Gene Weingarten

ColumnistWashington, D.C.

The latest from Gene

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Apr 14, 2014

Men and women of letters share their language peeves with Gene.

  • Apr 11, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Apr 8, 2014

Our columnist proposes some rights that the Declaration of Independence might not include.

  • Apr 4, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Apr 1, 2014

This 2004 column is reprinted voyeur reading pleasure.

  • Mar 27, 2014

Gene Weingarten takes polls and chats about his recent columns.

  • Mar 25, 2014

Gene Weingarten took polls and chatted about his recent columns.

  • Mar 25, 2014

A communique offers an analysis of our planet and its inhabitants.

  • Mar 20, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Mar 18, 2014

Gene is lost in translation.

  • Mar 14, 2014

‘Fatal Vision’ remains a nearly unmatched clinic in muscular storytelling

  • Mar 11, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Mar 11, 2014

Gene keeps abreast of the latest tips.

  • Mar 6, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Mar 4, 2014

On how — and why — our columnist is a space cadet.

  • Feb 27, 2014

Gene Weingarten took polls and chatted about his recent columns.

  • Feb 25, 2014

Sometimes when teens press every elevator button, the ride can be amazeballs.

  • Feb 20, 2014

Gene Weingarten brings you an update to his monthly Chatological Humor live chat.

  • Feb 18, 2014

The return of the nitpicker.

  • Feb 11, 2014
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About Gene
I am old and cranky. I write "Below the Beltway," a smart-ass weekly humor column that is nationally syndicated. With my son Dan and David Clarke, I write the daily newspaper comic strip Barney & Clyde, about a friendship between a billionaire and a bum. I am working on a book about the events of Sunday, December 28, 1986, a date chosen at random by picking numbers out of a hat. Yes, it's an insane idea, and yes, I can use all the tips I can get.
Chatological Humor

On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything.

Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.

12.28.86: One day

I chose the date at random, by drawing numbers out of a hat. I'm going to spend the next two years researching that date, and only that date, in America, and then present it in a wide-angle, panoramic fashion. I'd like your help.

Many events leave a trail in the media or the public record, and I'm already following up on many of those. I know, for example, that hardboiled mystery writer John D. MacDonald died on that day, and the Jets beat the Chiefs. "Walk Like an Egyptian" topped the pop charts. And so forth. The public record is voluminous.

But fame tends to be transient and shallow, casting what seems to be an arbitrary spotlight; there is also power in things that never get into the public eye -- stories of drama and consequence can be found in the lives of ordinary people. Sometimes, small things happen that will go unnoticed or unrecorded, but will prove pivotal to monumental events that follow. I want to find these things by tapping your memories, and/or testing your research skills.

The book will be highly selective, but my Facebook page won't be; we hope it develops an engaging narrative of its own. If you think you have a story to tell, we?ll look at it here. Or you can email me in complete privacy at oneday12.28.86@gmail.com. These could be anecdotes from your life, or the lives of others you know. Nothing is too trivial, though it will be edited for quality and appropriateness; are you a good enough storyteller to make yours interesting?

Or, are you a researcher at heart? Talk to me. I'd be grateful for all sorts of promising leads. No money will change hands, I'm afraid, but I'll introduce you to all my swanky, bon vivant friends, as soon as I get some.

What's in it for you? People who proved helpful will be acknowledged in the book. If you're really helpful, you and I could be working together in person. And, of course, if your own life finds its way into the book, hey, you'll be a superstar.