Chatological Humor with Gene Weingarten

Sep 29, 2020

You asked for it and you got it. Gene holds weekly chats every Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET, where he takes your questions about what's happening in the country — and anything else you want to discuss.

Here is Gene's latest column.

Here is this week's poll.

It is Manteuffel once again. Hello, good people. I am so happy you made it. It is apparently not easy to get here!

Tonight will be Joe Biden and Donald Trump's first debate, and I am wondering what people will be watching for. I get too nervous (live theater!) and upset (yelling at the screen) to really feel like I'm following it (let alone trying to figure out how it's playing), and prefer to watch it on Twitter when possible. So, others who will be watching: what are you looking for? Which parts are fun or useful? Has any debate moment been meaningful to you in years past? Have you ever watched as an undecided voter? Primary debates count. 

The moment I most remember is John Edwards congratulating Dick Cheney for loving his daughter even though she is gay.  Cheney said thank you. It was weaponized niceness, and neither was quite able to call the other on his insincerity. Not a boo-ya, not a fumble, just neither of them knowing what to do or how this was playing. So I guess I'll be looking for the odd. 

There's a poll! You can take it! 

Back here at noon. See you then. 

 

 

 

Sincere questions for those who organize this website: Why do you hate the chat readers? Why have you hidden the chats, made it extra work to find them?

Maybe they can't bear to see your reactions to the redesign and so hide them. 

We can't quit talking about baseball on this chat! That would make me very sad. So, here is a non-technical question. For this shortened 2020 season, viewers get fake crowd noise on televised games. I am not at all opposed to this. But what about the players? Surely they are not getting fake crowd noise. How are they handling playing in silence? That's got to be really weird for them.

Probably weird for the debates, too. Does the pumped in crowd noise work for you as a viewer? Do they do trash talk?

GENE! I am so disappointed to learn that the beer guillotine doesn't work, but glad that I forgot to buy one. There were a few companies selling beer in cans that had the whole top peel off, and they were awesome. Alas, they didn't catch on.

According to Professor Michael McDonald, who's been tracking early voting in America, more than 866,000 people had cast ballots as of the morning of September 26. His records show that in 2016, only 9,525 Americans had cast ballots by the same point in the election cycle. As of yesterday noonish, the number of ballots cast early for the 2020 election passed one million. As of not-quite-noon today, it passed 1.1 million. September isn't over yet. McDonald tweets his updates at the @ElectProject handle (no, I don't know him, I just like his work). Special thanks to Virginia voters in Fairfax County who've chosen to stand in line to vote early. You're bringing joy to the rest of us who can't yet vote him out.

I have not located part one yet. Unless it was last week. But here! 

A group of us from up and down the west coast have planned a drinking game - every time either candidate utters the word "huge" or "fake" we all have to take a sip (a healthy glug for the phrase "huge fake"). We figure we'll be blotto twenty minutes in. Bonus - we get to start at 6 p.m.

Ooh! What will be the huge, fake noun? 

Previous Chat Chatter: “Lou Gehrig, in the pictures that you linked, was much more muscular than Johnny Weismuller.” Johnny won 5 Olympic gold medals in Swimming. In real life Tarzan sometimes has to swim. Lou Gehrig, a/k/a The Iron Horse, couldn’t even float.

Lou Gehrig was denser than water. You have heard it here first. 

Did Gene ever find an idiot Trump supporter [redundancy alert] to interview?

I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I was near the end of a long and thoughtful question/comment about presidential debates, when my screen auto-refreshed and wiped out everything! Thanks WaPo!

I would have answered it hilariously, too. 

Dozens of businesses have closed down permanently in 2020 due to financial problems caused by the virus pandemic shutdowns. Among the much-loved, but still recently-money-losing, businesses that have shut down in 2020 are Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda; the Capital Lounge on Capitol Hill; and the great Post Pub downtown, near the old location of The Washington Post. The question is: Did you ever go to any of these places, and if so, what do you think about their closures?

I ordered wine at the Post Pub one time, and the bartender asked me what color. 

Harp and Fiddle hosted a live music fundraiser for a show I was in. 

Their closures suck. 

Do you think there is anyone, even a single person, who will say “I was a huge MAGA believer until I saw his interest deductions? The man is a cheat!” Nothing matters. Still needs to be reported though. A hundred years from now when we are roaming the wastelands and tilling the Earth with human femurs, whatever historians have to do with their day will have a blast with this.

Nothing matters, but what a good bad example we'll make. 

My son's invention is called Bag a Roach. Are you interested?

How many stars?

I found the article to be thorough and not the least bit surprising, because the tax code is skewed to benefit the people who have the best lawyers and accountants. Any rich guy with his hands in a lot of pies will be trying to take advantage of the rules. I am more than a little concerned with how the Times got the information -- since it's illegal to disclose confidential taxpayer documents. The Deep State wins, as always.

They have said it was legally obtained. Though I would feel better if they'd said it was VERY legal. 

I have this page bookmarked. Hasn't let me down yet.

See next post. 

from Sept 22 chat: "Q: For those who want easy chat access Go here. Easy peasy! Thank you to Rachel for filling in." Nope, this doesn't cut it. I do not want to have to add another bookmark to my browser. I want to see the list of chats on the home page of the WaPo. What morally deficient monster decided to remove them in the first place? BRING BACK THE LIST OF CHATS TO THE HOME PAGE. NO ADDITIONAL BOOKMARKS.

This one. 

I think the details matter. It's easy to say the rich don't pay taxes, but knowing that he owes some entity $400+M that's coming due creates a visceral reaction in most people. I think almost everyone has experienced those moments of "How will I ever see my way out of this (mortgage, credit card debt, student loans, business loan, etc.)?" In those moments, you know how vulnerable you are to your creditors and are tempted to make ethical compromises.

You also have to ask yourself what he would not exchange for money. 

If ever there was a story in need of a picture. Before/after pictures of the can carnage would have made for a better column. Video (that's moving pictures) would have been even better. No audio, though.

I shall pass your request for topless Weingarten pictures along to the editors. 

I'm usually more decisive, but I wanted to answer both WOW!! and Nothing matters anymore. It IS significant, but it's like he shot someone one Pennsylvania Avenue. His base won't care; it won't change votes.

There are people who chose both that nothing matters anymore and that it's important the information was published. We'll be hearing from them. 

Do you think Joe Biden will have a bigger crowd than Trump did, for his inauguration? I would come if I could, but that is a long scary plane flight away.

Trump's inauguration was attended by the entire population of Earth. So it depends on how many babies are born meantime. 

When is Gene coming back?

He resumes being a person in one week, or two. 

Sometime between the election in 2016 and the inauguration in 2017, I was standing in line at a store in DC and there were some Russians standing in line right in front of me. I was talking a bit to the customer behind me and we ended up talking about the next presidency. I remarked that it was going to be bad, really bad, and possibly bad for people in other countries even more than people in the US, but it would be over in 4 years or 8 and then we could move on.

And the Russians jumped in. They were buying snacks and wine because they were staying in DC for a conference. They were of the highly educated, wanting to help people types, and they wanted to give us a reality check. They told us that when people like Trump get elected, it doesn't end. It may be scheduled to end. But it doesn't. Once it happens, you are basically stuck with it forever.

I said I trusted our system to make it end. That as far gone as the election put us, it wasn't the actual end of US democracy. I have wished to talk to those people many times over the last 3.75 years. Sometimes to say, "see, it isn't hopeless." Sometimes to beg them for advice. But now I want to say that as bad as the election was, we didn't get rid of the journalists. And he couldn't figure out how to kill them all or make them all irrelevant. Yes, about a third to 40% of the electorate doesn't pay attention to journalists doing the hardest work, but the rest of us do. And it matters. It might be the most important thing that holds us all from the abyss. Thank you.

Let's have another reason to be cheerful after this. 

Coffee

Yes. 

...the info about how the percentage of votes Hoover and Goldwater got when they lost in 1932 and 1964 corresponds to the size of Trump's base. No guarantees on delivering a Part 3 next week, though.

HAH!

I dunno what Gene has up his sleeve, but Bret Stephens in That Other Newspaper has a column today that reports the results of his interview with a lesbian Democrat who is going to vote for Trump. Her reasons seem to revolve around gas prices and the performance of her 401(k), which I find profoundly sad. Is Gene going to be able to top that for sheer gobsmackery?

Yes. Gene finds the gobsmackery. 

Thank you for that word. 

The tax returns were NOT legally obtained. The NYT said they obtained the info from a person who had "lawful access" to them. That means the person worked with the forms/info. That does NOT mean the person had any authority to disclose them publicly, any more than my access to Top Secret info gives me the right to disclose it publicly.

Aha, I misunderstood. Sorry. 

So at 11am, 76% of the poll takers have chosen "No" as the answer here. I am wondering how many of them have actually read the Times article, which while long, was incredibly helpful in trying to understand what the issues and abuses actually are. If you can read that article and truthfully say that nothing new has come to light... well wow. (which was my answer to the first poll question.) At the high-level view, yes nothing new was revealed, he is a grifter and a crook. However, at the lowest of levels... "Wow".

It's a very complicated story. I am waiting to see if people start using the words fraud, illegal, etc. I think the Times would tease "illegal" in the overview if they thought it was true, though. 

to Gene, et al. : In case you missed it, the NYT posted an article over the weekend looking to hear from folks who play the Spelling Bee. Given your kvetching on the Bee, this is the perfect opportunity to let them know how "horrible" you think they and their Bee are. The only problem is that they want your name and a valid e-mail address, and the purpose is for an upcoming article, presumably by Deb Amlen who posted the request. Deadline is October 4th, next Sunday.

From Weingarten Prime: Yes.  Thank you for the opportunity and I appreciate your outreach.  Your bee is a piece of crap. Or, as I can more eloquently say, your Bee seems like a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abyss of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.


The previous was stolen from H.L. Mencken, who was referring to the speeches of Warren Harding, but the sentiment applies.  Your contest has insanely arbitrary rules for what constitutes acceptable words, based, apparently, on the judgements of children.   You refuse to accept such crossword staples as "riata" while accepting words we've never heard of, or are idiotic, such as "homogamy" and "anyhoo".  I have been complaining about this on Twitter for more than a year.  Here are words you have not accepted:  Pinna, villi, koan, and ruth.  Also, molly and olla.  You want more? I got more. 

How about loblolly? Paca?  Tappet?  Mononym?  You are arrogant a-holes, and your "fans" know it. Imagine the feelings of your participants when they are a point away from geniusing and they are told "koan" is not a word.  You suck. And you need to be told you suck.  I am doing it. 

You suck so mightily.  You also do not accept bleb, ampulla, and alee, the last of which has been in crossword puzzles for 70.000 years.  The web is filled with outrage at the horrors you commit.   Kill the contest or fix it. 

This joke has been making the rounds of our retired friends. We thought you'd like to share it. An elderly guy and his wife went into town and visited a shop. When they came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. They went up to him and said, “Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?" The cop ignored them and continued writing the ticket. The man called him an “a$$hole.” The cop glared at him and started writing another ticket for having worn-out tires. So, Shirley, his wife, called him a “$#!+#ead.” He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more the elderly couple abused him, the more tickets the cop wrote. He finally finished, sneered at them and walked away.

Just then their bus arrived, and they got on it and went home. According to Shirley: “We always look for cars with Trump 2020 stickers. We try to have a little fun each day now that we’re retired. It’s so important at our age . . .” This is not only the perfect joke for the times - it is a perfect joke.

Shirley. 

Seriously? Does it matter that actual information gets published? What kind of newspaper person are you? Just because you suspected something doesn't mean "most" people did. The 40% of the population that supports Trump thinks he is a brilliant businessman who pays his taxes just like they do. The facts may change the minds of 1% of them but every little bit helps.

I am a weird kind of newspaper person. 

For years I wanted a George Jetson bed. For those unfamiliar with the show, when his alarm went off George's bed folded up catapulting him onto a conveyor belt leading him through the shower etc., and ending up at the breakfast table. I don't know if I want to be so rudely awakened anymore, but still could use help in the rise and shine department.

What if it showered and breakfasted you while you were still asleep? 

From last week's chat: "Perhaps it's because I grew up in an area where I was in the distinct minority for political allegiance, but if I had a rule that prevented me from being even friends with someone who voted for someone I didn't vote for, I'd have never made the lifelong friendships that I have. Regardless of who wins this November, we as a country have to start finding ways to get along with, and even enjoy the company of, people who don't look, think, act, or believe the same way that we do." I, the regular/resident Black woman of the chat, do not have to learn how to get along with and enjoy the company of racists -- that is who the hardcore Trump voters and supporters are in 2020, stop lying to yourself -- and the people who think that way are why racism persists. You (the collective you) are willing to tolerate it to "get along" and in the meantime me and mine must suffer it.

Hello! This is, and will be, a huge deal for the country. 

I can see the mob now, marching on WaPo galactic headquarters, pitchforks and torches in hand, shouting, "NO MORE BOOKMARKS! NO MORE BOOKMARKS!" I'd be there, except I'm in Florida, and I can't find my pitchfork.

We need to get Soros to pay the protestors. (ALERT: NOT REALLY, THAT IS NOT A THING THAT HAPPENS.)

Medical update? Has he recovered from the errant grass that strayed up his nose?

Thank you for asking! Buster had been sneezing 26 times in a row--such that you could tell which end he lay his head on his window hammock by the spray on the glass--and eventually had what seemed to be a booger hanging from his nose. It turned out to be a blade of grass that Gene pulled out and reported smelled very bad. Buster reacted like, "whoa." 

He has stopped sneezing so much. Just once at a time. 

What's the problem? At the top left of the Post home page, click Sections and scroll down to Live Chats. It takes 3 seconds.

Hm!

When I click on the three dashes on the upper left of the home WaPo screen, “Chats” is one of the bubbles I can select. Did WaPo do this only for me?

HM!

I'm confused about the premise-even if it had worked as intended, wouldn't you be drinking out of a can with a sharp, freshly cut, aluminum edge?

In the ads, they demonstrated that the edges were dull enough to drink from. I want to find out what they used to make the cans in the ad. 

Sly Fox, a Pennsylvania craft brewer, has what they call the "360 can" - the whole top pops off, and you guzzle the contents (delicious, BTW) just like the can is a glass. You should be able to get them (try the Helles lager) in D.C., and you can see pictures all over the Google. If you want to know something interesting: they don't sell these in all states because it's not legal to: my idiot friend works for the company that makes the can, and he told me a lot of states still have laws on the books that make it illegal to sell any beverage that has a piece that can be pulled completely off the can. These laws are leftovers from the 1970s, when every roadside in America seeming had zillions of those old beer and soda can pull tabs on it. As an aside: is remembering seeing those things as litter a sign that one is old? Maybe THIS should be the age cutoff in your polls - I am 47, and I just barely remember it.

I love that you included that your friend is an idiot. 

Old cats. Mine is 16, and just aced her annual exam. She's always been klutzy and drools sometimes, so I like to give her a hard time that there's a basset hound in the family tree that no one talks about.

I'm sorry, I'm going to need her name. 

This was only the sixth or seventh most depressing thing I've read this year. TL;DR: Most plastic is thrown into landfills as recycling plastic is pretty much economically and chemically impossible. The push to make it seem like it was recyclable was a marketing gimmick by oil and plastic companies...to sell more plastic.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is our Ozymandias statue. 

Please! I will once again ask that someone at The Washington Post put a link to the chats on the landing page. I know we are in the middle of a pandemic, most important election of our lifetime, a global warming crisis, and a civil rights movement, but just a little box? In fact, all the more reason to have a little diversion from our daily misery. Please? If I can scroll down and see how to cook scrambled eggs, I don't see why I can't find a link to the chats.

Maybe they fixed it just now?

I think the thing likely to have the biggest impact is that Trump doesn't pay any taxes. If Democrats harp on that- "You pay more than Trump" over and over and over again, it will sink in with those elusive undecideds- the system is rigged against you, and 4 years have shown that Trump ain't the guy to un-rig it. Americans highly value the ideas of egalitarianism and fairness, if not the reality. "Make Him Pay" could be this cycle's "Lock Her Up".

I have seen this argument on Twitter. Where does he think cop salaries should come from, if not a cut of his Oreo endorsement deal? 

Recently, I saw journalistic deity Bob Woodward talking about “taping” Trump for his book and even showing his digital recorder which he used for the “taping”. I can forgive him for being somewhat of a codger and maybe saying he will “dial” someone on his mobile phone. However, there is a 9/23 Pebble Mine article in the Post talked about “videotaping” company executives. Do you think that the recordings were on tape or more likely digital memory?

Second item - on your article for the world’s worst consumer product, I can proudly state that I have a Hamilton Beach can opener (not for soda or beer) that is hands-down the greatest opener since it cuts thru the can seam rather than the lid. There is no scalpel-like lid to dispose of nor is an equally sharp lip from the missing lid to contend with when removing the contents.

Is the appropriate word "recording"? "Filming" is even worse, I guess! 

Is your opener this sort of thing? What happens if you try it on a soda or beer? 

On Jaywalking, some years ago in an early January I was at an historian’s conference in Atlanta. There had been some snow and ice. To get to the convention center and avoid stretches of icy sidewalks it was easier to jaywalk and I did. Traffic was light.

As soon as I got to the other side there was a policeman waiting for me and he was irate. He asked where I was from and I said Washington, D.C. He said, I bet people up there don’t jaywalk. And I said sure, it’s common. That answer displeased him, but he let me go with a warning.

Later I found out that the day before they had jailed another historian for precisely the same reason. That had led to an uproar and the police had relaxed a bit by the time of my violation, fortunately.

On whether Woodward should have taken Trump’s statement about Covid-19 to the press, I think there is a problem that you missed (I think). By May or so, Woodward had verified when and how Trump had learned about airborne transmission. If he had then blown the whistle and 1 or more people started wearing masks who might not have otherwise, Woodward might have saved lives. And he would have gotten great publicity for his forthcoming book.

The jailed jaywalking historian was a Brit! I guess they are strict about queueing and less so about jaywalking. 

Gene: Your Sept. 17 column was scary, sobering and shocking! When did the police find out that Seth had allegedly strangled his mother? Was Seth homeless? Where and when did he allegedly strangle his mom, according to the police? And where can we see the police report on the alleged homicide (police reports are public record, of course, as are all homicide reports)? Quite the interesting story, but it'd be interesting to hear the details that flesh out the rest of the story!

From Weingarten Prime: 

Good questions. For, um, literary reasons, I decided to tell the story exactly as I learned it, because it floored me and it seemed the very best narrative.   As you suspect, that wasn't all I knew: You don't write something like this on the basis of hearsay from a convenience store operator.   I got the police report, which was hugely disturbing, and I also got a story from The Post by the excellent Peter Hermann.   I think it will answer all of your questions. 

In the print version of today's Post (28 Sept.), pages 16 and 18 contain exactly the same story continuation from the front page, on the Trump tax revelations. Even the same photo. How can that happen? How could such an error be missed? Just wondering.

We sometimes do that, when it's a really REALLY important story, to double the chance of it being read. 

(I regret to inform you I was kidding.)

Great aptonym at end of first paragraph: 

I found the headline so terrifying I could not continue. 

that I've paid far more in federal taxes over the years while flying coach and eating ground beef, while our cheating leader flies First + and dines on filet mignon. Actually, I'm not at all surprised that Trump lies and cheats on his taxes, but I do wonder how his "base" feels learning that their hero was not such a good businessman, not successful and that they probably have paid more than he for their taxes. Could it be worse than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue?

And he burns the filet mignon first. 

You can, and I'm sure some people do, argue that enriching yourself to the detriment of everyone around you does make you the ultimate businessman. He never stopped eating the filet, no matter how much money he lost. Losing vast amounts of money is a fantastic strategy, as long as you never become poor.

Ivanka Trump shared a story in which her father decided a homeless person was richer than he was.  

Higgledy piggledy,

Chat-meister Weingarten,

Skipping out on the chats

Week after week.

Feeling no sense of his

Responsibilities

Getting his girlfriend Man-

teuffel to "speak".

 

Chittity chattity,

Miss Rachel Mantueffel,

Fills in for Weingarten

Time and again.

Chatting is no longer

Semiprofessional

Gene hits the bricks before

This year will end!

He said these are very good. 

I am not sure what you mean by hits the bricks, but it sounds good!

I have always, since the Chats went digital, found them in the left-hand drop down list. I do not understand what other space in the Virtual Post the list used to occupy, that has people so upset. Were the Chats listed elsewhere?

Since the chats went digital?

This is what a friend of mine has said repeatedly since 2016. They will find a way to not lose. If it has to be by rigging the election, no problem. If it has to be by claiming the other side rigged the election, that's no problem either. He has threatened to send the military to the polls "to prevent fraud." He rails against vote by mail. He incorrectly claims massive voter fraud in previous elections. He talks like a dictator. He is a demagogue and a wanna be dictator. It won't be enough to vote him out. He will have to be forcibly removed, and all his Republican henchmen.

He has made himself the sole arbiter of what, in the election, will be fair and accurate. 

Dunno about baseball, but I do know that football (which I also don't watch) has been pumping the fake crowd noise into the stadiums so the players can hear it. Philadelphia's fake crowd has even been booing the home team! And how's this for weird -- basketball (which I also also don't watch) has been playing in neutral-site bubbles where one team is arbitrarily designated the "home" team. And yet the NBA (slightly) and the WNBA (a lot) "home" teams have a higher "home" win percentage this year than they did last! What's up with that?

That's kinda cool. 

"You are arrogant a-holes, and your "fans" know it." Did Weingarten really say this about someone else?

Hahaha. 

Her name is Ginger, based on her coloring. She's a calico, but is 99% orange and white, with a single black spot on the top of her head that people always try to clean off the first time they meet her.

Very good work, Ginger. 

Would you vote for Trump if he agreed to put the Live Chat link on the home page?

Ooooh.

FYI, they are known to the cognoscenti as "the hamburger."

Thank you for visiting us, Cognoscenta/o.

Trump endorsed Oreos? OK, now I'm going for Hydrox.

This. There seems to be a football term in there. "We're going to lickrace for it." Gonna opt out of learning what that is. 

Details please. Do I need to start boycotting Oreo?

In the NYT taxes story part II. Half a million. 

 

Laid. He laid his head. Lay is the present indicative of the transitive verb, and also the past indicative of the intransitive verb. He lay down on his hammock, but he laid his head down.

oh NO. 

This is very, very, very bad. I meant the past tense one, but did not know the transitive rule. I am so sorry. 

It is just you. I do not have that option when I click on the dashes. I tried reducing my screen percentage to see if more options showed up, and they did, but chats was not one of them. I reduced even more and more option appeared, but still no chat option. I kept on doing that and finally I got down to 50% and it was too small to read.

Not everybody gets a hamburger. 

I realize that civilzation is crumbling and the planet is melting, but still - must you hasten the collapse? " which end he lay his head on his window hammock" - no, just no. He laid his head on his window hammock. Lay is the past tense of the intransitive verb "to lie <down/on>." "To lay <something, or possibly someone>" is a transitive verb with a direct object. Its past tense is laid, not lay. So - He lays his head (present tense) or he laid his head (past tense). Pat the Perfect and Tom the Butcher will back me up.

I am honored to be held to this standard and fully regret shaming the family. Thank you all for witnessing my stumble. 

It is grotesque that he owes *somebody* a half-billion dollars. BUT - it's always been his MO to log a huge debt, threaten to default on it, and then reach a settlement where he only pays a fraction. Yet another way the system is skewed for the rich guys: "If you're the bank and I owe you $20,000 I can't pay, I have a problem. But if I owe you $100 million, WE have a problem."

I wonder if he has anything of value to exchange, if he can't pay up. 

Is Gene jealous of your popularity with his chat audience? It has been a delightful few weeks here. Almost gives me hope for 2020.

You wrote this before the lay his head debacle. 

As you no doubt know, "Teufel" is German for "devil". So, allowing for quirks of spelling, your surname translates as "man-devil". What are your feelings on this? And, did your ancestors get burned at the stake a lot?

I guess they had kids first, which is good. 

There was, until the mid 20th century, a Baron Von Manteuffel. Imagine that guy introducing himself. 

Noted?

I'll allow it. 

Just looked at the NYT story. Trump didn't endorse Oreos; rather, it looks as if the maker of Oreos bought $500,000 worth of advertising on "The Apprentice," back when that show was a hot item. So I think it's safe to continue eating Oreos.

Is being in a commercial for something (as a persona, not as an actor) the same as endorsing it? 

Wait until we start trying to catch you out on the subjunctive. You will wish you were dead.

I would were.

The Post Hunt is now simply trying to find this chat.

You win!

I vote you get your own chat when Gene comes back. Would you pass this on to the powers that be?? Would you be interested?

Okay, but there would be no way to get to it. 

It is on the home page. Click on "Sections" drop-down on at the top left of the page. "Live Chats" are 7th from the bottom. Always. Once you get used to it, it's much easier than the old method where they were on the right side of the page ... somewhere, and you had to scroll around on the page trying to find where they'd randomly put it in this particular 5 minute period. Also, once you get to the change list, it's a zillionty times easier to actually find the chat you want instead of trying to navigate the dreadful calendar of the old chat home page. I realize that people reflexively hate change, but this is much better for regular chatters. (Its obscurity does mean that it'll be harder to get new chat readers, which is probably the point. But we know to look for it, so it's good for US.)

You have to know someone to get in. 

What did you tell him? Green. Purple.

At another place, I ordered a wine, and the server said, "...really?" It was a mostly beer place. She got a big tip. 

Players hear it too. It's piped through the stadium sound system. They also get full scoreboard video action, including admonitions for the crowd to make more noise. However, the crowd noise is capped at a certain noise level by MLB rules. It's loud enough to hear it outside Nats stadium.

That's kind of cool!

I think the nihilists are underestimating the importance of this story. By any measure, the current occupant of the White House is losing. The election is soon. The only way for him to win is to persuade undecided (and a few decided) voters to support him. This story does not help in that quest, and the election is soon. At best -- for the GOP -- it's like an incomplete pass on second down with 90 seconds to go in a game you're losing. Sure, you still have third and fourth downs. But you just lost a play and 10 second off the clock. And that's the best case for the GOP. The worst is that ANY of undecideds -- ALL of whom he needs -- vote for the other guy.

This is interesting. 

By golly, I'm old enough to recall when Lloyd Grove was the Celebritologist chatter and Peter Baker was doing the political chats at the Post. Having a box with the daily chat links on the front page of the website was good enough for them. ( Oops, they've both moved on to other gigs.) My suspicion is that the powers that be are engaging in a campaign to eventually eradicate the chats entirely. First there was the purge/compression of a number of chats earlier this year, leaving only the most popular ones with the largest group of followers. Now, they are making it more vexing to even find the chats, figuring that only the highly motivated will keep looking for their favorites in the absence of easy access. From your conspiracy theorist in Oregon.

AND Weingarten is gone. For another week or two. 

When I click on it to read the Trump tax story, I am told that I have to subscribe. Please don't tell us that you, an employee of The Washington Post, pays for a subscription to your biggest rival.

I got free access with a sign in. No?

I guess I have to eat all the Oreos in my house now.

I'm sorry. 

I want Adrian Higgins's and Michael Dirda's weekly chats back. I've been mourning their loss for years.

I will see about guest-hosting them. 

Yeah, the United States.

Long as it lasts. 

Whole Foods was a no. Its trash day today. I tried really hard to put my bags of plastic in the bin. I just...couldn't. I understand that it's probably not going to be properly recycled no matter what, I just feel like it's become too big now. This recycling is my physical manifestation of 2020.

Apparently recycling isn't real anyway? I suggest you keep it in your house as a protest. 

Thankfully, he only endorsed Double Stuf, which are Not Good. The stuf (note that it's apparently not even real stuff) is only good in small amounts, sandwiched between the chocolate cookies. I also eat my oreos like every other cookie. No dissecting and licking for me.

Double ffs are an honor. 

I squinted at the sentence “In real life Tarzan sometimes has to swim” for a bit and then realized that ‘real life’ is a pretty elastic concept this year anyway, I guess.

Hahaha. Okay, thanks everyone. See you next week, I think. 

In This Chat
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. He was awarded the 2008 and 2010 Pulitzer Prizes for Feature Writing.

Gene's latest columns, chats and more.
Rachel Manteuffel
Recent Chats
  • Next: