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.
J’utilise des phrases françaises dans une conversation informelle.
Complete this sentence: Chicks dig me because ...
... I have a breathtaking collection of designer soaps displayed on a darling etagere.
... 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 ...
... pronounces “leisure” as “leh-zhure.” Or “mature” as “matoor.”
... 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 ...
...When I hunt, I shoot .577 T-Rex cartridges even though the Constitution protects my right to use a bullet twice that size.
... 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 email@example.com. Find chats and updates at washingtonpost.com/magazine.