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May 29, 2012

11:10
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 43

About the hosts

About the host

Alexandra Petri

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week, Newsweek.com, Businessweek.com, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)

About the topic

Join us every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. ET to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

I am going to begin this chat by preemptively declaring this the one space on the Internet that you will not have to hear about that horrible story out of Miami with the naked man eating another man's face. I hate this story. I hate everything about this story. I have read possibly six different accounts of it by now and there is even a twitter feed associated with it. I don't know if it was bath salts or LSD that brought this on. Frankly, I just want to travel back in time to the halcyon days when I didn't realize that drug-crazed naked attackers eating people's faces off on the side of the highway was a thing that happened.

I'm sorry, I said I wasn't going to talk about this. I mean it. The rest of the chat is going to be pictures of bunnies. And cats. And bunnies and cats fraternizing. But seriously, people, we need more news, because otherwise this story is going to keep on dominating the conversation, and I just want to chunder everywhere.

Q.

Alexandra Petri :

This is cute!

Oh wait no no it's got a minute and a half of ads about poultry conditions.

DAGNABBIT, WORLD!

Q.

*ahem*

*tapping my foot, drumming my fingers, consulting watch*
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'm here, I'm here! Patience is a virtue! It is also the 843rd most popular female baby name of 2011, according to the Social Security Administration!

– May 29, 2012 11:13 AM
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

Toilet paper: over the top of the roll, or under?

We're resolving this right now.

Q.

Alexandra Petri :

My vote is for under. I've gone both ways, and I think if the dispenser is flush to the wall, you are better off pulling it from underneath, which keeps it flatter on its way to you and prevents your pulling off more than you intended.

Q.

Pictures that have nothing to do with the banned topic

Two baby deer fighting adorably! http://i.imgur.com/rzH0g.gif And President Obama looking a little terrifying as he stares directly into the camera. http://i.imgur.com/Oeqo7.jpg No bunnies or cats, but hopefully this is allowed.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is great!

Here's cats as fonts!

– May 29, 2012 11:19 AM
Q.

The trouble with the interwebs

Before, your daily paper might have devoted 3 inches to the horrible face story. Now the Interwebs offers you a plethora of accounts, comments, and gross retellings.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yeah, and for some reason what feels like everyone I follow on Twitter has independently concluded that this is The Story.

Either that or Marina Keegan's now-famous essay about potential. And if that spoke to you or made you sad, read this piece of hers from September which is absolutely gorgeous and resonant and will ruin your day.

– May 29, 2012 11:24 AM
Q.

The Avengers

Have you noticed that none of them are particularly good marriage material?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No? Captain America and Iron Man both seemed capable of making it work!

Although, as someone on Twitter quipped, I wanted to see the montage where they explained to Captain America the progress of civil rights over the past 60 years.

– May 29, 2012 11:28 AM
Q.

We're resolving this right now.

This will never be resolved. Peace will come to the Middle East before anyone budges on their preference.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What's yours?

– May 29, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

re: Tardiness

You were 11 minutes late from your previous assignment, young lady, according to the time stamp attached to your first post. Did you bring a note from your previous activity monitor? You realize that in today's cybertime, 11 minutes is, like, OMG, for-evvvverrr! I could have over on the Drudge Report by now. I might have moved over to Weingarten's chat and killed an hour trying to figure out how to take the poll (it took me 20 minutes over there just to figure out whether I was plain-looking or not). (The gender question was easier.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I know! I'm sorry!

In meme years, we're all dead now!

– May 29, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

TP

Over the top of the roll. Weingarten is just wrong about this!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Explain yourself!

– May 29, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

Bunnies!

I saw no less than a dozen during yesterday morning's run. Also, toilet paper is always over.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's two overs and no explanation, unless the rabbits are an explanation on some level I'm missing!

– May 29, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

Arlington Gay

Toilet Paper: over the top based on our cat that can unroll it when it's under.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Aha, reasoning!

I think that puts us at 3:1 over.

– May 29, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

oh great..

NOW I have to go google that story. I was newsless (as I am typically on a tuesday after a long weekend)..although I am pretty sure I do not want to know. You know. I won't look for that story. Instead I will have my lunch.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Do that.

Please. You can't unlearn about it.

– May 29, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

Hair color

I was shocked to see Weingarten's picture announcing these chats. His cartoon profile that usually accompanies his chats show salt and pepper hair color. The salt color is gone on his picture today. Is he trying to make himself young so he can compete with you? Is this an "All About Eve" drame at the WaPo?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ooh, I didn't notice!

Given that my picture makes me look sort of like a norn, an ageless, timeless being seldom courted for television appearances, I would say he has nothing to worry about.

– May 29, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

Bunnies and cats? Are you sure?

When I was in junior high, we found a tiny bunny with a gash in its thigh. A flap of fur and skin was torn and flipped back and you could see the muscle underneath. We wanted to save it, and one girl promised that her mother would help her take it to the Audubon Society (or maybe a vet?) if we could keep it alive until after school (this was back when lots of people at stay at home mothers and cell phones didn't exist). It died in a shoe box that someone found, lovingly surrounded by pine needles and some grass. I don't even know if it was that badly hurt. There didn't seem to be much blood, though an infection was certainly a possibility. We may have just scared it to death through attention. We thought the original injusry was the work of a local cat, though, as I said, the actual death may have been caused by 12 year old girls giving in to the bunny cuteness. You sure you want to keep talking about bunnies and cats? Maybe keep them separate?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

My favorite part of this comment is the theory that "We may have just scared it to death through attention."

That's going to be my new putative cause of death for sensational passings from now on.

– May 29, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

We have a vertical toilet paper roll holder

And that doesn't seem to resolve the issue, either. My sons (long potty-trained) prefer to keep the paper on the floor, which might be the best choice all around (provided one keeps the bathroom clean, of course).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That also works!

– May 29, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

gross retellings.

STOP WITH THE FACE STORY. Monica PROMISED this topic was banned.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

ASDFJKLFARB I KNOW, I'M SORRY, I CAN'T HANDLE IT, it's like THE RING of news stories. I feel mildly better now that I've passed it along.

– May 29, 2012 11:35 AM
Q.

Toilet paper

I'm an under person generally, but at our house the toilet is all of 6 inches away from the wall and the dispenser, so for practical purposes the TP needs to roll over or you're pulling it directly into your thigh. My husband keeps bragging that he won, but if we ever get a bigger house, the rolls will go over.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's 4:2, including your husband in the count!

– May 29, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

Over

That way you don't have to reach behind the roll against the wall to get the loose end.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

5:2. And a rationale!

– May 29, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

Re: cats as fonts

Comic Sans Cat is way too cute. Comic Sans Cat should be some guy dressed up in a bad Halloween cat costume, like a half-drunk dudebro with dollar store cat ears and a pink polo shirt with the collar popped, who thinks he's hilarious but everyone kind of hates him and wonders who invited him.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HA

+10.

Everyone hates Comic Sans.

– May 29, 2012 11:38 AM
Q.

Fluggy bunnies

This discussion shall be all about bunnies/ You do realize that there are people who get so high on bath salts that they run into the woods and eat bunnies?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This rabbbit expresses my feelings better than I could.

– May 29, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

What's yours?

Over, but I freely admit it's a prejudice. Under is what keeps toddlers & cats from being able to unroll it. Think about it. You paw the roll from the outside and if it's over, it'll unroll. If it's under, it'll just spin without unrolling.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Exactly!

6:2, but you made a good point!

– May 29, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

50 Shades of Dorian

I am trying to get into the 50 Shades of Gray book. This is about Dorian Gray, right? I understand this lets me know that woman like to be spanked? Is that true? Maybe it is a trade off, if we don't age, women will let guys spank them. Am I close to what this craze is all about?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yeah, I think so.

And if we're wrong, I think Florida Public Libraries are finally allowing the book there, which is -- progress, I guess.

This is what happens when we lose the shaming effect of actually having to display book covers when reading on the subway! The slippery slope from this to just straight shots of online fanfiction is -- well, I think this book began as a Twilight fanstory, to be completely honest.

I don't know if I'm reassured or terrified by the thought that all the people with ereaders on buses and airplanes are reading fairly graphic tales of people in grey ties with oddly specific requests. But  I want someone to write a parody called 50 Shades of Black and White or 25 Shades of Grey that is deeply un-erotic fiction where, I don't know, people keep kneeing each other in the chin and apologizing, or something. Just 50 chapters of that.

– May 29, 2012 11:50 AM
Q.

tp

"under" is more cat-proof in our house
A.
Alexandra Petri :

6:3, I think!

– May 29, 2012 11:50 AM
Q.

The nice thing about the internet.

You can advertise for people who want to have their faces eaten. Which saves a lot of trouble along the road of life.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Although people who post ads online asking for anthropophagous comradeship tend to pull out at the last minute because they are more excited by the idea of telling strangers on the internet that they have really delicious kidneys than actually going through with it. 

As is often the case on the Internet, actually. 

– May 29, 2012 11:51 AM
Q.

Whaddya mean, "We're resolving this right now"?

Ann Landers resolved this in her column YEARS ago. Although I cannot remember whether she resolved it in favor of "over" or "under." I do, however, remember that she admonished Alice Cooper for "Cold Ethyl," his song about necrophilia, telling him in a published exchange, "You are sick, mister. Sick, sick, sick."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

As long as you brought up Ann Landers, here is by far my favorite column of hers:

Dear Ann Landers: My wife and I soon will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and though we`ve been quite happy together, I can`t bring myself to tell my wife something that`s been bothering me since our honeymoon. When we unpacked our things in a nice little resort hotel, my wife opened a large suitcase and took out an accordion.

``Louise`` had never told me that she played the accordion and that she took it with her everywhere. I was flabbergasted that night as I sat through three recitals of ``Lady of Spain`` and an old English madrigal with some surprisingly ribald lyrics. Those are the only tunes she knows.

Our social life has always been rather quiet. Our only close friends are

``Bernice`` and ``Murray.`` They come over quite often and join Louise in a rousing chorus of ``Lady of Spain.`` Murray plays his head-that is, he raps his knuckles on his head while opening and closing his mouth, which produces changes in tone. Bernice clacks two spoons together and hums the harmony.

Ann, I`ve had about all I can take of this. How can I tell my wife after so many years that she is no musician and the racket is driving me crazy? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Had It on Long Island

Dear Long Island: You`ve been truly wonderful. Please don`t blow 30 years of sainthood by losing your temper.

Surprise Louise with a dozen accordion lessons and several pieces of sheet music. Sorry, but I can`t think of a thing you can do about Bernice and Murray.

– May 29, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

TP - over

because my mom does it under and when I can, I do the opposite of her so I can pretend that I'm not turning into her. This also means I cook (though not that well) and do not have a spotless bathroom.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

All women become their mothers, Wilde said. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

I killed a cactus once, just to show it that I wasn't turning into my mother. I didn't mean to kill it, I'm just terrible with plants, and she meets plants at the grocery store and suddenly they want to impress her by flowering solidly for several years and grafting themselves everywhere and winning blue ribbons from passersby. It's very impressive, if a bit terrifying.  But on the other hand I'm better at making bad puns.

– May 29, 2012 11:59 AM
Q.

Definitely over...

because you can give it a whack and it will unroll on it's own. Face story... glad to say I have not read or heard a word about it until now; however, they're blaming it on the guy being on acid (or bath salts)? I can't say I've gotten high from bath salts, but I can say with absolute certainty that acid does not make people do that. The acid stories are all made up by DARE cops (or so I guess) because in my pretty extensive experience with hallucinogens, I can tell you that they do not make someone do things like that.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

There you have it, folks!

I never know how much credence to lend to all these stories of Sensational Substances The Kids Are All Doing These Days. Bath salts? Purell? Hand sanitizer? I feel as though there are numerous other substances around the home that people would get into before you got around to trying to build a still for Purell. But maybe that proves I'm hopelessly unhip and out of touch.

– May 29, 2012 12:00 PM
Q.

Cold Ethyl again:

For the record, I'm an 'Over' guy. Nobody knows whether my wife is an 'Over' or an 'Under' since SHE HAS NEVER IN HER LIFE REPLACED THE DAMN ROLL. Counselling?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, if Ive learned one thing in this chat, it's that my chatters are overwhelmingly pro-over.

I guess that's an interesting demographic statement?

– May 29, 2012 12:02 PM
Q.

Breaking news

The Los Angeles Coroner has ruled that Whitney Houston died from death through attention.
Q.

TP

Over for the cats here too! The one time boyfriend accidentally put it under, we ended up with huge piles all over the bathroom when kitty figured out it was a fun toy.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Conflicting views on whether cats have more difficulty with under or over! I thought over would be more conducive to cat-astrophe, but it seems as though your cats would differ!

– May 29, 2012 12:05 PM
Q.

Over/Under

My wife and I took one of those stupid "how well do you know your spouse" quizzes and one question was whether your spouse puts the paper over or under. I answered (correctly) that my wife put the paper under. She didn't even realize that she did it. I prefer over. So does the hospitality industry; thousands of Johnson + Wales graduates can't be wrong.
Q.

Over

Toilet paper over so you can make the folded triangle after cleaning the bathroom. At least that is what I keep telling the help.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's two for "over, so the place will more closely resemble a hotel!"

– May 29, 2012 12:05 PM
Q.

Bath tissue.

I refuse to be categorized. What is this, the US Census? But have you notice that it is now impossible to buy toilet paper in packages of 4 now/ You have to but like 48 rolls at the minimum. Which is OK if you are planning for the Apocalypse, but why do I need a U-Haul or a King-Cab pickup just to buy toilet paper and get it home?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I guess they figure you'll never stop needing to use toilet paper, so you might as well invest! I think if you buy just a single roll or four, you wind up on some sort of watch list.

– May 29, 2012 12:07 PM
Q.

"I am trying to get into the 50 Shades of Gray book. This is about Dorian Gray, right?"

And I assumed the new movie "The Avengers" was going to be about John Steed and Mrs. Peel. Drat!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Double drat!

Man, you don't see that many people with the last name Steed anymore. Or Peel, for that matter.

– May 29, 2012 12:08 PM
Q.

Next: Hatfields or McCoys?

We settle it right here.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I was actually contemplating that!

Capulets or Montagues? Paper or plastic? Newt Gingrich or Stephen Douglas?

– May 29, 2012 12:09 PM
Q.

50 Shades of Manhattan

There already is a long writing about boring stuff such as kneeing people in the chins. It's called the New York Times.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

50 Shades of Gray Lady?

– May 29, 2012 12:09 PM
Q.

Bunnies Everywhere

I've been seeing many of them in the mornings as well. Maybe they're preparing to overpopulate and take over the world. Bow down before your long-eared masters, primates!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I for one welcome our new rabbit overlords!

– May 29, 2012 12:11 PM
Q.

Trust

If the Pope can't trust his butler, who can he trust?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

If the POPE's BUTLER isn't the world's most trustworthy human being, then is everything a lie?

– May 29, 2012 12:12 PM
Q.

Have you noticed that none of them are particularly good marriage material?

Remember the Lois and Clark show? I loved it when Teri Hatcher's Lane tore into Kent for proposing marriage before telling her his secret: "When were you planning on telling me? The honeymoon? Our first anniversary? When the kids started flying around the house?"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"When the kids started flying around the house" is great!

There are so many side inconveniences to dating a superhero that films are only beginning to touch on! Do you tell the in-laws? There are only so many times you can come up with an excuse other than "yeah, he's battling a giant sewer lizard to save the city" before they begin to suspect he just doesn't like them.

– May 29, 2012 12:17 PM
Q.

"The Avengers" movie

More than a decade ago, they made the iconic 60s series into a movie. It starred Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman, which means it should have been at least tolerable. But it was dreadful, down to Sean Connery's turn as a wealthy lunatic who had developed the ability to control the weather and was going to blackmail the world's governments with his doomsday machine. Let's just say it did not become a franchise.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

How?

You just sold me on it. Sean Connery controlling the weather is exactly what the doctor ordered, if only because I am picturing the Celebrity Jeopardy! Sean Connery who would make the clouds all resemble obscene bits of anatomy.

– May 29, 2012 12:19 PM
Q.

Over, but...

My cat doesn't mess around -- he just slashes a claw horizontally across the roll and proceeds with the shredding from there. I haven't been able to keep a roll hanging on the dispenser for several years.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think the new score reads

Cats 3: Toilet Paper 0.

– May 29, 2012 12:19 PM
Q.

All your fault!

I had managed to ignore that story but your horror prompted me to go read it. Noooooooo!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I am so, so sorry. Is there anything I can do to -- uh, Michael, what's another way of saying "save face," because that is definitely not the right turn of phrase for this situation.

– May 29, 2012 12:19 PM
Q.

"If the Pope can't trust his butler, who can he trust?"

Rick Santorum?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Win.

– May 29, 2012 12:22 PM
Q.

totally bummed

Martina Keegan's essay made me fell much the same was as reading Anne Frank's diary for the first time. What a waste.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Truth.

These days, everyone leaves records of themselves. To the strange extent that we all live our lives in public, there's usually at least a facebook page or a Twitter or sometimes a blog. People in general are less anonymous than they used to be. But in Marina's case there is a real amassed collection of beautifully expressed thoughts and record of her battle against the kind of apocalyptic thinking that tends to take over as you graduate college. It's strangely wonderful that so many people now get to discover her voice. But it's wrenching that it's because we won't hear it again.

– May 29, 2012 12:31 PM
Q.

A proposal from the U.N.

We need Monty Python Killer Rabbits to patrol the streets against flesh eating people. Then the world will be in balance.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And on that note, have a great week! Stick close to the killer rabbits. Feel free but unobligated to follow me on Twitter, and keep reading the Compost!

– May 29, 2012 12:32 PM
Q.

 

A.
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