After a sojourn of several years in the national capital as a reporter covering government for the Boston Globe, Trausch decided to write a book about the place. Apparently she intended to be funny. She did not succeed. Trausch has crammed in every clichÃ‰ anyone has ever heard or read about Washington: it is peopled by pointy-headed bureaucrats who work so hard at making stupid decisions that they don't even have time for sex; the summer weather stinks, and the city never has learned to cope with snow either, etc., etc. Her observations of Washington's mores often are as strained as the writing. Thus: "". . .to laugh indiscriminately during the day, to guffaw at random on the bus or in the hall, to find the office or the report or the people in one's immediate purview hilarious is simply not done. Such behavior is considered dangerous and could be precedent-setting. What if everyone did that? What if all the lawyers and congressional staff assistants and White House advisers and national reporters suddenly looked around and started laughing so hard they had to wee-wee?"" There certainly is a funny book to be written about Washington ways. Someone with the rapier wit of William Buckley could do one with ease. But in this war of wit, Trausch is unarmed.