Gene Weingarten: Some wisdom from Nostradumbus
By Gene Weingarten,
Today I am the stupidest man on Earth. I am ignorant about something virtually every reader knows, something enormously important. You know it. Your neighbors do, even the dumb one who runs out in his underwear with a bag at 6:30 a.m. on garbage day yelling at the trucks to come back. Your 3-year-old probably knows it. I, and only I, don’t.
I don’t know who won the presidential election. Or if anyone won; for all I know, feral dogs are feasting on the corpses of fallen partisans on the Mall in Washington. I am ignorant of all that because I write for a magazine, and magazines take a long time to print because the process involves coordinating color, “etching” things onto “plates,” whatever that means, and inserting two staples sideways into a space the thickness of a tiddlywinks squidger disc. Therefore, I am writing this column in late October, but it is appearing in print on the second Sunday after the election.
Perhaps I flatter myself, but I think many of you have been awaiting my trenchant if deeply flawed sociopolitical analysis of the most important election of our lifetimes — waiting with dread, perhaps, like geeks who stand in line for the new iPhone even though they suspect it will have some awful glitch, like it can only take pictures of the sun.
What do I do? Do I … guess? Only a total idiot columnist would do that. I know that for a fact because that’s exactly what I did four years ago, based on three-week-out polls showing a near certain win by Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t my fault that everything went to hell, such as the FBI revealing (incorrectly) that highly classified undisclosed Clinton emails were found in a computer belonging to a man who liked sending pictures of his penis to ladies. Also, somehow it slipped past me that Clinton was as generally warmly welcomed as, say, heart cancer.
This year was particularly tricky. As I write this, Donald Trump seems to have all the chances of that proverbial snowball in a pizza oven set to the cleaning cycle, located in hell. However there are always “October Surprises,” and with this mercurial president who longs to be a tyrant, there are no limits to what he may have done, such as issue an emergency executive order declaring that the only people allowed to vote are men from rectangular states who own horses.
In the run-up to the election, plenty of journalists boldly predicted a Joe Biden win, but that wasn’t so bold, really, at least not from my perspective in the lost-in-time bunker. Those writers can and will claim to have been betrayed by polls. I am naked out here, because betrayal will no longer be an excuse: If I am wrong, I am wrong despite actual physical evidence I am wrong.
But what the heck. The Trump administration has “administered” a noogie to the people of the United States. We’re already in Three Stooges land. What’s one more pratfall?
On the reputation of The Washington Post, then, here is what I officially declare happened on Nov. 3 and in the days immediately following the election:
●We discovered a 1933 Woodrow Wilson $100,000 bill between the cushions on our antique couch.
●That molar that has been plaguing us forever, turning meals into agony, but that we couldn’t get pulled because dentists are currently thought to be as deadly as the tiny Australian Irukandji jellyfish, whose sting can cause fatal brain hemorrhages within two minutes … well, that nasty boy just fell out! And, magically, there is another healthy one coming up right underneath. There will be lingering pain for a while, but that’s why God made teething rings.
●We woke up! The past four years were just a nightmare based on lasting childhood memories of the bad parts of “The Wizard of Oz”! The witch melted! And all of her stupid, violent acolytes, the monkeys, blinked and hailed us for freeing them from her wicked spell. People will soon walk all over the melted witch goo like it isn’t there, and after a while the only trace of it will be filthy witch gunk on the bottom of our shoes, which will eventually flake off.
Uh, how did I do?
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