ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Apr 25, 2017

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Live chat with Alexandra Petri at 11 a.m. ET. Submit questions and comments for her to respond to now.

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Connect on Twitter: @petridishes And catch up with the blog here!

Happy tuesday, all! Let's rumble!

I was awakened at 5 a.m. by a Chuck-will's-widow outside my window. As abruptly as he started, he shut up again. It is a remarkable call. The Chuck-will's-widow is in the family Caprimulgidae (literally milker of goats), along with the Whip-poor-will and the Nightjar. Of course, I read up on these birds. They have big mouths and fly around catching bugs. Some clever person must have decided that their mouths were big enough to milk goats.

Bless whoever that Ancient Greek person was! That is a hilarious name.

Are you a baseball fan? Do you think the game is too slow or needs to be modified to attract new fans? Thanks. p.s. will you marry me?

I like baseball a lot! I think it is slow but that's a feature not a bug; half the fun is just sitting around drinking a beer and eating a snack and chatting with friends. And it is a nice bonus that your afternoon of hanging out produces a score of some sort. 

I am eighth in line for a book I have on hold in the DC library system. When I click through to the book, there are 24 copies. Five are on a hold shelf somewhere. Ten are in transit between branches. This is looking good, right? But it depends on the definition of being in the queue. Or, rather, it depends on when in the process you are considered to drop off the front of the line. If you are still in the queue when the book is sitting on a hold shelf waiting for you, then I could get the notice to pick up my book any second now. Similarly, if you are out of line once a book is waiting for you on the hold shelf, but you are in line as long as the book you will be able to borrow isn't at your branch yet, I could still be fine, since there are ten in transit and I am number eight. If you are out of line as soon as a book has been assigned to you and is on its way to your branch, I still have to wait for eight more books to be returned before one can be sent to my branch for me to pick up. Does anyone know how the software works for this situation? I'd love to know. Yes, I used to be a computer programmer. That is why I think about this more than just, "Hmm...wasn't I number 36 in line when this process started? I guess I'm getting close." Also, I want to read it before a book club meeting in less than two weeks.

Does anyone in this chat know how the system works? My guess from my library experience is that you remain in line while your book is in transit and will be off soon!

There is a tradition that Jefferson coming home from France, called Washington to account at the breakfast-table for having agreed to a second, and, as Jefferson thought, unnecessary legislative Chamber. "Why," asked Washington, "did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer, before drinking?" "To cool it," answered Jefferson, "my throat is not made of brass." "Even so," rejoined Washington, "we pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it."

I remember the tale of the senatorial saucer metaphor before, but the "my throat is not made of brass" line is new to me and really adds a bizarre color to the whole thing. 

or watch a horror movie at midnight, then go into the basement and turn the lights off?

Depends on the number of other occupants in the public bathroom and the nature of the horror movie. If it's psychological horror where the monster is a metaphor for society's ills, the basement could be fine. 

"has Eunucht our Husbands and Crippled our more kind gallants. After long hours in the coffeehouses, our men emerge with nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears."

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this pamphlet but I am confused what the ladies thought needed to be moister...

Was that you or is Alexandra E Petri someone else? I would think that if a person had body images issues and planed to undress in front of other people, Canada would be the place to do it. People get naked all the time in Scandinavia but damn, they are all so good looking.

That was someone else! I'm Alexandra A. Petri! She is my Google doppelgänger and a delightful person! And I can vouch that when we met in person and shook hands neither of us disappeared. Our bylines do appear to be converging, though...

I'm certain someone will actually write this book, but who will it be? I mostly wish Al Franken would, but part of me would also love if Quentin Tarantino did just for the name joke.

He can direct the film version!

To the OP: Relax. You are still in the queue. You will move from the queue when the branch where you pick up your copy receives it and logs it in the system as "held." This also triggers the notice for you to go pick it up.

Fantastic! What is your source, kindly responder? 

Was Jefferson saying that he's not a Cylon? Which of the Founding Fathers were Cylons? (I have always had my suspicions about Button Gwinnett.)

My money is on at least one of the Lees. 

I see where Bill O'Reilly is launching a revenge tour, now that he's unemployed. I never knew that was a thing. Will you be satirizing it, or is it better just to ignore him henceforth?

I love the concept of a Revenge Tour, although not a fan of this particular iteration. Someone should start another tour to follow him around and thwart his vengeance. 

vs. sitting down. Or reclining. Or whatever else it is that ears do.

They prick up, hang low and wobble to and fro. And sometimes they get lent around.

In my dream, I tied a rope to an arrow and used a crossbow to shoot it to the moon. Then I climbed it, coiling the rope behind me. I walked around the moon a bit (pretty boring), and shot the arrow back to go home.

This sounds like both a nice poetic dream and a good foretaste of what will happen to NASA once the budget goes through.

and in the dream I am posting here.

Anyone else have an interesting dream? This theme seems to be emerging!

I keep having the worst kind of dream: totally lifelike except I'll receive and respond to an interesting email which in the morning will turn out not to have happened. I have versions of this dream so often that I am never quite sure if the emails I remember replying to are real or dreamails, and it lends an air of deja vu and mystery to all my correspondence. 

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