ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Mar 18, 2014

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! Sorry I'm late! I blame the goats!

Leprechaun comes from lú (small) + corpus (body), so I'm picturing a pipe smoking, gold stealing zombie, dressed in festive green.

Well, that's a delightful image.

I thought it came from Misspelled Convention of Lepers.

I wonder if it might be "Watership Down." A true classic, and enjoyable on many levels (as most classics are).

I think we established already that it wasn't Watership Down, but just in case...

Don't you sometimes get depressed when readers submit comments that are not only very critical of your work, but also much broader and deeper and cooler than anything you write? Doesn't it make you want to stay in bed all day and cry, especially since you don't have a sex god there in bed with you?

Zeus is always with me.

I started the goat war. It was many years ago. I was probably 4. Visiting grandparents in Springfield, MA. We went to the zoo. There was a petting area where kids and animals were allowed to interact. For some strange reason, almost all the animals in this area were goats. One ate a pom-pom (two plastic balls connected by elastic that you can use to hold hair in a pony tail) right off my head. I can't imagine that the goat escaped without severe gastrointestinal distress. My hypothesis is that the goat was a VIP and the goat world has been plotting revenge (best served cold) ever since. My sincerest apologies to my fellow humans.


This is how it begins!

(Actually I thought goats were relatively immune to gastrointestinal distress. Don't they eat tin cans? At any rate I think people used to feed them tin cans.)

Stay Happy, never let anyone get your goat. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie, Dept. of Goats

Get your goat before your goat gets you.

Spread terror throughout Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages.

Terror and arms.

You're not trying to harvest some entrails and blood for a sacrifice are you?

No! That is the last thing I would do! Please take note, goat overlords!

It turns out if you hang your green stockings over the fireplace on March 16, leprechauns don't come and fill them with beer.

Sure they do! Sniff your floor!

There's a web site where you can submit what you remember about a book you're trying to find, and as long as it's more detailed than "it had a red cover," generally you get an answer quickly. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the site... or something?

Can anyone help? I know some sites where you can go to hum tunes, but that wouldn't be a book, no matter how long you hummed.

I remember with fond horror the book, "The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings" which is basically the story of a rabbit who wants red wings, gets red wings, and then is roundly rejected by all who knew him because THEY DO NOT RECOGNIZE HIM WITH RED WINGS. Including his mother. I thought carrots were supposed to be good for eyesight?

Also, red wings don't change your underlying appearance, do they? Other than the fact of having red wings? Seems odd. Maybe his family was looking for an excuse to ditch him anyway.

Gene Robinson said last week that you quickly develop a very thick skin in this business. Of course it helps that the people who post criticisms of him usually post ill-spelled rants.

There are few joys in life like the misspellings of your enemies.

The goat digestive system laughs sneeringly at the very thought of any distress.

I think it was hijacked by Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis, backed by DB Cooper's money. It's been put down safely on an island and they're drinking mai tais with Amelia Earhart.

Didn't "Lost" cover this?

If we are too distracted by all our stuff, and by our family life, then we will never see the goats coming. That is why I believe that Google Glass and Susan Patton are in league with the goats.

Google Glass could be a valuable weapon if we download some apps to enable us to remain goat-vigilant at all times. It could ping when a goat entered the vicinity, or something.

Two days until spring, although that probably means nothing in the DC area.


“Bring me A bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat” Johann Sebastian Bach quotes I didn't know they drank it in bowls. Must of been like soup.

I love that quote!

I think we need to bring back bowls of coffee. I would drink one!

Come to think of it, I guess I would be more likely to say, "Hey, who's that new gal in accounting with the red wings?" than "AAAAAAH!!! TINA HAS WINGS NOW!!!"

See, I think that's on you, not on Tina.

Goats are darling. Tell me this isn't just about the cutest thing you've ever seen: There is no nefariousness whatsoever. In fact, just hunting down that picture has me desperate for a goat to snuggle, regardless of whether said goat is interested in snuggling.

That's what the goats want you to think.

Love is not love, without a violin playing goat. - Julia Roberts It's less than love. No goats no deal or music.

Was there context for this? I can't tell if context would improve it or make it worse.

The French drink it in bowls. Not big bowls, but bowls nevertheless. I don't know why this should be surprising, considering the gigantic serving sizes of drinks these days.

I like it in a canteen as big as a man's arm with a fake Italian name, but even then there's something about calling it a bowl that makes it seem bigger.

I understand that this is the place to come for such activities, even if we are <b>not</b> wearing pink, or accessorizing with pink books, or wearing tasteful pink Librarian Shoes, or involved with a pink Mars Rover! SO. I'll throw this one out: A Book of My Youth about a Great Game. It had an orange cover. The characters walked down into the garden, as I recall, and embarked in a board-game-like experience that--wait for it--WAS ACTUALLY REAL LIFE. Like entering some kind of metaphorical Candyland! I've been looking for it ever since first collecting it at the Kensington Park library in the early nineties. Any ideas? Composted Crew, you're my only hope!

Whoa, no idea. It sounded like Alice in Wonderland for a few seconds there, and then it took a turn. Gang?

Happy birthday. You did say you would have a birthday at the last chat. So, how many birthday spankings did you get? Oh, wait, I was told never to ask a woman her age. So, how much do you weigh?

"A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything," as Oscar Wilde says.

It's - go to the stump the bookseller page. this is an AWESOME website - especially check out the most requested books page. they specialize in children's books, and can help you find hopelessly out of print books and can figure out a book title after you provide a description. I think they charge a small fee now - but not for the archives, and it's likely you're not the first one to ask about that book.

We should test it on the Candyland of Life book!

I know, kinda lame, but I felt like I wasn't contributing.

A lame goat joke? What are you, Thor's miscreant son?

I bet it was "The Long Walk." A classic children's book.

Was it?

"Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends." That seems pretty smart on the surface, but... not long after he wrote this, the Republic fell, and eventually the Empire. I blame the goats.

The arc of history is long, but it bends when the goats want it to bend.

It's about a brown rabbit who wants to become an Easter Bunny, but Easter Bunnies have always only been white rabbits (another one that was pulled from the shelves because of racism issues).

Oh, I read that! I don't remember the color issue -- I wonder if they came up with an updated version in time for me!

The things that cheerleaders shake and other related balls-connected-by-strings items are pompons. "Pompom" is a misheard version of the above, and is also the name given to certain large mortars of WW1 vintage, derived from the sound they made. You can see where the confusion might cause a problem.

Those goats can eat anything! They're ravenous, terrible beasts probably devouring WWI mortars as we speak. They're like peanuts to them.

That reminds me of a twitter I liked: "Today is Tim Berners-Lee's birthday. I don't know who he is, and I wish there was an easy way of looking it up."

Who's there? Ether. Ether who? The Ether Bunny.

Look, I'm already at my wits' end with the radioactive spider goats, I don't need any ether rabbits added to the mix.

Knock knock.

Who's there?



The color wasn't an issue in the text itself, but it was apparent from the illustrations.

Ah, I see. And most people only read children's books for the illustrations. They're like the opposite of Playboy.

In numerous ways, actually.

I bet you think that "dilapidated" can only mean "having had the stones taken out of the walls," too.

Right, and a humorless stickler is one who stickles without bile (black or yellow), phlegm, or blood.

A goat ate my homework.

No, but "A goat destroyed my classroom using WWI ordnance" would work, if you can find anyone to tell it to in the midst of the upcoming conflagration.

There must be a conncection between goat and boat. I'd rather have a boat and fish.

This wins for "best segue of the chat."

I heard that as "why did the rabbit refuse Novocaine when he went to the dentist?" Because he was an Ether Bunny.

Yes, rabbits are known for their chemical loyalty.

Really that's possible ... Zeus ehh? ... Must be tricky when the thunderbolts are flying. And, we have goat overloads? Doesn't that mean that they are then responsible for this maddening winter? Seems like we should sacrifice some of them at a traffic circle or something.

You don't sacrifice your overlords' friends to propitiate your overlords! Did you learn nothing during that one scene of "Return of the Jedi"?

Also, yeah, "broader and deeper and cooler" -- what do they want, a submerged pool?

How do you catch a unique rabbit? You 'neak up on it. How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way, you 'neak up on it.

Oh no, I think the chat's over.

Are there any good children's books about radioactive spider goats?

This can be our mission for next week!

In the mean time, keep reading the Compost, feel free but unobligated to join me on Twitter, and all hail our goat overlords.

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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