Below the Beltway

How to do a giggle search

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By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Have you ever noticed that when you start to enter something into the Google search bar, it produces a dropdown menu of "hints" based on the most common queries it has received? So, for example, if you type in "why," one of the hints is, "Why do cats purr?" If you type in "how many," you are prompted with "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

When you follow up on these things, you find that most have either no answer or an unsatisfying answer. As a public service, I decided to answer them myself. Each of the questions below was suggested by Google.

Why do cats purr?

It is how they laugh at us.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

This is an unanswerable question, because there are many kinds of pins, many kinds of angels and many kinds of dances. If you are talking about a standard American pushpin, and a standard-size angel, the correct answer is six, so long as it is a slow, make-out dance, like at a prom. The correct answer is "just one," however, if it's that Russian dance where you squat and kick your feet and yell "HEY!" with a bottle of vodka on your head. Angels actually prefer that one, I am told.

How can I lose weight fast?

You can mail me $35, and then I will send you the Full Secret of the famous Weingarten Diet, which I will tantalizingly summarize here:

1. Eat all of your food naked, in front of a full-length mirror.

2. Before you swallow, stop to look at the chewed up food in your mouth.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes, when no one is looking, trees speak to each other in perfect English. So when trees find themselves falling, they tend to use a disturbing amount of vulgarity.

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