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December 20, 2011

11
A.M.

Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Total Responses: 11

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

About the topic

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

Gene's latest chat.

On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.

Important, secret note to readers: The management of The Washington Post apparently does not know this chat exists, or it would have been shut down long ago. Please do not tell them. Thank you.

Weingarten is also the author of "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death," co-author of "I'm with Stupid," with feminist scholar Gina Barreca and "Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs," with photographer Michael S. Williamson.

New to Chatological Humor? Read the FAQ.

Ed's Note: If composing your questions in Microsoft Word please turn off the Smart Quotes functionality or use WordPad. I haven't the time to edit them.
Q.

Gene Weingarten :

Greetings, update readers. 

Yesterday I twote the following: "St. Peter admitted Havel, rejected Kim, and, as of this writing, is still pretending not to see Hitchens.  It's a funny prank!"

Today, I answer the following questions, left over from the chat.

Q.

To heck with Jesus

A year or so ago you advised me to let my daughter know that Santa isn't real. I didn't have the guts to do so at the time, but I set a deadline for myself: if she didn't figure it out by her 13th birthday. She turns 13 on Sunday. I questioned her while watching the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving. She still believes. Wish me luck.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

She can't believe.  That's ridiculous.  Surely she has friends.  She is toying with you, leading you on, giggling with her friends about her dorky daddy (or mommy).   I really hope this is the case, because if it isn't, you are guilty of some bad child rearing here, IMO.   You have raised an alarmingly naive child.   If she doesn't know Santa's not real, what else doesn't she know?  Is she aware there are mean people in the world?  That sex causes babies?  

There is always the chance you are trolling me yourself, but a greater chance she is trolling you.   

Third possibility:  This is sort of a fantasy.   She knows, of course, she knows, but is embracing the fantasy in her house alone to the point that in her house alone, it is Real. It is an implied covenant between her and her parents:  She is trying to hold on to innocence and childlike wonder, knowing it is not real but pretending so hard that it is real that it remains a palpable, benign lie.    It would explain why her friends have never disabused her of this silliness: She doesn't discuss Santa with them, because they are part of the Outside World, where Santa doesn't exist.

If I have not gotten you too angry,  please report back after Christmas.   This fascinates me.   And if you are trolling us, let me know too.

– December 20, 2011 9:27 AM
Q.

Christmas

This is good: Link

A.
Gene Weingarten :

It is!

– December 20, 2011 9:24 AM
Q.

Pet Donors

This is a very worthy thing to do. But let's be honest. Your pet will not be grateful. Your pet will, likely, be miserable s/he has to go to the vet and miserable that s/he will be poked and prodded.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

This is in reference to my call for dog and cat blood donors for the clinic my daughter works in.  Many people responded, and I am grateful.   The best part is that they responded selflessly, because I neglected to mention the benefits to you: Free initial diagnostic bloodwork, free yearly wellness exams by a vet,  a year supply of heartworm meds, and 40 pounds of pet food.   So now you know!  

Again, Call Adrian M-Th from 6 am to 4pm, to set up an initial appointment.     301 926 3300

And sure, it's a hassle for you pet, but very much in his/her best interests.

– December 20, 2011 9:25 AM
Q.

Christmas is Pagan

"Christmas is not about Jesus. It's about people being seasonally happy." I suspect that you genuinely believe this, but that you also a little bit relish reiterating that fact because you know it drives Christians crazy when you say things like that. True or completely off-base?

A.
Gene Weingarten :

Actually, I meant no hostility at all.  I was talking about ME -- why I don't think it's a problem to wish a Jew a Merry Christmas.  I celebrate Christman, just not religiously.

– December 20, 2011 9:26 AM
Q.

I'm of the mind that you're professional adults and if you can't handle the occasional f-bomb or other colorful language, then you need a new line of work.

I say the opposite: you're a mature adult with eduation. If you can't find a more eloquent and respectful way to express yourself than the F-bomb, go back to middle school. We're better than that.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

I disagree.  I think you are being absolutist about language, where absolutism is not appropriate.    The f-bomb can really help expression, sometimes.   Example:  Many standup routines are a lot funnier when that word is used intelligently and strategically well.   I agree it should not be overused.  But as smart seasoning, it can work well.  

You sound like a prude, a churl, and a scold.

– December 20, 2011 9:26 AM
Q.

"What" rhyming with "squat"

The column was called "Say What?"

A.
Gene Weingarten :

Ah, yes.  Thank you.  I liked this column, mostly because it exposed me as a dork.   AND a hyporcrite: I am forever lecturing people about proper pronunciation.

– December 20, 2011 9:28 AM
Q.

Gene thinks the word "what" rhymes with "squat."

It doesn't?

A.
Gene Weingarten :

Apparently not!  See previous!

– December 20, 2011 9:28 AM
Q.

Worst alternative verb

"Chuckled"? - nope. I'm currently reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to my daughter (she brought it home from the library and I figure, 'why not?' What a mistake - it's terrible.) Anyway, a term used frequently throughout the book in place of "said" is "ejaculated" - e.g. "Rebecca, where have you been?" Aunt Miranda ejaculated. I've lost count of how many times this is used. Please, please give me a 'chuckled' or two.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

Thank you.  I am laughing.

– December 20, 2011 9:29 AM
Q.

Giving back

A male co-worker had a very lovely wife. My boss asked him, in a leering voice, "How's your wife?" The co-worker responded in an equally leering voice, "Fine! How's your daughter?" The discussion went on to other topics.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

Nice.

– December 20, 2011 9:30 AM
Q.

My opinion

I believe Barack Obama is the best President our country has ever had since Bill Clinton.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

I agree.

– December 20, 2011 9:30 AM
Q.

P to the P ancedote

I dunno, Gene. I think that IM seems...unworthy of you. You're in a professional workplace, dealing with a colleague, and she's apparently mostly right about something, and it would seem from context that you're not acknowledging that. Things have somehow escalated to the point where she's angry at you. So you decide to smooth over the awkwardness instantly by asking her to....? In jest, of course. I'm thinking that apologizing would have worked really well here, instead. That also would have relieved P the P of the responsibility to drop her anger, stat, and show you, instantly, that she was a really good sport, and one of the dudes. Which is really what your joke required her to do, on the spot. I'm glad she reacted well, but that was really asking more of her than responding to an apology.

A.
Gene Weingarten :

I am glad you asked about this.  By way of review, Pat the Perfect was mad at me.   She was right.   She was wildly demonstrative in chewing me out.  We were good friends.  It was awkward.   I couldn't get a word in edgewise.  She left deliberately not letting me get a word in edgewise.  She returns to her desk to find this message:  "I suppose a b--- j-- is out of the question?"

Why is this funny?  Because it spokes volumes.  It had an eloquent subtext she would have understood:  What had just happened, in the scheme of things was funny and not important.  We are fast friends, bound by many things -- mutual respect, etc. -- but most important, by a sense of humor.   We just had a serious but ultimately meaningless disagreement; nothing important has changed.   How do you say all that?  By making fun of the situation in the lexicon we most respect.  And humor is edgy.  

I admit, absolutely, that this could have been disastrous absent the fact that we were already friends who cared about each other.

– December 20, 2011 9:31 AM
Q.

Gene Weingarten :

Okay, we're done.   Have a Merry Xmas and happy whatevers.  No update next week.   We'll be back with a regular chat on the first Tuesday of the new year.   

Q.

 

A.
Host: