What’s Weingarten Writing?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Old guy gets winded doing mundane activity and decides to start going to the gym. That’s the subject of every single conversation I’ve heard while hanging out with my dad and his friends around the holidays. Maybe they deserve a Pulitzer Prize? Hell, it worked for WaPo’s Gene Weingarten.

In Sunday’s magazine, Gene writes about how he got winded playing ping pong with his editor and takes his advice to join a local gym. Gene seems shocked that the gym really just seems to be interested in taking his money. He says, “It occurred to me the gym didn’t really care about my medical history or why I was there, so long as I flashed plastic, which I did. I was accepted for membership.” Why WOULD the gym care about your medical history? It’s not a doctor’s office.

There are obvious jokes about getting lost and ending up in the daycare center or a pond. There’s another joke about an 80-year-old lady who outlasts him on an elliptical machine. He spends the whole column bombarding us with hackneyed, familiar jokes. Maybe this is why he’s had such a hard time selling his unfunny screenplays to Hollywood.

To save you the tedium of reading next week’s column, here’s a preview. Expect Gene to tell knock-knock jokes about a traveling salesman who walks into a bar with a rabbi, a farmer’s daughter and a talking dog.


Photo CreditJoe Loong