Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Jun 21, 2011

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

Gene's most recent chat: May 31

Gene's most recent update: June 14

On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. This month, that day will be Tuesday, June 28 at Noon ET. 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.

The last chat ended with my daring you to tell me about your tactile neuroses, and you did, and most of today's update is a collection of your nuttiness.   But first, a continuation of my nuttiness, namely, a compulsion to write Weinergate poems.


The congressman might well have weathered this storm
(Though matters still would have been rocky.)
But he chose to tell lies, which was very bad form –
His undoing was that he got cocky. 

I love fudgesicles/ice cream bars/etc. but I hardly ever eat them because of the threat of my teeth scraping along the wood popsicle stick. Goosebumps just thinking about it. Ew.

Okay, this is the beginning of a series of posts on tactile  bugaboos.  And they are very weird.    Just FYI:  I CHEW Popsicle sticks.   I also chew not only Bic pen tops, but the little plastic plug from the top of the pen.

Mine is visual, not tactile. I get sick when I see too many perforations. I first noticed it when I saw snow that had been dripped on by icicles. All of those holes in the snow crust turned my stomach. Pocked faces, pen holes through paper, anything with lots of holes will absolutely turn my stomach. Not lace or mesh though.

Are you old enough to have lived through computer paper with sprocket holes?   Did those drive you nuts? I have a friend who is 27 whose earliest memory of  "technology" are those sprocket holes.

I can't stand it if you scratch or pick at your jeans with your fingernails. Most other kinds of fabric as well. I can do it myself but it if you do it, it "makes my fingernails itch." According to my mother this is how I've been describing it since I started speaking.

I actually find these fascinating.   It makes me think we all have a dose of obsessive-compulsion.

I have mentioned this before, but I compulsively count things down when awaiting completion of a small chore. Ten, nine, eight.... etc. And if it's longer than ten, I start again. I will do this during any operation that lasts a bit: filling a coffee carafe with water, or, um, peeing.

How is Google obviously a verb except for that is how people have come to use it?

Because it sounds like a verb.   Giggle.  Ogle.  Finagle.   Wiggle.    Boggle.  

"Yahoo" doesn't sound like a verb.

"Altavista" doesn't sound like a verb.

Mine aren't tactile but auditory. I have a problem with "rude noises" - the sound of snapping gum or the noise from people's earbuds/headphones that are turned up too loud. It makes me cringe to the point where I'm almost in tears from their "rudeness." (I commute 35 minutes each way on an NYC subway, so pity me.)

You know what skeeves me out?   Hearing people eat breakfast cereal.   Somehow, in my mind, I am trapped in their mouths with all that slop.

OK, fine, but I thought mine was rather normal: I cannot stand the feel of corduroy. Any kind, thick or thin, rubbing it or even seeing someone wearing it totally freaks me out. My skin is crawling just thinking about it. Eww.

How about seersucker?    What IS that stuff?  It seems unearthly.  

Also one of the main reasons I dislike reading books is because I have to touch and hold the covers open and turn the pages. In 11th grade English we had to read 15 books over summer before class began. It was torture for me. I would lay on the floor and hold the book open with a blanket or lay something heavy on across the top. It was easier once I got into the middle of the book and the bindings would give way some. The worst book cover ever though was The Catcher in the Rye. It had this slightly rough texture to it like some really fine sand paper. I so vividly remember that feel. Yay craziness.

I would like to remind all readers that we are hearing from high-functioning adults considered sane by their  society. 

I can't drink out of them. Glass and plastic are fine. But please no ceramics. Also, I can't touch hair that's not attached to the body. This was a particular problem when I was working as a housekeeper.


I cannot take styrofoam out of a cardboard box (like when you buy a piece of electronic equipment like a TV and it is packed in formed solid styrofoam inside the box). Like nails on a chalkboard. I also cannot stand cardboard rubbing against itself; assembling moving boxes is pure torture.

Yay!  You're insane!

When I'm at a pool and my hands are wet, I can't stand to touch dry concrete (that typically surrounds the pool). I have to splash the edge with water before I can put my hands on the side of the pool to pull myself out. Gives me shudders just thinking about it.

This is simply jawdropping, in toto.

Wooden things in mouth: Tongue depressors, popsicle sticks, those silly flat ice-cream spoons that come with the cheap ice cream cups.


I do not like handling chalk either - the sound and the feeling or it. yuck. The sound of cotton balls being ripped apart literally sends me to the floor. My roommate in college used to come up behind me and rip them in my ear as a joke. To the floor I went, every time. just thinking about it is giving me goosebumps....

I wonder if there is a gender bias for this.   Are we hearing mostly from men or women?

I LOVE the feeling of cold flat objects against my forehead. So whenever I'm in an elevator alone, I press my forehead against the metal door or the mirror. Then spend the next several floors trying to polish off my faceprint.

You are a total loon.

Okay, we are done for the update.   See you all Next Week for our regular monthly chat.

In This Chat
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.
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