How now brown cow?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Every once in a while, the elitist media falls in love with some study or poll that demonstrates, once again, that ordinary Americans are idiots. The most recent one revealed that 7 percent of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

It occurred to me and a few friends that if your criterion is merely 7 ...Read more

Get shorty

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Just got an email from a reader who complained that a feature in The Washington Post had contained blatant sexism that demeaned, humiliated, stigmatized and objectified an entire gender -- reducing human beings to their physical characteristics alone. The odd thing about this letter is that it was from a man, and he was outraged on...Read more

Yucks for bucks

Humor / Below the Beltway /

This column originally ran in 2012.

WASHINGTON -- I'm sitting at my dining room table, counting out a tidy pile of cash generated under a bold new business model of my invention; I am feeling the way Henry Ford must have felt when he saw that first assembly line rumble into action.

I just made $71 in a little more than three hours of ...Read more

Reply gall

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Have you seen the new so-called "smart reply" feature in Gmail mobile apps? It will read your incoming mail and, if it gets the gist, will suggest some chirpy responses, such as "Sounds good!" or "Count me in!" or "Sorry, can't make it!" If you click on one of these answers, it is automatically pasted into your reply. Thus you are ...Read more

Non-standard induction

Humor / Below the Beltway /

This is excerpted from Gene's speech on June 13 accepting induction into the Hall of Fame of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

WASHINGTON -- When I was first told I had won this award, I confess I was momentarily disappointed. In my experience, "Hall of Fame" inductions, when not in the arena of ...Read more

The unfairest of them all

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump last month informed America that he is (1) a victim of "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" and that (2) "no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

Let us examine his grievances, historically.

To be fair, the mainstream media...Read more

Setting a bad president

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Millions of words have been written about our commander-in-tweet and his penchant for sharing aggrieved, spit-flecked, 140-character insights, seriatim, at 4 a.m. There is so much material for journalists to mine in his Twitter feed that some truly revelatory things sometimes get overlooked. For example, it is possible I am the ...Read more


Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- The following is an instant-message conversation between me and my editor, Tom the Butcher, that began at 6:19 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. Pathetically, we had simultaneously discovered we were both awake.

Me: Barnaby just destroyed my toilet.

Tom: What?

Me: My cat.

Tom: You are obsessed with that cat.

Me: Well, he destroyed my ...Read more

The Wizard of Boz

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Like most men, I deeply impress myself with my knowledge of sports. I spend many hours in earnest philosophical debate with myself involving what-if scenarios and such. I recently decided to share these insights in an exchange of emails with one of the few people savvy enough to appreciate them, my colleague Tom Boswell, The ...Read more

Just a litter mistake

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- This is a column about being a columnist, and being a father, and being an idiot -- not necessarily in that order.

One recent Sunday I was two days late in writing my column and was still failing to arrange words together into a product that resembled something my editor, Tom the Butcher, would at least have called "bad." "Bad" is...Read more

Let them eat fish

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Have you ever had a restaurant meal for two that cost $150? I have, but only rarely.

Have you ever had a restaurant meal for two that cost $250? I have, but only very rarely, on very special occasions. Each time it vexed me a little, partly because of the wretched excess when others go hungry, but mostly on cost-benefit analysis. ...Read more

The Ultimate Swing Vote

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Don’t you think it’s time to look past the last presidential election and ahead to the next one? Me, too.

As history has taught us, presidencies are subject to the pendulum effect. The public tries someone, quickly sickens of him, and then swings in the opposite direction. Consider the election of John Quincy Adams, a member ...Read more

The Grim Writer

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- When Joan Rivers died suddenly a few years ago, I didn’t write about it. It was too painful for me. I liked and respected Joan, and, as it happens, I killed her.

Technically, Joan died from complications after throat surgery, but that was just what the public was told. Joan died because I had written about her just a few weeks ...Read more

Obviously a Major Dysfunction

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I am not much of an adult. I procrastinate childishly. I don’t make the common-sense connections that others do in order to efficiently navigate the world. I am like a dog or cat who simply accepts current reality as inevitable and immutable.

For five days last month, my hair -- always unruly -- seemed unusually greasy and dirty...Read more

Taking His Lumps

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- So how was your last month? Mine went like this:

While shaving, I discovered a lump on my throat. Not a “lump in my throat,” such as one gets when one watches, say, Bambi’s mommy getting shot. This was like a big old lump where, based on previous casual neck reconnaissance, I was pretty sure there should only be non-lumplike...Read more

Clothed for Repairs

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Dear Tom Cridland:

My inbox at The Washington Post is full of your “Dear Gene” emails. They all suggest that I write a story about you and your new line of expensive, sturdy, “sustainable” casual clothing guaranteed to last 30 years with free repair or replacement. These emails are somewhat intense. You’re angling for a ...Read more

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