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Fear and Loathing in Tunnicliff’s Tavern

We’ve had our issues with WaPo’s Gene Weingarten in the past. While Gene is capable of brilliant writing, his weekly column has been as stale as the beer spilled on a barroom floor. Each week, he churns out recycled, hackneyed garbage that isn’t funny or interesting. So, we take a look at his ramblings and analyze them in our weekly feature, “What’s Weingarten Writing?”

After months of covering Gene, I felt like I knew the man. But, I’d never actually had to come face to face with the legend until Thursday evening.
I ducked into Tunnicliff’s Tavern for a beer after work. While I was numbing the pain of working in this awful town by having a drink, my “Spider Sense” started to tingle. The smell of sulfur filled the air. I spun around, looked towards the end of the bar and spotted…  GENE WEINGARTEN in an American flag sweater. He was killing time by pacing around the bar, watching the sports on the various televisions. I knew I should go introduce myself, but frankly, I didn’t have the guts. Gene seems like the kind of guy who might have a bad temper and he probably has crazy old man strength.

Instead, I snapped a few shots of Gene wandering around the bar. I lived through that terror for about 15 minutes. After that, Gene collected a bag of Styrofoam boxes containing his dinner and went out into the dark and mild night. Because, when I want a fine dining experience, I want carryout from one of D.C.’s smellier dive bars.

After he left, I was able to return to enjoying my beers, but I had let myself down. I had my chance to meet the legend face-to-face. Maybe he’d let me play with his Pulitzers. (I imagine he keeps them on his body at all times.) Hopefully, I’ll see Gene in the hood again soon. Maybe this time, I’ll have the balls to say hello.


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