Cool Hobbies, Lights Atop FedEx Field and Drowning Our Sorrows

By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few weeks ago we received an e-mail from an Arlington eighth-grader named Vincenza, who is thinking about becoming a journalist and wanted to spend a few hours following us around at work. Let's quote from her e-mail, shall we?

"After much thought, I have decided that I would enjoy learning more about journalism as a possible career. So then I thought to myself, who is the greatest journalist of all time? Not one, but three answers popped into my head -- the Three Wise Guys!"

We were immediately struck by Vincenza's insight and intelligence, so we invited her to stop by the paper to help us respond to a pile of questions in our inbox.

Dear Wise Guys:

I need a hobby. What are the coolest hobbies these days? And, yes, I realize the word "hobby" is not cool. That's why I have resisted getting one until now.

Hobbyless in Bethesda

Justin: Building giant glass bottles to encase full-size boats.

Vincenza: There's always Dan's, Justin's and Joe's favorite: cheerleading!

Dan: Is she trying to emasculate us?

Joe: Now remember, Vincenza: You're our guest. Play nice or we'll make you dust and organize David Broder's office.

Dear Wise Guys:

I desperately need ideas on things to do while in meetings that never should have taken place with people who shouldn't even exist.


Vincenza: Funny, I was thinking that exact thing when I met with Justin, Dan and Joe to work on answers for the column.

Joe: Okay, that's it.

Justin: Security?

Joe: Yeah, get her out of here.

Dan: No more allowing eighth-graders to work on the column. Vincenza should be home studying to be a journalist. The newspaper business is a highly competitive and expanding industry.

Dear Wise Guys:

I was at FedEx Field in September watching the Redskins play the Saints. It was bright and sunny, and every light atop the stadium was on as if it was a night game. Why is that? Don't you think Mr. Snyder would want to save on his electric bill?

Loudoun Pete

Joe: The electric bill is the least of the Redskins' problems right now. I talked to the Redskins folks, and they say it's because the networks want "a level light for production purposes."

Justin: Um, sorry to interrupt your illuminating answer, but did you see the note at the top of this page about the Sunday Source ending?

Joe: What note?

Dan: The note to our readers, up there, which suggests that the newspaper business is a highly volatile and contracting industry.

Joe: Oh -- oh!

Justin: You knew about this, didn't you?

Joe: Maybe. Okay, yes. Our last column will be next week.

Dan: And still no word on whether ESPN will offer us the co-anchor gig on "Monday Night Football"?

Joe: Apparently that's been offered to Vincenza.

Dear Wise Guys:

What is the purpose of those small alcohol bottles that they sell in liquor stores?


Justin: We don't know, but we're surrounded by them right now.

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