ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Feb 19, 2013

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

And we're live! Happy Tuesday! Hope your weekend was swell!

I drew a cartoon called "Stickman" in high school. The stick people wore clothes because the inability to discern they were wearing clothes made it part of the humor. "That sweater makes you look fat." "Hike those pants up." A naked stick figure was also presented with private parts covered by a flower pot. You will note this goes against the early Disney philosophy that cartoon characters do not wear pants.

That's true!

This is in response to a question I posed on Twitter about whether people assumed stick figures were clothed or not. What say you all? I think it depends on the context in which the stick figure is presented. The ones at bathrooms I always assume are fully clothed...

I need to please ask a favor. I have had a little bit of an unlucky streak at gambling. I know I will soon hit a lucky streak and win back what I have lost. Yet, until then, could I please borrow a billion dollars?

I think you're confusing me with someone else. China is in the other chat. 

Can we call you Misandra?

You can call me almost anything, but I might not answer.

for DC taxi colour?

I was in favor of all blue except for three red cabs that only went to whatever that hidden enclave of registered DC R's is. I think it moves once a week. 

But actually I like red. Yellow is so mainstream. And panda-colored would have been -- too much, really. 

Heavens AP. The news seems rather full of, um, odd stories lately. That awesome Brussels diamond heist story alone rocks the house.

I know! I am riveted! Three minutes, $50 million! And Gawker implied that they would be unlikely to recover them! Can't wait for the movie version of this.

I recently read this article on The Onion, demanding that John Kerry "tell the truth" about his swift boat service.,31021/ For the life of me I can't find the humor in it. Is it really supposed to be satirical? Or is it a serious political statement? If the latter then what is this kind of wingnut nonsense doing on The Onion? Please advise!

My bet is that it's making fun of the Swift Boat Vets and POWS For Truth and pointing out that if they were not simply in it to throw wrenches into his presidential campaign, surely they would have equally vigorous objections to his SecState nomination? But I am pretty sure it's not a serious political statement.

"And so we take up the mantle of the recently disbanded Swift Boat Vets And POWs For Truth—a humble and virtuous tax-exempt political advocacy group—and demand that Senator Kerry answer the following..."

Are you sure it wasn't actually a movie being filmed, and the news stories are part of it? Going for authenticity, you know.

Given how often actual newscasters show up in movies and TV shows where news breaks (George Stephanopoulos on 'House of Cards', anyone?) this would be the logical next step...

OK, I have $50 million. Now all I need to borrow is $950 million. Do you have that much?

See previous answer. 

Wait, that took you longer than three minutes!

How can anyone not see the humor in this?

Well the rest of it's pretty dry, and if you skimmed it that line might not immediately leap out...

If Antwerp now loses its place as the center for diamond cutting, I think we should make Washington DC the new center. You do know how to cut diamonds right?

Oh yeah. Totally. Just hand me a diamond, and I will cut the heck out of that diamond! 

The diamonds were bound for a flight run by (really) Helvetic Airlines. It's a plain no-frills airlines that only flies non-stop. And they don't go to Rome. (Typography jokes are easy; comedy is hard.)

Typography jokes are the best. 

If they'd only been allowed to carry a serif on board this crisis might have been averted! 

When Star Wars came out in 1977, my whole family saw it and loved it. My mother's principal reaction was that Han Solo was pretty cute. My siblings and I thought it was absolutely hiLARious that our mom would think any actor was cute, because she was, you know, old and married. My mom was 35 years old.


I remember when third graders seemed impossibly, remotely old. I also remember when, on a school field trip, one of my friends left me devastated by informing me that Mark Hamill was (gasp!) in his forties by now. 

Where's Benjamin Button when we need him?

Alex, you're a veritable font of levity!



You're a real comic sans!

I can see why the OP is confused. You're only allowed to make fun of people on the right, and people on the left are immune. And, of course, have no sense of humor.

Which reminds me, let's talk about the whole Multi-Day-Blech Saga that has been the 1) someone suggests that women with guns on campus might mistakenly think someone was a rapist and fire off rounds at random 2) this turns into a criticism of those Lady Self-Defense Guidelines, which admittedly never don't sound slightly ridiculous 3) that #LiberalTips2AvoidRape hashtag springs up at the precise intersection of Maximally Bad Jokes and Maximum Indignation. 4) everyone, soon, I assume, leaps off a bridge into the Seine to try to get out of this discussion. 

aLL THE Male superheroes get pants/tights, but Wonder Woman does not!

Speaking of Backwards in Heels. 

Female superheroes have all the powers directly attributed to them, plus the power of those people you always see standing outside of clubs without coats in massively high heels and massively short dresses. I defy Hawkeye to wait in 30-degree weather without a coat in that ensemble!

Or is that just too cheesy?

I see what you did there. I feel pretty neutral about it. Neutral and mountainous.


Navy book of ettiquit says put ammonia in a plastic lemon. Shoot in his eyes.

...oh my merciful heavens. All they gave me was a whistle!


There is a Tumbler devoted just to people who take Onion articles seriously: Personally I find many of the political ones too close to the bone to be satire any more.

I don't think that's the Onion's fault, sadly. We're getting pretty close to the bone. 

They should start a tumblr for people who really, really hope that actual articles came from the Onion and have to go scream alone in a woodland. 

I hear Helvetic Airlines is developing something new and bold.

I guess we'll have to courier new favors. Er. Lucida lips sink ships! (Er. These are terrible. Uh. GOUDY OLD STYLE!)

Robin the Boy Wonder begs to differ. Also the Sub-Mariner, the Thing...

Whoops, opened a can of pants worms there. 

Arial here? Times a-wastin'.

Georgia is. I haven't talked Tahoma yet. 


I don't need the money anymore. I am heading for a bridge over the Seine. And I'm bringing my gun.

This escalated quickly. 

(Must be Javert! He's found my chatters at last.)

Kinda hard to perform undercover security when dressed in those Swiss Guards uniforms, isn't it?

Kinda hard to perform security in general when all you can do is wave a corkscrew menacingly at someone once they get within arm's distance.

Show wit and kerning.

I'm not sure I'm tracking. 

Yes, by all means let's have a ludicrous debate on non-issues, because it's so much easier to get citizens to participate in spittle-emitting discussions of things that are beside the point then actual policy. Just imagine what a world we'd have if people took the time they spent spouting off and invested it in action. (Present company included, I guess. I'm such a hypocrite.)

You're right: ludicrous spittle-emitting discussions are so much easier to have. 

In my defense, this debate is at such an ideal spittle-emitting intersection where nobody will feel any impulse to apologize because both sides think they are being sensitive to the side of the issue that matters, that it seemed worth banging one's head against. 

I was going to do one about "where are these jokes leading," but pronounce the last word to rhyme with "heading." I can't tell this joke online. Stupid Internet.

We're missing out on so many rich nonverbal cues! Ligature life! Ligature choices!

That really depends on the delivery. 

If these puns continue, you'll be hounded all the way to Baskerville Hall...

If I were going to diacritical marks I would already have died of critical marks. 

(jumps off bridge, hits weir)

I set my browser to Times.


"THE BLOW DID AT LAST FALL" The "Gloria Scott" and the whole business appeared to be settled as the story goes. Thanks Watson.

Wait, does anyone else understand this? I'm having a Swift Boat Onion moment.

So, if a guy makes font jokes, would he be your type?

Depends on his swash. 

Is that joke net or gross?

I chortled ruefully...


Bacon pants! Oops, sorry, mixed you up with Carolyn Hax. Usually I only mix you up with Monica Hesse.

Hey, it's an honor to be mixed up with either!

Which means that somewhere in an abandoned Antwerpen warehouse there is a nutjob slicing the ear off a Belgian cop while listening to Milli Vanilli.

Monsieur Blonde went some interesting directions in this remake. 

According to Malcolm Gladwell, ketchup has been perfected but mustard depends on individual taste. What do you put on a a hotdog and has this choice been cleared by Gene Weingarten?

I'm a ketchup fan, myself.

I clear all my choices via a close-reading of Weingarten calls to beleagered service representatives, so... yes?

Unlike the actual NY Times, it's easy to read (and credible).

It's fit print!

The subject of young male fantasies always wear short tights. Yes, Robin opens up a whole different discussion.

Speaking of which, did you see that Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent involved a great deal of falsification to concoct his thesis, according to a researcher who just dug through his original interview notes? 

Big surprise there, given how sound his thesis was. 

Did any of your Valentine's grammar pick-up lines work? Or are you waiting to test them against font puns for efficacy?

I did get some flowers at the office, but they turned out to be from my Zipcar, Monfort!

(This is not a joke. Apparently I am much more of a power user than I realized!) 

A good spittle-emitting intersection can be good fun. What we need to know is to know allow our philosophical differences to affect friendships. Even if my friends are arrogant ignorant iguanas.

Mine are malformed misinformed lemurs. We should throw a mixer! 

They don't just wave corkscrews. As is well known, everyone in Switzerland from the age of 7 has a personal firearm. So there are no security problems because everyone is packing heat. Some of these guns are made from 3-D printers. (What other Post hot buttons can we squeeze into this chat?)

Something about how the Swiss still call each other Miss, avoiding all this false intimacy that I hear is a problem?

What are bacon pants? Do you wear them or could you eat them?

Why do we have to choose? as Lady Gaga might inquire. 

Hey all: my work computer does this remarkable impression of a glacier, and it picked just now to try it out on me, so apologies for the delay in responses just now! I'm still here!

There's a great broadcaster on BBC Radio 5 who plays what he calls the Sausage Sandwich game on air. He has callers answer if a famous person wants, on their sausage sandwich, "red sauce, brown sauce, or no sauce at all." It's become a thing in the UK for a complicated answer to a simple question. (Brown sauce is kind of like steak sauce--they're nuts about it, apparently.)

Huh. I always worry that English cuisine is some sort of weird euphemism, but I like the sound of this question...

I actually have nothing to say today other than I am impressed that you have gone 30 minutes past your time. You must really like your readers and with that, I am impressed!

Oh, you folks are the best! 

I'm the person who always shows up to the party slightly late and then doesn't leave when it's time to leave, until everyone starts pointedly yawning and comes down the stairs in pajamas at me. 

Why those pants only rip just above the knees is one of those eternal questions.

It's the same mystery as Natalie Portman's shirt in Star Wars: Episode II!

What do you think of South Carolina former Governor Mark Sanford -- he of "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" fame -- now running an ad for a Congressional seat in which he essentially says, Hey we all make mistakes? I bet that'll sew up the Argentinian mistress votes in South Carolina!

I am just delighted by the fact that this campaign exists at all, for pretty much the same reasons that Actual Voters Not Concerned With Humor Fodder are not. 


I have only strong, negative feelings for this computer. It ate the other post I was trying to post in which I insulted it in all caps and addressed it as "thou eunuch jelly thou," an "overweight glob of grease," and referred to myself as HULK PETRI, which is probably for the best for all concerned. 


Anyway, I should probably skedaddle. Apologies all around. Please keep reading the Compost and feel free but free to follow me on Twitter!

The thing is, many of Musk’s arguments don’t add up, not to mention the fact the he and his company were certainly quick with this data to refute Broder’s claims. It was almost as if they were ready for a fight, had been preparing it all along. And it wouldn’t have been hard to set up. According to the original New York Times piece, Broder had been on the phone multiple times with different people from Tesla’s team to locate new charging stations, how to condition the battery and other tips for conserving power. With plenty of charts and graphs and frustrated language, Musk claims Broder even tried to run the battery into the ground in the parking lot of a fueling station next to a McDonalds. Jay drove a Vette into Burger King.

Yeah, the more I hear about Musk, the more skeptical I am. He seems to have an oversized shoulder-chip.

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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