown. He recognized them easily from my description and agreed with Roscoe's nomenclature. We think they may be even thicker on the ground over in his parts, despite the cobblestone sidewalks (which are really hell on the heels, darlin'). Despite being trained biologists we have not done the fieldwork to answer this question, because we are usually laughing too hard at their behavioral patterns as described above, which is not conducive to good data collection. I think they are not yet established on U Street, perhaps due to a lack of appropriate nightclub habitats, but the data here is scant also.
I would like to tell you about their distribution and appearance and behavioral patterns around the Herpes Triangle, which I believe may be where the species originated. (We can test this, because in the area where a speciation event happens, the genetic diversity is the highest. I would consider the presence of honest-to-god brunette woo girls in the H.T. to be evidence in support of my hypothesis.) Yes, I suspect that their probable ancestral range is in downtown DC, but alas, I cannot speak to this point at all, never having spent an evening in them parts. (Kokopooli's is between here and there.)
Do you have any woo girl stories? Are there other classifications of DC nightlife you've noticed? How do they differ in other cities, if at all? They seem to me to be related to Chicago's Trixies, but IIRC Trixies cover up when outdoors in the winter.