ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Oct 30, 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

Hope everyone weathered the storm safely!

Donald Trump did, much to Twitter's chagrin.

Writing from the grooves of Venice Beach Some clouds in the sky are jus grody. How you doing? I heard something that you got some rain? Man, we hate when it rains. Well, surfs up!

Don't make me send Chris Christie over there.

Seriously, he has responsibilities.

I'm putting on my silver tights and running around my neighborhood with an axe!

And you're doing this on Halloween, I hope? Or is this just sort of your Tuesday routine?

You ate your cat? Well, I finally understand why people tape bacon onto their cats. Next time, eat the bacon, spare the cat.

(This is with reference to this.)

True words. And next time the dog goes first. Cats don't suddenly need to visit shrubs and do nothing in the middle of sideways rain.

I hope you had more than one or you might starve. Now it makes sense why there are "crazy" cat ladies.

They're not homes... they're farms.

I am sufficiently creeped out.

Yeah, concur.

I recently came across the Hays Production Code for movies, and I think it can be adapted for the ComPost. What do you think? No profane or vulgar expressions. No excessive or lustful kissing. No links to nudity or suggestive dancing. No ridicule of religion. No discussion of illegal drug use. No references to sex perversion, venereal disease, or childbirth. No discussion of criminal methods (safe-cracking, arson, smuggling, or dynamiting of trains). Brutal killings shall not be examined in detail.

And keep that ax-wielder out of here!

I am working on the physics of increased spinning of molecules during gay marriages that builds up and causes hurricanes. I am having a little trouble with the mathematics of it all. It does not seem to add up.

But... but surely it must!

Just once I want someone on talk radio to declare that a storm came because we weren't having ENOUGH gay marriage.

Then how did Scarlett & Prissy get past that code?

Yeah! they specifically stated they knew all about birthing babies, so there's no plausible deniability.

Further scrutiny suggests that a scene of actual childbirth (even in silhouette), not references thereto, was what was discouraged. So they squeak through, I think.

Is it just me or are things slow today? You've only done 6 items in half an hour. That's Hax-speed. Usually you've done much better and faster. Has Sandy disoriented you?

Yes, let's blame this one on Sandy.

I'm doing this one remotely and my internet, never speedy at the best of times, has been doing the thing where it allows you to type a lot and then slowlllly one-by-one displays the letters you've typed in. Just as I started describing this phenomenon, it stopped doing it, so possibly things will be better from here out.

Nope, there it went again.

Normally I love your columns but the one last week about Obama's bull#@*t remark was remarkably short-sighted in a week when we heard even more politicians deliver demeaning and dangerous remarks about rape, and racist comments from a top political advisor and former governor. Your column would have been far more effective if it had balanced a slap at one politician for an off-color comment with chastising current or would-be national leaders for their recent piling on of far more damaging and chilling comments on rape, racism, incest, and women's rights. I fear that by admonishing the lesser evils in the devolving national discourse but not calling out the truly egregious ones, you contribute to that devolution.

Well, first off, thank you for normally reading and liking them.

In its original context as a blog post, the column was just one slap out of several against discourse devolution. Another of my slaps against discourse devolution (this time against the more demeaning and dangerous remarks about rape) did make the paper earlier in the week, so I was hoping that even for primarily print readers, the balance wouldn't seem too off. If the only thing I'd thought worth objecting to last week was that comment, that would have been a serious problem, for all the reasons you state. And I can see how it might have looked that way, which certainly wasn't how it felt to me writing all week.

That being said, and with the note that there is obviously a certain amount of levity involved in reproaching someone for a word that might not even make the Carlin list, I try to subscribe to a broken-windows theory of civil discourse, where you can comment on the little things. And there's a certain multiplier involved too. The mildly troubling offhand remarks of more important people and the seriously troubling remarks of less important people don't weigh exactly the same, but just because someone else said something louder and more slap-worthy doesnt mean everyone gets off the slap hook. With the caveat that there is only so much slapping you can do in a week before your metaphorical wrist tires.

But that scale question is something I'll think about from now on, realizing not everyone sees the blog.

Everything is just impossible or nothing is impossible. I'm doing nothing all day. Everything will need to wait. Make puppet umbrellas with candy canes and paper.

I mean, "that." That is my new excuse for why this has been so slow.

Could go out and ask for candy with chainsaw! Wear a mask though.

I hear leather masks breathe well and don't damage your pores!

Something that has bothered me since childhood: Why did the Tin Woodsman rust? Tin doesn't rust. Was he just tin-plated? If the tinning wore through at his joints, shouldn't he have been recalled for faulty parts? Didn't the Consumer Products Safety people keep tabs on this? The questions just pile up.

I never thought about this.

A cursory google suggests that alkaline solutions (would tears count? They're basically salt water, yes?) can damage tin.

Also, that scarecrow seems like a straw man.

Two hydrogen atoms raising an oxygen atom.

God made Hydrogen Peroxide, not -- wait, no, hang on, that joke doesn't work on any level.

Prissy clearly stated she didn't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies. That's how they got around the Hays Office.

No, but before didn't she imply she knew all about --

Dang, it's been a while since I've seen that movie.


I often have to check a an online dictionary when I read your stuff. I just google the word and I go to the first dictionary site listed; any portmanteau in a storm....


It's like that joke about the guy who was very particular about his alcohol. When he got to the castle in the middle of the night in the pouring rain, someone handed him some very cheap port wine. He sighed. "Ah well," he said. "Any--"

Well you know where this is going.

Did Christie just throw Romney under the bus, which doesn't really hurt because the wind is holding the bus up. Christie praises Obama on the storm and disses Romney? Wow. Amazing how a storm affects the mind.

As someone on Twitter wisely observed, you have to be pretty polarized to be stunned when a governor praises the president for handling a storm well.

The dis might be harder to explain, but I also have difficulty imagining Chris Christie saying, "Yes, I look forward to touring the disaster sites with Mitt." That seems even more out of character.

Stephen Colbert proved that hurricanes are caused by unmarried gays, who make the angels cry.

Oh, yes! Good link!

Stimulus for replacement glass industry. Give me a break.

Stop being a pane.

While I always go for the joke, I was ashamed at some mean comments people have made to you on this Internet fad. I just want you to know that I wish to provide you with a virtual protective stance against bullies. Remember, words can't hurt, unless someone lets them hurt That, and if the words are accompanied with sticks and stones but that's another matter.

I just got the best email from someone saying that given my mental handicaps (I'm paraphrasing slightly) he was surprised I could hold down steady work.

Those are the ones I always most want to respond to, because it seems as though the person would be genuinely surprised if an actual human being tapped on the other side of the glass, and that's sort of fun.

But thanks!

Grisham and expanded sales strategy. Anybody from 10-??? is a potential reader. Bigger market and that is left to the imagination.

That does make sense. And most of what people describe as the most romantic films of all time on AFI-esque lists have included fairly giant chunks that were left to the imagination. I think people appreciate having to put in the effort.

I spot a capsized ark with lots of drowned animals around it. That is not good, is it?

Probably not, no.

Unless you're one of the folks who draw cartoons for the New Yorker. Then it's great!

Please send bacon.

Bacon Relief Concert!

I'm going to have an event where I talk about the need to give you succor, then have people collect difficult-to-ship canned goods that aren't bacon. Because I'm, you know, helping. 

Did his hair move at all? Is is balancing precariously on the edge of his pate like that crane?

If Donald had constructed that hair, everyone would be tearing him apart! But he is the best builder in the world.

I hear Donald Trump's hair blew off his head during the hurricane and it is now dangling precariously over a building in New Jersey.

Ha! +5

We're all out, and Splenda is not the same.


Is just a train rushing into a tunnel.

And on that note...

Sorry about the slow chat! Have a great week, stay safe, stay dry, and keep reading the Compost!

And feel free but unobligated to follow me on Twitter!

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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