Reflections of a little ode man

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- If you ask columnists to tell you the question that they most frequently hear from the public, they will most likely answer: "Easy! It is, 'What is the question that you most frequently hear from the public?'" Well, they are just messing with you. Columnists are notorious jerks.

There actually is an answer, though. The most common...Read more

I'll see you later, my dear alma mater

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- To: The Bronx High School of Science

Re: Your recent letter inviting me to the school for an event in which alumni help your seniors prepare for their college interviews.

I am of course grateful for, and honored by, this invitation, even though you did not even offer to pay for my measly travel expenses. But, hey, no hard ...Read more

Where's the beef? Better not to know.

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The other day, as has become my biannual custom, I met with my good friend Bruce Friedrich so he could once again try to demonstrate to me that eating meat not only is ethically and environmentally indefensible, but that there are now plant-based alternatives that are nearly indistinguishable and equally succulent. These ...Read more

The ad ventures of a ticking time bomb

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The good news is that I no longer get all sorts of different pop-up ads online! The bad news is that I still get just as many ads as before, maybe more, but they are almost all for the same product: astoundingly expensive vintage wristwatches. These are watches hand-crafted in Switzerland, the kind that dominated the quality watch ...Read more

A sincere apology to Donald J. Trump

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I have written critically about Donald Trump for years. My descriptors have been unsparing and, I thought, comprehensive. I have called him adolescent, amoral, autocratic, blustering, buffoonish, bullying, corrupt, cruel, delusional, egomaniacal, fat, funny(!), grandiose, hypocritical, ignorant, inflammatory, insecure, mendacious, ...Read more

A lesson in how not to give a fork

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I recently made a decision of life-altering proportions: I decided I will no longer bother to segregate knives, forks and spoons in my silverware drawer. I now dump all of them thither and yon among those partitions that -- hallelujah! -- no longer rule my life.

When I mentioned this on Twitter, one reader jokingly called me a "...Read more

Throwing the book at writing a book

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- For the past six years, I have been working on a book. It is about to come out. So I think I am well positioned to offer some helpful "tips for authors."

1. You will come to hate your book. Accept this graciously as a natural consequence of having had to read it 5,000 times. Example: I am a guy who absolutely requires reading ...Read more

Butchering poetry: Verse vs. worse

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- My idiot editor, Tom the Butcher, recently suggested I am a hack -- specifically, that the "pokes" columns I write, retelling old jokes as poems, are easy, simplistic, and bad. He challenged me to a poke-off. We would tell the same two jokes. I informed him that he had, in essence, challenged Michael Jordan to one-on-one.

(BEG ...Read more

(End of) life hacks: Tips for the young geezer

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The other day, I had a tooth pulled. The dentist was skilled, and the extraction was almost pain-free, but the experience was not entirely pleasant. The bad tooth proved obstinate, and the dentist had to bear down. At one point my head was whipped back and forth like a mafia stoolie being slapped silly by his don. I imagine similar...Read more

Elliptical humor

Humor / Below the Beltway /

EDITORS: This column previously ran on June 14, 2012.

WASHINGTON -- Some time ago, I played a thrilling game of Ping-Pong with my editor, Tom the Butcher. I lost 22-20 in overtime. Afterward, Tom said he was worried I might be a little out of shape.

"Why ... do ... you ... say ... that?" I wheezed.

This had not exactly been Ping-Pong ...Read more

I have a really bad feline about this

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I have just written a check. It is for $400, an amount that seems commensurate with the offense for which it atones. I have sent it to Tom the Butcher, my editor.

Some time ago, Tom warned me that he would dock me money if I ever again wrote about my horrible cat, Barnaby. He had my best interests -- and, frankly, yours -- in mind...Read more

Learning to survive the rain of terror

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- A few weeks ago, two things happened in Washington, D.C., on the same day. The first was an unexpected thunderstorm of such intensity that cellphones across the capital city detonated with flash-flood, storm-alert warnings: Run! Seek high ground! These alerts are loud and raucous and terrifying, by design. They triggered the second...Read more

Trumpling all over American history

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- We members of the National Fake News Conspiracy had our jollies with President Trump a few weeks ago when, during his July 4 address to the nation, he declared not only that there were airports during the Revolutionary War, but that the Colonial armies had bravely wrested control of them from the Brits. This savage trumpling of ...Read more

Committing rhymes against humanity

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- We bring you here some brand-new "pokes,"

Poems telling old stale jokes.

Today's, howe'er, are faves of mine ...

(Rude and cheeky, by design.)

The Choice

To a savage land two men of God did travel.

They sought to give to heathens Christian voice.

Their mission soon most gravely did unravel

For seized they were, and given a ...Read more

Gene enters a new period of discovery

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I don't want to brag, but for a man of my age I am pretty technologically savvy. For example, I recently made a sophisticated observation about electronics. I called my editor, Tom the Butcher, to complain about how inefficiently designed the keyboard is on an iPhone.

"How so?" he asked.

"When you're sending a text," I explained,...Read more

Breaking Bad: Apple's rotten idea

Humor / Below the Beltway /

NOTE: This column was adapted from a recent online chat.

WASHINGTON -- Did you know that Oldsmobile pioneered the automatic transmission in 1940, but then shortly afterwards discontinued it because they thought people preferred the authenticity of clutches, and were proud of having the skills to use them?

Did you know that in 1928, a bakery in...Read more

Presenting a little vitreous humor

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- My left eye is the eye on the left side of my head, above my left hand, which is not the hand I shake hands with, which is a good mnemonic way to remember the location of the left eye.

Sometimes people get confused if they are facing you because their left eye is on the other side of your left eye, so to make everything ...Read more


Social Connections


The Barn Breaking Cat News Rose is Rose Cul de Sac Andy Marlette Aunty Acid