ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Oct 02, 2012

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.

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Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes

Happy Tuesday, all!

Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the misuse of bacon! Also, when would you like to chat about topical halloween ensembles, because it's getting close to that time of year again!

It's not that zinger practice can't work. But you actually have to be good enough -- and, yes, patient enough -- to deliver it at the right time. President Reagan, as always, is the model, especially his famous debate zinger, "I will not exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." Not only was his delivery masterful, he also made us believe he'd have come up with that one even if the cameras were off. Governor Romney hasn't shown anything but a tin ear on this front.


When you ask what's in a zinger, one of the things that never fails to come up is "delivery." Mitt Romney tends to deliver his jokes as though he is not certain what is in them and thinks someone might be liable to sue him afterwards.

What can you say about someone like the letter writer in today's print edition?

Aw, hey, if I weren't in the line of work I'm in, I would be a the Stickler For Biblical and Mythological Accuracy. So whenever I falter, I appreciate it when people set the record straight!

Oh, the wasted potential!

Uncooked bacon.

For sale: Bacon shoes, never worn.

Six-word tragedies, anyone?

I admit it: I didn't want a bacon cheeseburger until after I saw that there might be a shortage, at which point I wanted six bacon cheeseburgers. I am easily led. Where to now?

I don't know, but there is a financial cliff we can jump off...

I say wait one more week on Halloween. I know we need lead time to build costumes, but it's too early. Two of my neighbors are already decorating for Halloween. When did Halloween become Christmas, is what I want to know... um, next week.

I was even thinking of waiting two more weeks!

Yes, concur on the too early. I actually saw a Christmas tree in the Kennedy Center gift shop the other day, which is the picture that now appears in the dictionary next to "too early."

I want to see Romney's opening statement: "Before I begin, I have some zingers..."

"And for my next zinger, I'd like a volunteer from our audience!"

Your making fun of Mitt Romney's zingers -- which have the potential to be game-changing home runs that hit reset on the election -- just goes to show you have teh liberal bias. It's bad enough that the Post polls are skewed so that they show Obama ahead when Romney is really ahead in an unskewed sample, now even the humor writers are taking sides. Would you consider doing a column making fun of Obama for using a telemprompter and wearing mom jeans? I doubt you would because you have liberal bias. And before you ask, I am no right-winger. I'm a non-partisan undecided moderate independent voter who may vote for Obama depending on what happens at the debate. I'd just like to see more balance from people like you.

Wait, sir or madam non-partisan-undecided-moderate-independent-voter-who-may-vote-for-Obama-depending-on-what-happens-at-the-debate, if you exist, I think literally everyone at the Post has questions for you, so please stay put. We have several political reporters out scouring the earth for you, and they have come back convinced that you are a hen's tooth!

A few questions:

Whom would you like to see captaining a ship?

What is your stance on carbon emissions?

Have you ever seen a unicorn?

What seta a game-changing home run that hits reset on the election apart from a regular game-changing home run? This seems like a critical distinction.

There is a cure for uncooked bacon.


Unlike diamonds, which are common as dirt, and not really useful except to cut things up, bacon is the real deal when it comes to value. Bacon engagement rings are going to be the thing next year.

They may not be as lasting, but they're twice as tasty.

I only like bacon by itself, not on a sandwich or in a pasta sauce or near anything else. It's the only area of eating I am weird about.

No, that makes sense. You remind me of that episode of Will and Grace where Grace is explaining that she loves raisins in everything. "I even went to see A Raisin in the Sun because I thought there would be raisins in it!"

Oh, I guess they replaced my ex boyfriend's picture?



Man, if someone ever comes around demanding chat points, it's going to be a weird day.

Everyone is bonkers for bacon lately, and I wholeheart(clogg)edly agree that it's definitely something to get bonkery about. Today's main post feature is a beautiful early 1960's booklet entitled "Recipes For Swift's Premium Bacon" and contains incredible ways to make bacon somehow even more tantalizing (mmmm, try the Bacon-Avocado Whip The path to success is never swift or easy. The chickens are interested and the pigs are committed. We should of really picked somebody who had nothing to offer. They could explain the debt and the need for more. They have a BA in BS.

Even though it's an oldie, I'm a big fan of the joke about chickens being interested/involved and the pigs being committed. And if you want to know the difference, contemplate eggs and bacon.

Don't forget about bacon pants!


I sometimes wish I could "like" questions or answers from these chats, a la Facebook. I would have "liked" the debeers bacon cartel one, for example.

Concur! I am reduced to giving people meaningless numbers, when we could really use a button.

Save the bacon grease and they you fry chicken in it.

Stop, I haven't had breakfast!

Kim O'Donnell, former WaPo food guru, has a Spaghetti Carbonara recipe that starts with "Fry bacon in olive oil...".

Now that's the way to start a recipe!

Save the grease and rub a baking potato with it, sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in a 400 oven until tender. You will never microwave a baked potato again.

Oh, this sounds great.

I'm going to belatedly anoint this the Great Uses For Bacon chat.

Here is a picture of something I would eat. (the bacon mug)

Being raised Jewish, we never had bacon. Even though I now consider myself Jew~ish (or maybe Jewish~ish), I still haven't tried it. No bacos, no bacon bits, not even turkey bacon.

Wow. You are what we in the 'biz refer to as a "bacon virgin." Turkey bacon is the "everything but" of bacon.

Thinking of breaking your bacon fast, or do you intend to remain bacon-less?

If you haven't had that, what have you had? What one loses one loses. Make no mistake about that. Henry James, The Ambassadors Sausages and links. I made a fortune in business by trusting the truth in any situation. It was a small fortune and I gave it away. Someone made this work.

Er, indeed.

"Ten thousand dollars says I can out-zing you here at the debate..."


That doesn't sound very Kosher to me!

This is the salt's off-day.

Call a doctor! I just had a heart attack...

There's a grill for that. The biggest trouble is that people keep suffering actual bona fide heart attacks there and people mistake it for restaurant publicity.

Halloween couple. The two sunny-side up is obvious. I leave the pork sausage to the imagination.

Shhh, save it for next week!

What do you think about the McDonald's customer quoted by the Post, who was for the calorie labeling in fast-food restaurants until he found out it was part of Obamacare? He sounds like a middle-schooler who doesn't want a certain spot in the back seat until his brother or sister voices a preference.

This kind of opinion-forming can be exploited to your advantage, though.

"You want some of my bacon? You know who else liked bacon? Hi--"

Both Obama and Romney has flaws. But Romney's flaws are funnier. Obama's are basically policy-related. He can't get out of his own way to explain a policy; he is reserved to a fault. It takes a long time to set up and tell jokes about that. Romney's flaws are almost viscerally easy to grasp and convey. (He can't tell a joke! He acts like an alien! He is rich!) That makes it easier to tell jokes about him. In 2000, we had two equally compelling joke setups (Gore: He's boring! Bush: He's dumb!). In 2004, Kerry was much easier to make fun of. Clinton had some easy-to-joke-about flaws, but was very lucky to face even more cartoony opponents: Dole in 1996 (He's old and mean!) and Perot in 1992 (He's crazy!).

I think this is a fairly accurate break-down. Joke energy levels are a real phenomenon, whereby everyone's jokes seem to find the level that requires least work for them to occupy. Obama was easier to joke about during the "I Only Speak Of How I Got Osama Bin Laden" phase -- which, come to think of it, may still be going on. But SNL has certainly had difficulty finding ready joke quirks for him the way they did with Bush batting balls of yarn or Gore sighing heavily.

use bacon grease to cook the kernels YUM!

I knew popcorn could be improved somehow! This was how.

My son spent a couple of summers working on a farm that raised chickens and pigs. He said the chickens are mean and stupid, and he doesn't mind eating them. But the pigs were smart and friendly, like dogs, and he didn't want to eat pork products anymore. I sympathize, but bacon is too delicious for me to give up.

I only hear that about pigs. You never see people coming back from living with goats to offer uniformly rave reviews. But I know at least one pig owner, and Charlotte's Web and Babe are basically nothing but pig propaganda.

I still plan to remain baconless. I do love ribs though, but I'll only order them if the menu says "baby back ribs." If it says "pork ribs," I'll pass. Honest.

Wow! I admire your fortitude!

Fry bread in the grease to make toast. Use the grease to make amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. Avoid using a smoked cheese like provolone; opt for medium or sharp cheddar, monterey jack, etc. Really, bacon grease improves basically any recipe that uses olive oil.

This chat is making me insanely hungry.

Fry up pound of bacon Watch debate Every time a candidate says "economy", eat a slice.

Pork barrel never tasted so good!

I can't prove it, of course, but that posting sure doesn't sound like it was written by a self-professed "non-partisan undecided moderate independent voter." But in the unlikely event you're on the level, refrain from using quite so many adjectives if you want to be taken seriously.

I haven't heard any answers to the unicorn question either :(

But still, if you're out there, and I misidentified you, I am always prepared to eat my words as long as someone can supply me with bacon to wrap them in.

Was this classic commercial taped at your house?

It certainly sounds as though it was.

If they announce "Mr Obama is ill today. Standing in for him is former president William Jefferson Clinton."

Plus, it will make things easier on Jay Leno.

Now I have that song stuck in my head.

Which begs the question: does anyone know a good song about bacon? An initial YouTube search provided nothing worth recommending...

That would not only motivate us to go boldly, but would give the economy a boost.

Although I'd have to retire after writing about it, understanding that nothing would ever cap that moment.

i remember attending the Montgomery Country Fair when I was young, and there was a whole barn dedicated to milk goats. They were as sweet, friendly and playful as any puppy! (And despite what you hear, a well-cared for goat does NOT smell bad).

I apologize, I spoke too hastily against goats.

I've fired zingers that worked harder than you!


Supposedly Elvis loved to fry up FIVE pounds of bacon (blackened) to eat in one sitting. And despite this, he lived all the way to 42.

A ripe old 42! Imagine!

And it'd give SNL an excuse to bring back Darrell Hammond for a guest appearance!

This would be killing multiple birds using fewer stones than birds!

Said this Oregon farmer

I know, you're the second person to send this along.

Dang it, hogs, raining on our bacon parade.

if we'll hear Romney say something and follow it with "... and that was a zinger." Or start with "wait a second. I have a zinger for that:..."

That is certainly my dream. Never forget "There's No Plates Like Chrome For The Hollandaise."

“War is what happens when language fails.” ― Margaret Atwood What happens when bacon fails? Do you get fat on the thin public dime and debt?

Bacon never fails! Out, heretic!

And did the sandwich include bacon?

Not yet, but the offer is open, like a partially assembled sandwich.

If you aren't confident about that, you don't have a good enough product. NASA could develop a synthetic bacon. These people came up with pace maker technology. We can engineer better bacon in the lab. Bacon in space should not need fried. Microwave bacon is the future.

Synthetic NASA bacon? Hey, they've had weirder initiatives. How about bacon that writes upside down? How about bacon that will welcome you home and ask how your day was?

But you can get a free sample of Cheetos Mighty Zingers at Wal-Mart.

Mitt, these need work.

The perfect campaign slogan

Bacon 2012! It's not too late!

I would suggest a Bacon-Vermin Supreme ticket for 2016, even though that means the words Vermin and Bacon wind up in uncomfortable proximity, but I really like the concept of a Bacon Supreme bumper sticker. I'd sport that. I'd stick that on a ZipCar.

A hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love.

And on that note, I think I am going to be overcome with hunger pangs if this chat goes on any longer. I'm off to find bacon. Thank you for the bacconalia and I hope you have an outstanding week! Keep reading the Compost, and feel free but unobligated to follow me on Twitter, where I will definitely be live-tweeting those debates, with zingers I have prepared in advance.

In This Chat
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,,, 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.)
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