Gene Weingarten

New York City, NYWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: New York, from the bizarre to the truly bizarre

I recently stayed in New York City on a skinny island in the middle of the East River, not far from the old New York City Lunatic Asylum, which is what that institution was called in the 1840s back when you could call people lunatics. (A lot of things were okay then that are not okay now. Places had names like the Home for Wayward and Debauched Young Ladies and Hopeless Inebriates.) Today the island is called Roosevelt Island, and there are no more lunatics, though there is some degree of lunacy, especially in the waning days of the pandemic.
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CarsWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Don’t just fix the problem. Kluge it.

A few weeks ago as I was starting my car, the key snapped off in the ignition slot. The metal shaft remained in the slot, but the bulbous plastic part, the one with the buttons, came off in my hand. The plastic was cracked open at the seam, and it wouldn’t fit back on the key shaft. With difficulty I could still turn the shaft with my fingertips — about four millimeters of metal stuck out from the steering column — but it didn’t start the car. The anti-theft device requires the immediate presence of the plastic blob, which contains a chip.
MLBWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Take me out to the Old. Word. Game.

Now that we are well into baseball season, I am once again somewhat slightly discombobulated — not disappointed exactly, nor entirely un-thrilled, but perhaps a little mildly disheartened (while, as always, remaining guardedly hopeful) — by the amount of mealy-mouthing that has descended upon us again, seasonally, as a nation.
Presidential ElectionWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Consider this my application to ghostwrite Mike Pence’s autobiography

Re: The Mike Pence autobiography you just purchased. I hereby apply for a job as ghostwriter for this book. Because you have been my publisher, I know I don’t have to persuade you of my talent. My books have received critical acclaim, even though, financially, most of them sank like a mobster in cement shoes. But that last part shouldn’t be a deterrent to you. No one is going to be buying this book anyway, since it is both by and about the stodgiest and least interesting politician on the planet.
FitnessWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Behold, the worst diet of all time

A few weeks ago, I clicked on a news story and my jaw dropped. It dropped because I was trying to insert into my mouth a big fat bratwurst smothered in butter-sauteed onions. Then I read the news story. It said that millennials are reporting an average weight gain of 41 pounds since the start of the pandemic. Wow, I thought. Those poor young men and women are stress-eating themselves to an early death. Alas, they lack the self-control and resilience of us older people. Then I decided, just for reassurance, to visit my bathroom scale. It had been a while.
FacebookWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Meet Fred, the Tooth Fairy

I am writing this on the last day of last month, which happened to be an official American day of celebration that you, treasonously, failed to acknowledge. It was National Tooth Fairy Day. Tooth Fairy Day was created in the mid-1920s (evidently a subset of the flapper era known as...
POTUSWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: For a week I recorded my dreams. Here are my political prophecies.

According to news reports, there is within the Pentecostal and charismatic Christian movements an increasing willingness by pastors to interpret people’s dreams as revelatory experiences — in essence, religious prophecies, especially if they confirm the pastors’ political beliefs. One of the more common current prophecies is that Donald Trump will somehow Rise Again as president, possibly as early as this month.
RelationshipsWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Karen’s better half? Darren, obviously.

Almost as soon as the Internet began yakking about “Karens” — entitled middle-aged women who display a septic amount of white privilege — an informal competition arose to come up with a name for the male equivalent. For unfathomable reasons, the most popular nominees were Greg, Terry and Ken. This...
FacebookWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Confessions of a compassionate hit man

We’d seen her shivering in a muddy construction site, in the middle of a thunderstorm, scared stupid. She’d broken free from a crude tether made of twine; some still remained, noose-tight around her neck. She was brown-black, like a Rottweiler, but after a long bath it turned out she was Wiffle-ball white. She was a Samoyed, hence her name.
POTUSWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: I come bearing good news, QAnon. Meet WAnon, the new Mr. Right.

This column is addressed to members of QAnon, the group of uber-patriot citizens who literally believe that they are the last line of defense against a cabal of satanic, cannibalistic pedophile Democrats intent on placing America under the thrall of Stalinist socialism. QAnon finds its evidence in complex coded messages divined from social media, messages attributed to a shadowy “highly placed government official” well versed in the five-dimensional chess moves of their leader, Donald Trump, whose secret mission is to find all those Democratic child molesters and imprison or execute them, even if in doing so, as a smokescreen, Trump might seem to be a witless, bigoted imbecile. That’s all part of the plan, which ends with his leaping back into power after President Biden is deposed, jailed or executed.
Presidential ElectionWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Trump left a letter for Biden. Here’s what I think it said.

By tradition, outgoing American presidents leave handwritten letters to their successors, in an envelope in the Resolute Desk. These have always been gracious, encouraging, and even conciliatory, especially when the new president defeated the old one. George H.W. Bush’s letter to Bill Clinton, after a particularly contentious campaign, was moving: “Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”
Food & DrinksWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: This hot sauce is a killer

I recently got a package in the mail, a gift from America’s most famous assassin. It nearly killed me. When it comes to food, I am adventurous in my tastes, but I am a wuss about heat — a connoisseur of blandness. I can unerringly distinguish among mashed potatoes made with a little butter, mashed potatoes made with a little cream, and mashed potatoes made with a little olive oil. If I concentrate, I believe I can differentiate each of the eight fruits and vegetables in V-8. To me, love for food should be about the appreciation of subtlety, not a delight in savagery. I’ve never understood people’s reverence for hot sauce — food that literally hurts; it would be like loving riding a motorcycle but doing it barefoot and braking with your feet on the pavement. I think of it this way: People who like hot sauce like the Three Stooges. People who don’t like hot sauce like “Doonesbury.”
POTUSWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: It ain’t over until the fat man sings

In just a few days, we will turn the page. It will be quite a dramatic and happy page turning, like when you go from Page 55 to Page 56 in “The Cat in the Hat,” where the house has been turned into a disastrous mess by Thing One and Thing Two, but the cat comes back in with a special magic car and cleans everything up in seconds.
ToyotaWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Your call is unimportant to us

There’s a bit from a comedy routine that I have loved since the first and only time I heard it, in 1981, from some stand-up comic whose name I never caught. I am paraphrasing, from memory: “I grew up in the Bronx in a neighborhood where just about everyone was Jewish. Most of my friends’ homes included at least one grandparent, and all grandparents spoke with Yiddish accents. So naturally, we all figured that when you got old, you developed a Yiddish accent. I assumed that one day I would tell my grandkids: ‘Ven I vas young, I vent to Voodstock. It vas so nice, the music. ...’ ” Cracked me up.
HealthWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: Who cares about a little unexplained blood these days?

One recent morning, my girlfriend, Rachel, alerted me to an alarming development. There was a pretty substantial pool of blood on the dining room floor. Near it was another one. Forensic searching turned up a few more. “It could be wine or something,” I said, reasonably. She wiped some up....
Congress & CourtsWashington Post

Gene Weingarten: My elderly dog could be a Supreme Court justice. Technically.

On the day I write this, the United States Supreme Court has decided, in its collective wisdom, that if you worship a deity you can strangle puppies to death. As a person who does not worship a deity and loves puppies, you can imagine my anguish, and probably forgive me for my overstatement: The court didn’t actually say that particular puppies thing, but its ruling was almost that obviously insane, and you might agree with me even if you believe in God and hate puppies. The newly, wildly conservative court — with the addition of Amy Coney Barrett, who appears to believe that Jesus should be president — said that during a global plague, a government cannot limit the size of public gatherings if they are religious in nature. Even the pope, a man not known for secular views, publicly declared it nutso.