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September 10, 2013

11:03
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 64

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 She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)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 next Tuesday 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.

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar

It was tense.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Heyo! 

Good morning, all! Anyone in this thing? (shakes) I have cow tipping news!

– September 10, 2013 11:03 AM
Q.

Babies

I know some people criticize me for being on the computer so much that I ignore my babies. Yet babies are resilient. They are fine. By the way, I have quick but important question: Did I mention that I have two babies or three?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Definitely plural, but beyond that I couldn't say. Trying calling them and see where the ringing comes from? (I have no idea how children work.)

– September 10, 2013 11:07 AM
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

Okay, so cow tipping. 

Recently, there's been some noise about the fact that cow tipping, as far as anyone can tell and as far as the YouTube evidence extends, is impossible. You'd need 6 people of average strength, once you take into account the cow's ability to brace itself. 

But it's such a persistent legend! 

So I guess what I'm asking is, does someone have a cow?

Q.

Thanks for reminding me ...

I need to get one of those mooing cow cans ...
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, those are great!

– September 10, 2013 11:13 AM
Q.

I always thought it was 15%

You cow tippers are all liars!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

How much do you tip a cow?

a) Well, they say it doesn't affect quality of service. 

b) Ignore the cost of drinks! Just tip on the food bill. 

c) 20 percent is now standard

– September 10, 2013 11:13 AM
Q.

Just wondering

The President's speech might interfere with the season opening episode of "Sons of Anarchy". Does he really want to upset thousands of bikers?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Are there actually that many upsettable bikers, though? I always think that shows like Sons of Anarchy and That Gritty Prison Drama, Oz, might slightly overestimate the vigor of the Motorcycle Gang culture, but I don't have any stats at my fingertips to support this hunch. 

– September 10, 2013 11:15 AM
Q.

We missed the Sept 3, 230th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris

I blame the Civil War hoopla. In our treaty, Great Britain was given perpetual access to the Mississippi River. I wonder how long that lasted?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That was a great treaty! 

The trick about getting a treaty signed somewhere in France is that the specificity of the location is inversely correlated to how happy everyone is about the treaty afterward. Treaty of Paris: great! Treaty of Versailles: eeegh, unless you're America!

– September 10, 2013 11:17 AM
Q.

Cow tipping

I have never met anyone who claims they were cow tipping, so I can't challenge them on it. I always thought, not so much about the weight of the cows, but the fact that I would not expect a cow to stand there and take it. I have known of a local farmer who was killed by a bull, so I would not recommend people trying. It is now good to know it can't be done, except if one has a really anorexic and stupid cow (but enough about Paris Hilton).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

She always spoke highly of you!

The two main points of objection were:

-cows don't sleep on their feet, horses do

-cows tend to be fairly alert

-cows can brace themselves

-I can imagine convincing one guy to tip a cow, but six people of moderate strength?

– September 10, 2013 11:18 AM
Q.

Cow-tipping

I went to college where there were many cows. In fact, they would occasionally get loose and wander down the main road and there was one dorm you didn't want to live in because it was downwind from said cows. I know people always said they were going cow-tipping (which I thought was cruel), but I don't know if anyone was successful. There was alcohol involved and cow patties, so I don't know if anyone acutally made it to the cow to tip them.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, cow patties, nature's booby trap!

– September 10, 2013 11:18 AM
Q.

slow chat

if the numbers of ? are down today, may be because when I just went to find your chat, it wasn't listed with the other discussions. Was on the discussion page, but not in the window on the "front page" of the website.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, people have been commenting on this. Hi, other 22 people! We can all go around and coin a bunch of inside jokes that will make us obnoxious to everyone who joins in future weeks!

– September 10, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

cow tipping

You can tip $1 for each drink the cow provides, $2 if the drink is really expensive. A Brandy Alexandra, I presume. At least the cream comes straight from the source.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

...well, that's a visual. 

– September 10, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

cow tipping

I thought it was done while the cow was sleeping standing up, which I guess they sometimes do. But I grew up in Chicago, so what do I know.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think some cows occasionally sleep standing up, but it isn't standard cow procedure by a long shot. 

– September 10, 2013 11:21 AM
Q.

Tippy Cow New and Tyler Too

Ordinarily, I would recommend that you, Squirrell Bopper (who has some experience with animals) , and I get together and see what happens when we try to tip a cow. Just remember that there will be photographers so wear your nicest shoes.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

We just need to find a cow that's on board with this idea. I did call the zoo and ask if we could use one of their cows, but the very nice lady on the other end said "we definitely cannot do that." 

– September 10, 2013 11:24 AM
Q.

Playwright again

Writing as a fellow playwright to commiserate. I've just been told that my new play reads like "a sequel to A Night at the Opera." I don't know whether to be pleased, or chagrined that I'm 80 years too late and all my leading actors are dead.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Can't you be both? 

 

– September 10, 2013 11:24 AM
Q.

Cows

Cows do sleep on the ground, which means a standing cow is awake and alert and not prone to like being pushed upon. Cows can predict the weather. If you see all the cows on the ground, it is going to rain. If you see all the cows standing, it is not going to rain. If you see some of the cows standing and some on the ground, it means it might rain, it might not.

A.
Alexandra Petri :

In the immortal words of Jon Arbuckle, "Reckon it'll rain. If not, it won't." 

Speaking of farm animals, here's some news from Australia that might be relevant. Looks like the cow won this round. 

– September 10, 2013 11:27 AM
Q.

Cow tipping

No, but I got a tip from a cow once. "Don't drink the 2 percent for the next month." Then she went back to chewing her cud. Then I chewed my cud. Then we chewed each other's cuds, which is illegal in 23 states.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh dear, I was wondering how long we would take to escalate to this point and the answer is: er, this long. 28 minutes, on my clock. 

– September 10, 2013 11:29 AM
Q.

My Cow Tipping Experience

I went up to a sleeping cow and said "bet on Easy Rider in the 5th tomorrow."
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– September 10, 2013 11:29 AM
Q.

Dairy farmer's daughter

You want to pick your cow breed very carefully it you're attempting to dislodge it. We had Holsteins (black and white bovines) who are high-quality milk producers, but are also extremely high strung and jittery around humans. (my dad had several broken bones from being kicked by his agitated ladies) I suggest you tippers stick to Jerseys or Guernseys who tend to be more placid breeds.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

But the Guernseys have such low centers of gravity! 

– September 10, 2013 11:30 AM
Q.

Cows

Someone from Chicago does not know about cows? Well, here is what one needs to know. Cows cause fires that burn down entire cities. The end. P.S. That actually wasn't true, but blaming cows is an old age tradition. In fact, I believe cows are behind climate change and the trade deficit.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

COWS RUIN EVERYTHING

Maybe we can work this chat into a frenzied mob who, at noon, go rushing out to push cows over with wild abandon, shouting, "THIS IS FOR MRS. O'LEARY!"

– September 10, 2013 11:31 AM
Q.

Can You Tip

a sea cow (manatee)?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You might be able to, but you aren't allowed to ride one

– September 10, 2013 11:31 AM
Q.

Ostrich Pillow

Read an article yesterday about insomnia. Can't remember if it was here or the NYT. They mentioned Ostrich Pillows, which I had never heard of and had to look up, and which look pretty cool in an impossibly-nerdy sort of way. But they're $99. Anyone have one? Are they worth it? (Link for if you haven't heard of them either: http://www.ostrichpillow.com/ )
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Is this a pillow you bury your head in and assume morning will come? 

– September 10, 2013 11:32 AM
Q.

"We have cows"

If you can't tip a cow, can they be sucked into a tornado and then spread into the population in an action film called CowNado?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I would definitely watch this. 

 

– September 10, 2013 11:32 AM
Q.

Cow College

Why is it easy for cows to get into Harvard? Because they are always outstanding in their field.
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– September 10, 2013 11:36 AM
Q.

Rustic golf

I have a friend who enjoys participating in the occasional rustic golf tournament, where they golf in livestock pastures (talk about a "rough"!). Even if the cows (or sheep) have been herded into different pastures for the event there are still, ahem, obstacles on the course.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, yes, those obstacles. 

I'm picturing someone trying to concentrate on putting who keeps being interrupted by loud baa'ing from a neighboring field. 

– September 10, 2013 11:38 AM
Q.

Blaming Cows

I always blame the dog but I can see how a methane producer like a cow would be much better.
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– September 10, 2013 11:38 AM
Q.

cows tipping

I wonder if mad cows tired of all the tipping efforts try to get even by tipping people over, perhaps drunk ones at frat parties downwind from the pastures.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is a real Cow Tips Man story. 

– September 10, 2013 11:38 AM
Q.

So

A cow walks into a bar. She says to the bartender, "can a cow make a speech here" and the bartender says "sure, but no bull." Sorry. It's the best I could do on short notice. (SB)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

A cow walks into a Temple. 

a) The cow is honored as a sacred animal. 

b) The cow is shunned immediately as unclean.

c) The cow thanks Ms. Grandin for her groundbreaking work and apologizes profusely. 

– September 10, 2013 11:41 AM
Q.

How now thou stinky cow?

Yes, you can blame the cow instead of blaming the dog, but remember, theret has to be a cow in the room.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It's like an elephant in the room, but you talk about it occasionally. 

– September 10, 2013 11:42 AM
Q.

They call Texas A&M a cow college ...

But the cow that graduated was very smart.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I hadn't heard that one before! 

– September 10, 2013 11:43 AM
Q.

How do you get a cow to come over to you?

I tried jumping up and waving my arms, but I think I got a myopic cow. How about A Night At the Zombie Opera?
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– September 10, 2013 11:44 AM
Q.

A movie you'd like to live in

A tornado sweeps thousands of pigs and then sends them twirling into the general population in the action film BaconNado.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Is it strange that my first thought is, "That sounds delicious. I really should have had breakfast!"

– September 10, 2013 11:45 AM
Q.

Actual by-God cow experience here!

I grew up on the edge of a ranching town (two of the four edges of our property were actually the city limits) and on the other side of the city limits were...cows. Mostly steers, of course, but there were some cows thrown in for good measure. The bulls had their own business and were not allowed to roam. Anyway, as many posters have said, "cow tipping" is to "drinking out in a field in the misbegotten belief that our parents don't know what we're doing" as "waiting for my man" is to "sitting around hoping that the neighborhood drug dealer hasn't dipped into his own supply but rather will show up some time soon."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, this is an increasingly distressing consensus. 

Also, I've never heard of "waiting for my man." I thought that was something people did during the Civil War with candles in their windows. 

– September 10, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

"we have cows" too

Agree, we need to expand the cow-in-the-tornado scene from "Twister" and turn it into full CowNado movie. Alas, the flying cow patties would probably scare audiences away.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Sometimes, you really don't need 3D. 

– September 10, 2013 11:48 AM
Q.

Cow a bungie-a

Next problem: What would the strength of the wiring be required to bungie jump the average cow?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Get MythBusters on this!

Also, my response didn't show up to Zombie Night At The Opera, so here it is:

-What is a popular cow video sharing service?

– September 10, 2013 11:49 AM
Q.

How to get a cow to come to you?

Play some jazz for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXKDu6cdXLI
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is amazing! 

 

– September 10, 2013 11:52 AM
Q.

New State Fair attraction: The BaconNado

You stand in one of those wind tunnel things, but bacon pieces are added to the wind. Of course, this would escalate the "Nado" arms race until every state fair had three FriedOreoNadoes going full blast. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, I was about to say!

And I'd love some footage of the presidential candidates, in the course of trying to make nice with the average voter, somehow winding up in the bacon wind tunnel. 

– September 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Just Sayin

I'll be at the MD Renaissance Festival on Sunday. If anyone sees me, please say hi. Also tell me where I left my car. I ALWAYS lose it in that parking lot.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Tell the giant drumsticks hello!

– September 10, 2013 11:56 AM
Q.

I should move to California

I used to work on a dairy farm. To make a long story short, we sold raw milk to customers. Once, the cows came across someone's illegally planted marijuana patch and ate all the plants. I asked an expert and I was told the milk was affected by the pot. So, here is to medical marijuana milk. P..S. It may be possible to cow tip a stoned cow. They'll sort of fall over on their own, actually.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's amazing! 

Now that's a farm I'd like to see advertised on television. There were all those ads about the best milk coming from contented cows, but this really takes it to another level. 

– September 10, 2013 11:58 AM
Q.

Re: Mythbusters

You could sic them on cow-tipping as well. But they "busted" the "myth" of "holding a sleeping persons hand in warm water will make the wet the bed," and I'm 100% sure that is no myth. Tried and tested true at numerous sleepover parties.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Hmmm.

Let's try it on the cow.

– September 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

I root for the bulls

I always root for the bulls to win in Pamplona.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

They usually do, I think. 

– September 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

Big band song

"Cow Cow Boogie" (I'm not making that up!).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yes, that very much exists. Here's Ella Fitzgerald singing it. 

– September 10, 2013 12:01 PM
Q.

If I was a billionare, I'd bungee jump into events from a helicopter

How do you figure out how long to make the bungee?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Have your cow test it first. 

Then make certain the helicopter always stays exactly the same height above the event. 

– September 10, 2013 12:02 PM
Q.

cow tipping euphemism

Maybe "cow tipping" is actually a euphemism for another nighttime activity randy farm boys are rumored to engage in . . . ?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Goat-milking?

– September 10, 2013 12:07 PM
Q.

Bungee-jumping cows

Do they jump off the Moo River Bridge in West Virginia? While singing Henry Mancini's hit "Moo River"?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Which reminds me:

A: Bo-vine. 

(I'll see myself out.)

– September 10, 2013 12:07 PM
Q.

I'm sorry, Alexandra!

I'm not sure what for, but I'm Jewish and this is the season so....
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I wish we WASPs had a season for that, other than Every Time We Get Together For Holidays And Uncle Dennis Has Three Vodkas. 

– September 10, 2013 12:11 PM
Q.

Deny this ugly rumor

We farm boys resent the insinuation that we run off with cows and sheep and goats and chickens. I mean, seriously. Chickens?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I know! They're lookers, but NO PERSONALITY whatsoEVER!

– September 10, 2013 12:12 PM
Q.

PETA

I envision a Monty Python type scenario where someone from PETA runs out right about now and protests our discussions about harming cows.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

My first consideration in all these scenarios would be to keep the cow from harm. 

Maybe plant a mattress, or something!

– September 10, 2013 12:12 PM
Q.

I'm depressed

I went for a makeup consultation yesterday. I asked the technician what season I was and she said "hurricane."
A.
Alexandra Petri :
Hey, better than "Road construction." 
(She sounds mean! Don't go to her again!)
– September 10, 2013 12:18 PM
Q.

cow tipping - seen with my own eyes

I have seen a cow tipped over before. If you have to lay a cow down so that a vet can perform an action, there is a way you can tie a rope around the cow and then push that will cause the cow to tip over on her side. This is routinely done with sheep. You hold the sheep, turn her head and press her over with your legs. She will tip over and go down to her side.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Does this count as tipping? If so, you are the hero of this chat. 

– September 10, 2013 12:18 PM
Q.

chicken personality

Hey, don't insult chickens, I wouldn't take one home to mother, but they are rather cute when pecking around the yard, and can definitely be sneaky about getting you to lift pots etc so they can get slugs and other bugs (I'm talking urban backyard hens here, which have a pretty nice life).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I really hope you wouldn't take a chicken home to mother! 

although you could take one home to roost. 

Then again, if you took a chicken home to mother and committed to it for about a month, you'd never have to worry about her approval of your dating life again!

– September 10, 2013 12:20 PM
Q.

Simpson philosophy

"So I guess what I'm asking is, does someone have a cow?" The noted philosopher Bart Simpson has frequently warned, "Don't have a cow, man."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Wise words. 

– September 10, 2013 12:22 PM
Q.

Obligatory reference

A bull looks at a cow and says "she is beautiful. Why, she's got 50 shades of gray."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

*cow on the subway, surreptitiously reading 50 Shades of Black and White over shoulder of another cow*

– September 10, 2013 12:23 PM
Q.

Cow

Cow tipping is real! The busted myth has been busted. Who knew the secret is to get the cow first into bondage. I wonder if Mr. Grey ever went cow tipping.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, it's the 50 Shades of Compost Chat portion of the discussion, right on schedule!

– September 10, 2013 12:24 PM
Q.

makeup consultation

That was quite a fad at one time, I had it done and was told I'm a Winter. Means I look good in jewel tones, no orange and yellow. Think being a Hurricane cool.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oho! Good to know. 

– September 10, 2013 12:26 PM
Q.

Chickens "can definitely be sneaky about getting you to lift pots"

Actually, chickens are very wary of pots, ever since Herbert Hoover crowed about one in every pot.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

The crowing threw them off for a bit, but they soon learned. 

– September 10, 2013 12:26 PM
Q.

Old joke that might still work here

Kinky is using feathers. Disturbing is taking the whole chicken home to meet your mother.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I balk-balk-balk at this. 

 

– September 10, 2013 12:26 PM
Q.

Vat meat

Some are celebrating vat-grown beef. What is the future of this? How can they grow it without hormones?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Debated between "in a vat!" and "very carefully." 

Hey, I'd eat it. 

– September 10, 2013 12:29 PM
Q.

Tried this in North Korea

Cow tipping works for Dennis Rodman. The cow sees Dennis Rodman coming and falls over in hysterics.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's how Mad Cow started.

– September 10, 2013 12:29 PM
Q.

End credits roll

Activity in this chat was monitored by the Humane Society. No animals were harmed in this discussion. Some were slightly offended, but we can't help that.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's, I think, always the case.

– September 10, 2013 12:33 PM
Q.

"Farms in Berkeley???" "Moo-oo-oo-oo"

My parents, who grew up in Berkeley, California, told me that there used to be dairy farms up in the Berkeley Hills (near the Claremont Hotel by the Oakland city limit). When I was a child there was a dairy business called South Berkeley Creamery, which later it changed its name to Berkeley Farms. Their TV and radio ad campaign featured commercials that would end with "Farms in Berkeley???" "Moo-oo-oo-oo" Folks who lived in the Bay Area in the mid-to-late 20th century all remember this fondly -- a cultural touchstone!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It's amazing how commercials serve as the tree-rings of time spent in a particular place. Sing it with me -- "800-588-2300 EMPIRE! TODAY!"

– September 10, 2013 12:34 PM
Q.

there is a way you can tie a rope around the cow and then push that will cause the cow to tip over on her side

But ropes are forbidden in Olympic cow-tipping.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Forget wrestling. Let's put cow-tipping back where it belongs. 

– September 10, 2013 12:35 PM
Q.

Just wondering

Gene Weingarten is discussing tipping over a statute. Is the Post in some tipping over theme today?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Just the tips! 

– September 10, 2013 12:35 PM
Q.

vet cow tipping

I saw a vet sedate a bull, rope him, tip him over, and then excavate an infected hoof, disinfect it, bandage it and then get the bull up.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Aw, but that's not Olympic procedure.

– September 10, 2013 12:36 PM
Q.

It's amazing how commercials serve as the tree-rings of time spent in a particular place

You always get your way, at Ourisman Chevrolet!
Q.

Discovery

Soylent Green Slime is cows!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And on that note, have a great week!

Keep reading the Compost, feel free to join me on Twitter, and let me know if you tip anything over.

And...

– September 10, 2013 12:38 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: