ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Mar 05, 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

Are your hatches battened, everyone?

Let's rumble!

Also, I have a question about Yankee Doodle Dandy:

Who's got the feather in his cap? The rider, or the pony?

Will someone please look at me?

What happens to a meme deferred?

Does it dry up like a Rickroll in the sun?

I was going to ask why you have two Jabba the Hut suits but then I realized I have two Chewbacca suits in case someone spills something on one of them.

Well, precisely! One for work, one for christenings!

A macaroni is a Yankee foolish enough to believe that a feather in the cap makes him a man of fashion.

Yes, I knew that, (if only because during the argument I had on the subject yesterday afternoon I Googled it).

I always thought it was the gent on the pony who had the feather in his cap, but then you might expect a "called himself" rather than a "called him"...

What was that all about?

This is one of those age-old imponderable questions that I hope not to get from my children until they are old enough that my running off shrieking and abandoning them forever rather than answering will not be fatal to them.

the feather went into Yankee Doodle's hat.

That's what I thought!

The rider, of course. Where do ponies wear caps? Also, "the Macaronis" were a bunch of very flashily dressed guys who wore very fancy hats with lots of decoration, like feathers.

It seems as though we have a consensus!

I'll tell my interlocutor that he was wrong!

The mystery is what has kept this song alive and vital all of these years. After Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and similar productions, I'm waiting for "Macaroni ~ The Movie" to come out Any Day Now.

A wave of popular entertainments based on vintage patriotic songs! Now that's a phase I'm looking forward to. "Battle Cry of Freedom" actually wouldn't be a bad title...

I assume the Macaroni will be some sort of zombie hunter, and that thousands will slink away disappointed from the theater upon discovering that there is no cheese appearing in this film.

not called him macaroni, right?

Right! Oops!

There are 20 male nudes called "The Ignudi" in the Sistine Chapel to distract the cardinals while picking the new pope. I think the only female nude is Eve. Something for you feminists to contemplate.

I'm sure we'll all have to contemplate it if Eve decides to run for office.

Seems like they get in the way a lot. On the other hand, Wonder Woman was an Amazon princess and elected to keep 'em.

She was also a female comic book character, so her decision/proportions may or may not bear any resemblance to Actual Women Who Exist.

There must be cheese! Monty Python OWNS "no cheese where cheese is expected."

What a senseless waste of human life!

(mumbles something about Sir Cheese Not Appearing in this Film)


But he stuck a feather in HIS cap. So he must've called the cap "Macaroni." Suddenly, I feel like I'm in a biblical discussion. Or talking about "The Giving Tree."

So you think "it" is the cap? I suppose "it" could also be the style of cap-wearing...

But we have an accord: It is not the horse.

How many tickets can I put you down for? (is that sentence even rempotely grammatically correct...?)

Depends! How many sodiums exactly?

I think we have a pop culture answer for that!

Thanks to the recent news from the Vatican, every time I see "pop" in a phrase, I surreptitiously replace it with "Pope." So far, "pope tart" is my favorite result, but "pope culture" isn't bad either.

called *IT* macaroni (i.e., stylish), not called *him* macaroni. You're welcome.

We have an accord!

As a mildly disappointed new car winner might say.

I had not associated them with cheese previously.

I don't understand why you would ever advertise an absence of cheese. I have never felt more strongly that I was not someone's target demographic. Well, with the possible exception of that Christine O'Donnell "I'm You" ad.

It's been quite a while since I've had my hatches battened. Thank you, I'll be here all week. Literally, if this snow thing is for realz.


I love being in DC during the lead up to snowstorms, because while Boston, say, during that massive blizzard, shrugged and closed the streets, DC does a commendable impression of a recently beheaded chicken and everyone starts to make loud lamentations over their bottled waters as the first flakes fall and melt instantly on contact.

According to my computer, if one searches for google images of "ponies wearing caps", there are none.

I couldn't believe it, but my search was no more fruitful! I did find these little guys in sweaters, but that was as far as it went.

After searching for the lack of "ponies wearing caps", of course, one can then amuse any self by searching for "cats wearing caps".

I don't know if it was unintentional, like my "him/it" slip earlier, but I like the phrase "one can then amuse any self"... ("Even Hyde will be into THESE pics!")

I would vote NO. As far as I am concerned, they don't serve any useful purpose. Maybe they should be triggered by pregnancy, so if you are going to be a mother, they'll swell up; if not, they'll remain dormant.

I recently wound up in one of those strange corners of the Internet that gravity sifts you towards eventually, and someone was suggesting it would be fun to wake up in the morning and decide what secondary sexual characteristics you were going to put on, along with clothes and everything else. "Meh," one could say, "not today. I have to go jogging later."

Whenever I see the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial with the Fleetwood Mac song, I find myself wanting a new ending in which the trainer is reunited with the horse at a French restaurant, with the horse being on a plate.

My request is simpler than yours. I just want an IKEA commercial to come on right afterwards.



I think Pope Tart would be a great name and idea for a steamy romance novel about a woman who goes to Rome and changes the church forever!

So, Madonna?

Wallace: Won't you come in? We were just about to have some cheese. Wendolene: Oh no, not cheese. Sorry. Brings me out in a rash. Can't stand the stuff. Wallace: [gulp] Not even Wensleydale?



The cheese stands alone.

There is a restaurant in Harrisburg, Pa. that once a week offers "free bacon" from 4 to 6 pm If only there were people who liked bacon....

Hold the phones!

Actually, the expression "hold the phones" -- that's getting into "selling like hotcakes" territory. What's the modern equivalent?

of the WaPo referring to the upcoming possible storm as "snowquester?" Do they think Congress will sit around and do nothing to prevent the snow until the last possible moment, or will they allow it to come no matter how bad it is for the area?

Why change now? It's a tested approach. Some are already claiming that the snow was the President's idea. And Secretary Napolitano is already blaming the snow for massive delays at airports...

Er. Wait.

TGIFriday's puts cheese on everything. Chicken, steak, fish, potatoes, everything. I once walked in there and got three ounces of gorgonzola crumbled on my head.


+10, for the image!

Why is The Post being scooped by a British paper on this story?

It's a shame, but our Houses That Look Like Things department was the first to fall victim to personnel cuts.

That is one sassy chicken.

I remember many years ago as an college intern (fresh from Maine) I was rather confused when the non-profit I was working at announced we were closing early because some snow had started. When I asked my supervisor why we were leaving early for flurries, she grabbed my arms and almost shock me, while in a panicked voice she almost sobbed, "We may never make it back to Virginia." The panic was amazing to behold, but I managed to score some free tickets to a concert at the Kennedy Center that night from a co-worker who was desperately afraid of traveling in the snow.

That is so classic DC.

There's an old joke that says if snow is expected to fall in DC, you close early. If it's expected to actually hit the ground...

Wasn't Lucrezia Borgia the original Pope Tart, because her father (Pope Alex VI) repeatedly married her off for political reasons.

Oh, snap, the Borgias! It's hard to beat them in any category of papal shenanigans.

The modern phrase to "hold the phones" is "stop the ticker tape", because retro is the new fad. I shouldn't have told you about the free bacon. I suspect you will eat it all and they will kill the promotion for the rest of us.

"Figure out how to halt this fixed-gear bike" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

I melt cheese on top of cheese, and then I put that between two slabs of cheese and then I dip that into cheese spread, and then I sprinkle cheese on top of it, and then I eat it. My doctor says I need a new diet.

You should call it the Russian Action Cheese -- "it's a cheese riddle wrapped in a cheese mystery inside a cheese enigma. Sprinkled with cheese." As Churchill would doubtless have said.

Nah, you were probably too young.

I remember some version of Sim City, and the original Sims. The original Sims, may I add, is depressingly like life. All my friends spent long amounts of time carefully decorating their Sims' living spaces, and I just got expensive mismatched wood paneling and leapt into forcing my Sims to make ill-advised relationship choices.

Called IT macaroni

Yes, I stand corrected! Are the approximately six or so other responses where people noted this showing up?

(lashes self with a wet macaroni noodle)

I didn't take time to go to IMDB and find it, but if you check that old Mickey Rooney movie The Black Stallion (1970s maybe?), I believe his pal-groom's old white cart horse is wearing a hat. A mildly crushed fedora or something if I recall correctly. Jes sayin'

I think also at the end of "The Flying Deuces" with Laurel and Hardy, the Ollie horse is wearing some sort of hat or wig or something. Or possibly it's just a mustache.

To see your old movie reference and raise you an ANCIENT movie reference...

then how about "silence the dots and dashes" or "unsteam the iron horse". There's a whole untapped steam-punk retro genre to work with here, folks....

Ooh, steampunk. Or if we wanted to go earlier, "Halt the pony express!"

"Tell that carrier pigeon to COME BACK!"

But, Alex, aren't most poorly made relationship choices committed in rooms with wood panelling?

Usually those rooms have some other furniture. Besides, of course, the chess board and piano.

I liked the Tycoon games. I went virtually broke.

I loved "SimPark!" I can now identify all kinds of wild berries, provided I do not see them in the wild but am handed exactly the same picture of them that was included with the game.

I approve this message.

O, everyone, gather around. This means we all have an important missions: We must create create the first photographs ever on Google of "Ponies Wearing Hats." The future of society depends upon us!

Stop the dashes and dots! Get that pigeon back!

Let's get to the Photoshops!

I was on hold with Verizon and the recording told me to "DIAL" 1 (not "press")

Oh, wow.

That's like airplanes telling you to turn your pagers off. As I think numerous others have quipped, "Yup. Did that. In 1997."

Electrical gear gives an edge not a guarantee. Stay sharp!

On that note, I think I may have to wrap up soon! Gotta go cap the pony!

That sounds like a strange euphemism.

No -- on further examination, this phrase does not exist. Sorry.


"Don't have sent that tweet" certainly does, though.

Which of the great poets of the past would tweet their poems? Why don't more of today's poets tweet? Are these questions linked?


Emily Dickinson would probably have tweeted a lot. But on the other hand she might have been so busy doing that that she might not have written any poems.

Photoshop? Why, I expect ponies actually wearing hats will be the next new fad.

Hey, humans wearing horse hats has been a thing. Why not ponies wearing human hats?

Could happen!

You cap my pony, my gang will have to cap yours.


I have these in my memory from last-century rural scenes -- possibly paintings, possibly photos, possibly cartoons (possibly dreams?). Straw hat with ear-holes for the horse's ears. Not sure about the feather.

I have dim recollections of these as well!

I got a Food Network email with "50 Macaroni and Cheese recipes" -- is there a movie in the works? Is this an awesome example of promotional shytergy?

Sounds like it!

On that note, keep reading the Compost! And I would call it macaroni if you were to follow me on Twitter!

...I'm not using that right, am I?

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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