Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Oct 16, 2012

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

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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.

Greetings, update readers.

I don't fly too often, and i am generally not a nervous flier, but i realized when i had to take several flights recently, that whenever i do, i look around at the other people on the flight and consider what the group would look like in one of those movie montages that lead up to a doomed plane ride. i don't usually worry too much about it though because i figure at that point my fate is sealed anyway, for better or worse. is this a morbid habit? i have no idea how it started.

I like to say that I am unconcerned about flying, and that's basically true.   I don't fly scared.   However, it is also true that at takeoff, I don't truly relax until the plane has achieved what I estimate to be the altitude of a 50-story building.   That's because indelibly etched in my brain are the contents of the black box recording from Air Florida Flight 90, the one that crashed into the 14th street bridge in D.C. in 1982.    In the final moments, the pilot or copilot says "We only need 500," suggesting that there is some magic elevation of 500 feet, at which acceptable lift is obtained.   Not sure if it's true but can't get that out of my mind.   

Now I REALLY can't, because I have just found this video, a made-for-TV re-enactment of Flight 90.  It is terrifying. 

I also found a passenger list of the dead.  There was a "C.Weingarten" on board.

So.  I'M JUST FINE.   

This is the exact same problem my brother had (he is now 47 and fully trained, by the way). He would pee using the toilet, but when he had to poop, he would run into the living room, hid behind a chair, poop in his training pants, and then tell my mom he needed to be changed. The only thing that changed him was one evening, he was in the tub, and for some reason, my mom decided to keep and eye on him - low and behold, he had climbed out of the tub, and was headed to the living room chair (butt naked) to poop. My mom grabbed him before he could squat, picked him up and took him to the toilet and put him on the seat. He was screaming and yelling the whole time,but by the time she had put him on the toilet, he had started to go, so he finally pooped in the toilet. She praised him no end and from that point on, he would go ahead and poop on the toilet. Maybe since boys pee standing up, he had some fear that if he sat, he would fall in or something and once he realized that he wouldn't he was OK.

Can you write back with your brother's name and occupation, and city of residence?   We kind of all need to know this.  Thanks.     

Do some faucets still have washers ? I thought they all had those cartridges nowadays , though I spent my youth replacing washers.

I don't know.  Hoses have washers.   Hey, you know how old I am?  When the TV was on the fritz, I remember taking TV "tubes" down to the drugstore, to use their "tube tester."  It was a free service, the way some drugstores today have BP machines.    I'm so old I remember when people said "on the fritz."

Reading Romney's coal-loving energy plan, I came up with the following. Any good? Nominee, Nominee Governor Rom-i-ney, Lives to smell anthracite Smoke in the air, More scared of the fallout -- Cosmetologicaly -- If gusts from a wind farm Mussed up his hair.



Nominee, Nominee

Governor Rom-i-ney

Lives to smell anthracite

Smoke in the air.



Scared more by wind farms, whose 

Air gusts might tragically  

Muss up his hair. 


I'm another Christmas present born on September 25th. What is really funny is what my older brother found out when he was settling our mother's estate. Mom's first marriage ended exactly 9 months before Older Brother was born. Nothing like a little souvenier of your divorce.

You probably don't even want to THINK abot how bad the sex must have been that night.  

Your poll this week indicates that, like many atheists (and a fair number of believers) you don't really understand the distinction between God and Providence. Someone who prays for assistance believes in Providence. Belief in God does not necessarily entail belief in Providence, particularly in a Protestant context. This distinction is particularly important since the real social and political divide in this country is not between people who believe in God and people who don't; it's between people who believe in Providence and people who don't. Many of the US founding fathers, it should be noted, believed in God but not Providence.

I understand the distinction, and it is an interesting one.  Is it possible to believe in Providence, but not God?   I guess that would be a secular belief in karma?  Or superstition?  

If you won't share your super secret opinion, will you let us share ours? Mine is about those who commit suicide. I think we vastly underestimate how much pain those people were in. They quite literally would rather not live than have to bear that continued pain. When people die of cancer, there is sometimes that small comforting thought that at least they are out of pain. I feel the same way about people who've committed suicide. Obviously, I can't ever share this. One, it would be hurtful to family members of those who've committed suicide (fyi I am one). Two, it could be a trigger for those on the fence. Three, people would probably think I'm suicidal (fyi I am not).

I don't see any of these dangers.    I don't judge people who commit suicide; actually, I don't even like using the verb "commit," as though it were a crime.   I think everyone has the right to end his or her own life. 

I also, though, think it must be a last resort, and must be done with a very real understanding of how it hurts those around you.   And to that end, I like to direct people to this story, now 16 years old, by Roxanne Roberts.   It is completely unblinking.  Quite magnificent, and disturbing, and deeply courageous.   It is filled with anger and understanding. 

You must've seen the poll that claims your political leaning can be determined in the jokes you think are funny. Link

My question is, are any of these funny? I thought the casserole one acceptable, but maybe it's because that's the only one translates ok when written out.

This is by my friend Linton Weeks.  It's good.  He consulted me on this one; my advice, which he took, was to avoid all politics in the jokes he used.   I said that if they are political, the reactions to them would also be political, which would dilute the experiment.     I think there is only one truly good joke --- number one.   

Gene, I need your advice. I'm a woman but not the kind who wears dresses - I wear men's clothes (yes I'm gay; yes I look HOT in them - I'm very dapper). My sister is getting married. I anticipate a, uh, conversation about the fact that I'll gladly be in the wedding but won't wear a dress. My family's okay but not totally comfortable with my gayness or my gender presentation. I'm 30, more than old enough to choose my own clothes. I don't want to fight, I just want to say that if she wants me in the wedding I'll be happy to do it, but I want to wear what the guys are wearing. If she isn't okay with that, I will, with no ill will, sit in the audience and support her from there (in a suit). I've struggled a lot to gain authorship over my life, so "Just wear the dress already" isn't gonna work from a self-respect angle. How would you deal with this?

Well, it sounds like you've already dealt with it.  Haven't you?  

My general answer is that Weddings Suck and Only Cause Stress, so Your Goal is to Get By, Period.    In other words, choke it down and do whatever is asked of you, remembering it's not Your Special Day, it's someone else's Special Day, and she is going to be super stressed anyway without guff from you.   However, you just made it clear that that's not an option here.  So.  You know what you're gonna do.  Do it.  

From the perspective of your sister, here's what she's looking at.  She wants this to conform to some magical image she has of what her wedding would always be, and that storybook wedding includes all her favorite friends wearing identical pastel bridesmaid dresses in deference to her and her magical romantic day.   That does not include her sister, insisting on wearing a pantsuit to make some sort of personal statement about Who She Is, and ruining the magical pastel moment your sister has been thinking about ever since she was 9, and with the same amount of critical judgment.

Okay, now  I'm trying to see it your way, too.   You've been through a lot of crap not of your own making, because of the prejudices of others who have made you feel bad.    No one has the right to make you feel bad.   And wearing a dress is going to make you feel bad.   I'm trying to think of an analogy in my life, and I can!   What if at my daughter's wedding she told me I had to dance with her?    I have spent my entire adult life not dancing because the very idea of it fills me with horrible horrible dread, and knowing that everyone knows this, I'd feel even worse trying to dance and having everyone watch and think, aww, he's trying to dance isn't that cute, but boy is he awkward, etc.?    

I wouldn't do it.   And I would hope my daughter understands and wouldn't want to make her dad feel awful.  

So, yes, I get your side too.      Go to the wedding in pants, and be incredibly gracious about not being in the wedding party, if that's what it comes to. 

And yeah, you and I both know what it should come to:  You're in the wedding party, looking cute if adorably out of place, in your pants.  

Gene-ius? It looks like you've been right all along. Obama's a shoo-in. I've always enjoyed computer simulations pitting, say, the '27 Yanks vs. the Big Red Machine or Ali vs. Marciano. Maybe we could simulate imaginary electoral matchups. Reagan in 1984 vs. FDR in 1936. Obama vs. Bush in 2004. Mitt vs. Millard Fillmore.

I should point out this was posted before the First Debate. 

I still think Obama wins handily, but boy did he not show up.  I really meant it about the neutrinos. 


Okay, we're out of here.   Please post questions to the next full chat.   And see you next week. 

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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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