The Washington Post

Gene Weingarten

ColumnistWashington, D.C.


Gene Weingarten took polls and chatted about his recent columns.

  • Dec 1, 2015

His “Oh, yeah? Well ... ” strategy could really work wonders.

  • Nov 24, 2015

“Catsup.” “Pyjamas.” “Grey.” He uses these spellings because he knows they annoy you.

  • Nov 19, 2015

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

  • Nov 17, 2015

The man of distinction returns for another round of solving society’s linguistic issues.

  • Nov 12, 2015

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

  • Nov 10, 2015

Gene says: On behalf of guys my age, thanks for the mammaries.

  • Nov 5, 2015

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

  • Nov 3, 2015

Are there limits to how much Hollywood will pander to modern demographics? Answer: Nope.

  • Oct 29, 2015

Gene Weingarten takes polls and chats about his recent columns.

  • Oct 27, 2015
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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.

Best of Gene

Chatological Humor chat

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 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.
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