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July 22, 2014

10:59
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 60

About the hosts

About the host

Alexandra Petri

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.

HRUMMPH..!

sigh......
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HRUMMPH?

Howdy, all! Happy Tuesday!

– July 22, 2014 11:01 AM
Q.

In the Mood for the Subjunctive

I enjoyed your piece last week re the subjunctive, although you almost lost me with the parenthetical where you called the subjunctive a " verb tense". It reminded me of an intense discussion I had with my fiance' many years ago. Even though she was an English major, she kept referring to subjunctive as a tense, and I kept correcting her. "Tense"; no, "mood". Predictably, the mood did become progressively more tense. I could not actively voice my frustration; I just decided to passively defuse the situation by changing the subject. Had we continued, we might not have celebrated our 30 wedding anniversary last year.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I read this, grew visibly agitated and pale, and my glass fell from my hand. I wasn't holding a glass, so I had to go pick one up and drop it, just to emphasize the point.

I knew the piece was bound to contain at least one grammar mistake that suggested I didn't know about what I was talking, but I had hoped it wouldn't be that one. I'm going to see about an update!

– July 22, 2014 11:05 AM
Q.

Social Media, Eh?

Did you know that some of the websites that are designed for viewing pornography include clicky buttons to "like" the video you're watching on Facebook, or tweet a link to it on Twitter? Some dudes I know never log out of Facebook or Twitter and live in fear of clicking one of those buttons by accident. What is the deal with dudes, anyway?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I really do wonder why those buttons are on those videos. I can see the use of a button to forward it via email, but Liking it seems needlessly dangerous. It's like having a big red nuclear button mixed in with the m&ms. Or a better analogy.

– July 22, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

Why are we celebrating the 45th anniversary of anything?

Wait five more years till the 50th.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

The news-beast demands constant anniversaries! The news-beast will not be sated!

– July 22, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

My wife is on travel this week

The toilet seat is going to stay up!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, but which way is the paper going to go over the roll?

– July 22, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

Would a Hippalectryon be good eating?

The half-horse half-chicken is mentioned by Aristophanes, but it is associated with no myth.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think it would only be good if you were so hungry you could eat a horse-chicken.

 

– July 22, 2014 11:13 AM
Q.

Today I am writing only in kennings

I dawn-rose to the sleep-stealer shriek. Donning bureaucrat-cloak and baseball-helm, I rode electric-wurm to Cubehalla. Burl-secure-guard sang that Eric-chief returned from Dunkenheim with sugar-toroids. Leaping into breaking-room, I pushed aside churl-gatherers, took two, and a horn of Ethiope-mead. In cube-hall I called upon Dell, snore-document-keeper, to conjure me a beast. It was a dragon from Brian-whale-droppings-for-brains.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, Dunkeneim! There have I passed many an Ethiope-mead-halt.

Though lives in my heart the awake-brew of sky-light-speck-male-deer, to be found at the crossing of lane and lane, and the other crossing of thoroughfare and thoroughfare exactly opposite.

(Yours was better!)

– July 22, 2014 11:19 AM
Q.

Is there any chance of seeing your play produced elsewhere?

Do you think any of the myriad local theaters will pick up "Miss Emma's Matchmaking Agency"?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think it's a fun show, but obviously I'm biased! I think it could work in high schools even.

– July 22, 2014 11:19 AM
Q.

moon landing

Thanks for earlier blog post on moon landing with Facebook. It's interesting the with all the fake moon landing conspiracies out there, the movie Capricorn One dealt with a fake Mars landing and the powers that be trying to kill the crew. It's a good thing 2001: A Space Odyssey is only a movie since having Hal run the Apollo 11 mission would lead to Neil Armstrong being locked out of the lunar capsule and having to bang on the door shouting, "Open the pod bay door, Hal!" over and over. That would make for bad network TV. Also, if the Pink Panther's Inspector Clouseau was real, he would've tripped going down the ladder and thus create the first faceplant on the Moon.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I like that you believe Inspector Clouseau would have made it all the way through take-off and into space without incident!

– July 22, 2014 11:21 AM
Q.

red-letter day

Alex Trebek is turning 74 today! What are you doing to celebrate?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Being obnoxiously smug about my own correctness, as I always am.

– July 22, 2014 11:22 AM
Q.

moon landing on twitter

If the Moon landing had been covered on twitter, would there have been a greater response from the Moon Landing Denialists since twitter is not very reliable on covering celebrity deaths?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think there's a difference between celebrity deaths and Big Ongoing Events. People on Twitter often differ about the Oscars, but never on the grounds that the Oscars are not really happening.

– July 22, 2014 11:24 AM
Q.

Correcting a fiancee's grammar

Dunno, sounds like the mood was pretty tense to me.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You've won the chat! We can all go home!

– July 22, 2014 11:24 AM
Q.

What verbs got

The things a verb can have are: person, number, tense, aspect, mood, and voice. You can remember PNTAMV via the sentence "Petri needs to advocate mayonnaise violence".
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Tis in my memory locked!

– July 22, 2014 11:24 AM
Q.

Tomato, tomato

Rachel did not tell us how to pronounce her own name. Does it sound like a tough ruffle or 'too full', as in pushing back from a buffet?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Toofull! With a "Toof" in it!

– July 22, 2014 11:25 AM
Q.

I knew the piece was bound to contain at least one grammar mistake

It wasn't a grammar mistake, so you can pick that glass back up (or sweep it up, if it was -- not were -- actually glass). Calling something by the wrong name is a lexical error, not a grammatical one.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh no! I made a lexical error talking about my lexical error!

– July 22, 2014 11:26 AM
Q.

Why are we celebrating the 45th anniversary of anything?

Because some of us who were already adults 45 years ago might not be alive five years from now, unfortunately, so this might be our/their last hurrah.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, that's true too. That's more legitimate!

– July 22, 2014 11:26 AM
Q.

Alex Trebek is turning 74 today! What are you doing to celebrate?

waiting until he's 75. For a proper celebration.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ah, but we're all alive for this one!

– July 22, 2014 11:27 AM
Q.

The moon landing was my first experience

with conspiracy nuts. I was in high school, and a neighbor came over and saw the moon landing replays on our TV and said, "You really believe they're up there, don't you?" It was sort of a defining moment for me, learning how crazy apparently normal people could be.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It is crazy! So many apparently sane individuals who think we actually sent two men there!

(Kidding, obviously.)

My first exposure to it was watching Dharma & Greg. Her parents were big moon truthers, as I recall.

– July 22, 2014 11:30 AM
Q.

"Do you think any of the myriad local theaters will pick up "Miss Emma's Matchmaking Agency"?"

And don't you just (heart) someone who uses "myriad" correctly, i.e., as an adjective, not a noun?!?!?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Of course I [less than 3] him or her!

– July 22, 2014 11:31 AM
Q.

Celebrating

If you ask me (and I know you would have), the only birthdays that should be celebrated with a party are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and then every one after 80. Nobody cares about the others.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Unless you can come up with a really good theme, of course.

Also, drat, I'm in a birthday desert!

– July 22, 2014 11:33 AM
Q.

It is crazy! So many apparently sane individuals who think we actually sent two men there!

Yes, silly people who don't realize we sent three men there.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Collins stayed in the capsule so I wasn't counting him!

Is this a lexical error?

– July 22, 2014 11:34 AM
Q.

Mooning

I believe the moon "landings" were faked. Of course, I myself am CGI.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Anything worth having is worth faking! <--- is this a good rule? Somehow I doubt it.

Subscribing to the rule of "fake it 'til you make it" NASA staged five whole moon landings while it struggled behind the scenes.

Apollo 17 was real and landed without a hitch but by then NASA was too wrapped up in a web of deception to share this news with anyone.

– July 22, 2014 11:35 AM
Q.

Unless you can come up with a really good theme, of course.

My favorite anniversary card ever was sent me by one of my sisters on the occasion of our Petroleum Derivatives anniversary -- 19th, according to the great Sandra Boynton. She filled in all the blanks up to 50. (75 was Chocolate.) Aquatic Pets, Homeopathic Ointments, etc.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's great!

The full list is here

– July 22, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

Is this a lexical error?

No, it's a numerical one. We sent three men there, two of whom walked on the moon.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

An Alexical error, then.

– July 22, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

Trebeck

"..Ah, but we're all alive for this one! " as is he. As is he. so far..
A.
Alexandra Petri :

WE'RE ALL ALIVE! AND IMMORTAL! So far!

– July 22, 2014 11:39 AM
Q.

royal birthday

The heck with Alex Trebek. Wee Prince George of Cambridge is one today. Let's hope his future does not include hosting any game shows.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Who Wants To Marry A Prince But Actually For Real This Time?

– July 22, 2014 11:40 AM
Q.

Moon landing etal

The funniest part is the people who think the government can have this big secret conspiracy on things (moon landing, 9/11) also thing the government in inept and can't do anything right. Can't have it both ways. Either the government is full of smart capable people or it isn't.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I don't know, I think actually it works out: the government is inept and full of bureaucracy, but the People Behind The Government (Bilderbergs, alien intelligences, petroleum derivatives) have everything well in hand. It's nice and reassuring that way.

– July 22, 2014 11:41 AM
Q.

New App

I am working on a service that allows people to post 80 character messages. Since that's 4/7 the length of a twitter message, I'm gonna call it "twit."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'll retwit you!

– July 22, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

Michael Collins

Not only did he walk on the Moon on a subsequent voyage, he also directed the construction of the Air & Space Museum, which he brought in on budget and ahead of time!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What a champ!

Imagine having to make two trips to the moon before you could walk on the thing. Or maybe he was just taking things slow and doing it the old-fashioned way.

– July 22, 2014 11:44 AM
Q.

12 men have walked on the moon

And since they left the moon has receded almost 6 feet. It has of course been receding ever since there have been oceans to push it away, but it seems now to be doing so with a mixture of sadness and scorn.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"It's waning, men!"

– July 22, 2014 11:45 AM
Q.

Moon

I bet the same people who think the moon landings were faked think there are aliens in Area 51. I often wear a hat so my head doesn't explode.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I wonder what the overlap is. I guess it could make sense if you are not a big fan of humans and our achievements -- we'd never make it to the moon! It's all a sinister Masonic conspiracy! But aliens are pure and wise and good and low in carbs and travel here all the time!

I guess.

But you're right. It's good to have a hat.

– July 22, 2014 11:47 AM
Q.

50th anniversaries

It's been 50 years since we, the students of Garfield High School in Indiana, were released on an unsuspecting (but not undeserving) world. I'm going back home this weekend for the festivities. We're having a mixer (with all the 1964 grads from the then-active schools, all long since closed and replaced by consolidated schools) on Friday night, a banquet on Saturday night, and a brunch on Sunday morning (the last two will be for us Garfield Purple Eagles only). So wish me well, as I drag my creaking bones and joints in and out of the car.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

GO GARFIELD PURPLE EAGLES!

GO GO GO!

FLY MERRILY YOU RAPTORS
AND CATCH THE EAGLE FOE

SWOOP MIGHTILY UPON YOUR PREY

AND WIN YOUR VICTORIES
THEN HEAD BACK TO YOUR PURPLE NESTS

TO CLASH WITH THE GREEN TREES

I hope this is how your victory song goes. The emphasis in the last line is wrong, but it was the best I could do!

– July 22, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

I'll retwit you!

I read this as "ret-wit" and am struggling to figure out what kind of wit that is. Other than that soaked in water so that the hull will fall off and yield flax fiber. Sorry, I guess that was obscure and precious.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What better way to celebrate Alex Trebek's 74th?

All together now:

"Hur hur hur" *adjust monocle* "hur hur hur heh heh quite so quite so."

– July 22, 2014 11:51 AM
Q.

"Ah, but which way is the paper going to go over the roll?"

Legendary Brazilian newspaper columnist João Ubaldo Ribeiro died just a week ago. His humorous final column, "O correto uso do papel higiênico" ("The Correct Use of Toilet Paper") was published this past Sunday: http://oglobo.globo.com/opiniao/o-correto-uso-do-papel-higienico-13297732 The relevant portion, in English, reads: "...I’ve been thinking about the times we live in, and it has occurred to me that soon, by decree of the executive branch or some legislature, we can expect standards to be handed down for public and home bathrooms, to make sure we’re taking into account what’s best not only for us but also for our community and the environment. For example, I imagine the choice of position for the toilet paper roll can be regulated, once a scientific study proves that if the paper is unreeled from the top side there will be an average waste of 3.28%, with the result that more waste will be generated and more trees cut down in order to make more paper. And the correct way to unreel the toilet paper must also have its rules, especially in the case of ladies, as I learned the other day on a TV program..."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, I like his take!

It really is an evergreen debate. I would say that one day the earth will be split into Over-The-Top Hatfields and Under-The-Top McCoys, except that the people with the most vigorous differences about this issue tend to live under the same roofs and be coming up on their Asbestos anniversaries.

– July 22, 2014 11:53 AM
Q.

Better to be a twit

Than a mountebank. (I love that word.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Mountebank!

That's a good woody word.

– July 22, 2014 11:55 AM
Q.

Re: Area 51

I actually saw Area 51. That is, I went to a place where I would have been able to see Area 51, if it existed. Which it doesn't.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'm confused!

Just as they want me to be.

– July 22, 2014 12:02 PM
Q.

Solution to the toilet paper dilemma

Why not have toilet paper dispensed like pop-up facial tissues?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Nowhere near enough toilet paper!

– July 22, 2014 12:02 PM
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

I should have said, "I think we can dispense with that idea."

Q.

Can't have it both ways. Either the government is full of smart capable people or it isn't.

Dave Barry said this about UFOs in one of his longer pieces, way back when. He said it was conceivable that the government might try to hide its alien discoveries, but then the floor of Congress would be the scene of acrimonious debates over whose district the alien-storage facilities would be built in, etc.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

The trick would be to bundle them with the nuclear waste treatment plants.

– July 22, 2014 12:03 PM
Q.

My lucky year!

I'm a professional translator who's celebrating my 47th wedding anniversary this year. So imagine my delight to discover that Foreign Language Aids are the appropriate gift (although I believe every year should be!): http://www.craftbanter.com/showthread.php?t=38202
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Can you help us with the kennings?

– July 22, 2014 12:04 PM
Q.

Huh?

We took a few pounds of rocks and left a few tons of lunar lander. The moon's heavier. It should be moving closer now.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Just because we helped get the moon's rocks off doesn't mean it will necessarily move closer to us.

 

– July 22, 2014 12:07 PM
Q.

Wee Prince George is working the diaper issue

:)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Heh, "wee."

 

– July 22, 2014 12:07 PM
Q.

The Apollo Astronaut's Wives

Reading a book about these women and some of them were way more interesting than the celebrated husbands (some of whom weren't so personally charming).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's what I hear!

– July 22, 2014 12:08 PM
Q.

Speaking of nostalgia for space travel

Do you think tattoo chokers are going to come back into style anytime soon?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

*shudders uncontrollably, drops another glass*

– July 22, 2014 12:08 PM
Q.

Over on Florida Avenue

There's a dentist named Gail Cherry-Peppers. Have you ever thought about finding something good to hyphenate your name into?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Gail's surname sounds delicious! But maybe I'm just hungry.

I guess if I ever meet a Mr. Dishes everything will be over with me. But that seems a little on the nose.

– July 22, 2014 12:10 PM
Q.

Either the government is full of smart capable people or it isn't

Compare them to the Post. We know now charming the reporters are, but what about the hamsters who run the website?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Shhh don't say that, you'll anger the hamsters!

– July 22, 2014 12:16 PM
Q.

Garfield Victory Song

Dang, I like yours better than ours! Of course, not that Garfield's football team actually got to hear that often. Our worst defeat, at the hands of fellow North Side school Gerstmeyer, was ... gulp ... 63 to 0. Ouch!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that!

Gerstmeyer had to live with the name Gerstmeyer, though.

– July 22, 2014 12:17 PM
Q.

Alexandra Petri : "Nowhere near enough toilet paper!"

Hush now. Nevermind your age, if they hear that attitude, they'll have you in adult diapers in a wink! (It's a all a conspiracy to conserve. Less disposables to dump on the moon.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That must be it!

– July 22, 2014 12:17 PM
Q.

Dentist Hyphenate

So that would make her "Dr. Cherry-Peppers"?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh snap!!

She should have stuck with Dr. Peppers.

– July 22, 2014 12:18 PM
Q.

Do you think tattoo chokers are going to come back into style anytime soon?

How do you choke a tattoo?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, first, you discover that you're in a book of Ray Bradbury stories, and then -- I don't know what you do.

– July 22, 2014 12:18 PM
Q.

NOPE: Michael Collins

Once the loneliest man in the universe, he NEVER returned to the moon to walk on the surface. Air and Space Museum: YES!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That makes two Alexical errors, I think.

– July 22, 2014 12:19 PM
Q.

Astronaut's Wives

Gemini Astronaut Scott Carpenter's beautiful, bright, witty ex-wife Rene (pronounced "reen") Carpenter was a wonderful talk-show host on Ch. 9 in DC in the early-to-mid '70s. I wonder what's become of her (I've only heard that she remarried, got out of TV).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Anyone know? Not the person who said Collins went back and walked around. Someone else!

– July 22, 2014 12:20 PM
Q.

Your Hyphenated Name.

If you are dedicated to the lifelong humor thing, shouldn't you be looking for Mr. JustTryPleaseBeforeWeGetInThisCarAndTheresNoWhereToStop ? (Kidding!)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, if I ever met anyone by that name, I'm sure we'd consider it briefly.

– July 22, 2014 12:20 PM
Q.

"something good to hyphenate your name into?"

If you ever meet someone with the surname "Pup" you could hyphenate your name to Pup-Petri (pronounce it with a long "e" on the end, though).
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'm not changing my pronunciation! Except for the ease and convenience of literally anyone who has ever introduced me on video, pretty much ever!

– July 22, 2014 12:22 PM
Q.

Dr. Gail Cherry-Peppers

There was an actress in the '50s named Gale Storm. Besides comedic movies, she had a hit TV sit-com.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Gale Forcewinds never really made it out of radio.

– July 22, 2014 12:22 PM
Q.

Speaking of Personal Libraries...

I have collected quite a number of the original "picture" books, and explanatory books for mass audiences, explaining the science of the missions and the deaths back then. (Lots of older people where I live, which makes the second-hand offerings worthy. People cleaning out estates 'dump' a lot.) These books are great! Pre-Tom Wolfe, concentrations on the wives' roles too, the training, and plenty of pictures. I'm not big on celebrating pop culture off-anniversaries, but looking back and noting the important days of space travel is ok with me!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That sounds like a cool collection!

– July 22, 2014 12:23 PM
Q.

PNUSJMEVM

How not to memorize the planets, backwards: Petri Needs Unsweetened Sugar, Jam, Marmalade, Elephant, Viceroy, Moo.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I've already forgotten the other mnemonic, but I think it had something to do with weaponizing mayonnaise.

– July 22, 2014 12:24 PM
Q.

take your plays on the road

I hope you create a traveling production company to produce your plays all over the country. A traveling Bard is always a time-honored tradition, and once it takes off, will get you more publicity and income ...and thus the publicity is good for WaPo as you become a bigger name. You can write ComPosts on the road using a tablet and MS Paint.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I've never written anything on a tablet! It's yet another quality Old Testament God and I do not have in common.

– July 22, 2014 12:24 PM
Q.

dharma & greg

Dharma & Greg was always one of my favorite TV shows. An early one where Larry had go on the lam from the FBI (or so he thought) over his 60's arson event at a military draft office made him realize that all his underground hangouts had turned into Starbucks - ALL of them - and that 8-track tapes are now obsolete. Actually, conspiracy buffs could correctly note that since Starbucks IS everywhere, they could track all of your movements ...and Starbucks owns Teavana too,so tea drinkers can't escape them either.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

Is Teavana any good? I only heard of it when Starbucks started to offer it. I'm a fairly inveterate coffee nut myself when it comes to my caffiending, but I'm open to suggestion!

– July 22, 2014 12:26 PM
Q.

Having googled Kennings, I find

it reminds me of The Fufumal (little bunny fufu in edda-type English): http://kip-w.livejournal.com/215011.html
Q.

"Ah, but which way is the paper going to go over the roll?"

The correct way, of course.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And on that note, I should skedaddle!

Have a grand week, all! Keep reading the Compost and feel free to join me on Twitter -- where I'll probably deluge you with play information, since "Miss Emma's Matchmaking Agency for Literary Characters" has two shows left and "Campsite Rule" is going into previews this week and opening next week!

– July 22, 2014 12:31 PM
Q.

 

A.
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