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Bathrooms Are For Closers: If you think riding a Metrobus around the District is a tough, you should try driving one. The union that represents bus drivers says schedules are so tight there’s no time built in for them to use the bathroom—meaning they’re left to keep a bag or cup in the back of the bus to relieve themselves. Which is to say, watch where you sit. Metro officials say not to worry: There’s a procedure, wherein bus drivers can contact the central office and ask permission to pee, then notify passengers they’re doing so. Sounds fun. -3

Voting Rights R Us: Maybe all that time sleeping in tents in McPherson Square hasn’t been good for cognitive abilities. The Occupy D.C. encampment has a new set of schemes to get Congress to give the District meaningful representation; first on the list is a petition, signed by 601,723 people from around the country, one for each D.C. resident. Another idea? A municipal tax on bottled water to fund full-time advocates for statehood, apparently because the ones we don’t have to pay for aren’t enough. Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate the support, but this Congress seems a bit beyond the reach of a petition. +1

Stay Safe: The approach of New Year’s Eve doesn’t just mean a run on 2012-shaped glasses; it also means, apparently, a lot of you are planning to do terrible things to your bodies while celebrating. Area hospitals say that when Dec. 31 falls on a Saturday, it leads to more emergencies. Why? Alcohol. Enjoy your Sunday! -1

Happy New Year: 2011 was a doozy for D.C., from the prospect of Congress stopping garbage pickups to the Redskins racking up yet another losing season. Read all about it here with Washington City Paper‘s annotated guide to the year that was. Or put it behind you and move on—2012 is just hours away now. If only we could skip ahead a day, like Samoa. +12

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 47 Today’s score: +9 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 58