Chemist's Joke

Humor / Jokes /

Q: Why does hamburger have lower energy than steak?

A: Because it's in the ground state.

Space Monkeys

Humor / Jokes /

NASA decided to send a shuttle into space with two monkeys and an astronaut. They trained them for months. Then when they thought they were ready, they placed all three in the shuttle and got ready to send them up into space.

As the moment came closer NASA's mission control center announced, "This is mission control to Monkey One. Initiate!"

...Read more

Gene walks into a low bar

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- This from a recent story in the New York Times:

"After days in which his very fitness for office was debated, Mr. Trump appeared intent on demonstrating that he could handle the presidency. He was in command of the meeting while inviting input. He did not berate anyone. He did not call anyone derogatory nicknames. He signaled that...Read more

Wombat Day

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

On Friday, a bunch of bearded white men in top hats and an overgrown squirrel sentenced me to six more weeks of winter. Personally, I think this winter has gone on long enough already. I'm ready for a change of scenery and temperature, and frankly, I'm ready to replace the marmot who has an affinity for seeing its shadow with a marsupial. Let'...Read more

Rhymes against humanity

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Today, again, I write for you a number of short "pokes,"

The term I coined for poems that retell some stale old jokes.

To those who say it's lowbrow stuff, I answer in defiance:

You'll find that every poke below is fully based on science.

Helix the Catty

What mean the letters "DNA"? I asked a science guy.

"...Read more

Nutella Riots

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Sometimes I think we live in the most insane country in the world. But when I read about the Nutella riots in France, I felt as if we're just the right amount of (hazel)nuts.

According to many sources, full-on hair-pulling, fist-pumping, leg-tripping, nose-bleeding riots broke out in supermarkets around the country after Intermarche offered a...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.


Me: Ma'am, I saw your product in a store. And I am frankly outraged.

Laurie: Why?

Me: Look, I'm not a prude. I don't have any problem with this kind of product, but ...Read more

Website Woes

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Yesterday I found out that my website, the place from which I operate my business of coaching writers and offering classes, was taken down. Apparently, it had been attacked by malware. To access my site again, it will take a few hundred dollars, and then I will have to completely rebuild the whole webpage from scratch. This utterly frustrating, ...Read more

Orange you glad he's your president?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- This week marks the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump, which means you are going to face a barrage of tedious first anniversary stories. The media will be unkind to the president, but we will tend to use anodyne adjectives, such as "unconventional," for the same reason that we don't tend to publish photos of ...Read more

On Like Donkey Kong

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Date nights are rare in my world -- so rare that they have become a tad mythological. Sure, people claim there are unicorns walking through the woods having tea parties with Bigfoot. But have you ever seen it happen in person? That's how I feel about dinner and a movie.

A few friends of mine fill their Facebook news feeds with fancy dinners ...Read more

Frog stew

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- At exactly 4:44 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, unable to sleep after an anxiety nightmare featuring Donald Trump, I fired up my laptop, and the very first thing I saw was: "In a series of early-morning tweets, Mr. Trump ... " at which point I stopped reading and emailed my editor: "It is Begun."

He and I had recently discussed the ...Read more

Bottom-Free Bomb Cyclone

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

My 2-year-old daughter's New Year's resolution is, apparently, giving up pants.

That's not to say she has given up pants for skirts. She is not acquiescing to the patriarchy, nor has she developed some sort of weird skin rash that prefers skirts to the feeling of pants against her shins. There has been no toddler-sized religious reckoning or ...Read more

The carrot and the schtick

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- To: Exalted Commandant and Plenipotentiary, Big Vegetable Inc.

Re: A business proposal

I want to congratulate you and your conglomerate for pulling off the marketing feat of modern times, and to suggest that we collaborate on a book. The book would be called "How to Get Rich by Cornering the Market on Goo." I ask that you contact...Read more

The Circle of Life

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

We knew that Pig was dying for about three months before we made that hard choice to put him down. Our 18-pound rabbit had been the most excellent pet and was loved dearly by his human younger siblings. Because Pig's tumor was visible, it was easy to talk to the kids about the cancer and prepare them for his death. Our eldest knew it was ...Read more

Say What?

Humor / Below the Beltway /

EDITORS: This column was originally published in 2006.

WASHINGTON -- I am a "word person." My vocabulary is extensive, my command of grammar and syntax almost without error. I can accurately conjugate most any verb, including "to lie," which gets pretty complex in the pluperfect. I understand the difference between epistemology and hermeneutics...Read more

Seasonal Spinning

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

One of the hardest things about the holidays is that while we are connecting with the loved ones whom we typically don't get to see very often, we are totally not connecting with the ones we see every day. When your days are filled with visiting distant relatives (was that my first cousin twice removed or my great-niece?) and distant friends (...Read more


Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- To: Administrators, the National Medal of Science

Re: My submission for your consideration

It is rare that this prestigious prize is awarded in the field of sociology. As a forensic sociologist, I am hoping you will review my findings below and act appropriately.

I believe I have identified a new language -- more specifically, a...Read more

Meeting Attire

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

An inordinate amount of time was spent deciding on my shoes. It was cold outside, so boots were a must, but which ones? There were the expensive boots that I had purchased in a flash sale for approximately 3,000 percent off. They were sophisticated and hip -- everything I needed to embellish my outfit -- but they were also high-heeled. Or I ...Read more

Cat me if you can

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Editor's note: This is the sixth cat-related column Gene has written in 2017. As a service to our readers, he will be docked $7,000 in pay for each subsequent one.

"Herding cats" may be the most common term to describe an exasperating, nearly impossible job. I found a better one: "Herding cat."

Late in October, my daughter...Read more

That Christmas Cheer

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

One of my favorite lines in the film "Love Actually" comes when Emma Thompson's character's children return from school and tell her the roles they were given in the school play. Her daughter proudly announces that she was awarded the role of first lobster, to which Emma Thompson's character replies, "There was more than one lobster present at...Read more


Social Connections


Bizarro Wumo Gary Markstein The Pajama Diaries Heathcliff Candorville