ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Sep 18, 2018

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Happy Tuesday, all! How is it hanging? Help, I can’t unstick the feature that crosses out this text. I really do mean “Happy Tuesday!”

From the Post article on the Emmy's: Borstein started her acceptance speech with a joke about not getting pee on the toilet seat: “What a platform. Ladies, when you use a public bathroom: Sit. When you sit, we can all sit.” Oh, that is NOT a joke. It is very serious. Geez, ladies, get your act together.

I’m glad she was able to say this to an audience of peeers.

But where's the PUMPERNICKEL bagel, my favorite? Out of such a long, creative list? It's not bland, it's got interesting FLAVOR! What was your motive for leaving it out? Readers want to know! From NewYorker "The classic Pumpernickel Bagel may get overlooked because no one is quite sure what goes well with it. The simple answer is, everything goes well with our savory pumpernickel! If you enjoy something on any other bagel, odds are you will like it on Pumpernickel as well. That said, there are some time-tested toppings that can take a tasty plain New Yorker Pumpernickel Bagel to a new level of flavor....." Alexandra---just think what you could do with that in a column. Does it mean it's the perfect bagel for politicians, looking to 'go well' with all voters? And no one is quite sure what the politician's point of view or real political 'flavor' is? And different political 'toppings' can take a candidate to a new level of voter appeal? Or what? You are the one to finally clarify this basic issue for our democracy.

You are not alone in this concern, friend! I suspect that this is going to turn into a Pumpernickel bagel chat, in which case I had better take it mobile and go get one so that I can get the full experience and have clearer opinions other than the vague sense that I had one and it was definitely acceptable. I am impressed by the pumpernickel lobby. 

I'm tired of drinking lemonade.

They're made of pure gold!

There’s always money in the inorganic banana stand!

Nice to see a non-Trump column for a change! Blueberry and Cranberry bagels, plain, are just fine. Capers of course are of the devil, but if you had to choose, would you pick a bathtub full of cream cheese or rich ricotta? For your bagels I mean. If you couldn't see the bathtubs but were told that Joe Biden was in one of them, would that affect your choice?

I would take the bathtub full of ricotta and not put it on bagels. Otherwise I would put cream cheese on a bagel. If Joe Biden is in one of the bathtubs I would take the cheese from the other one, as, my regard for him not withstanding, that cheese would be more sanitary. 

No profile for me?

You enjoy failing Elaine from Seinfeld’s drug test!

It was made in Narnia. Looks big inside.

You should go exploring and report back! Bring a sweater!

Octopus or Platypus?

Octopus, all the way! 

The problem with pumpernickel bagels is that you can't eat them in public because of all of the black stuff that gets caught in your teeth. They're worse than poppyseed, even, in that respect.

There are some foods that should come with floss and a mirror, and I am sorry to hear that this is one of them, as it apparently plays so well with every topping.

I am very excited about the Captain Marvel trailer that came out today. I understand it involves wars among the stars. Don't question me.

I haven’t seen it yet! Can you describe it?

I mean, I can quote Portal 2 all day, if this is going to be a topic. And I will not be sad about it.

Embarrassingly enough I did not realize that was what that chatter was doing, but, I mean, go for it! Is this the one where the cake is a lie?

Nope. If you're going to squat, raise the seat. That's all that's needed. Or, if you don't, for heaven's sake wipe off the seat! Were you born in a barn?

The ideal solution is sit, with seat cover. Everything else is an uncomfortable compromise position. But your options hold for those committed to the squat.

It's rectangular.


"Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog" posted a wonderful "Sterres Warres" a few years ago, written to the meter of The Canterbury Tales.

I know this is supposed to be about Sterres Warres in Chaucer’s meter but whenever I read “Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog” I want to go “E-I-E-I-O!”

No pressure. Bwahahaha!

Wait, is this exactly what the writer in Outlook this weekend advised us against? 

Among the many things I love about our annual visit to California is the ubiquity of seat covers.

They should lead with this instead of the weather and traffic!

As far as I know, the OP was not intentionally quoting Portal 2 when they said the common aphorism "When life..." There's a whole thing and this may not be the right place for me to find people who love this thing from years ago but that's okay I'm not crying you're crying.

Oh no, I’m sorry! Don’t cry, Poster! Have a... lemon? 

That is from the first Portal. There's a lemon-related rant in the 2nd. There are videos and wikithings on the interwebs.

Thanks! I was going to Google this but sometimes during the chat I google things and then look up and eight minutes have passed. It’s like Narnia except in real time.

That article was one of the silliest I've ever read. The idea of Bridezilla-shaming being a bad thing is so utterly contrived. "Why can't we just let women have the weddings they want?" is easily answered by horror stories of women demanding that their bridesmaids spend a fortune on ridiculous things, and the wedding-industrial complex brainwashing women into thinking that deciding on a theme and colors and favors for each table are absolutely essential.

I think, though, that there is a happy medium to be struck. I came out of the process feeling much more pro-Bridezilla than I had going in. You correctly cite examples of people going overboard in their demands and really forcing those who love them to struggle to accord with their unreasonable desires. But there is also a lack of consideration for others in NOT having a clear sense of what you want, which means you waste a lot of time going through options that would never have made sense and you ought to have realized would never make sense. All the non-essential things you cite are things the complex expects you to have opinions on; I blame the complex, not the bride. If you do know what you want and what you want is not Six Peacocks On A Golden Barge, it actually makes things easier for people, I think. 

Trump Jr. of tweeting lies. Should there be a special name for a tweet that is also a lie? Tweet is such a kind, gentle word. We call lots of mean spirited tweets a tweet storm, so maybe add a word? Just plain "tweet lie" seems boring.

Let’s see what we can do by way of neologisms. My stab, “a tweet through the gates of ivory” is too long and not funny!

Front section of the balcony on the right? I think I was behind you. I liked the movie but it seemed like just a bunch of interesting stuff strung together, rather than a coherent story or even call to do something.

I was not! But now I’m curious what you saw— and whom you saw!

I blame the complex, but I blame the bride for succumbing to it.

I hear you! So much of it is non-essential! But there are some things that you just have to be prepared to have answers on by virtue of attempting to get married in this year of the complex, and although you and I feel that the answers to some of those questions should be “None for me, thanks” having a clear “yes” and pictures of what you mean is also a polite and orderly thing to have. A bride with a clear vision is like a general fighting in a war I am not sure I approve of; as long as you’re in the war, you want a leader with a plan, not someone who also disapproves and therefore refuses to lead you into battle and prevent your getting stampeded by the one relative who wants a candy buffet. 

But isn't "Bridezilla" unreasonable and demanding by definition?

Yes, but given how Society defines Rational for women, sometimes a bride who clearly and distinctly says in a low tone “put those over there, thanks, we have a bin for them” gets lumped in with the bride who says FLY TO GIZA WITH ME AND I HAVE ARRANGED CAMELS CAPARISONED TO MATCH THE PARTY WHICH WILL CONTINUE FOR EIGHT DAYS AND STING WILL BE THERE.

Personally, I don't care for bagels all that much. Don't hate them, just sort of indifferent. That's a pretty weak kind of heresy, I guess. Like Galileo saying eh, the sun moves, the earth moves, whatever dudes, it's no biggie.

Ha! I like your slacker Galileo.

“like, gravity affects large objects, gravity affects small objects, I guess they accelerate about the same, chill”

hmm have I ever met a slacker? this doesn’t sound very authentic! is this my creeping obsolescence away from the slang of the youth 

My favorite bagel/topping combination is an everything bagel with plain cream cheese and lox. No onions or capers, though. Does this signal that I want to be left alone for the day?

*Edna Mode voice* NO CAPERS!

Five Golden Rings... Four Calling Birds, This is supposedly why Van Halen had the well known stipulation in their contract rider, stating that there should be NO BROWN M&Ms in a large bowl backstage. It was a test to see if the promoter had read the Contract Rider carefully.

Yeah, here we were, making fun of their specific demands, when in fact they just knew that one who was faithful in small things would be faithful in great things...

I nominate 'screech' or possibly 'squawk'.

how about "tweelie", as in he popped a tweelie.

Hm, it reads better than it pronounces.

Did the events of last night's Emmy Awards change your views about public marriage proposals?

I am glad you asked! I actually thought it was good! They both seemed mature and she seemed thrilled and was shouting yes before he asked. If at any point there had been a hint of discomfort it would have been the world’s biggest NOPE, but it seemed like the one exception to the rule of public proposals where you actually ARE one hundred percent certain the other party is up for it. This being said I would never try such a thing and I still advise strongly against. 

If you read Carolyn Hax, you find that very often it's non-brides who do the 'zilla thing, by shrieking that you won't be having a proper wedding without the chocolate fountain and three-day destination orgy. The brides write to Hax pleading for help in dealing with them.

YES! Also, it seems like Wedding-related vendors get really invested in the whole ethos of the thing and are like NO FIRST LOOK PHOTO? ARE YOU MAD?!! WHAT WILL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN SAY! which in our case resulted in some shots of me awkwardly sneaking up behind my spouse to tap him on the shoulder. No but seriously they were very nice and highly skilled and I do not mean to razz them.  I am glad they believe in love! 

Just carry a little bit of mint gum with you. Clears the seeds and fixed bagel breath.

Michael Moore's new movie, Fahrenheit 11/9. I thought I saw your hair on someone in front of me, but I wasn't sure. Also, the press people were downstairs, but I presume it is possible for people who work for the press to attend this sort of thing in a personal capacity.

Oh man, can you imagine the moment it dawned on him that 11/9 was 9/11 backwards? 

Have you seen Lauren Gunderson's latest play, "Emilie du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight"? It's at Silver Spring Stage, and well worth the drive.

No but that sounds great! I might have to see if I can assemble a friend gaggle! I did see the Davenant Macbeth at the Folger and OH MY GOSH, FOLKS, it was hilarious! Also a good production, great cast, but William Davenant in the 17th century really thought highly of himself as a writer and dramatist and so he went through and changed one word slightly every line or so, added some scenes with the Macduffs, and made Lady Macbeth explain that Macbeth’s real crime was not murder so much as it was the sin of pride in allowing himself to be ruled by (gasp) a WOMAN! The witches were great though. 

not those soft round bread things polluted by fruit and cheese and other extraneous foodstuffs. Real bagels give your teeth a workout, and the muscular strength which it gives to your jaw can last you the rest of your life.

Ha! I like your attitude. A true bagel should be an Endeavor!

No doubt I'll receive heavy flak for this view, but to the Emmy winner who used his acceptance speech to propose to his girlfriend: The Emmys are about television and the TV business -- NOT about your personal life! Award shows shouldn't be hijacked for personal use.

*dons flak jacket*

No, no, no -- the OP wasn't referring to the Bridezilla article, but to the completely separate Outlook piece on wedding poetry (tl;dr: it's hard to find a good poem because most love/marriage poems are actually inappropriate/awkward) that ran beneath it.

This is true! Same with Bible passages! Surprisingly slim pickings if your beloved does not leap like the hart!

Ugh, never mind. Turns out YOU were the OP I had in mind. I need more coffee...

*whispers* I was and you were right, but I was going with it!

I don't understand marriage proposals or the bridezilla phenomenon or relationships or people or society or life or existence or... I don't understand where I was going with this.


I'm guessing your current spouse wouldn't be too happy if you did that (with someone else) either...

You are so cute. They believe in maximizing their commissions from their business contacts.

Which, conveniently, you can maximize the most without guilt if you sincerely believe in the complex, and all it represents and can say, guilelessly and with total sincerity, “Obviously it’s your day, but do you really want to look back on this day and not have a picture of your grandmothers cutting the ribbon on the candy buffet?”

What made that for me was the number of people who I never would have expected to get into it who were delighted. Like, of course Leslie Jones would be into it. But Benedict Cumberbatch?! Javier Bardem?! Betty Gilpin full-on crying in the audience?! I would never in a million years want that to happen to me, but it was fun from my living room. the groom. Maybe if there was more of an expectation that planning a wedding was shared work it wouldn't cause someone who might already have -zilla tendencies to have to go overboard. (And even for those grooms who try, The Complex still won't let them. A friend was complaining to me that even though her fiance was doing most of the planning because he really enjoys that sort of stuff, the emails they got back from vendors were still addressed to her)

Yes! It’s true! *shakes fist* SOCIETY!

Now I"m trying to remember the name of the guy who re-wrote King Lear so that all the good people lived happily ever after...apparently it was performed this way in England for a couple of centuries.

Was it Bowdler?

Someone in the TV business making a public proposal is TV business. It was pulled off perfectly, and the crowd loved it.

*puts up flak umbrella*

We weren't allowed. They said everything is in The Bible, just use that. We switched to a judge, and he loved the poem that was read.

As they say, judge not (the poem) lest ye be judged (replaced by a judge)!

Doesn't that stuff usually run in May and June? Also, the quote from Richard III about my ring encompassing your finger is SO creepy in weddings. Immediately afterwards, he talks about how he will marry her but she won't live long after that because he is going to kill her.


including that in your service should be reserved for last-minute cries for help. 

Or your politics, but you can't expect anybody to just say "Thanks" and get off the stage any more, can you? Although I agree with a commenter on another article who said "The Emmys were last night? I was looking forward to missing them!"

Ha! I like that. 

The Post is running late a bit on wedding stuff this year. Why, Carolyn Hax still hasn't held her annual Wedding Horrors Hootenanny yet!

The time is out of joint! 

A Twib. A combo of tweet and fib.

I think that’s the best contender so far!

I shall go roost further on this and maybe grab a pumpernickel bagel! In the mean time, have a glorious week and see you here next Tuesday, in the interim on the blog ( and on twitter (twibber?) (@petridishes!)

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