Check Out Mate

Humor / Jokes /

A group of chess enthusiasts had checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.

After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.

"But why?", they asked, as they moved off.

"Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

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

ALF Underwear

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

There was, of course, the issue of the ALF underwear.

The panties featuring the likeness of everyone's favorite furry Melmac native appeared in my daughter's drawer after my mom's most recent visit. At 3, my daughter is the last of her friends to be potty trained. It's been the perfect blend of her obstinance and her parents' laziness that ...Read more

She's not feisty, she's her

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

I was scared of having a daughter. I didn't know how to raise a girl in this world of unlimited ands. She'd have to be this and that and definitely this. I don't know how to be a girl in this world; how could I possibly guide another?

I prayed for a boy first. Surely, a boy must have fewer ands. Surely, my outside perspective could ...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

Grumpy Halloween

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Halloween doesn't just happen on Oct. 31 anymore. In my town, we have a monster parade that marches though the entire city, bringing joy and flamethrowers to thousands of onlookers. It ends in a massive disco dance party for the whole community -- with all the people clad in costume and on their eighth wind from candy-curated sugar highs. I ...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

Bucket List

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

"In case we die," she said.

"You're not going to die, Mom," I replied.

"I'm sending you all our information -- the will, access to the security box, directions to my secret stash of pretzels so mice don't get them if we don't come back -- everything you will need."

"Mom, just because this is called a 'bucket list' trip doesn't mean you kick...Read more

Lincoln and Trump, separated at birth?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- There is a meme spreading earnestly across the right aisle of the Internet contending that Donald Trump is such a great president that the only predecessor he can be fairly compared to is ... Abraham Lincoln. This thesis was cemented into public consciousness by the latest film from noted far-far-right history-warping conservative ...Read more

It's Lice

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

"It could be eczema," I said.

"It's lice," my friend repeated.



"Dry skin from the weather changing?"


"Do you see any lice in my hair?" I asked.


"So, then it could be anything."

"It's lice," she repeated again.

"Allergies? Brain tumor? Some rare autoimmune disease?"

"Oh, my gracious!" my friend ...Read more

Fugitive from the thought police

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- One of the few rules I live by, and repeat in print ad nauseam, is that there is no such thing as a thought crime. I codify this to: If What Happens in the Brain Stays in the Brain, No Sin Has Occurred, However Awful the Thought. I recently began to reconsider the wisdom of this rule. It happened during the Supreme Court ...Read more

When in Rome -- or Australia, as it were

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

My family and I spent the past few weeks traipsing around Down Under, where a children's show pilot I wrote is being turned into a TV series. After a few work meetings, we were off to visit three old Aussie friends I'd kept from when I lived across the world many moons ago.

Not to brag, but I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to ...Read more

Ticketed off: In which Gene goes parking mad

Humor / Below the Beltway /

This column was originally published on July 17, 2011.

WASHINGTON -- Stored in my cellphone are photographs that are important to me: snapshots of friends, of family, of a stern "KEEP DOGS OFF LAWN" sign beside which my dog is pooping. Among all these treasured images are a few of my car, taken after I parked in spots so tight that my ...Read more

There's no such thing as October's ghosts

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

October has favorite-month potential. I love the chill in the air, the smell of fireplaces and getting to wear hoodies and a few extra pounds. But one thing tarnishes the lovely month of October: Halloween decorations.

I'm afraid of ghosts. There, I said it. Ghosts freak me out. I don't care how groovy Shaggy's van is; I could never join Scooby...Read more

Gene's true calling

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Today is the latest episode in my Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative series on the plight of the beleaguered customer-service representative.

Keebler Club Crackers

Me: Does your product cause hypercalcemia, which can lead to brittle bones, kidney stones, frequent urination, and confusion that can get so severe you might ...Read more

A Mall Mecca

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

"This place is sweet!"

My husband ran his fingers along the sleek furniture, admiring the stylish pad. It was as if we had stumbled onto something magical, like Alice tripping through the looking glass and winding up in a world of wonder that, though unimaginable, was somehow built as if with her in mind. My husband was right. This place was ...Read more

Nobel Sentiments: How Ambrose Bierce predicted the apocalypse

Humor / Below the Beltway /

Gene Weingarten is away. This column was originally published on Sept. 8, 2013.

WASHINGTON -- To the Nobel Prize committee:

I am writing to suggest that you make your first posthumous award in literature, and that it go to Ambrose Bierce, the 19th-century American satirist. I have always admired Bierce, but I do not write merely ...Read more

Coffee Grind

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

We ran out of coffee.

How could we have let this happen? We knew we were coming to the end. Written in bold black lettering on the dry-erase board mounted on the refrigerator read, quite plainly, "Coffee." Perhaps it should have read, "COFFEE, you fools!" We might not have been in this mess if it had.

The initial shock was manageable. I keep...Read more

Deep Bloat

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- When I was a young reporter in Albany, N.Y., in the 1970s I used to fight with my sources about putting their quotes on the record. They wanted that. I didn't.

This was the heyday of the anonymous source, and deploying it became a key status marker of the investigative journalist. You obviously were a swashbuckler if, like ...Read more

No more castle on the hill

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

I've written of the Castle before. I lived in it for a year while I was in Australia. We sometimes humorously called it the White Castle, sometimes affectionately called it Standing Ruins, sometimes truthfully called it Death Bug Fortress. We always called it home.

The Castle was the perfect twisted fairy tale home, like something that comes to...Read more


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