The day that the internet bugged out

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- This is the story of how, for about two days last month, my daughter became an international celebrity. Her fame was fleeting, but dramatic. There are many modern lessons in this story, with several poignant themes, but mostly it is about the magnificent silliness of journalism.

It begins a few days after Christmas when Molly and ...Read more

Paper prophet: Gene gets a blast from the past

Humor / Below the Beltway /

EDITORS: This column originally ran on January 25, 2009.

WASHINGTON -- I am on the phone with Edward Rogoff, whom I have not seen since we were both 12 years old, living on the same block in the Bronx, playing "stoop ball," a game that exists, so far as I know, only in the Bronx and only in the past, played only among pre-adolescent Jewish boys...Read more

Presenting 'The New Colossal Gall'

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- To all potential donors:

Thank you for considering this GoFundMe appeal to finance my Great American Wall project.

No, I am not asking for money to build the Trump wall. Some other guy already thought of that, and fell short of the billions needed. But his success at raising money from ordinary political zealots -- $15 million in...Read more

Gene checks out the New Bae in town

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I am on the phone with Bill Staley, co-founder of Primal Palate, a maker of organic spices. Primal Palate was in the news recently because it is being sued by the company that makes Old Bay seasoning; the lawsuit contends that Primal Palate is infringing on Old Bay's trademark by marketing a too-similar seafood spice called New Bae...Read more

Gene's magic no-effort diet

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Important announcement to readers:

It has been pointed out to me, not always kindly, that like just about every writer in the United States, I have become tediously obsessed with Donald Trump. He's virtually all we write about. He is horrible, but inescapable. He sucks all the air out of the room.

So, no Trump today. Instead, I ...Read more

Presenting Gene's hair-brained scheme

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- When Donald Trump tweeted recently that there is no "Smocking Gun" in any alleged case of collusion against him, I wasn't surprised.

The man simply cannot spell. I wasn't even surprised -- though I was delighted -- when he repeated the same mistake later in the same tweet, forfeiting the right to claim it had been just a ...Read more

A treatise on males and faux-males

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Did you see that recent story in The Washington Post reporting a correlation between male sexual insecurity and the tendency to vote for Republicans, particularly Donald Trump? The Post showed a map of areas where men exhibited sexual insecurity, measured by Google searches for terms like "penis size," "erectile dysfunction," "hair...Read more

Gene's no-good, very bad idea list

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- When word oozed out last month that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders might be considering another run for the presidency, I admit my first thought was "Nothing could be worse."

I voted for Clinton, and I think she'd make a good president, but ... you know. Last time around, she somehow managed to lose to a guy who has the ...Read more

Life support: The party next door / Getting annoyed just means you're getting old

Humor / Below the Beltway /

This column was originally published on March 10, 2003.

WASHINGTON -- For people of my father's generation, getting old was no big deal. Once you passed 45 or so, you simply became a geezer, and it was an identity you accepted. You would proudly walk around with a hitch and a limp, like Grandpappy Amos. (1)

You didn't worry much about ...Read more

No shot, Sherlock: Gene flexes his deductive skills

Humor / Below the Beltway /

Gene Weingarten is on vacation. This column originally ran in 2006.

WASHINGTON -- The principal difference between us journalists and ordinary people is that we journalists will shamelessly flaunt our abilities to use "we" and "us" correctly.

Actually, there is a more significant distinction: Compared with you, we have more finely honed...Read more

Lessons in the deal of the art

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Did you catch the latest contretemps over funding for the arts?

It happened so fast you might have missed it: The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities briefly announced that to receive grants this year, artists and writers would have to agree not to be lewd or political or sexist. This condition was rescinded almost ...Read more

Parenting to the Max: An old man's guide

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Like all conscientious parents, my wife and I childproofed our home when the kids were little. Of course, the standards for conscientiousness were different back then. Childproofing mainly consisted of keeping an eye on the little ones and yelling at them when necessary: "DROP THAT CAT POOP RIGHT NOW, YOUNG LADY!" "STOP SUCKING ON ...Read more


Humor / Below the Beltway /

This column was originally published on Nov. 30, 2013.

WASHINGTON -- You know those "Five Myths About ... " feature stories that have been proliferating in the media for years? My newspaper was among the pioneers of the genre and remains one of its most illustrious practitioners. Are you sick of them yet? No? Good! Here's one more.

...Read more

Cover story: Plus a pointless subtitle

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- For the past five years, I have been researching and writing a book. It is almost finished, and now it is time for me and my publisher to agree on a title. It has not gone smoothly.

The book is about a single day in American history, a date chosen at random by drawing numbers out of a hat. My thesis is that there is no such thing ...Read more

Rhymes Against Humanity

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- We now present a few more "pokes,"

Poems wrought from stand-up jokes.

Today's assortment are all loaners

(Each is old ... and all are groaners.)

A Dirty Tale

Chicanery I have detected

And it's just as I suspected:

My neighbor has been adding loam

To the garden at my home

In short, my pulse, it races, quickens.

...Read more

Searching for the audacity of nope

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- As many of you know, I am the originator and curator of "Googlenopes," phrases that, when entered between quotes into the Google search engine, return no hits. In a way, Googlenopes represent the elusive frontier of thought -- places that the human mind hasn't yet dared to go.

My job is bittersweet. Each time I publish a ...Read more

Gene takes the Fifth ... and the pills, too.

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I want to thank the Senate Judiciary Committee for permitting me to testify in support of my impending appointment to the United States Supreme Court. I await your questions. My life is an open book.

Senator: Mr. Weingarten, we have reports that while in high school and college, you experimented with drugs. Is there any truth to ...Read more


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