Dude! I saw a SWAT team! (I was going to add “today”, but then I felt bad about lying. Actually, I saw it more than a week ago, when I went downtown for the National Book Festival), but I figured that the festival required a post of its own, so I cynically decided to save the SWAT for later.) The SWAT sighting was complete with coppers dressed in black, doing formations on the top of an armoured car. It was pretty neat! I’ve no idea why they were SWATting, of course. It looked like an official building, with the entire street closed off. It could have been a rehearsal (seeing as it was a Saturday morning and all). People around looked at them wondering what was going on. Some were even rude enough to take pictures...!
SWAT teams to me equal cool effect in American movies. It almost came as a shock to realize that they exist in reality. But come to think about it, D.C. is the one place I can think of that would constitute a natural habitat for SWAT teams (I just love typing SWAT!). It’s the capital of the US (or, as it’s often referred to, “ the capital of the free world”. I’m not going into that discussion). It’s also where most government agencies, such as the FBI, the CIA (well, technically that is in Virginia), Pentagon (also Virginia) have their headquarters. It’s where you find the White House, Capitol and other buildings that are significant in this country and beyond. If there ever was a place that needed the somewhat frantic protection a SWAT team can offer, D.C. is it.
However, one might wonder what it is a SWAT team actually does. Aside from the blackness of their costumes and the really big guns, what is the difference between a SWAT team and a well trained cheerleading troop? From my experience, the main difference lies in the fact that while the prime goal of a cheerleading troop is to entertain and make their audience cheer; the SWAT team’s purpose is to make their audience curious. At least this is how it looked. People were swarming around the closed-off street, hoping to see something exciting (possibly a human pyramid). Cars were slowing down, driving off the road, crashing into one another – but no one cared, because they were all so fascinated by the SWATters.
Nothing interesting happened, of course. After I had snapped my picture, I was eager to get away before someone had the bright idea to confiscate my camera, so if the SWAT team actually entered the building, I missed it. There was no explosion or gunshot, though, and the ten o’clock news only featured stories of swine flu and car accidents (completely unrelated).
It was nice, though, to see that they really exist. Now I’m waiting for King Kong or Godzilla to materialize.