ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Nov 27, 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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Sorry I'm late! Painfully sincere apologies! Let's get to chattin'!

What is this about the war on men? Is our nation able to afford another war? Will there be a draft? How should I prepare for this war?

Do the usual pre-war drill: entrench your habits and interests, plant a small victory garden, and hoard things. No worries about a draft, unless you or your relatives are drones.

What are you wearing for Advent? I know, it's just a scam for the pink and purple candle makers to sell their products, but hey... candles...

Well noted! We had half a Halloween chat once, and then never again.

I do enjoy some candles, in spite of my personal war on the too-early advent of Advent...

Wake me when the British Bacon Marketing Board has stocking stuffers.

(I'm about to order six.)

I went to Guy Fieri's Restaurant based upon your column. I want to compare the experience to when I went to Umani, after reading in LA Weekly that they supposedly had the best burgers in Los Angeles. I went into both places totally open minded. I ordered a Trufle Burger at Umani and the special burger at Guy Fieri's. The $17 burger at Guy Fieri's was good. The $13 Umani burger was excellent. The Guy Fieri burger had a slight soapy aftertaste and I am not likely to return. The Umani burger was so good I have been back several times. And thus is the unprofeesional review from a non-food expert, except I eat what I like. I will comment that the Gury Fieri restaurant may not have its act together. I was observing that it took 35 minutes for me and the people around me to get their food. That is much too slow, especially for New York. The wait staff was nice and helpufl and I observed them taking care of customer requests with smiles. We expect rude, not slow, in New York. To survive, I hope they have cut down that 35 minute wait time, especially being in the theatre district where people are often eating on the run before a show.

Thank you for that! I'll be sure to check out Umani the next time I head to LA!

And yeah, I second the slowness. Everyone was so polite about it that I didn't notice at the time, and I had my live-tweeting to occupy me, but it did take a while.

So if a girl is a true feminist, then she'll have sex with any many who says hello to her? I should've taken some of those womyn's studies courses when I was in college!

No, obviously.

Do you want a serious answer? I'm guessing from your spelling that you don't.

Tie up a man in bed and read poetry to him all night. That would be doing your part, and then some.

I think that might be considered fraternization with the enemy.

I'm so sure that women are going to take over the world that I'm planning to join them. This is squirrel bopper, by the way.


Yankees don't know how to burn a phrase. It should be folksy and involve a critter. Something like "You're a northbound tick and I'm a southbound dog."

That's great!

"We're a dazed and wandering elephant and you're a GPS unit that keeps saying, 'Recalculating' in a disapproving tone when we're trying to park" doesn't quite have the ring of yours, though.

I met a friend for breakfast at 6 AM (she starts work at 7 AM), and that was the only item on my agenda for the day! It's snowing just enough to not want to drive around in it but not enough for a snowman. What can I do?

At this juncture, were it slightly later, I would recommend hot chocolate and a good book.

My elementary school self would recommend hot orange juice with a marshmallow in it and a good book, but no one ever listened to her.

Archie McPhee is offering a Krampus sweater. The Krampus is the anti-Santa who stuffs the bad boys and girls into a sack.

They also have a Cthulhu sweater, which is -- I want to say "cute," but that can't possibly be the word.

I'm doing my part by not dating any men. ....wait. :-(

They also serve who only stand and wait!

Finally, a war I can get behind! Just kidding. War on men? Was someone feeling alone? Neglected?

It all started with a piece on

But I'm sure it will spiral out of control in a few weeks, with everyone amassing arsenals of cats and hissing at each other as they pass in the street.

"I do enjoy some candles, in spite of my personal war on the too-early advent of Advent..." Just FYI. Advent hasn't actually started yet. Under Lincoln the customary last Thursday in November became federal law, and the following Sunday was always the 1st Sunday in Advent. When Roosevelt changed the day (for economic reasons -- more shopping days to boost spending) to the 4th Thursday, that didn't change when you light your first candle.

That's true. That was a bad choice of words. Advent exists in the same hermetically sealed realm where all church holidays exist -- at a sort of right angle to the real world's calendar. No candles yet.

I should also note that when you said "Under Lincoln" I was worried it was going to be a movie spoiler. I haven't gone yet, but when I do I am definitely wearing a top hat and shouting a lot.

Elmo, Elmo is that you?

My guess, after the Romney snafu, is it's Big Bird.

You shouldn't. Too many house fires are caused by candle usage.

Things I Publicly State That I Enjoy and Things I Actually Have In My Apartment are two lists with remarkably little overlap. For instance, I am out of bacon.

just the opening shot in the war on Christmas?

Peace on earth, goodwill to men? Sounds fishy to me!

As long as this doesn't conclude with the nightmare scenario where we swap out all the old scanning rhyming pronouns for more inclusive ones that neither rhyme nor scan.

Really? You'd label something "good" that left a soapy aftertaste in your mouth that you aren't willing to return for? I would give that a mediocre or poor rating. If you don't like the taste and won't go back, it's not good.

I worry about the larger implications of this rating for the chatter's life.

"My marriage? Oh, it's great. We haven't seen each other since 1994, when my spouse sent me an unpleasant postcard."

"John Carter? Oh yeah, pretty good. Midway through I put out one of my eyes in hope that it might make the film shorter. I'd see it again."

My daughter (9 years old) only discovered bacon this summer (and by discover, I mean try it). She was upset that we didn't routinely keep bacon in the house. When I purchased some this weekend, she was very happy (even did a happy dance). I believe bacon will become a staple in my house.

Oh wow, that's the best child-rearing news I've heard all week! Admittedly, it's also the only child-rearing news I've heard, but that should in no way diminish it. Well done!

Actually, fires are started by the mis-use of candles. Candle now rank third in causes of fires. They used to be way down on the list but moved up quickly when interior designers and touchy-feely people started to talk them up as thinks to have.

Ah, "interior designers and touchy-feely people," causing house fires from time immemorial.

That description really tickles me. I know just the candle-havers you mean. a sweater with those pooping Christmas dolls on it.

Yes, these dolls never cease to amaze and alarm me. I don't understand why they haven't caught on over here! I would pay serious money to pick up a load at Macy's.

What's the deal with all these women complaining about not finding a nice man? I moved Metro DC area recently, and most men I have met have been nothing short of wonderful (I am not a hot girl). But then all of my girlfriends say the complete opposite. But then a bitter, jaded guy friend of mine called all of my girlfriends 'those girls, those feminists running around."

I think DC contains many nicer guys than it gets credit for, although I am reassured by my friends that the Self-Important Obnoxious Stereotype Who Insists On Introducing Himself To The Waiter In A Way That Implies The Waiter Should Probably Get His Autograph Now, While The Getting Is Good does exist and is exactly as exhausting as described.

Obviously a man named this. We don't need another war. We've got a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on Christmas, a war on terror, a war on trans fats, a war on mediocre sitcoms and a war on Twinkies. With the exception of that last one, these wars aren't accomplishing much. How about a nice skirmish or perhaps just a frontal assault? Who needs another war?

Personally, I want to bring back the "squirmish."

A while back, I saw a strange movie in which the men were all making war. Finally, the women were getting tired of it, collaberated, and invented a shrinking machine. They shrunk all the men, put them in cages, and from thereon in, their society was always peaceful. I wish I could remember the name of this movie. Clever idea.

I'm guessing not Lysistrata.

My two year old loves bacon and sriracha. He wants a little pile of sauce with his eggs.

Oh wow! If this trend continues, he will have some stern words for Guy Fieri when he's older.

I'm looking at the anchor-babes' legs. I was always a Cokie Roberts man, myself.

This is one of those chicken-and-leg articles I wonder about. Did someone sit down and say, "Hey, female anchors are finally able to wear fitting dresses and be taken seriously!" or did someone say, "Hey, if I write about how female anchors can wear dresses now and be taken seriously, we will get to plaster a shot of what you describe as 'anchor-babes' legs' on the homepage?"

Doesn't negate the message, though. I hope.

I recently moved to Portland Oregon. I found a jewish NY deli (I'm from NY originally) and was so excited! So I went there with my husband...and we were eating, and I asked the waitress something - and she just walked away (okay, maybe she didn't hear me...). Then I commented to my husband: oh, just like NY! They are way too polite over here.

There's a certain relief in rudeness. Too much politeness can be weirdly stifling.


In four short years I'm gonna be Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of Formosan Affairs.

You called it!

Was this trend started by the old GOP men who want us back in the kitchen, raising babies and not having opinions?

That might be the first time those folks succeeded in starting a trend. "Akin Hair" still hasn't caught on.

That being said, sometimes I wonder if there isn't a certain element of straw misogyny out there too. If you actually rounded up all the people who legitimately think ladies should be in the kitchen raising babies, opinionless, I wonder if the number is as large as the echo they make whenever someone says something that seems to identify him as one. It's getting to be like yeti sightings -- lots of fuss, but not so many photographs. Or is it? How deep is the iceberg?

But that's another week.

Anchor-babe's legs: for a second I thought "why is he looking at the legs of immigrant's babies?"


We have anchor women not anchor babes (who must be clustered on the coasts). No one (even the younger women) wears tight sleeveless dresses. And I wondered what is the temp on the news sets? Are the men sweating in their worsted wool suits or are the women sporting goose bumps in their sleeveless frocks?

I think that last question is deeply important. My guess from the limited times I've been on sets is that it's cold, because if it weren't, the lights would melt everyone.

You mentioned that two other people were at Guy's restaurant to sample it. How bad would a review have to be to drive customers away?

I'm not sure how much worse it could have been. I think the closest you might come would be to say that it was delicious, wonderful, poetry in motion, but that as you left you thought you spotted a rat in the kitchen stirring something.

My dad was born and raised where it snowed maybe once a decade. So when it happened back in 1922, my grandmother sent him and all the other kids outside with buckets and large bowls in order to collect snow, which she used instead of ice in order make homemade ice cream! (They had old-fashioned hand-turned models back in those days, the kind that normally used chipped ice + rock salt to chill the mixture, and the kids all took turns cranking the handle, with the eldest son and grandpa going last when the mixture was getting hard, because they were the strongest).

Oh wow, that sounds idyllic!

I miss when you could eat things made with snow. I was always reading books where that was the case as a child, and all my efforts to pour maple syrup into the snow were constantly thwarted by my frantic parents, shouting about pollution and dysentery.

And on that note, I must skedaddle! Apologies for the late arrival, and thank you for the first sallies in what I am sure will be a long and bloody conflict.

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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