News & Politics

DC Commuter Chronicles: A Hedgehog That Blesses BW Parkway

"I kinda looked for him every week and I ask myself if my week is gonna be good."

Image by Ryan Weisser.

DC Commuter Chronicles is a new series in which we ask Washingtonians about the craziest (or cutest) things they’ve seen on their way to and from work around the District. Did you see a fist fight at the Metro or run into a moose on the highway? We’d love to hear from you! Email Kaila Philo at

Robyn Webb-Williams, vice president of the Doctors Community Hospital Foundation, drives from her home in Baltimore City to her office in Lanham, Maryland, on a regular basis. It’s usually a peaceful, nice commute: she likes to watch kids walk to school hand-in-hand with their parents, smiling along the way. But every once in a while, she comes across some bizarre scenes.

Once, she (and everyone behind her) was stopped in the middle of Baltimore-Washington Parkway when a car suddenly came to a halt. “You’re coming home from work, and you’re tired, and you just wanna get home,” she told me. “You’re driving at, like, 65 miles per hour and a car just stops.”

Webb-Williams came to an abrupt halt, and a couple jumped out of the stopped vehicle, right in the middle of the road—and an argument. “I’m not quite sure what they’re arguing about. She’s got her hands all in his face, and he said something to her, and she just hauled off and slapped him!” The VP worried that the fight would escalate. “He just looked at her for a second,” she recalls. “Nobody can move, cars are honking, and he grabbed her, gave her this big kiss—I mean like something out of a movie.” The scene only lasted for a few intense seconds before the couple got back in the car and drove off. “It was like, wow,” Webb-Williams says. “Other than the slap, I want somebody to kiss me like that!”

It wasn’t Webb-Williams’s only cinematic experience. Back when she took the MARC train to work, she overheard a rather dramatic confrontation over the phone between a woman and her (former) fiancé. How could she tell? “I kept trying to see if she still had a ring on, and she did,” Webb-Williams says. “It was a huge rock!” She certainly refused to be dumped that day. “She kept saying, ‘I don’t believe you, I can’t believe you’re doing this.'” And then she made a very unsavory threat. “She said that if he thought he could break up with me after all this time and all this preparation, she was going to cut his Johnson off!” Webb-Williams told me. Things were getting ugly, so Webb-Williams decided that it was probably time to change seats. “I was in the window seat, so I said ‘excuse me,’ and she looked at me like ‘what?!'”

But at least she’s greeted by a friendly hedgehog sometimes—or at least, she used to be. “He’s usually in the wooded area along the BW Parkway, and I used to see him like two or three times a week.” The furry creature made regular appearances at the side of the road, as if he were watching over the commuters on their way to work. “I kinda looked for him every week,” Webb-Williams says, “and I ask myself if my week is gonna be good, because the hedgehog has blessed the BW Parkway.”