Who Gets the Cool Gun?

Humor / Jokes /

Nothing's "cool" about war. Except for that one laser gun. That thing kicks ass. Hell yeah.

Gene fingers journos in language imbroglio

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has been blamed for creating an atmosphere in which the news media is vilified and distrusted. It's true, but there might be a contributing factor that gets people suspicious of us. We sound weird.

I've lately been looking for words the media uses that virtually no one else does. There are a lot of them.

Slay:...Read more

The Orange Diet

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

There is a story in my family that has been told and retold so many times that I'm no longer certain of the truth behind the tale. It sits in that amorphous place of being either 100 percent accurate or 92 percent false. And knowing all the players in the story, I couldn't even begin to guess the answer.

The story is about me, though I have ...Read more

Donald the Great

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Shortly after Donald Trump became president, I was approached at a wedding by a man who good-naturedly berated me, as a member of the media, for ignoring Trump's good points. He said he knew for a fact that the billionaire was in the habit of buying houses and giving them to disabled war veterans, a bit of charity he kept secret. I...Read more

The Katydid Hunter

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

"I'm so excited to finally get you on the phone. I've been dying to meet you," said a potential consulting client. "My son and I are obsessed with katydids."

I was named after the katydid, a long insect that looks like the love child of a grasshopper and a mantis. Most people aren't familiar with katydids, so anytime I meet someone who shares ...Read more

The Spice of Death: Gene Gets Crabby About Old Bay

Humor / Below the Beltway /

This column was originally published in 2012.

WASHINGTON -- Not long ago, I casually used the word "hate" to describe how I felt about a certain minor annoyance. A friend chastised me, and she was right. It's an angry word, devoid of charity, dismissive of debate; in these days of destructively acrid public discourse, it should be used ...Read more

Zoo Chaperone

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

When my son was 2 1/2, we visited the zoo. I got distracted for just a moment, and when I looked up, my son was climbing over a wall and into the lion's den. One foot was hanging over the king of the jungle's water hole.

I ran to pull him back from his suicide mission as he wailed his discontent. The two teenagers who had been standing right ...Read more

Yankees' oodles? Dandy!

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I am an avid and knowledgeable baseball fan. But I am not a good baseball fan. A good baseball fan is, first and foremost, in love with the game itself. He might have a favorite team for which he will root unequivocally and with passion, but what he really is rooting for is the thrill of competition. A good baseball ...Read more

The Pants Malfunction

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

They say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Apparently, I want to have the job of a stripper.

This past week, I have had the immense pleasure of being a panelist, moderator and mentor at the Atlanta Film Festival and ScreenCraft Writers Summit. My week began with a panel that I had pitched about entertainment development. We...Read more

Pavlovian response

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- We have a problem, as a nation. I trace it pretty directly to the publication of the runaway bestseller "The Book of Lists" in 1977. It consisted of tantalizing if trivial compendiums, such as "Famous people who died during sex" (Attila the Hun, Pope John XII, Errol Flynn), "breeds of dog that bite people the most, and the least" (...Read more

Feeling Like a Parent

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Nothing makes you feel more like a parent than wearing wrinkled sweats, listlessly flipping through your phone and sipping on drive-thru Starbucks while sitting in your parked but idling seven-seat SUV waiting for the Target to open. That's where I was this morning.

The other parents, sitting in their own idling cars, would occasionally look ...Read more

A parting shot

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- I am writing today to threaten all of my colleagues in journalism. Collegiality is nice enough, but it is over. There are times when one must take a stand on a matter of national import, even at the risk of alienating respected individuals and turning oneself into a professional pariah. I am old. I'll take the hit. So here goes.

...Read more

Fever Dream

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

When I was living in Australia, I heard about a girl who stepped on an old land mine while traveling through Indonesia. The blast threw her back, and to get better medical help, she was flown to Australia. Once she was patched up, she decided to continue her adventure by exploring northern Australia. Be sure to follow the road signs, she was ...Read more

Killing IT

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- Many years ago, I edited the work of a famous writer at The Washington Post. You know his name. You likely revere his work. During one editing session, something became clear to me: This adult, successful journalist was a complete ignoramus on most matters that happened to be unrelated to his field of expertise. He did not, for ...Read more

School Customers

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

The other night, I attended a branding session for my school district. Yes, branding. A letter went out, addressed to school district "customers" -- apparently not wanting to offend us by using outdated, totally unhip traditional names, e.g., parents and guardians, community members or moms and dads. Yikes. In this customer-directed letter, ...Read more

A sucker's game

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- We seem to be living in unusually cruel times, a dog-eat-dog world in which the needs of the little person have been largely subjugated to the demands of capitalism; where our tax system favors the rich over the poor; where compassion seems to be considered a ludicrously outdated role of government.

To navigate this heartless, ...Read more

Surprise and the Blue Lion

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

Children learn about love and the birds and the bees from a variety of places -- parents, guidance counselors, siblings. But I got my first lesson on love and sex from my pet rabbit, Surprise.

I had Surprise for about a year before I brought home a stuffed blue lion I'd just won at the fair. And it was love at first bunny sight. Surprise took ...Read more

Gate gate

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- This is an anatomy of two decisions recently made by a pitiful neurotic.

The first occurred on Feb. 22 at 3:10 a.m. in a dingy room in a dingy motel in Oakland, California. It was prompted by a nonstop, high-decibel, headboard-banging-on-the-wall session of sexual congress occurring in the room next to mine. I had to decide ...Read more

Animal Retirement

Humor / Katiedid Langrock /

When we had to put down our beloved rabbit at the end of last year, we wondered what to tell the children. Should we say he ran away to a bunny farm in the mountains where they learn to bunny yodel and knot sweaters from their own fur? Should we say he is eating carrots in the sky? Or should we say he went on a boozy bunny binge bender after ...Read more

Confessions of a meathead: The misadventures of an adventurous eater

Humor / Below the Beltway /

WASHINGTON -- As you may recall, I am an aggressively adventurous eater. I do not have a yuck factor. I am that guy who will ignore the English menu at an ethnic restaurant and order my meal by pointing at the people at the next table if they happen to be eating something that tantalizingly resembles, say, snouts in lymph sauce. And that is why ...Read more


Social Connections


Archie Lisa Benson Blondie Breaking Cat News Reply All Doonesbury