Funny? Of corpse it is!

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- A few weeks ago, I wrote about getting a solicitation from the AARP, a fine organization that makes you feel ancient and decrepit every time you hear from them. As always, it took me a few days to recover, but eventually I deluded myself back into thinking I am a rare specimen of middle-aged health, vitality and vigor, which is ...Read more

Do You Want Flies With That?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I was at the market, shopping for lamb chops. All of them had crew cuts -- they were trimmed super close. Also, there was no marbling. These were round and plump and uniformly red, like Julia Roberts' lips.

"Wow, they're really lean," I said to the butcher.

"Yeah, I know!" he said, smiling.

"But fat is what makes meat ...Read more

Paws in the Game

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- One of the more difficult-to-answer questions is said to be: "What is your most embarrassing moment?" That's because the brain tries to forget particularly humiliating things and, over time, it often succeeds. Unfortunately I have no problem answering the question, because my most humiliating thing happened just a few days ago.

My...Read more


Humor / Below the Beltway /

Editor's note: A version of this column originally ran in 2001. Note the nature of quoted language in 12th and 13th grafs.

WASHINGTON -- I once attended a 10-hour personal empowerment extravaganza by famed self-help guru Anthony Robbins. It changed my life.

I have learned the value of perseverance -- namely, that no matter how bored one...Read more

Tooth or Consequences

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Like most of you, I have health insurance. Like most of you, my health insurance says it covers dental work. As with most of you, this is basically a fiction. Insurance companies are famously stingy at the dentist.

Whenever I leave my dentist's office, he and I follow a ritual. He solemnly informs me he will first bill my insurer,...Read more

Her Special Day

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- As this is June, I have decided to write a respectful column about the hallowed institution of matrimony -- specifically, the glorious event that occasions it, The Great American Wedding.

I know that in the past I have been less than charitable about this topic. For example, I once described big weddings as "anxiety-laced, ...Read more

Gene Rulz

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The United States is fighting to deny a trademark to the Washington Redskins, and to an all-Asian dance-rock band called the Slants. The government contends both names are offensive and should be changed.

The Justice Department claims this is not censorship, and does not violate the First Amendment, because the band and the ...Read more

Rhymes Against Humanity

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Behold the birth of what I call a "poke,"

Which is poetry that tells a corny joke.

(Yes, you're right, I've done this quite a bit

But now's the first time I am naming it.)

Today's, perhaps, are risky, just a smidgen.

They're on the tetchy topic of religion.

The Two Beggars,

retold as a Shakespearean sonnet

In ...Read more

On Being and Nothingness

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I have a confession to make. By all rights, it should get me fired.

For the last 25 years, in my writing, I have been using the adjectives "epistemological" and "ontological" interchangeably and without actually knowing what either means. Sure, I have looked them up, but their definitions are so gauzy and academic that they are ...Read more

Why Is This Column So ...

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The other day I watched my dog steal second base. Murphy was romping on a high-school baseball diamond, and she sprinted the 90 feet between bases. True, she stole second base from third base, but we are not discussing her baseball acumen. We are discussing speed. At a dead run she seemed faster than a baseball player, which then ...Read more

My Shtruggle

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I have a major apology to deliver here. It is particularly galling to me, and it's going to get messy.

There's an oddity of spoken language that I first noticed around the beginning of the George W. Bush adminishtration, pronounced like that. It was as though the new president had issued some secret directive to pronounce str- ...Read more

Brow Beaten

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I just stopped working on something important because my professor friend Gina Barreca said she had something to discuss "on an emergency basis." Here she is.

Gina: I have a new book coming out, and my publisher said that since I am 59, I need to have my jacket photo professionally done. ...

Gene: What a crude, sexist thing to ...Read more

Baby Ruth, Anyone?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- When I walked into the men's room of a restaurant the other day, a 30-ish man was there, looking furtive. The room had one stall and one urinal, and both seemed unoccupied. He was using neither. Legally, he appeared to be "loitering." We made eye contact, but he could not hold it. He looked down. I think he sensed my discomfort ...Read more

I Want to Buy a Vow

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- A few weeks ago, The Huffington Post asked its readers to come up with brutally honest wedding vows for the modern couple. The results were amusing, if a little predictable. ("I promise to stop answering your question of 'Where should we go eat?' with the question of, 'I don't know, where do you want to go eat?'")

After consulting...Read more

Mea Culpa (No Offense to the Romans!)

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- To: The General Assembly of the Student Government of Bowdoin College

Re: My confession, atonement and plea for punishment

Dear earnest young adults:

I am looking at what was, until recently, one of my favorite family snapshots. Now it is a source of shame only.

It is of my daughter, taken on Halloween 1984. Molly was 3 1/2. ...Read more

Unsound Advice

Humor / Below the Beltway /

Gene Weingarten is taking the week off. This column originally ran in 2009.

WASHINGTON -- When I was in high school, there was a girl I really liked. But I was afraid to approach her because, in my cartoonish romantic imagination, she resembled Veronica from "Archie" and I resembled Poindexter, the little dweeb from "Felix the Cat" who ...Read more


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