So, I was running down the National Mall the other day, when I had to halt my forward progress because a bunch of kids were throwing rocks. They were picking up the little gravel pieces from the mall pathway and pelting them into the air. I think it was a rock-throwing contest.

That’s all well and good, but I did not want to run the risk of taking a rock to the eye, so I stopped until they were done.

So, you’re thinking, “Big deal. Kids throw rocks. Next?”

But wait. There is one beautiful detail I left out. The children throwing the rocks … THEY WERE THE SAFETY PATROL. The kids were wearing fluorescent yellow shirts that said “Safety Patrol, Washington, DC, 2008” and those yellow across-the-shoulder belts.

It appeared to be a big safety patrol field trip. Groups of kids *love* to flood the nation’s capital in matching shirts this time of year.

Safety first! Throw rocks at scary approaching runner!