Construction workers recently found a 124-year-old time capsule underneath a school in Massachusetts that contains two newspapers, silver war medals, and the first season of "Grey's Anatomy."
WASHINGTON -- I did a reader poll recently to test my theory that nothing our mercurial president might do or say -- however absurd or outrageous -- would be truly surprising. So I wrote that President Trump was planning to dismantle the Statue of Liberty -- or at least sandblast away Emma Lazarus' poem on the base -- on the grounds that we no ...Read more
Vice President Mike Pence announced plans for Space Force, a new military branch that presumably would be dedicated to saving us from the evils of those weird octopus dudes Will Smith killed in Independence Day. To be fair, octopuses are insanely smart little freaks of nature. I'm fairly confident that in addition to being able to shape-shift ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's time again to print some pokes,
Poems telling stale old jokes --
Today our theme may make you cringe
Since nothing really rhymes with "orange."
When Time Flies
So this man arrives in heaven, and walks up to Saint Peter
Behind whom are a million clocks, upon a giant wall.
"Can you tell me what they're for?" "Each ...Read more
"Twister" came out when I was in junior high. I loved that movie. It had action, suspense and heart, and it defined my wardrobe for the next 18 months or so. I became obsessed with Helen Hunt's white tank top and baggy khaki cargo pants. It was the epitome of independent adventurer, and I wore that outfit as many times as I could get away with...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I am writing this after attending a memorial service for a murdered colleague. Rob was a journalist who was killed for being a journalist. He was 59. I am going to try to make this funny.
The amazing thing about the service is that just about everyone who talked about Rob -- his friends, his siblings, his colleagues, his children,...Read more
"I used to be interesting."
I got too used to saying that. It's part of the reason we moved to the wild. The memory of who I was -- camping under the stars, rappelling down cliff sides, hiking into the vast nothingness -- was still too clear to ignore. It hadn't drifted into the misty haze of happenings long past -- you know, the place where ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Most people seem to think that the proprietors of the Red Hen restaurant were wrong last month to refuse to serve dinner to presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The question remains: Given their antipathy to the Trump administration, what should they have done? With a little help from my friends, I present some ...Read more
"Thrives on neglect."
This was the sign posted under a tray of cactuses and other succulents sold at a local farmers market. My friend had posted the picture to her social media as a statement of our times. How disgusting that "neglect" is now a selling point. But all I thought was, "Hot dog, that's a plant I need!"
What a marvelous thing! ...Read more
Gene Weingarten is on assignment. This column originally appeared in 2012.
WASHINGTON -- It is said that everyone has a price, a sum of money large enough to corrupt his moral integrity. I always suspected that I might have a price, too, but was a little alarmed recently to discover it is $125.
That was the price of the speed-camera ...Read more
My cousin makes himself an ice cream sundae every evening. It began as self-medicating. For the principal and father of three, the chopped nuts, whipped cream, hot fudge and maraschino cherry served as a moment of delectable peace at the end of yet another stressful day. Then the kids found out.
Soon, spoonsful of melting peanut butter ribbon...Read more
NOTE: This column originally ran on August 6, 2006, and is being rerun today in honor of Donald Hall, who passed away on June 23 at age 89.
WASHINGTON -- When I heard that the poet laureate of the United States was to be Donald Hall, the New Hampshire literary eminence, I was elated. The media accounts rightfully praised the beauty and ...Read more
I've been away from home for much of the past month for weddings and work meetings. On the way to the airport, my brother mused that he hopes I don't return to a home infested with snakes. Since moving to the wild, we have discovered the occasional scaled squatter after returning home from vacations.
After a thorough inspection, I texted my ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- My earliest memory of the Miss America pageant was watching it on a black-and-white TV the size of a washing machine with a screen the size of an Etch A Sketch. I was 11 years old and, like all 11-year-old boys, I was a burgeoning sex maniac, and yet the one thing I remember clearly is that the swimsuits had all the raw steaminess ...Read more
"Are you going to leave at 5?" my husband asked.
"Probably 4:30," I replied. "I want to make sure I have time to let the Valium take effect."
"Oof. That's early."
Yes, it was. But the miracle drug was worth my waking long before the sun rose.
Valium recently re-entered my life after a long hiatus. An extremely nervous flyer, I had been ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- On the day I am writing this, President Trump has just pardoned Dinesh D'Souza, the noted conservative provocateur, election-law felon and all-around rotter. People are speculating that the president has more blatantly political pardons up his sleeve, to hamstring the Russia probe (Paul Manafort? Mike Flynn?), to tip his hat to ...Read more
"I love food," I said. "I can't help it."
My friend leveled me with her eyes. "You could help it if you knew the foods you were eating."
Less than seven seconds later, she had downloaded four of her favorite food tracking apps onto my phone. And so my journey of conscious eating began.
It turns out, I'm pretty boring. The days calorie ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I am reporting today from a fortified underground bunker in a major world capital. This is the base of operations of a man whose name and nationality I have agreed to conceal in return for landing this interview. I will call him "John."
Me: "John," can you tell the readers what you do?
John: Is my job to be making American people...Read more
Those were the words that came to mind as I drove through my old stamping grounds, places I hadn't frequented in nearly 20 years, while listening to Lithium, the '90s alternative and grunge station on Sirius XM.
Mortifyingly satisfying to hear Alanis Morissette belting out "Ironic" as I drove past the playground ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- To: Dan Zak, reporter, The Washington Post
Re: The last word on periods, period.
How are you doing, you insufferable twit?
It has been four years since I last wrote to you in this column about your public suggestion that I am mentally ill for using two spaces at the end of a sentence, an unbreakable habit from the era of manual ...Read more