ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Jul 23, 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.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes

What ho what ho everyone! I've started saying "What ho" and I'm not sure how I feel about it, but we'll see how it goes! How about that baby, eh? 

What do you think of the Onion's royal baby coverage? I think the concept is amusing, but the images are a bit too gruesome to be a good time.

I am still recovering from whatever that was, but I love the concept. Actually, I'm recovered already, although I have to screw my courage to the sticking place every time I click another of their links. 

I'm bummed out that Kate didn't produce a girl so everyone could have a Princess Alexandra. Now that they have a Prince, will they give him an unpronounceable symbol as his name?

Are you kidding me? I am DELIGHTED by this development. Now I just need to take down Alexandra Stan and Alexandra Pelosi and I can become QUEEN OF THE GOOGLE RESULTS *LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY TURNS INTO A BAT FLIES OFF INTO THE NIGHT SKY*

Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Prince Albert In a Can? Prince Fielder?

Everyone's thinking too short term. 

Sure, he'll be a prince for the better part of his life, but remember that he'll be King one day, and then all your good Prince jokes will wither on the vine, if that's where you wither in this situation, which I'm not sure it is. 

So when are you jetting off to London to meet the new royal wonder, Alex? And I presume that Monica Hesse will be joining you so you can together represent WashPo?

I'm not, to my knowledge, jetting anywhere, but I do have Google Glass which is like jetting to the future, every day! 

The future doesn't respond to my voice commands, and I keep giving myself whiplash trying to wake it up, but, hey, baby steps. 

congratulations on your Fringe show. It was wonderful. Plus your cast and director did a great job, but I bumped into them in the tent after it was over so I already got to congratulate them. By the way, your heroines would totally *hate* the chicks from the Love's Labour's Lost cabin. They get to go on a diplomatic visit; their guys pretend to be into their school work, but still send lots of notes and stuff, and while life isn't perfect (see dad dying), they pretty much write their own rules. Most put together unmarried women in Shakespeare - except possibly Perdita and she doesn't really beat them on any measure. Anyway, it was wonderful. Make them do it for Fall Fringe, because I want to see it again, but I think the rest of the performances are already sold out.

My gosh, thank you so much! I'm delighted you came!

We are indeed completely sold out, and I could not be happier with the cast and director. We're now just trying to get people to vote for us for best comedy, not that I'm shilling. If I were shilling, I would include a link to where you can vote for us. 

I missed last week's chat but now can give you congrats on your upcoming book announced on twitter by your agent. Awesome! ...okay, I hope that was your agent and not a prank. In any case, you should write books in addition to your plays. Imagine the satisfaction of having people read YOUR book over your shoulder on the commute to work. Also, if you still have that mouse in your home, you'll have something new to read to him.

I've been sitting here trying to come up with an If You Give A Mouse a Book(eeeerrggh)  joke for the past odd minute, but I decided that if what I was going for was to get people to read the book, this was probably not the course I should pursue. But yes, it's officially happening! The deal's been announced and everything! So stay tuned for, er, the next many months, if you are into books of humorous personal essays about drinking life to the awkward unironic lees! It's going to be very awkward, and hopefully rich in laughter. Definitely awkward. 

Just askin'

(I hid it in the period.)

Then he'll be the royal formerly known as prince.


talk to Prince Charles for a second opinion


Yeah, I couldn't get tickets to your show. I'm not happy. I did notice a lot of Shakespeare this year. Maybe next year you can do a Wodehouse-related show, just to be different.


I can do something Gatz-style where a single actor just sits on the stage reading Code of the Woosters aloud in its entirety and we all emerge feeling as though we've grown as people. 

I would have thought Prince Apple, except that's so obviously a princess name.

How about Iple? 

I'm a Gemini, but for a long time, I've realized I'm really an Aries stuck in a Gemini's body. I started telling people I am really an Aries, and would like to be called such from now on, but they tell me that's a very Gemini thing to do. I'm so confused.

Once you realize that secretly any horoscope applies to you if you read it with yourself in mind, it frees you up considerably to go about your life. 

...if only to see the look on ol' Horsey when she realizes that the next King Charles will be after she's just a distant memory.

Dare I ask who ol' Horsey is? I think I know, but it will be very awkward if you were secretly talking about Seabiscuit. 

I vote for no additional name, just Prince. Then when he becomes king, he can be "the monarch formerly known as Prince".

As A. P. Herbert once said, "There is no reason why a joke should not be appreciated more than once. Imagine how little good music there would be if, for example, a conductor refused to play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the ground that his audience might have heard it before."

Maybe a better way to go is iRoyal or iMonarch. "Prince iRoyal" becomes "King iRoyal" so easily.

No, I'm standing on Prince Iple. 

- so potential names must include Foraday, Ofthemountain, Oftheworld, and Kong.

And SDominion, naturally. 

When you're walking around or commuting to work, what are the most fun things you get to do with your Goggle glasses?

I suggest Nomia the naiad, who fell in love with Daphnis the shepherd, the father of pastoral poetry. Daphnis promised to be faithful, but was seduced by a princess (I think her name was Barbie), and in revenge Nomia blinded him.

Is Thetis in the running? I feel like she's a solid sea-nymph choice, if we're going that route. 

King's College. And when he becomes king, King King's College.

I like it better than Blue Ivy!

I've got ten bucks on Wolf. Prince Wolf. As in Blitzer. Not a high probability, but I got incredible odds.

Even better than the odds for Lion, which is where I put my cash. 

What would Oscar Wilde have to say about the new princeling? Or maybe we should ask David Sedaris for his views?

Wilde had something to say on this. At any rate he once said he could speak impromptu on any subject. "Talk about the Queen," someone said. 

"The Queen is not a subject," he replied. 

Why does Sarah Jessica Parker care about who the next King of England is? (Sorry, not only was that hacky, but I also feel like a terrible person because of it. Please forgive me...)

I just want to let you know we went through the same process there. 

Man, it must be awful to be the default punchline of Ol-Horsey jokes. I wonder if there's somewhere we can send an apologetic card. 

Don't get all the hype... the Delivery of all this news is so Infantile. What's the Concept? Why do they be-Labor the point? I grow so bored that my eyes Dilate. I understand the desire to keep a-Breast, but they media is really Milking it here.

He's The Little Prince

Get that kid a cover for his rose!

D'ya think Will and Kate really get to choose the name for their wee one? I'd bet there is some sort of royal name roulette that takes place and they have to use whatever moniker comes up in the queue.

Unrelated, I would definitely play Royal Name Roulette. That sounds much more fun than regular (or Russian) roulette. 

Hasn't Neptune been trademarked by Apple yet? In any case, Neptune's daughter moon should be Esther Williams.

Oh, that works!

What about names that already work for kings? Like King Martin Luther, King Stephen, King Don, King Rodney, King BB, etc.


Any game that includes the name "Fauntleroy" has more hot death potential than Russian Roulette.


Heard on NPR that today's her bday, turning 40. Time flies...

How's she doing? 

Xenu. Of course.

Hail, Thetan!

Since this new arrival has provided such good PR (and don't tell me the birth wasn't planned for the late-summer news doldrums), I recommend that the most utilitarian name would be HRH Prince ComeTakeaTour of Cambridge! Or is the exclamation point overdoing it.

The exclamation point is never overdoing it!

I know this will sound petulant, but I truly don't understand the over the top fascination here in America with "the royals." I still remember being completely dumbfounded by the furor over the magical wedding of Charles and Diana (not so magical I guess). It has continued through Kate & William's marriage and now this birth. In all seriousness, why do you think we are so fascinated with royalty when we expressly rejected it when we foudned our nation? They seem like quite nice people (truly), but I bet a lot of nice people had children yesterday and I don't need to see pictures or speculate about the name. I exclude the speculation here which is mostly creatively funny. I mean the real speculation, like it is a matter of any importance.

Honestly, I think the number of people who feel as you do is larger than it would appear from all the Breathless Coverage. I think the royals occupy a strange celebrity niche that we haven't done as good a job of filling lately, the Classy Old-Style Kempt And Well-Tailored celebrity, the sort of aspirational Here I Come In My Wool Coat You'll Never See Me Without Underpants celebrity that your grandmother likes to telephone you about and talk about as though they are cousins of yours who are doing good things with their lives. We have a lot of Oh My Goodness Can You Believe What Name Did? celebrities, but the Isn't It Just Lovely News About Blank box feels sparser than it used to, and I think the Royals are taking that one. People who like to be on a first-name basis in their minds with celebrities seem to find them especially appealing.

I doubt William and Kate will name the fresh Prince after a cereal, though I remember King Vitaman from childhood. Apparently, Quaker still makes that cereal, though naming a monarch after breakfast food still isn't as bad as North West.

Aw, I liked North West! It had direction, at least. 

I was afraid we'd get Ariel, but it turns out that's already a moon of Uranus. Thank goodness.

Someday we'll have an All-Disney zone in space, but not just yet. 

Prince Not-Appearing-In-This-Film. It's a name with a fine British heritage.


Since the Brits seem to harp on (is that how they'd say it?) about the financial burden that the Royals place on the GBR, I suggest that the royal name be placed for bid. Royal British Naming Rights must be worth close to billions. Maybe Prince Google or King Home Depot or His Highness of the Holiday Inn Express.

Royal Sonesta wouldn't even be a huge stretch!

When he's crowned, he can change it to King Gnik.

King Gnik has a nice ring to it. 

British bookmakers here have chosen James and George as the favored names for the future king. Other picks include: Alexander, Richard, Louis, Philip, Albert, Charles, Michael, Paddy, Nelson, Robert, Kevin, Wayne and Silvio. Silvio?? Kevin??


Although the vision of Alberts gently wakening "Master Wayne" does seem oddly charming. 

that's cute for a prince and, for a king, will appeal to all the baby boomer stoners in the audience: Biscuit.

Who's King Biscuit? 

Please explain, baby boomer stoners!

So does Quasimodo, but is it monarchalish?

"That Quasimodo guy? I think I've seen him, that name certainly rings a bell." 

When Edward married Mrs. Simpson, America was annexed to Britain. He loved her, and by extension US! And there's no USA without US!

It was good enough for Thurber ("The 13 Clocks") it should be good enough for ANYBODY.

Speaking of names good enough for anybody, what's wrong with Yossarian?

The King Biscuit Flower Hour was a weekly radio show of live concerts that was big in the 70s.


It's fascinating to consider that you can group celebrities into Those Who Go Out With Underpants and Those Who Go Out With No Underpants. I may sound like a crotchety old coot here, by gum, but in the old days the only celebrities who were seen with no underpants were Lassie, Donald Duck, and Ernest Borgnine.

Donald Duck, to me, is the most alarming of these examples. My feeling with animated characters is, you either put clothes everywhere, or nowhere, because -- dang it, once we notice you have a jacket, we're going to start wondering about the pants. 

Radio show. Concerts. GREAT show.

Wow, I'm learning a lot!

You know what name I'm not seeing in contention, which is a serious slap in the face to the man who made this entire lineage possible? Edward. C'mon Royals, show a little gratitude to the man whose raging hormones started this whole gravy train rolling!

"C'mon Royals, show a little gratitude to the man whose raging hormones started this whole gravy train rolling" is one of my favorite lines today.

Whatever classic (boring) British name they choose, it will immediately be lauded as now being fresh and modern again.

Elmer! I'm telling ya! 

In a nod to glabal multiculturalism, how about Wenceslas? Not only is it catchy, but he'd already have a theme song, and people would feel compelled to use "good" as an adjective everytime they said his name.

That is a great theme song. Pronunciation's even taken care of, for the most part!

The King Biscuit Flower Hour was a radio show that ran for a couple of decades featuring live rock performances. But if they chose "Biscuit", here in America we'd have to call him "Cookie".


You ever notice that in the cartoons, if he comes out of the shower, he has a towel around his waist but when he gets dressed, it's the jacket and nothing else. I have, and I have to go rethink my life. 

I know very little about the stoner life, so that's why we have google. There is a "Leary Biscuit" recipe drifting around the intertubes. It's a snack made from crackers, cheese, pot, and a dab of butter, all heated in the microwave. Bon appetit! Also, apparently, "King Bud" is term for pot. Now THAT would make an awesome name for the royal baby.

He could also go by Budweiser, or "Of Beers," depending on the formality of the setting.

Size. It's Prince Size. Later, It's King Size.

I like that!

like Nigel or Crispin or Colin.

I'd root for Nigel!

I see two entries for you on Facebook (one author, one normal); which would you prefer we use?

I'm trying to make the author page happen, and I share more stuff there, so if you like quantity, go for that! On the regular page, I try to share only my favorite stuff, if you decide to follow that one, so it's a little less deluge-y, if that's a word. 

"But if they chose "Biscuit", here in America we'd have to call him "Cookie". " Would he be a session cookie or a persistent cookie?

A. P. Herbert approves!

Probably a persistent cookie. 

But Yogi Bear wears only a tie. Who dresses these critters?

Chip and Dale?

Just to hear them once again take R-A-L-P-H and pronounce it RAFE. Or Lieutenant.

Oh gosh yes! Either! Or Segue!

Prince Pauper.

Twain would approve. 

We demand a lot from them. You can put your paper on an easel. Sell easels. Exact replica of the royal easel. Only $199.00

All right, I think I'm unraveling! Speak now or forever hold your royal peace!

Do I have to take them off to put on beer goggles?

I'll find out and report back! 

Have a great week, all! Keep reading The Compost and feel free but Royal Baby 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.)
Recent Chats
  • Next: