Week 5 of The Invitational: Where in Hell ….?
Name a ‘circle’ for some ‘evil,’ plus a suitable punishment. Plus the Kiggans-Self Coulda Woulda Shoulda bill and other winning ‘joint legislation.’
Gene Weingarten
Feb 2

Hi. The illustration above will make sense to you in the next few minutes. It will involve this week’s Invitational. But first:

We have a new, simplified system here! The entirety of The Gene Pool is on this one Web page. The page will be long. But you will not have to leap to another page, and all the questions and answers will be here. We’ll begin with The Invitational, followed by some of your questions (and answers) -- and then I'll keep adding them as the hour progresses. To see those later Q&As, just refresh your screen every once in a while.

SPECIAL ADDITIONAL TIP: If you're reading this on an email: Click here to get to my webpage, then click on the top headline (The Invitational Week 5), for my full column, and comments, and real-time questions and answers, and be able to refresh.

And finally, a new orgasmically satisfying feature: You can ask your questions here. With the big ugly orange button below. Here it comes.

Ask a Question!

You can also ask questions here. They go to the same place, but if you are scared of orange buttons, you can do this.

On this late Thursday it'll be largely The Invitational, and it will feature….

Get ready…

… The most disgusting published winner ever. We all should be very proud. Give yourselves an ovation. It’s a world-class entry The Washington Post would never have green-lighted, and will be cited in college humor classes for years and win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

(As an added parenthetical feature, and totally without relevance, I want to point out that the president of the Philippines is “Bongbong Marcos.”)

Also, you might wonder why this Gene Pool is happening late in the day. It is because I had a doctor’s appointment — with a neurologist — that I had to make six months ago because of how awful doctors are. Medically, a minor physical problem. No biggie. But six months ago, there WAS no Gene Pool to schedule around. There was, however, a stern-faced medical desk person with a 1950s telephone operator Lily Tomlin voice to explain how Groundhog Day was The First Available Appointment Do You Want It or Not?

Okay, so. Here.

The new contest was suggested by a questioner from the last chat who did not include his or her name. He or she wrote this: “So where do we submit ideas for the Invitational? I’ve had one for a while: name a particular sin/sinner deserving of the most horrific and appropriate eternal punishment, and then create/describe the Circle of Hell & their punishment.”

I do not know who this person was, but if he or she will identify him or her self, including details of an offense they or them offered as an example, which we are withholding here, I will give them or they credit.

STATS-WRANGLER NOTE: It was (Deb Grosner, Winchester, VA)

Here are three examples, made up by us:

“People who are too timid to drive out into the intersection to turn left, so everyone behind them misses the light. Their place in Hell is where they are always about to vomit, but never succeed and have to stand there for eternity, next to the toilet.”


“A traffic circle designer who has to drive on Escher's Mobius strip forever. as an ant.” (Now you understand the cartoon, above.)


If you steal the money intended for the surgery that will save the life of a sick dog, and the dog dies because of your theft, you will enter Hell and be subject to an appendectomy performed by a dog. And then removal of your gall bladder, your tonsils, etc., ad infinitum.

Reminder, send your questions here. Questions are different from comments, which will accumulate at the bottom of The Gene Pool, and be mostly amongst yourselves. I love comments and support them equally. Here is a way to distinguish between comments and questions.

Ask a Question!


Leave a comment

If you need help, here is an example of a question:

Why are you such a dick, Gene?

Example of a comment:

You are such a dick, Gene.

Okay? Good.

The winner of the new contest (reminder! Circles of Hell!) wins “Farts: A Spotter’s Guide,” a board book describing, field guide-style, such species as the Poof, the Sleeping Dog, and the Seismic Blast. Complete with an electronic box that mimics the various types – even, go figure, the Silent but Deadly. Donated by Longtime Loser Pie Snelson. First Offenders receive the Fir Stink for their first ink: a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener.”

Know your tailpipe emissions: This week’s prize..

Deadline is midnight Friday, Feb. 10. Results will run here in The Gene Pool on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Unnatural Acts: ‘Joint Legislation’ Winners From Week 3
Week 3 of The Invitational was our biennial “joint legislation” contest in which the Losers link two or more names of this session’s Congressional freshmen to “cosponsor” a bill. If the inking puns below aren’t clear to you, say them out loud. If you’re still stumped, ask about it in the comments below – we promise we won’t mock you unless you are really stupid.

Once again, some Losers clearly neglected to ask someone to read their entries to see if they were understandable to anyone but the deluded writer. Someone we’ll ID as Xxxx Yyyy of Zzzzzzzz, Calif., explained that the Ciscomani-Pettersen-Tokuda-Bean-Brecheen bill, to permit sibling interventions in sketchy beauty parlor procedures, obviously translates to Sis go mani-pedi and toe could have been breaking. ’Course it does.

The Czar and Empress both got a kick out of Ivy-Lee-Goldman (Ivy League Old-Man) but the 15 entries using that combination canceled one another out. As did the many Ogles-Self entries either condemning or promoting narcissism. (Gene interjects here that he doesn’t find “old man” a morally acceptable designation, and uses his mighty editorial power to put this complaint in boldface.)

Repeated names in an entry refer to two new members with the same last name.

By Empress Pat Myers and Czar Gene Weingarten
Third runner-up: The Mullin-Nickel appropriation for five people’s thoughts. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

Second runner-up: The Ezell-Lee-Landsman Dating App Improvement Act. (Dave Airozo, Silver Spring, Md.)

First runner-up: The Hoyle-Lee-Schmitt Act for socially acceptable cursing. (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

And the winner of the reptile-foot-motif socks:

The Ogles-Magaziner-Jackson-Self Act to encourage sperm bank donations. (Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Mich.)


Ask a question!

The Kiggans-Self Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda Act. (Jesse Frankovich)

The Ivey-Bean-Mullin-Mullin Act to promote deep thinking about deep thinking. (Leif Picoult)

The Schmitt-Hoyle bill to improve relations with countries insulted by Trump. (Randy Lee, Burke, Va.)

The Ezell-Lee-Fry Expeditious Capital Punishment Act. (Dave Airozo)

The Fry-Nunn Prohibition of Capital Punishment (Jesse Frankovich)

The LaLota-Budd-Kiggins bill to honor Chuck Norris. (Randy Lee)

The Sykes-Self Act to build self-esteem. (Brett Dimaio, Cumberland, Md.)

The Kean-Bean-Britt-Schmitt-Hoyle-Moylan-Kiley-Fry-Lee Poetry Education Act (Jeff Newman, York, Pa., a First Offender; Judy Freed, Deerfield Beach, Fla.)

The Crockett-Schmitt Act to Investigate the Credentials of Rep. Santos. (Frank Yuen, Forest Hills, N.Y.)

The Deluzio-Nickel bill to mandate regular parking meter inspections. (Rob Cohen, Potomac, Md.)

The Budd-Zinke-Budzinski bill to MYOB. (Randy Lee)

The Self-Fry DIY Wiring Safety Act. (Chris Damm, Charles Town, Va.)

The Bean-Nunn Catholic School Kids’ Revenge Act. (Dave Airozo)

The Britt-Williams-Bean-Strong Resolution commending the Harried future King of England. (Kevin Dopart, Washington, D.C.)

The Ezell-Zinke Act to recognize the capital of Finland. (Jesse Frankovich)

The Mullin-Mullin-Welch Act directing the Treasury to ponder the national debt at length, then default on it. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

The Nickel-Collins Act to bring cheap public pay phones back to street corners everywhere. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

The Lee-James-Lee initiative to recommend that the next 007 actor be Asian. (Rob Cohen)

The Balint-Self-Ezell-Lee Act to mandate roadside sobriety tests. (Jesse Frankovich; Jon Gearhart)

The Mullin-Tokuda-Budd Act to fund PSAs warning kids to think carefully before bogarting that roach. (Roy Ashley, Washington, D.C.)

The Moylan-Nunn Interfaith Circumcision Initiative. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

The Vance-Bean-Lee-Kean-Hoyle Act to require monthly inspections of used Ford Econolines, Sierras, and Odysseys. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

The Duarte-Ezell-Lee Resolution to award the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Bob Ross. (Kevin Dopart)

And Last: The Nunn-Budd-Deluzio resolution, asking who would enter the Invitational anyway? (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

The headline “Unnatural Acts” was submitted by both William Kennard and Jon Ketzner; Bill Dorner wrote the honorable-mentions subhead.

Still running – deadline Friday night, Feb. 3: Our “Questionable Journalism” contest. See it here (scroll down to the first subhead)

Idea:(Deb Grosner, Winchester, VA)
Title:(William Kennard; Jon Ketzner)
Subhead:(Bill Dorner)