ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri: It’s Been 2020 For As Long As I Can Remember (January 7)

Jan 07, 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! 2020 is sure off to a start! How have your weeks been? 

The weather sucks, everyone's broke and tired, and there's nothing to look forward to until Valentine's Day, a day I don't get to look forward to for reasons you can sure guess. i think we need to make up a holiday so we have a reason to live through this month. Who's with me?

This is why people are trying to make Hygge happen! Failing that, there is always Groundhog Day, but it is too far away and the time-loop aspect has limited appeal. 

How do I join the First Order?

Well first you watch an innocuous holo-vid of an Ewok riding a scooter and then a few algorithm autosuggests later you are shouting that “The Empire was right” and after that it’s just a matter of paperwork. 

just wated to recommend using silicon muffin cups to make yr own egg bites. cheap, easy, good texture and really really cute.

Greetings, Alexandra, and thanks for keeping us all a little more sane. Wondering if you've seen "The Mandelorian" on Disney+ yet? We joined Disney with the 7-day "free trial" just to binge this, and we enjoyed it much more than ROTS. Think 'Star Wars' crossed with Clint Eastwood spaghetti western (with occasional dash of 'Seven Samurai'), and enjoy the ride.

I absolutely loved it and just finished it last night. I don’t want to engage in hyperbole, but everything about it is good and nothing about it is bad! Baby Yoda. 

Every time it's Late December in a year ending with a "9", there's one person who comes around on boards to say "This isn't the end of the Decade! It's one year from now in December 2020". I've labeled them a "Decade Troll", but can anyone think of a better name?

Decade Tr01l?

I finally saw the new movie last week. (SPOILER ALERT.) One-word review: sigh. What once was magical is now just cromulent content. Let's just close the book on this world -- I'd say forever, but if not, at least for 10 years or so. On the plus side, Babu Frik was legitimately great, and I also liked Cone Face (or whatever that droid's official name was).

I didn’t like Cone Face! I forget his name. Pixar Logo droid! I don’t think mouse-size droids should talk!

I'm a weirdo in that I actively like winter, but only a certain kind of winter that involves properly cold temperatures, snow, and none of this "wintry mix / snain" nonsense. Otherwise I feel guilty going for another cup of hot cocoa/hot apple cider and have to make up excuses to not leave the house. Winter is an excuse to indulge all my most hobbity traits and I love it.

Hobbity traits are the best traits! I agree that hot cocoa losing some of its appeal when it is the same as the ambient temperature, but... I am willing to suffer through it.

I'm not. I love January, as the insanity of the holidays is over with and I can hygge to my heart's content, as well as recover from all the colds I've caught from people partying for the past two months. Groundhog Day is just fine.

Calendar troll, since they show up every ten years, every hundred years, and every thousand years. Well, OK, they didn't show up in A.D. 1000 because nobody knew it was 1000 then.

I bet there were some folks infuriated by the Gregorian calendar who were just delights to be around! 

...and BAFTA has nominated you for Best Supporting Actress for BOTH "Once upon a Time in Hollywood" AND "Bombshell"! Should you put out a press Release and say "Don't Vote for me in XXX. Please just vote for me in YYY" or just say nothing?

Oh, I would totally say nothing! That way when and if I fail to win, I can insist that my flawless performances split the vote!

Love the select box feature of the online version of the New Year's List that lets you travel back to previous lists. I spent New Year's Day going back as far as my sophomore year in college (1978) and through many of the years in between. Start here:

That’s a great feature! How accurate would you say the List has been?

If we can just take out that one antenna then the Empire will be foiled!

I liked the theory put forth by Rogue One that these failures of design were the result of deliberate malice rather than just general incompetence. 

I really enjoyed it, mostly because I could share it with my 7-year old, and he *loved* it. And yes, Babu Frik is fantastic. I also loved the treatment C-3P0 got, this was definitely his best movie. ps- Baby Yoda is life.

C3PO is the beating heart of the entire saga! The one detail of this one I most enjoyed was when they gave him a cloak to disguise himself as they ventured into hostile planetary territory, instead of just having him wander around exposed as usual. 

I’m glad your 7 year-old enjoyed it!

Last night Alex Trebek referred to this year as "Two-thousand-twenty" instead of "Twenty-twenty." Ugh!

Or, as the cool kids call it, “o’ twenty.” 

Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. I used to work in the comms biz and "avoid single points of failure" was the cardinal rule. Unfortunately it led to the requirement for what was termed "dual redundancy," which always grated on me, because it doesn't mean four but two.

This reminds me of my old homeroom teacher, a Latinist, who went into rages at the thought of the word “plenitude.” (“It means ‘full of full of’!”)

I suppose reasonable people can disagree about Cone Face. (There's a fun sentence.) As for the movie in general, there was too much plot and too many plot points that seemed unnecessary or unconvincing. In conclusion, J.J. Abrams is a weenie.

That IS a fun sentence! (“Reasonable people can disagree about Cone Face,” not “J. J. Abrams is a weenie,” in on which I will not weigh.) 

Return of the Skywalker? and it's spelled Mandalorian.

Sorry, that post was a draft and was circulated in error.

Happy New Year and Decade! I gather the chatter was looking for a fun-themed holiday, but don't forget that Martin Luther King Day is coming up in less than two weeks. And whatever your politics, a three-day weekend is still a holiday!

MLK day doesn't count?

If anything, it deserves more! So many holidays don’t bring days off with them. 

Is that Irish?

I tried it with an H but it looked wrong! Look, I insisted on referring to 2010 as “O Ten” and I am not stopping my persistence in this error simply because the decade is! 

That has long been one of the key planks in my presidential platform. Others include a new law that says you can eat any item in your grocery basket for free, if you are forced to stand in the checkout line longer than thirty seconds. (More work will be needed for that plank with the advent if Self Checkout registers). Can't reveal others, lest they be stolen by current aspirants.

Have you talked with the Banana Ethicists about this? 

I assume he's the offspring of one of the many, many interstellar conquests by Captain Kirk. you agree?

This is not the crossover we want or the crossover we need, but maybe, just maybe, it is the crossover we deserve. 

I recently submitted my credit card for an online purchase from a foreign country. It was declined by my card issuer, and shortly thereafter I received this message: PNC Bank Fraud Alerts... Card 9885...Did you purchase?... 47.00 €....Reply Y or N... Well, NO, I didn't make the purchase because YOU declined my card, but YES, I did attempt to make the purchase! Arrgh.

A paradox! We both know what they meant, but it’s the principle of the thing! At the very least they should italicize YOU.

although there are those who would argue that it should come after Plough Monday which is next Monday, since yesterday was Epiphany.

What is Plough Monday? I’m intrigued! 

"Then come kiss me, sweet Oh Twenty."

Youth’s a stuff will not endure! 

I just looked at the In-Out list for 1982. What's out: Answering Machines. What's in: call waiting. I'm going to keep exploring and find out when car phones became "in". I got my first one (the size of a brick) around 1993, I think, after my car broke down on the NJ Turnpike.

Did the car break down again subsequently, or did the car phone serve as the kind of deterrent that bringing an umbrella always does? 

The great Miss Manners disagrees. Answering machines serve the purpose of a butler, to take messages when the householder is otherwise engaged. Call Waiting is interrupting, which is rude.

Plough Monday was the first Monday after 6th January and was the day on which things would return to normal after the Twelve Days of Christmas and people would return to work. So it was a sort of precursor to Boxing Day.


I am particularly looking forward to Groundhog Day this year: 02/02/2020 is satisfying to write in Europe and America.

That is soothing. You can’t write it wrong! 

My New Year's resolution in 2020 is to use _way_ more _italics_

Oh no, your resolution is not going so well! 

Cold weather tolerance is relative to where you live. My sister lives in Mexico, and she sent a picture of her & her friends on Christmas day. They were all wearing heavy winter coats. It was 50 degrees.

Baby Yoda was born a long time ago. Jim Kirk was born a couple hundred years in our future. So it only works if there's some sort of time-travel situation, which Star Wars has scrupulously avoided, since Star Trek has taught us it never goes well.

Ah, but they came from the future to teach us that lesson. Might they not also have *waves hands vaguely in universe-collapsing time-paradox*?

When my car broke down on the NJ Turnpike, on a Friday night sometime in 1993, I waited on the shoulder for an hour before a state trooper showed up and said "Do you need a tow truck?" I said yes, and waited another hour for the tow truck to show up. My kids and I had to spend the night in a motel in NJ. As soon as I got home, I bought a car phone. I don't think that car ever stranded me again.

Nice! Thanks for the follow-up! I am glad that car learned its lesson. 

We here are all the Banana Ethicists, are we not? But as the original Banana Ethicist, I can happily report that I had the best banana-purchasing experience of my life this past week. I found a bunch of four bananas, which was exactly the number I wanted, and they were each perfectly ripe and -- by banana standards -- delicious when I ate them.

This is such wonderful news I am not sure where the chat can go from here, unless the moose watcher has something to report. 

Cone Face sounds like he should be a villain in the Batman universe.

Be careful, if you describe anyone as a potential Batman Universe villain he will be quickly issued a Cabinet post. 

Can we still refer to this decade as the Roaring 20s?

I think we can do better. I like the Snoring Twenties as a possibility, though they are not off to a great start so far.

I don't recall that story, so I'm going to tell myself it's someone who provides wearable time pieces for moose, which is nice.

“Throw a coin to your watcher...”

oh no, I had just gotten that song out of my head! I don’t even watch the show! 

No, earlier than that: he's the perfect Dick Tracy villain.

Don't you mean currant aspirants? PSA: do not inhale your currants.

Yes, be careful out there! 

Yesterday my 8 year old introduced himself to me as Hal, last name Lujah, middle initial A. "Hi! I'm Hal A. Lujah!"

I’m glad he’s getting into puns early! 

As a satirist, what do you think about the hypothesis that much of ancient writings, including scriptural writings, is actually satire that future readers didn’t “get?”

I can see it! As the Ancient Greek P.T. Barnum would have said, nobody ever went broke underestimating the ability of future readers to “get” things. 

Would you consider publishing a book with all your cleverly written and hysterically funny articles? I'd love to have that as a permanent keepsake of your wit and humor. Thanks!

That is a very flattering way of asking it! Are you my publicist? If that is something you’d be into, then NOTHING IS WRONG AND HERE IS WHY! might be the book for you! 

So I've been "voluntold" for a thing at work where I come up with cutesy sayings to put on candy bars for people to buy as "thank yous" for other staff members. (The $$ is going to Australia, so at least I feel good about that) Ex: "Thanks for making me Snicker!" or (on Starburst) "I'm BURSTing with gratitude" I'm so not good at this.

I enjoy you even when it isn’t PAYDAY!

hugs and KISSES

If I had to pick someone to work with, I’d CHARLESTON CHEWS You every time! 

I get a KIX out of you (Wait is that a cereal?)


It’s a KITKATegorical imperative! 

hmm I am not sure I am helping 

I'm impressed that it's easier to time travel than it is to get to another galaxy.

And speaking of time travel, we have traveled through enough time together that I must skedaddle! See you next week! Have a great Tuesday, catch you on the blog and the twitter

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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