Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Oct 04, 2011

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

Gene's most recent chat: Sept. 27

Submit your questions to Gene's next chat.

On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.

Important, secret note to readers: The management of The Washington Post apparently does not know this chat exists, or it would have been shut down long ago. Please do not tell them. Thank you.

Weingarten is also the author of "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death," co-author of "I'm with Stupid," with feminist scholar Gina Barreca and "Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs," with photographer Michael S. Williamson.

New to Chatological Humor? Read the FAQ.

Ed's Note: If composing your questions in Microsoft Word please turn off the Smart Quotes functionality or use WordPad. I haven't the time to edit them.

Hi, Gene. You're adding matchmaker to your many talents? Wow! Okay. Let's see if we can find someone roughly my age. I have a great smile and an easy laugh. I'm very practical and honest -- never crude and rarely rude, but you'll always know what I think, and I hope you'll respond in kind. Not materialistic (live within my means; not a lot of shoes), avoid meat but not Pepperidge Farm cookies, vote 95 percent Democratic, enjoy local theater, but can't bike because of an old neck injury. I love domestic travel, classic movies, puns, banter, and being part of a well-established and happy couple. Would rather discuss problems than shout or let them fester. 48, 5-5, 125, medium hair.

I thought you'd never write back!

Okay, this is the lady who complained in the chat that there are no worthy, straight unmarriedmid- fortyish men around.  Even at the risk of being hailed as a romantic hero for the ages,  I volunteered to find this person a mate.    We are going to give it a shot.   Chatological Humor will become a dating site, just this once.  Yenta.com, as it were.       

So, here's her resume, gentlemen.    If you would like to be a suitor, mail me an audition at weingarten@washpost.com.    Subject line: Suitor.   As always, humor counts, but in this case it is not essential.    Bare your soul.  Hold back nothing germane.     I alone will be the matchmaker, choosing  exactly one candidate.  

I will not make your auditions public in any way.    You have a guarantee of privacy.   

If this results in a marriage, I will attend the wedding and give the bride away.    

I have to add that I don't know what "medium hair" means.

... is that human life begins at birth, and that a woman can choose an abortion up until the baby's all the way out.

No, that is not my odious opinion, but I am so pro-choice that I can ALMOST go here.  Almost but not quite. 

I think people's views on abortion -- much like their views on religion -- are based less on logic than on intuition.     I think religious people tend to be people who feel the presence of Something Larger in their lives.    Similarly, I think  people who oppose abortion have an intuitive feeling that a fetus is a person and that terminating it is homicide.    

I'm in the unfeeling group on both issues.    I don't see an early fetus as a life, and -- if you forced me on this issue -- I basically think a baby isn't a baby until it knows it's alive and thinks of itself as an entity.   So, basically, I define the beginning of life at roughly  three months out of the womb, the point at which the baby realizes that the toes she is biting belong to HER.    Up until then, a non-sentient fetus.   

Do I think you should be able to "abort" a two-month old?    Almost.   Maybe.  Um.    No.   No.   Nope. 

Whew, that was close, wasn't it?  

No, pragmatism and commonsense compel me to draw the line pretty much where most pro-choicers draw the line -- viability, wherever you believe that to be.       

I think there are exceptions.    I think there are times -- rare circumstances -- where late-term abortions are justifiable, most notably late-diagnosed severe fetal abnormality.   

(By the way, my secret opinion is not "odious."   It is, I think, correct, and I am not embarrassed by it.  But it is  one I cannot state because it is judgmental in a way that would cause unnecessary pain to  people who have done nothing wrong.)

The other day, I had a dream in which YOU, Gene Weingarten, had failed to send me a documentary on the Vietnam war that you had promised a year earlier. I stormed into your house with my 12-year-old in tow and started yelling like a crazy person. At first you were shocked, but I could see the guilt on your face (from having not sent the item) and I just started laughing. Everybody laughed, execept the 12-year-old, who was mortified by my behavior. I think it was an awesome dream, but part of me wishes you would put that DVD in the mail. Thanks!

I don't have one.   I do have a DVD on the Cambodian genocide that I am 12 years late in returning to its owner.   I could send you that.   It's VERY depressing.

Gene--I think you missed an important point in your response to the pedophile worried about (not) having kids. Has he had a vasectomy? If not, why not? It's an effective way to prevent accidental or 'accidental' pregnancy. And it would stop questions of whether he wants to change his mind about having children. I hope he is not leaving the responsibility of birth control up to his partner. That's not fair. If he does not want children--and I agree he should not have children--there's a snip snip simple solution.

Good point.   Though a spouse, unknowing, could always press for adoption.

Better to describe it as a tiller, or tiller wheel. The joke loses a lot of steam when a mariner corrects you mid-lead-in. This one and " . . . same day I got me hook!" are my two favorite pirate jokes.

Occasionally, a chat master, even a great one such as me, must prostrate himself before his readership.   I looked up the other pirate joke, and here it is:

A pirate comes into a bar, looking very worse for the wear. He has a
peg-leg, a hook for a hand, and a patch over his eye.

The bartender asks, "What happened to you?"

"I'll tell ye (in proper accent - arrrrrrr). I was seeking the great
white whale, and just when I was about to harpoon him, I fell into the water and
he bit off me leg."

Bartender: "And what about your hand?"

"Well, we were attacking a ship, and I had jumped to the deck in a vicious
sword fight, and just as I was about to run me sword through the captain,
someone came up behind me and cut off me hand."

Bartender: "And your eye?"

"I was walking down the street, looked up, and a bird pooped in me eye."

Bartender: "But that wouldn't make you lose your eye."

"It was the same day I got me hook!"


I didn't get it.   I had to email Pat the Perfect, who explained it. 

Is there such a thing, maybe, as an oppositenym? Because of the way it's pronounced I had never noticed it before, but my friend's daughter asked a couple weeks ago about it: The Mets have an outfielder named Angel Pagan. AHN-hell puh-GAHN. But written ... the two names are kinda/sorta opposite.

Oooh, very nice.     It's the "Fatboy Slim" scenario, but not invented.    

My mother was friends with a woman named "Blanche Black.

Well, I don't have the equipment to judge boxers vs briefs vs boxer-briefs, but I can say that I love me some saggy bras. The more "supportive" they are, the more I hate 'em. My favorite bras are cupless, designed like sports bras but without the tight compression. The best of those is so worn out that it is transparant, and I categorically refuse to give it up until it has actual holes. I hate underwires, and even the saggy bras come off when I get home and get comfy. With your analogy in mind, I TOTALLY get the boxers. I just don't get why Mr. Picky Pants feels limited to white.

When a bra gets old it gets transparent?  Wow. 

I suspicion that men's equipment is in greater need of support than ladies', being entirely up-down with no horizontal component.   But I acknowledge that I seem to be in the minority, particularly among the yoots.  Plus, this is making me feel like a very old man.   So I am going to stop being crotchety at this moment in time.     Please noted that "crotchety"  was very clever  word usage.

Do you really believe this is "wise and prudent public policy, controversial only among hateful right-wing ideologues"? I am a progressive and that simply is not true. Consider that the primary beneficiary is a pharmaceutical company in a land of anti-sex education ideologues like Perry, et al. Not to mention in a red state that has some of the highest rates of unwanted/unprotected teen pregnancy (see: Lubbock, TX). Then there's the fact that it is spread primarily through males to females -- why is it that they are not the front-line for innoculations? You are simply wrong that only right wingers (as ignorant as they often are) are the only ones alarmed by this 'we know what is best for since profits are best for us' policy.

I think HPV causes cancer, a lot of cancer, later in life.   I think the right wing ideologues' real agenda here is that they don't like premarital sex, because it offends their deeply sanctimoniou sense of Family Values, and because it sounds like something poor people and ethnic people do more often than "nice" people.   

I know there is some scientific debate on this about the efficacy of these immunizations, but I do believe the experts align mostly on the side of the shots.   Mostly, what I object to is the phony indignation by the righties, who love to create straw men -- or in this case, straw girls, these poor innocents being forced to undergo a medical procedure that anticipates their future sluttishness.   I see no difference between mandatory HPV shots and mandatory polio shots.   No one was freaking over those.   People were grateful for those, and happily lining up their kids for the shots.     This is just one more science-based issue that should not be political, but is being made political by the righty ideologues.

Even FYATHYRIO is listed in the Urban Dictionary.

This includes "and the horse you rode in on."

Krauthammer has said that because of his beliefs he would refuse a treatment that would enable him to walk again if it involved embryonic stem cells. The man is NUTS!!!

Krauthammer's views on stem cells are complicated.   He's in favor of harvesting them from discarded fertility clinic embryos.    He's against creating them for the purpose of scientific experimentation.   He has asked many times whether we really have reached a point where embryos are  "the moral equivalent of a hangnail and deserve no more respect than an appendix."

See, we have come full circle: We're back to the essential difference created by intuition, which I contend is at the heart of debates about both religion and abortion.

   Charles, when the scientific advantage is so potentially vast, and we are talking about a tiny meass of cells without sentience, conscience, or shape -- yeah, to me, it's no different from a hangnail or an appendix.   Sorry.

Okay, end of update.   Please leave questions for the next chat here.

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Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
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