Gene Weingarten: Gene vs. Fake Gene


(Illustration by Eric Shansby)
Gene Weingarten
Columnist July 12, 2012

Some celebrities have gained their own personal impostors on Twitter — people who anonymously tweet as a “fake” version of the celeb, often with mirror-image personas. After I recently complained about not having a fake, one suddenly appeared.

I do not know who “Fake Gene” is, but he or she is eerily unlike me, right down to actually being funny. (My Twitter icon is a soft pile of dog poo; Fake Gene’s is a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone. You get the idea.)

Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writes "Below the Beltway," a weekly humor column that is nationally syndicated. View Archive

My editor, Tom the Butcher, proposed that Gene and Fake Gene answer a series of questions. Fake Gene agreed. (Tom and I still don’t know who it is.)

What is a truth better left unstated?

Fake Gene: The skill level of the American haberdasher has declined precipitously, but I daren’t say so for fear of alienating merchants who are important to me.

Gene: At a certain age, pooping becomes fun.

What would you say is your most charming trait?

Gene: I can juggle three small raw chickens.

Fake Gene: J’utilise des phrases françaises dans une conversation informelle.

Complete this sentence: Chicks dig me because ...

Fake Gene: ... I have a breathtaking collection of designer soaps displayed on a darling etagere.

Gene: ... women know that I respect and unconditionally love them all, not just the ones with amazing butts.

Someone is having an animated cellphone conversation in the Quiet Car. What do you do?

Fake Gene: Rules of decorum in Quiet Cars are no less sacrosanct than in libraries or churches. You break the rules, I break your elbows.

Gene: I keep right on talking on the phone.

I could never love a woman who ...

Gene: ... pronounces “leisure” as “leh-zhure.” Or “mature” as “matoor.”

Fake Gene: ... doesn’t know how to remove 1978 Montrachet stains from my cashmere socks.

If you could have lunch with one person from history, who would it be?

Fake Gene: Betty Friedan, only to see how she reacts when I tell her, “Those dishes aren’t going to wash themselves, sweet cheeks.”

Gene: Either Jesus or the first guy who had the guts to eat a raw oyster.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Fake Gene: The power of selective vision to screen out women who choose to dress as common strumpets. They are an insult to public decency.

Gene: I would use it only when I saw an adult riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. It would be the ability to magically turn a bicycle into a tricycle.

Ginger or Mary Ann, and why?

Gene: Like it matters. This show operated under the moral code of 1960s TV. The only guy getting any on that island was Thurston Howell.

Fake Gene: Lovey Howell. It’s incomprehensible that she’s never an option. She preserves civility on the island and stays calm even though she’s missing at least one full social season.

I think of myself as a sportsman because ...

Fake Gene: ...When I hunt, I shoot .577 T-Rex cartridges even though the Constitution protects my right to use a bullet twice that size.

Gene: ... I can tell you the uniform number of any 1961 Yankee.

What is your greatest fear?

Gene: That the last words I will hear before going under anesthesia for life-or-death surgery will come from behind the surgeon’s mask, in a thick Southern accent.

Fake Gene: That the last words I will hear before going under anesthesia for life-or-death surgery will come from behind the surgeon’s mask, in a high-pitched nasal voice with a vaguely Semitic Bronx accent.

E-mail Gene at weingarten@washpost.com. Find chats and updates at washingtonpost.com/magazine.

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