Chatological Humor update

Sep 19, 2017

You asked for it and you got it. Gene will now be holding weekly mini-chats, where he takes your questions about what's happening in the country -- and anything else you want to discuss.

Gene will still have regular monthly chats, for a fuller chat and poll experience. The next one is Tuesday Sept. 26 at noon.

Good afternoon. 

No big old intro today, just a link to this excellent column by the excellent Catherine Rampell, who discusses the results of a recent poll of college undergrads that show certain things:

1. 20 percent say it's acceptable to use physical force to shut up a speaker who "makes offensive and hurtful statements."

2. 40 percent think the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.  Disproportionately, women believed that. 

3.  Sixty percent of all students (this is so stunning I have to assure you there is no mistake here) believe that the First Amendment requires balance: That, Constitutionally, an offensive speaker at a public university by matched by one with an opposing view. 

I suspect you share my distaste for all this, but in case you don't, this tastes like mackerel-flavored ice cream drenched with shart sauce.   Something is going dreadfully wrong at American colleges; whatever noble ideas are behind this, the practical effect is creating Donald Trump in perpetuity.  Because even I recoil.  PARTICULARLY I recoil.  Such an infantile misreading of the First Amendment, such an adolescent politicization of it, simply fuels the whole "PC" misdirection used by the crapslingers who endanger our country. 

In a related matter, I really wish the folks on the left will stop doing things like claiming Trump's re-tweet of a stupid meme stupidly showing him teeing off a golf ball which then, via the magic of clumsy  photoshopping, seems to career off Hillary Clinton's back, causing her to trip and fall to the ground while entering an airplane ... I really wish opponents of Trump would stop their pearl-clutching, humor-impaired claims that this is endorsing violence against women.   It isn't.  It's just a lame joke made by some douchebag that impressed another douchebag so much that he retweeted it.  It has nothing to do with gender-related violence, a serious issue that deserves serious attention but that is irrelevant to this particular stupidity.    The real story here  is that Trump seems to be reading tweets from moron bigots.  The real story here has nothing to do with actual violence and the more we pretend to think that it does -- or, worse,  actually think that it does -- the more we seem to be waay too easily willing to exaggerate Trump's actual myriad misdeeds.   You're playing into their hands, pearl clutchers.  Stop it.  

Okay, we start at noon sharp.



Gene, your decision to call people who solve word-search puzzles stupid (or are they only stupid if they do them on Metro?) is beneath you. I'm a fan for many years and I applaud your willingness to call stupid *individuals* stupid, but calling groups of people stupid is usually wrong and I'm pretty sure you know that. The type of behavior matters—for example, all people who carry torches and display nazi paraphernalia are stupid. But people who do those puzzles (or other pursuits that are nobody else's business) seem to find them challenging and enjoyable for reasons that are not fair game for derision. They are doing what they can with the cards that nature and/or the educational system dealt to them. Those people might, by the way, consider your fecal obsession stupid. I don't, but I do think you can be a little bit infantile sometimes, as when you stoop to calling people names who don't deserve it. Yes, you are smarter. But don't demean yourself this way. Your words are printed in my hometown paper, so I have a reason to be saddened by those words.

When have I EVER called people names they don't deserve, you peckerhead?

I hear you on the word-find puzzles, though this is an old shtick for me.   I mean, to me, it's a joke about a joke, not a joke about people.  But I hear you.  Peckerhead.

I have never seen a newspaper article with a headline or opening paragraph describing a man as a "grandfather." Yet it routinely happens that women are first identified in media reporting as a grandmother. As I write this, there is an article on the New York Times homepage that identifies a woman who died during Hurricane Harvey as a great-grandmother before providing any other description of her. Why not a physical, cultural, occupational, religious description -- or even just "elderly," in her case? A few years ago when covering the murder of a married couple in their home, the Post first identified the husband by his profession (something like " a practicing attorney for 40 years") while they described the wife as a grandmother. But later in the article, it was noted that the wife had had a long career as an accountant (or a similar profession). So the husband's career is his primary identifier, while his being a grandfather is secondary and the reverse is true for the wife? I keep thinking that if Hillary and Bill Clinton die together in an auto accident that the first paragraph will read " Bill Clinton, former President, died in an automobile accident yesterday. Also killed in the crash was his wife, Hillary, a grandmother of two."

Yep.  I don't know the specific case to which you refer, but I recognize the lamentable tendency.  This will change, because, as you point out, it is becoming strikingly evident.

Gene, I'm wondering what you thought of this column by Michael Gerson. I have clerked for and appeared before judges of all faiths and no organized faiths and I will openly state from direct experience that conservative Catholic thinkers who get on the courts frequently have no compunction whatsoever about imposing the doctrine of the Catholic church through interpretations of civil laws that start from the assumption that their faith-based "truths" are everyone's truth. That doesn't mean that this one will, but based on her writings it is perfectly legitimate to ask about her beliefs in this regard. It's obvious that what the Democratic questioners were getting at was whether the nominee intends to apply Catholic doctrinal truths about gender and reproduction to the interpretation of civil laws. I will grant a small tiny grain of truth in Gerson's grievance, which is that Feinstein's questions about how the nominee's beliefs will influence her jurisprudence were not phrased as artfully as they could have been. But, please. That's because she was trying really hard not to step over the line of decorum while drawing the nominee out on how far she will be willing to go to impose Catholic morality on civil laws. Gerson's hysterical reaction -- Democrats show "anti-religion bigotry!" is a case of opportunism, shallow tribal thinking, inability to see past his own Catholic-infused view of life, or some combination of all three. He sounded exactly the way he would have sounded had he written this column five years ago, before his beloved Republicans supposedly changed into something he no longer recognizes (and coincidentally took over the government.) He showed zero appreciation for how those of us who don't adhere to a conservative Catholic personal faith may feel even more deeply threatened IN THE AGE OF TRUMP by lifetime appointments of theologians to the federal courts. I suspect that's because he never got why it was threatening to us in the first place.

I have mixed feelings about this.   And I like and respect Gerson, who identifies, as I recall, as an Evangelical Christian.  Mostly, I agree with him on this issue; I remember reading about Feinstein's grilling of this candidate, and thinking it seemed harsh and religiously intolerant.  The fact is, much of Christianity is about principles and morality and does not demand belief in the divinity of Jesus in order to ascribe to it.  It is philosophy.  Jesus was a philosopher.  Quotes attributed to Jesus can seem quite similar to quotes attributed to John Locke.   But Gerson also enters this tired territory: "Feinstein would make her secularism the state religion, complete with its own doctrine and Holy Office."


No.   Secularism is less opaque, and certainly less totalitarian, than religion.  Religion depends on blind adherence to fail and dogm and doctrine.   It does not always claim logic;  it always claims, well, faith.  Jesus said this, so it is Good.  Proceed accordingly.

And that's where I share Feinstein's misgivings, and where I wind up unsure of myself here.  If a judge opposes abortion I want it to be because she has dealt with the ethical and moral and sociological and medical realities, and considered them judiciously, as it were, and decided the issue along those lines.   I don't want her to decide, primarily, because she trusts what Jesus would have done.  A secularist might decide, on balance, that Jesus might have been wrong on this one.  A devout Christian, perhaps, dasn't do so. 

I'd love to debate this.  It is something about which I am unsure.  I think that uncertainty is important!

FWIW, the word-find puzzle reference was from my column on Sunday, challenging Trump to a duel.

Gene, the problem doesn't start in college - it starts when they are little kids. We have extended the daycare/toddler socialization of taking turns, being nice, being fair (which are all good!) into the intellectual sphere. 2 + 2 = 4, the earth is round, species evolve, and Nazism is immoral. There are no 'alternate views' of those things. But we've gone so far around the bend with niceness and relativism that nobody is willing to stomp those kinds of thoughts out.

But it's the intolerance part that drives me nuts, coupled with the save-space, fragile-flower part.  They form a deeply troubling nexus.

It's not hard to tell when you're being intentionally over the top.

Well, I actually understand that person's point.  It seems like the worst form of intellectual snobbery, which, in a sense, it is.  I really DON'T see why people find any pleasure in the word-find puzzles.  If you are smart enough to recognize long words in a grid of letters, you are smart enough to enjoy the more complex challenge of a crossword.  Still.  "Stupid" was not a good word to use, really.   

If it's any consolation, very few non-lawyers really understand it very well. Even police officers (who should be trained not to violate it) seem to have a hard time with it. Especially when they threaten to arrest people for filming them or for "talking back" to them. And way too many idiots think it means they can say whatever they want, wherever they want, with no negative repercussions. I also find irony in the people who get all angry over the national anthem/american flag protests, without realizing that the true "freedom" represented by our country is the ability to preserve the rights of those who disagree with the majority so that they can have a voice. Even if we don't personally like what that voice is saying.

One of my favorite cover illustrations during the time I was editor of Tropic was for a story (by Achenbach) explaining how stupid was the idea of an anti-flag-burning Amendment to the Constitution, which, believe it or not, was a big election year issue supported by then prexy George HW Bush.  

The illustration was of a hand lighting the U.S. Constitution on fire.   And the cover line said:  Why a flag-burning amendment might not be such a hot idea. 

During my first year of college, I suddenly started having black poop. After a day or two, I started fainting. I was having a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Anyone who has this experience should seek medical help immediately.

Exactly.  Black, tarry poopy should be tolerated for about 48 hours.  Then run do not walk for medical help.  a Simple fecal analysis will confirm occult blood, which is, by the way, a great term.

I am now living with my 7th dog (not all at once, but in seriatum). He is by far the most hyper, intense, ADD, non-listening dog I have ever had. (He's a large bird dog but not a breed known for being nuts.) I put him on a pretty severe training regime--not painful, just strict, like no furniture access, no wandering off, has to be on his bed or directly with me unless we are outside in our large fenced yard, teaching him to heel, sit for everything, etc. And I'm remembering (since it's been a few years since my last dog) that it's like sleep and babies. Everyone wants to give you unsolicited advice that starts with the words "Have you tried...?" Usually those people have docile pugs and beagles, basically the genetic equivalent of a sloth, and think their sloth experience applies to my cheetah experience. I am trying assiduously to ignore them and say things like, "This is what is working for us." But it's really hard not to say, "Hey, you know what? You have owned one dog like EVER so shut up because you don't know how bloody unpredictable dog personality is." Anyway, that's my rant for today, to a fellow dog person. Humph.

I am lousy at dog training.  Baically, I feel each of my dogs has had exactly the personality she was born with, and I am simply a facilitator.  I have mostly been lucky; only one dog was truly unmanageable, and she was violent/crazy and eventually had to be put down, one of the tragedies of my life.  All the rest?  Just fine, as they were.  I didn't do much to affect anything.

With Murphy, for example: A really good natured dog.  Sweet, terrific with kids, smart, beautiful, athletic even at 11, somewhat neurotic (goes to pieces in storms) but pointlessly headstrong.  Will DRAG me in a direction she wants to go and I do not.  There was probably a way to cure her of this, but I lacked the skill / intuition to make it happen.   It has been just fine.  I love her and she is a fine roommate. 

This is the problem of being accused of being intolerant because one does not tolerate intolerance. You have the right to say whatever you want without interference from the government, and someone else has the same right to object to what you say.

yes, exactly. 

Can you say Hobby-Lobby? And please, "much of Christianity is about principles and morality and does not demand belief in the divinity of Jesus in order to ascribe to it". Not if you are Catholic, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Baptist etc. in fact the very word Christianity comes from Christ. If you don't believe in the divinity of Christ you are not a Christian. That's why Unitarians aren't Christians. I even worked with a born-again for awhile who argued with another co-worker that she wasn't a Christian (she was Catholic!) because she hadn't been born-again!

I am not suggesting, or didn't mean to be suggesting, that you can be a Christian and not believe in the divinity of Christ.  I am saying you can take a political position based on the principles of Christianity without necessarily believing the the holy trinity, or whatever.   "Doing the Christian thing" doesn't mean believing in Christ.  I have done the Christian thing.

I read the story about so many college students not understanding the 1st Amendment, and it provides more backing for my belief stated above. I'm old (75) and no doubt somewhat cranky, but so, so many of these children in college (yes, they're proving to be children) have been coddled from birth on, and they have no conception of what the real world will be like when they enter it. A big surprise awaits them.

We are in danger of sounding like curmudgeons, you and I.  I like the youngest adult generation these days.  Idealists, hard working, smart.   It's just this area for which I want to bludgeon them.

Are they less intellectual than the find twenty differences puzzles in the Sunday magazine? Side note, my favorite style section joke ever was front the special men's edition Style one Sunday long ago where there were two photos with the question "Can you find ten differences between these photos?" with the answer several pages later "No, you cannot. There are no differences because these are the same photo"

haha!  I love that.  Don't remember it. 

No, I don't think there is an appreciable difference between word find and find the differences.  If anything, word find is more intellectual, because it at least involves words.   The Second Glance item -- though meticulously done -- is not my favorite part of the sunday mag.

Yes. I am. Very much so. But I occasionally do word-search puzzles when I"m tired and just want something simple to play with for a while, to relax my brain and occupy my eyes and hands. Just like I occasionally knit a simple scarf instead of always crocheting thread-lace tablecloths.

Aww.  I insulted some people.  Didn't mean to.  I feel a little bad about this, actually.

I'm the OP. Thanks for saying you hear me. It's what we all long for. Here's a question (not a survey, because this is a private conversation, so who cares what the rest think?): If you were trapped in a waiting room for several hours and the only piece of paper in the room was one of those puzzles, would you do the puzzle or stare into space? I am like Pau Theroux—if I am stuck without reading material, I will read my license and credit cards.

I have read my license and credit cards in the bathroom, yep.  And yes, I would do a word find puzzle.  I'd probably find a way to amp up the challenge, like go for a time record.

On Mondays, I solve the NYTimes crossword by only reading the down clues.  It becomes a MAJOR challenge.

Thank you. Hesiod was complaining about the younger generation going to hell in a handbasked in about 700 B.C.


They just aren't Trinitarians. In fact, if you go back far enough, you'll find that Trinitarianism was originally considered a heresy.

yeah, I should have challenged that.  I am sure Unitarians consider themselves Christians and who is anyone to suggest they aren't?

I am a graduate of an Ivy League college with a major in biology. I got a perfect 800 on the verbal SAT when I was in high school- with no preparation other than taking the PSAT the year before. I was a member of MENSA. Sometimes I do word find puzzles and occasionally do crosswords. Word find is kind of a relaxation thing for me because they aren't too difficult. However I find that crossword puzzles are not really intelligence markers because they often require knowledge of stupid TV shows, sport figures from so-called sports like car racing, rap musicians and other things I have no interest and thus no knowledge of which is why I get frustrated and quit on them.

You are probably doing the wrong crosswords. 

Hey, I know I have said this before, but the best word puzzle on earth is the Acrostic.  Second best is "Split Decisions" occasionally in the NYTimes mag.  by Fred Piscop.   PtheP and I do it together over lunch whenever there is a new one .

I hope you have all come home to the Wapo mag on Sundays.  Evan Birnholz is really good.

Given that abortion has existed as long as there have been unwanted pregnancies, it almost certainly was around during Jesus' time. Yet, he says nothing about it, which leads one to believe that he was probably agnostic about it. He did, however, teach his followers to be kind to those who had problems they themselves did not share.

Oh, the issue is old.  Fun fact: The Hippocratic Oath includes a whole section on how bad abortions are.

Jeeze. Who knew the bar could be perpetually lowered? Could we at least get Elton John to sue?

The standard porn conclusion can be redeemed a bit if it's followed by mutual loving smooches. Almost never happens.

And no, it cannot be so redeemed.   Sex is about what happens in the brain, and what has to happen in the brain to make that moment happen is just ... awful.  And the result is degrading.  I hate it. 

"her female students don't know what to do about it." That just blows my mind (and I am a woman, though not a young one). The answer is simple. Tell him to finish in another way. This doesn't have anything to do with porn, this is just plain common sense! I can't imagine very many men are going to object to a little direction from their partners. And if they do, then you know that there will be no second time. Oh, and another thing that blows my mind is this idea that women don't enjoy porn. The "romance" genre is the best selling fiction for a reason.

I agree with you, except I wonder if women wonder that if they say nope the guy will go off and find a yep.  

The romance genre is the precise opposite of porn.  It is romanticized sex. 

Putting on my Kevlar suit, I point out that Gerson is what is generally called "a Jewish surname" -- just wondering, because I realized that I knew exactly what to think of Oliver North when I learned that he was raised Catholic and then turned Pentecostal.

Hm.  Am I wrong?   I am flying blind there.  I seem to recall, but mebbe I am all wrong?

My dad is 75. While I wouldn't say he's slipping cognitively, his reaction times have gotten slower and it sometimes takes him longer to find the right word, or finish a story, or etc. His doctor has encouraged him to do word-find puzzles as a way to stimulate his brain. FWIW, he also is a master at Sudoku, but apparently the word puzzles work a different part of his gray matter.

Hm.  Why not crosswords?

Did the bloviating Gropenführer just declare war on North Korea? I'm feeling sick.

Can we agree he is  the worst thing in the world?

Am I guilty of cultural appropriation if I talk like a pirate today?

Yes.  Also, no Yiddish.

A pirate walks into a bar. Bartender notices that pirate has a ship's wheel protruding from his crotch. Bartender says to pirate, "Are you aware that you have a ship's wheel sticking out of your crotch?" "Yaaarrr, Matey, " says the pirate, "and it's drivin' me nuts!"

I tell this joke as an Irishman, because the punchline seems funnier as part of an Irish accent.

What if she trusts Allah, or Buddha, or the wicked witch of the west? Can you imagine the uproar if an Islamic nominee was asked if he would follow Muhammad when making rulings?

Yes I can imagine.  It would not be pretty.

I graduated from JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church. The proposal to change the school name has made national news, and the local authorities have accepted nominations for a new name. Over seventy names were proposed, the leading vote-getter being Thurgood Marshall HS (Justice Marshall lived nearby). However, the following names have also been formally accepted for voting: -- Beyonce Knowles HS -- Colin Kaepernick HS -- Diffendorfer HS -- Evans and Hynes Institute for Public Integrity and Fiscal Responsibility -- Gilbert Stuart HS -- Schooly McSchoolface HS -- Triggered Snowflake HS And my favorite, which will receive my vote: -- Jeff Stuart HS

If it were an online poll, Schooly McSchoolface would win.

Yesterday's NYT crossword made me wonder if their goal is to eventually create a Monday puzzle so easy you can fill it in without looking at any of the clues.

Yeah, it was ridiculous.  But all Mondays are kind of ridiculous.   Okay, here is something to consider:  The difference between easy and hard has nothing to do, or almost nothing to do, with the answers in the grid.  It's all about the questions -- the clues.  Any good constructor can take a Monday answer grid and turn it into a Friday-level puzzle by making all the clues harder / more elliptical.

Anybody in the U.S. Department of Defense willing to stand up to Trump's coming nuclear war with North Korea? Maybe someday we can write an obituary about them, like is being written about Stanislav Petrov, the Russian who saved us all from mutual assured destruction back in 1983.

I have a theory, a dramatic theory, about how this will play out but i cannot write it responsibly enough to retain my job.  I have told it to friends so that if it actually happens I will be able to establish that I am the wisest genius in all of geniushood. 

Since you've linked to Deadspin articles a time or two I'm wondering if you're a fan of Drew Magary's writing. His recent mailbag column especially made me think of this chat, since you have some conflicting views on big weddings (though he makes some good points):

He is a good writer but has persuaded me of nothing here.  Nothing.  In fact, I accuse him of reverse-engineering this answer.   Well, I have to defend big weddings, so what can I say to justify that?  I know!  The sausage and bean casserole was GREAT!

Is this a calculated attempt to distract people from today's attempt to repeal the health care law in the Senate or is he really eager to start another war while the other two wars we started are still ongoing? I don't think his future conviction for war crimes would be fair retaliation for the actual war crimes.

Can't both be true?  Why are you always so Manichean?

It's true that there is no record of Jesus specifically mentioning abortion. But Tertullian, an African Early Church Father, said, Christians are just like everyone else, except they don't expose their infants. This was the abortion method of the time--leaving them outside to die. Since we know the views (and actions!) of his second- and third-generation followers, it's difficult to seriously claim that he was agnostic on the issue.

That is not an abortion.  That is murder.  And if you think they are the same you are not even remotely objective on this issue.

Speaking of Paul Theroux, here's a Russian joke from his book "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" In the late 1980s, when the USSR and its economy collapsed, a woman wanted to buy a car. She got a voucher and was told the car would be delivered in 10 years. She asked "Morning or afternoon?" "Why do you need to know?" "Because the plumber is coming in the morning."

I love that joke.  Wow.  One of my new faves.   In general, I love Soviet fatalistic humor.

"The bloviating Gropenführer"? I love it! FWIW, the attitude in France, Germany and Austria has been one of head-shaking bafflement. As in, "Surely you can't be serious!"

Don't call him Shirley!   He'll start a world war over that.

I don't think Feinstein's questions are out of line in a country whose Supreme Court is controlled by Opus Dei. Horrible as Scalia was, I think Alito and Gorsuch in particular are going to blaze new trails.

I'm seriously conflicted on this issue.  In general, you'd think I would be entirely with Feinstein on this, but watched her ask these questions, and felt uncomfy. 

According to the oracle, Gerson was raised evangelical. His paternal grandfather was Jewish.

Ah, thank you.  I THOUGHT I remembered that. 

In today's column, he says he is an evangelical Christian.

Haha.  I KNEW I read it pretty recently.

Thank you. As a female who enjoyed porn AND romance novels, I find this part of porn disgusting and humiliating and cannot imagine youngsters thinking that it's OK, let alone standard.

I don't want to belabor this point, and I am probably overemphasizing its importance, but this is the first generation of adults, I believe, who had access to rank porn before they had access to actual sex.   So why WOULDN'T they think this is normal?   And thinking it is normal is frightfully unfair to women.   Screw the porn industry, as it were. 

Gene, I have to take issue with the person who criticized you for calling groups of people stupid, then called people who march with torches while carrying nazi paraphernalia stupid. The Nazis weren’t stupid. They were hateful, brutal, and despicable, but they were not stupid and it’s unlikely that the current devotees of that ideology are. Dismissing groups of people as stupid because when what they actually are is repugnant can lead to a failure to take them seriously – and looking at the White House today shows where that can lead.

This is a side issue, but I think Trump is actually stupid.  It's taken me a while to get there, but his grasp of issues is so shallow that he can't have much of an analytical mind.  

We already a verb for this, guys. It's orient.

Yep.   I haven't seen "orientate" for a while.  It's REALLY stupid. 

"" Violence breeds violence. "" Gene, even I, a conservative, who did not vote for Trump, agree with you that this is something almost everyone should feel very right about. Antifa and the concept of a punch a Nazi are extremely detrimental for our society. I would posit they are far more dangerous than Nazis as they are collecting main stream support.

AND they are contributing to a normalization of Nazis as "victims." 

"I blame Metro a lot." Amen. Last year my wife and I used Metro to go to a Friday night Nats game after work. Scheduled for 6:00 (to accommodate post-game fireworks), the game was rain delayed and began at 7:00, then was tied after nine innings. About the 11th inning, the scoreboard announced that Metro would be closing in half an hour and if you wanted to get home, you should leave now. The Nats eventually won in the 14th (and fireworks were cancelled). Large number of fans couldn't watch the end of the game because Metro won't stay open to accommodate Nats games.

This just happened a few days ago, in a game whose time was changed by MLB.   It just INFURIATED people.  As it should have.  D.C. will never be a real city until its Metro is open through the night.  "A city that never sleeps?" We are a city that always goes beddy-bye for nappy time in its jammies.

Many people, including my wife, pronounce the word with the accent on the first syllable. To me, this pronunciation makes the speaker sound like they live in a doublewide.

IN-surance is like the SEE-ment pond.

Pho really is the best comfort food, with thin brisket that cooks in the hot soup being the best. But only if accompanied by the coffee and sweet milk. Anything else is an abomination.

Perhaps you would all appreciate the secret of pho, and ALL meat-based soups? 

Fat.   The fattier the meat the better even if the meat is duck or fish.   This is not even debatable.  I will take no debate. 


Mine is bean soup, preferably with some form of pork in it. I have this atavistic urge, whenever it snows, to put a ham bone in a big pot along with white beans, first thing in the morning, so it will cook all day.

Hey, has anyone tried my borscht recipe yet?   I do want to slighly adjust something.   I said cook the cabbage for at least 10 minutes, until it is cooked but still a little crispy.    "Crispy" is not the right word.  You want it cooked, but sill slightly firm.  This will probably require more like 15 mins of boiling.

Sharing my personal experience with the 47-year old who was curious about a relationship with a 34-year old. When I was 28, I married a 41-year old woman. At the time, my parents were 51 and 52, and her children were 15 and 17. To say my mother was horrified is an understatement. We are celebrating our 29th anniversary next month and are still going strong. If you know it's right, it's right. Go for it.

Good for yalls.

The secret of soup is bones.

Sure, that is the secret of lush tasting soup.  But I am talking about the secret of the soup MEAT.

Water and fat.

yes, but as you know,  there is a lamentable trend toward lean meat for everything.   In soup, it is a taste killer.

My boyfriend says that. I think it's adorable. He's from the mid-west. He also say irregardless but understands that it's incorrect. Colloquialisms are strange.

We will all pretend to agree that your boyfriend is adorable.

When would they do maintenance? Most subway systems around the world -- even London and Tokyo -- close late at night. But what many provide -- and DC does not -- are night buses that will take you pretty much wherever the subway would.

NYC's subway never closes.  You stagger your maintenance.  But the idea of a subway system that EVER closes before a game lets out is completely rinkydink.

I've had about 50 bumper stickers printed. The bumper sticker is simple white sans serif script against a brown background. It reads, "Metro sucks." I plan to hand them out to people in our section of Nats Park during a nationally televised playoff game if Metro closes down before the game ends.

Good.  I'd make em bigger so they are visible on TV.   Metro sucks.

Apparently, many people conversate these days. These are the same people guilty of mispro-nounce-iation, too.

Let us not allow our contempt to extend to Chuck Berry, who was "motivatin'" over the hill, one of the greatest lines ever written.


...I mean, I literally just added a tbsp of olive oil to my pasta-and-veggies reheated lunch. So good.

Agreed.  put a teaspoon of sesame oil into your ramen noodles, for example.  


Okay, I'm declaring us down.  Thank you all.   Major big-ass chat next week.  Thanks. 

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Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

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