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February 18, 2014

11
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 42

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 She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)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

Happy President's Day!

I am celebrating Andrew Johnson, the autodidact. "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Also, he would have had difficulty getting through airport security, between the lead he carried around inside him and probably his insistence on challenging all the TSA agents to duels.

– February 18, 2014 11:00 AM
Q.

Poop Cookies - Not what you think

This weekend I made oatmeal cookies with diced prunes instead of raisins. They were delicious and I'm no longer constipated. So much better than drinking prune juice.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This has been a Poop Cookie PSA.

Good Tuesday, all!

– February 18, 2014 11:01 AM
Q.

Which President would you most like to party with?

I'm thinking Taft for the dinner, and Harding for the clubbing afterwards.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

*unce unce unce unce*

(clarinet music starts)

"Isn't this great, everyone? What you're hearing is the Citizens Cornet Band, which I organize!"

"Warren tell me you didn't--"

"That's right, I play every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet!"

*unce* tootle *unce* toot *unce*

"Okay, let's leave."

– February 18, 2014 11:04 AM
Q.

How come there are blood oranges but no blood apples?

Are oranges the only sanguine fruit?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oranges are not the only fruit, but they are the only sanguine fruit, to my knowledge. Also a blood banana sounds horrible.

– February 18, 2014 11:05 AM
Q.

Prop Comic

If you became a prop comic, what would your prop be?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Fun story, during the heyday of that "[Junk] In A Box" SNL sketch, I used to carry around a tiny gift-wrapped box as part of my set. Now I don't know. Does The Internet count as a prop? Maybe I'd just bring a snack onstage.

– February 18, 2014 11:07 AM
Q.

What color

are the shadows of our thoughts?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Is this with reference to something?

– February 18, 2014 11:07 AM
Q.

Zachary Taylor was so cheap, he wouldn't accept postage-due letters

This delayed his acceptance of the Whig party nomination by a week, as the first letter was sent postage-due.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

I'd party with Zachary. We could drink some dangerous lemonade on a hot day, and... well, something.

– February 18, 2014 11:08 AM
Q.

His smoldering blue eyes follow you around the room

I am wondering--if I get my loved one this particular S&M plush cuddly for Valentine's Day http://www.vermontteddybear.com/SellGroup/fifty-shades-of-bear.aspx?bhcp=1 should I include a safe word on the accompanying card?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's only polite.

Also, the phrase "S&M plush cuddly" is an interesting string of words.

– February 18, 2014 11:11 AM
Q.

Vacation in Colorado

I smoked pot on occasion when I was a teenager in the 70s. As I recall I liked it. Then I joined the military followed by a civilian job with a security clearance. So, no more pot for me. Long story short, I'm retired now and I'd like to get high. Would it be weird to go to Colorado so I can legally smoke pot? How would I find it? Are there special pot stores?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

According to the coverage from the initial roll-out, there are special dedicated stores, and I bet the lines would have died down by now. I wonder if some cann(abis)y tour company has figured out that people like you are a willing market and started offering a package.

– February 18, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

Olympics

During the pairs ice dancing, one of the announcers said that we'd have "a closer look at Tessa's twizzle next." And I thought the Olympics was a family show.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Twizzles are the best part of the Olympics so far, in that it's such a silly word described in such serious, meaning-laden tones. "And they were a little weak on the twizzles, a mandatory element," is just a great sentence.

– February 18, 2014 11:13 AM
Q.

Clown shortage

This morning, I heard on the radio the very disturbing news that our nation has a clown shortage. What is becoming of us? How may we entice more young people to enter clown colleges so we may meet the demand for clowns? Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this national crisis?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What will America be without its clowns?

A darn sight less creepy, that's for sure.

But seriously, we need to rectify this, stat. First they come for the clowns, then we lose the Elvis impersonators!

– February 18, 2014 11:15 AM
Q.

Andrew Johnson, the autodidact.

He didn't do it all by himself. He married the schoolmarm.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh whoops I read that as Jackson.

– February 18, 2014 11:16 AM
Q.

I hate to go all Weingarten on a Weingarten day, but

have you seen the screen shot of BBC-TV news showing a headline of "Giant Pooh Blocks Sewer? Somebody's stuffed Edward Bear somehow got stuck in a drainpipe.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HA!

No, send it along!

– February 18, 2014 11:16 AM
Q.

President's Day

I am celebrating the memory of William Henry Harrison the only President to attend the University of Pennsylvania, who has the foresight to do nothing but get sick and die during his Presidency. They teach us that at Penn.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"Say with me, class: the longer the inauguration speech, the shorter the presidency!"

– February 18, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

"Hail to the Chiefs" by the late great Barbara Holland

is a hilarious book on the presidents up to Reagan. Only a few lapses in an otherwise well-researched and funny book (although Holland did go way overboard with the footnotes).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You had me at "way overboard with the footnotes."

– February 18, 2014 11:19 AM
Q.

The fury of a thousand suns...

... is a candle compared to my hatred for Zoe Barnes. "Oh, you're just being sensitive! It's fiction!" say some people. Those people are wrong. Because the worst part about this is that no one seems bothered by it: not her editor, not her squishy sometimes-boyfriend, not even her allegedly sexless competent reporter pal (who still looks pretty good to me, behind her I Am No Longer Sexy Eyeglasses). And in this way it makes everyone complicit in her awfulness. Given the rest of the show, I am sure this character is going to die soon; she can't be killed too quickly for my taste. (And you're right: where is the good DC barbecue joint?)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Thank you! I know the show has multiple female writers, but it's weird that NOBODY IN-WORLD NOTICES OR COMMENTS!

I'm a fan of Hill Country, but you'd think there'd be something local in origin.

– February 18, 2014 11:20 AM
Q.

Oh whoops I read that as Jackson.

Also, Johnson made his own suits, having been indentured to a tailor in his youth. They don't make presidents that handy any more.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Abraham Lincoln would only run with you if you were capable of dressing yourself, apparently. Wasn't Hannibal Hamlin a tanner? Or am I making that up from whole cloth, as Johnson would a suit?

 

– February 18, 2014 11:23 AM
Q.

Clown colleges

We can use more clown financial aid, to cut down on the terrible problem of clown college debt (which, like student debt, cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, although it can be discharged through a seltzer bottle). But we don't need a federal clown college rating system, or federal legislation like No Clown Left Behind.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Or Clown Race To The Top.

And of course there's the controversy about Clown Core, because some states feel that their clowns are already well-prepared for the workplace, while others would appreciate a national clown standard.

– February 18, 2014 11:31 AM
Q.

You had me at "way overboard with the footnotes."

Yes, but it's not the Oliver-Sacks-type footnotes which are a whole 'nother book; it's the har-har-Dave-Barry type of footnoting which needs restraint (and when else do the words "Dave Barry" and "restraint" appear in the same sentence).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This tangentially reminds me of that Kurt Vonnegut saying that if you really wanted someone to reveal himself to you, you should have him assemble an index, and you could tell anything at all about him. I am horribly, hideously, beyond-recognition mangling that, but -- by their endnotes shall ye know them.

– February 18, 2014 11:32 AM
Q.

Wasn't Hannibal Hamlin a tanner?

Was he any relation to tanned heartthrob Harry Hamlin?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

He was less tan.

– February 18, 2014 11:33 AM
Q.

but not Tyler, too

When he celebrate Presidents, we do not celebrate John Tyler. We ignore him, even on his birthday. Poor guy. I suspect we have given him a complex or something.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I like Tyler! He was the first surprise president, and he held it together pretty well considering that, historically, no one liked him.

– February 18, 2014 11:33 AM
Q.

Oh whoops I read that as Jackson.

Everybody does that. Poor Andy Johnson, he don't get no respect.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Not only that, there's another President Johnson, and people usually mean that one.

– February 18, 2014 11:35 AM
Q.

Will our nation respond to the crisis?

Do you think our nation is reaching to pass ObamaClown?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I can stay on my parents' clown plan for a few more months!

– February 18, 2014 11:36 AM
Q.

federal legislation like No Clown Left Behind

We don't need that legislation. They keep getting elected so no need to help them out.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Was waiting for someone to make this astute observation.

Clown Americans have always been a robust majority, which is why it's so worrisome that they're going extinct.

– February 18, 2014 11:37 AM
Q.

Clown Race to the Top

I worry that if there were such a race, all of the clowns would arrive at the same time. In the same car.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME!

– February 18, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

Re: Clown shortage

Clearly they didn't check the House of Representatives!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"That's a clown question, bro!"

That's what I should have said!

– February 18, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

historically, no one liked him.

Especially his eight children from his first marriage, when he married his second wife, who was younger than his oldest daughter. He holds the presidential record for most children, although he had to wear out two wives to achieve that. Apparently two of his grandchildren are still living today.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, Tyler, way to keep it classy.

– February 18, 2014 11:40 AM
Q.

Delusional reader

When I was President of the United States, I made my own clothes, and I wrote all my speeches, and I answered all the phone calls coming into the White House, and I also did all the work of the Secretary of Agriculture as well.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Which left you no time to actually be president!

– February 18, 2014 11:43 AM
Q.

Up until today...

I would've thought the phrase "S&M plush cuddly" was a Googlenope (tm pending), then I thought, Rule 34... and I got a little depressed. Can I have an oatmeal-prune cookie, please?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You can have TWO oatmeal-prune cookies!

– February 18, 2014 11:43 AM
Q.

Both Johnsons were pretty tough characters

in fact, the guy assigned by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Johnson (the idea was to do in the major administration figures) was so scared that he got drunk and went home instead.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"If you mess with Johnson, you're gonna wind up drunk, home, and depressed!"

It's no Tippecanoe and Tyler too, but it keeps people in line.

– February 18, 2014 11:44 AM
Q.

Campaign ad

I someday hope to see a campaign ad end with "I am (name of candidate) and like hell I approve this message/"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"In fact, this message was forced on me over my loud protest! I in no way approved any part of the content of this ad! I don't even want to run for this office! (THIS message approved by [name of candidate].)"

– February 18, 2014 11:46 AM
Q.

Clown shortage?

For thoser of us still recovering from adolescent night-terrors, can I just say -- not a moment too soon! Looks like we're finally winning. Now, once we get a grip on the erradication of travelling carnies, our long national nightmare might be over.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Small Cabbage-Smelling Hands Across America.

– February 18, 2014 11:47 AM
Q.

Clown shortage

Reminds me of one of my favorite Simpsons' lines, which I use as often as possible: Homer: Marge, I'm going to college Bart: Which one, clown or barber?
Q.

Presidential history

You know, William Howard Taft was considered "plush cuddly".
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Built for comfort, just like his bathtub.

– February 18, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

I also did all the work of the Secretary of Agriculture as well.

According to Barbara Holland, this was pretty much James & Sarah Polk's M.O. They worked so hard nobody else had a chance to do anything.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Those Polks were a class act!

– February 18, 2014 11:49 AM
Q.

President Tyler

Since you brought up President Tyler. Interesting fact: Two of his grandchildren are still alive! Here's a link to the Snopes page on them: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/tylergrandsons.asp
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Thanks! Snopes is always relevant!

– February 18, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

"I am (name of candidate) and like hell I approve this message/"

That would be Gen. Sherman, who resisted all attempts to drag him into elected office.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"War is hell. I'm fine with hell. But campaigning..."

– February 18, 2014 11:51 AM
Q.

"If you mess with Johnson, you're gonna wind up drunk, home, and depressed!"

So, just like a typical Saturday night, then? Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to....
Q.

Fear of clowns

I never understood people who are afraid of clowns. I don't want to belittle their fear but I just don't get it. Clowns make children laugh. Except for that clown that was a mass murderer and a few that were molesters, what does anyone have to fear from clowns?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Also, the one that is standing upstairs when the babysitter's there and she thinks it's a statue BUT IT'S NOT A STATUE.

– February 18, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

Speaking of William Henry Harrison and Tyler

Tyler Street is a main artery in Wichita, Kansas. Some well educated city employee long ago named a cross street "Tippecanoe."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Unlike in Hope, Arkansas, where It's The Economy street intersects with Stupid Avenue.

– February 18, 2014 11:56 AM
Q.

Just a thought

You should interview Tyler's grandchildren. See if they had clowns in their childhoods and what they would do about the clown shortage. I bet if Tyler were President, there would be plenty of clowns. Of course, they would all be Confederate Clowns, but there would be plenty of them.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

How did this happen?

– February 18, 2014 11:57 AM
Q.

Marijuana tourism

It's totally a thing, brah. I googled it and got 6,700,000 hits.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Okay, on that note — time for me to head off. I mean, not on that note at all! Please keep reading the ComPost, and feel free but not obligated to follow me on twitter @petridishes.

– February 18, 2014 12:00 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: