NO! Mosquitoes - ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Apr 14, 2020

Humor columnist Alexandra Petri will be online every Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eastern for ComPost live, where she'll offer a lighter take on the news of the day. Submit your comments on her columns and any other questions you might have.

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Hello, everyone! It's Tuesday, I think! Let's converse!

The "Never Remember" piece Saturday was terrific. I hope they keep putting you at the top of the page on Saturdays.

Thank you! 

If we all stay inside, how will the mosquitoes survive?

I think there is one in my house! I am sure it will find a way. 

I had heard about a 20% off sale on many Le Creuset cooking and baking items, and came across some that might be of interest to you (assuming you don't already have them), including the C-3P0 Mini Cocotte and R2-D2 Mini Cocotte for $24 each. Other items on sale are the Han Solo Carbonite Signature Roaster for $360 !?! and the Millennium Falcon and Death Star Trivets ($16 each). The Star Wars Collection can be seen here ( ), though the Darth Vader Dutch Oven shown is apparently out of stock. Happy Cooking and/or Baking!

Let me respond with a long-winded story! You know the part in "Brokeback Mountain" where Alma ties a cheery note onto Ennis's fishing rod and checks the fishing rod later when he returns from his fishing trip and realizes it has literally never been taken out or used even a single time? Well, that is the way it is with all my expensive cookware. I would love nothing better than to cook enough to justify owning a Han Solo Carbonite Signature Roaster, but right now it would be entirely decorative. 

Oh it's still just Monday. You won't be here until tomorrow.

Tomorrow is today!

I have laughed till I cried twice in the last couple of years -- most recently reading to my wife about the difference between absentee and mail-in ballots. (Never mind that Trump may steal the election because of it). It made me want to reread the other column, which I think you wrote, in the form of a paper that might have been written by a high school student. Ring a bell? Thanks for the great, light reading -- especially at this time.

Thank you! I am doing my best! Did you mean this one

I am sure that enough of us want to hear you live that we are perfectly sufficient to crash any server farm. Please provide the requisite connection information so that we can all call or Zoom in!'

I have been thinking we should do a Zoom something one of these weeks. I am going to consult with the Team. Is there something that would be fun to do live? A game of some sort? 

This isn't relevant to anything in particular, but don't you think that somehow in the absurdity of this period the electoral college now just seems to make perfect sense, as a way to make presidential elections represent the will of the people in just the right way, according to an 18th-century algorithm that we might as well keep using because why not, and also because if we use the electoral college to represent the will of the people we'll more effectively dissuade people from voting, and this will be better for their health, both physically in terms of virus exposure and mentally because of the disheartening frustration of trying to participate in an election via an obsolete algorithm, a situation in which it's better not to vote at all, and the electoral college is precisely what helps people responsibly not vote? Also, I'm not used to working from home all the time.

The good news is that we have both been quarantined exactly long enough that the first part about the electoral college made total sense to me! Yes, I see what you're saying. 

Dana Milbank has a nice satirical piece in today. Do you guys ever compare notes.

Yes, I really liked his piece today! We do periodically, especially if we are both thinking of barking up the same tree. 

That was just a test model Le Creuset made to prepare for production of its Luke Skywalker Carbonite Signature Roaster. (Luke had other plans, though, saying, "I'll never join you," and choosing to fall down a shaft instead.)


During Quarantine, I have rewatched the original trilogy on Disney+, and I have to say, they have made some Bad Additions. I may have also complained about this last week? I no longer am sure. Apart from "Maclunkey," Darth Vader shouts "NO" before tossing the Emperor down the shaft. It is some hot nonsense up with which I do not want to put. 

I thought being cooped up at home would make it easy for me to buckle down to my work, of which I have plenty, but I find instead I am easily distracted, so here I am at your chat. Do you have any advice for buckling down to work? And why do we buckle down anyway? Does it have anything to do with old-fashioned shoes?

I don't know, actually. Isn't "buckle" a sort of rich dessert? I could do with a rich dessert. 

Pete Wells from the NY Times just recommended a relaxing long video of sheep grazing out near Napa - in high definition ( ). It looks like it would be a nice break from work during the day, and a good way to help you fall asleep at night (one sheep, two sheeps...).

I've never attempted to count literal sheep. Maybe this is what my sleep routine is missing! Instead, I like to lie down and think about something stressful that is due soon, and then a worry that I have been trying to bury within myself, and then a plan for the future, and then wouldn't you know, it's 3 AM! 

But I just scored two dozen Grade A Large after 2 weeks without eggs!


I think they can get it from any mammal. Humans might be easier pickings because of the lack of fur cover, but I bet that deer will do in a pinch.

Maybe this will precipitate a war between the ticks and the mosquitoes! This will be one war where everybody wins. 

My poem for today. A Noiseless Patient Spider BY WALT WHITMAN A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

This is a good one! Thanks, Walt. 

Ho hum. I'll be jealous if you score TP. I wasn't worried, initially, because I had a LOT, but it's been a MONTH already.

That's why it is important to subscribe to the Print Washington Post! 

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Sigh. (Vader's "NO" isn't a new bad addition, though, is it?)

I thought it was! Is it from 2004? I knew that Hayden at the end was from 2004. 

"to fasten with a buckle," late 14c., bokelen, from buckle (n.). Meaning "prepare for action of any kind" (1560s) probably is a metaphor from buckling on armor before battle. Related: Buckled; buckling.

That makes sense! But what about the dessert? I am sorry, the dessert is now uppermost in my mind. 

A buckle is a slump is a dump is a cobbler is any fruit baked in a sweet batter because you're no good at pie crust. It's also much easier to serve than pie.

No questions/answers showing up.

Is it working now? I keep reloading it. 

It got to the distribution center in Maryland on April 6th and left that center less than an hour later. Since then it has been "in transit" and nothing else. Just in transit. I want to imagine their package having wonderful adventures as it makes its way up rt 95 to New Jersey, but I think someone just figured out that a box that big and that light had to have toilet paper in it and took it out of the appropriate stream of commerce. I don't want to. I generally like postal workers, but there is no way it take over a week for the truck to get to Jersey or that the truck wasn't unloaded or anything else. Sigh. At least they come with $50 of insurance.

Hope that it is in transit springs eternal! I think you should send postcards from the package showing it on a beach, or skiing, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, or otherwise having a wonderful time. This will not compensate for its absence, but nonetheless tickles me. 

Is it accurate to say "The Federal government which issues its own currency, is never FINANCIALLY constrained to spend as long as there are resources to absorb the dollars issued?

No! There should be a comma before "which." 

Now is the perfect time to foster! My personal favourite is King Street Cats ( Here are some other links: City Dogs Rescue and City Kitties Humane Rescue Alliance Feline Foundation of Greater Washington

For anyone who is looking to foster a cat or a city dog! 

I don't want to break the chat again, so you might want to post a link


This article is from 2011:


See, this is what comes of not having access to my usual gold-box VHS. 

"It's very good chat," said the Queen. "Well, I don't want any to-day, at any rate." "You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is, chat to-morrow and chat yesterday – but never chat to-day." "It must come sometimes to 'chat to-day'," Alice objected. "No, it can't," said the Queen. "It's chat every other day: to-day isn't any other day, you know." "I don't understand you," said Alice. "It's dreadfully confusing!"

This might just be a perfect note to end on! See you next week, possibly pixel-face to pixel-face, but certainly pixel to pixel! And in the interim, I will be on twitter and the blog (just posted a new piece, in fact)! 

In This Chat
Alexandra Petri
Alexandra Petri is a Washington Post columnist offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences." She joined The Post as an intern in 2010, after graduating from Harvard College.
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