ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Apr 02, 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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Hello all! Happy Tuesday! I am now back from an unpleasantly vivid case of food poisoning/stomach flu (I recommend against it, if you're on the fence) and ready to rumble!

Yes, I saw this, although admittedly I saw it yesterday when I was still in the throes of ginger-ale-and-saltines-only-thank-you so I was only able to watch part of it before I had to curl up and whimper piteously. Stomach flu has much the effect on me that the whole Beethoven's Ninth Shock Therapy had on Alex in Clockwork Orange. 

I believe I have two gay marriage compromises that could settle the issue: 1: Since corporations are people, how about we let anyone marry any other person or corporation? If that does not work, and people insist that marriage be only between a man and a woman, how about 2.) we let two men and two women marry and they may sort it all out afterwards?

I see what you're doing, you're trying to sneak in polygamy there while no one is looking! 

I think the first option would play well with the Rogers court. 

So when you called in sick, did you tell them something came up at home?

No! I will next time, but I really hope there isn't one!

Fine but what about the Roberts court?

No, no, I meant Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers of Connecticut, clearly. 

I blame the stomach flu! It took me half an hour this morning to remember the name for Medicare, and no one knew what I was talking about because I kept waving my hands around and saying, "You know... Not Dave."

I am glad Bryce Harper hit two home runs on opening day. Of course, we are going to expect him now to hit two home runs in every game.

This isn't about any relevant political or humor topic, but I just need to publicly thank my parents for not making it impossible to show my face on campus when I was in college. What are the odds of Susan Patton's son ever being seen in public again?

The married son is still allowed out in public, it's just the single one. 

As Amanda Marcotte notes at Slate, "Mothers have been embarrassing their sons since time immemorial by declaring that any woman should be happy to have a man so fine, but most mothers have the common sense to keep that sentiment inside the walls of their home."

The most likely culprit of food poisoning: Bacon. There, someone had to say it.

That was the unkindest cut of all!

No, I'm pretty sure it was meatloaf. Thinking back on it, it's too Greek Tragedy-level perfect for it to have been anything else. 

I was so proud of that dang meatloaf. 

I baked it myself, using two pounds of ground beef. It served seven. It required an hour in the oven. It was a thing of wonder. It shone, resplendent, under its half-can of Hunts' Meatloaf Sauce, like something resplendent that shines under a half-can of Hunts' Meatloaf Sauce. I ate it by myself, but I telephoned all my relatives about it, to prove to them that I was a real adult. "I just baked a meatloaf," I informed them. "That's right. Serves seven. I'll eat for a week!"

Then again, a day later I felt nothing. 

The day after that, however, I was racked with nausea, and the day after that I cheered up enough for easter dinner and then spent all of Monday regretting it, vividly. 

The meatloaf is still in the refrigerator because I don't have the heart to chuck it. 

And here I thought you were harking back to the Roger B. Taney court.

Thought about going with that one, decided I didn't want to be on a first-name basis with him. 

You'll really be brain-dead after an hour of chatting with us.

*incoherent noises*

The difficulty, my friends discovered, is that if I am babbling feverishly it is -- not as different from my usual conversation as maybe would be ideal for diagnostic purposes.

I should also note I spent the morning so far filming a segment for the Fold at the million-dollar bus stop in Arlington. I can report firsthand that it is cold, windy, and way, way down on my list of priorities of what I would buy if I had a million dollars.

First I'd get that green dress (but not a real green dress that's cruel.)

So what I'm saying is that yes, I am wildly, flagrantly, grotesquely coherent. 

You do realize that you have to eat the rest of the meat loaf, if only to show it was the meat loaf and not the bacon that got you sick.

Clearly! Clearly! 

This seems like a good idea. Just narrow it down. 

You might well have had a stomach bug.

Given the duration, WebMD suggests you're right! Also it tells me it's a brain tumor. 

Speaking of food, I was at a fast-food place and ate a chicken fillet sandwich! The problem was that the sandwich was not filleted and I bit into a bone which broke my tooth! My insurance does not cover dental care, so now I have to live with it and probably will not be ever able to eat popcorn again. I think I would rather have eaten something bad. You may feel terrible for a few days, but it eventually goes away.

So, any regrets, or egrets, that you didn't hogtie a husband when you had the chance at university? Evidently, that was your last chance at true happiness.

I know, right? Had I but known! 

Nope. Also I think most of the guys present would have found the hog-tying offputting and worrisome.

Just to settle the question, bring the meatloaf into work to share and see if anyone else gets sick.


Since flagrant coherence was mentioned, will you be doing the Pun-Off this year?

Oh, heck yes! I'm trying to make sure I don't miss the online sign-up deadline, but I'll be there come heck or high water!

Except for you, the Post needs to work on its publicity machine - I hadn't heard of the Fold until now. Does the Fold really exclude Apple product owners from viewing as the Post's video (thanks, google!) suggests (only google TV and android were mentioned prominently)? Also, there are a lot of young people running operations at the Post these days!

Well, I believe in hiding my publicity light under a publicity bushel basket, which I hear is bad form these days. 

Young people! There'll only be more of them as time goes on!

Given the time lag between eating the meatloaf and the onset of symptoms, my (semi-) educated guess is that you had a stomach bug, not food poisoning. Food poisoning should have started within 2 to 5 hours of eating the meatloaf. That said, however, I imagine that the meatloaf might carry some, um, unpleasant associations that keep you from trying any more. You could always give it to Gene Weingarten.

Wait, if the meatloaf can be redeemed from this slander, I will gladly spare it the calumny! 

I can't imagine he would be unsuspicious of the lightly used meatloaf, but maybe I could disguise it as a really good idea for an at-length feature story. 

Really a reliable automobile? I don't have fond memories of the quality of vehicles made during the 80s.


At 0130 a week ago, I thought I had a bladder infection, but after googling symptoms, was sure it was kidney stones (boulder size) + cancer + prolapsing internal organs. That's what happens when you google symptoms at 0130. Turns out it was a bladder infection.

That's what happens when you Google almost anything at 01:30.

The Nats' seventh inning stretch song is now "Take on Me" by Aha! (the exclamation point is part of the name, not my own exuberance). Discuss.

I'm a fan. I'm more dubious about the exclamation mark, because I think that sort of exuberance should be unforced, but then you should hear me on the mandatory period ending fun. 

I'll meet you in the ladies' room in about an hour.

Sounds like a party!

Oh, I see what you did there!

I'm just trying to make ends meat.

They are very effective when turning down online invitations.

More reliable than owls, for my money. And pigeons get dazed so easily. 

I projectile vomit any time someone karaokes Paradise by the Dashboard Light.






I'm so sorry. That's retaliation for the baconator earlier.

Do you ever feel obliged -- as one of the Post's female youth representatives -- to address more substantive topics in your humor ? or is that a turnoff to the short fella demographics you're courting ?

Sometimes, yes, because I'll read about something that resonates along those demographic lines and think "NOPE, THIS SHALL NOT PASS AND I GUESS SOMEONE SHOULD SAY SO" and that generally results in a column. But I wouldn't say "obliged."  I think the nature of the Internet is that often numerous other people will say it well and it'll get just as amplified, so if I don't have anything to say, I try not to. Don't always succeed, of course. 

haven't you always wanted a monkey?

I don't want anything that might outlive me, which explains my militantly anti-parrot attitude and complicates my wild enthusiasm for works of classic literature.

Pedialyte (unflavored, unless you like fake bubble gum taste) should be your drink of choice when suffering from a stomach indisposition. Also, is Lindsay Lohan really pregnant? I hope not as she seems prone to ingest many substances that require the use of Pedialyte frequently.

Oh no! Maybe her body got horribly confused. 

Fake bubble gum taste, for me, was always the worst part of medicine. 

Well it does, but can you say that in a family paper?

Let this be a lesson unto me in the importance of quotations. 

Pretty good indicator that you'd be marrying the monster controlling mother in law!

That's no red flag. That's a red SPACE STATION, hovering uncomfortably near. 

Not sure why the fillet response appeared speechless. What I typed was "Oh no! I'm so sorry about your tooth! Does anyone have suggestions about overcoming the popcorn problem?" 

I was wondering why no one had any popcorn problem suggestions...

Sometimes, yes, because I'll read about something that resonates along those demographic lines and think "NOPE, THIS SHALL NOT PASS AND I GUESS SOMEONE SHOULD SAY SO" and that generally results in a column. ----------- ... this is why this middle-aged reader reads you in the Post online. Do you do columns in the hard copy of the paper? I'm not sure if you think the more juvenile poop/puke/booger humor is an added attraction, but for me, it's just something to wade through to see those more interesting takes on topics you mentioned above. (No need to point out either that I'm welcome to take my eyeballs elsewhere while you girls play with the boys in the manner you've grown accustomed. )

Have I been doing poop/puke/booger humor? I don't remember doing this. I ask merely for information. Has someone been broadcasting my weekend? 

And yes, I'm in the paper on Saturdays on the op-ed page! 

Will you be required to work while sick once the paywall is erected?

No, but I will be required to heave the occasional diseased cow over the paywall into the invaders' camps.

You have to wait a while, but you can get cheaper dental work at the closest dental school.

Could this be a possible solution?

Blender set to "Puree." Plus, you can add as much butter to the slurry as you wish.

If not, this could, I guess.

Eat popcorn shrimp. Otherwise known as breaded shrimpy shrimp.

Breaded shrimpy shrimp sounds like some sort of fun-ending euphemism. 

Please write a kind note to the owner of the establishment. It is not unheard of for a large chain to make restitution in these scenarios. Good luck

Also this!

Seriously, you should mention what happened to the restaurant's owner. It would be worth it for them to fix your broken tooth, especially since the ad probably says "Boneless" -- if they decline to do the right thing, you have the whole Internet at your disposal.

Instead of diseased cow did you intend to refer to heaving the now aging meatloaf?

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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