Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

May 07, 2013

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

- Gene's latest 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.

Greetings, update readers. 

We begin today, as I promised, with an answer for the Weeping Pooper Lady, and her counterpart, the Weeping Pooper Man.   I brought this problem to the great Dr. Satish Rao, one of the world's greatest experts on the movement of poop through the body. (It was Dr. Rao, if you recall, who supplied an answer, and relief (as it were) to the famous Ms. Poopfinger.

Here was the original post from the last chat:

I'm pretty sure this chat is the only place on earth I'd ask this question: Is it normal to cry when you poop? It isn't me crying from pain (spicy food, hemorrhoids, sharp bits of undigested chips). I'll just be going about my business (har) having a normal, everyday, pleasant poop, and half way through my nose turns red, my eyes fill, and tears start spilling out. Sometimes the tears are accompanied by a feeling of slight euphoria (poophoria?). It isn't unpleasant, other than the occasional ruined mascara, but it feels a bit freakish. I've asked my Mom about it, and she reports that I've done this since I was a baby. BTW - 27, female, and hot, but I'll refrain from flinging my panties, considering the topic at hand.

Here's Dr. Rao's answer:

I suspect this lady is straining too much or too hard and in the process is holding her breath (medically called valsalva) and raising her intrathoracic pressure, intracranial and intrafacial pressure to the extent that her face turns red, because you are occluding blood flow to heart ( and some do experience vaso vagal from that- NOT SHE) -- and she is inadvertently and temporarily occluding the flow of tears from her lachrymal glands located in her eye that normally  drains into her nose through the nasolachrymal duct. This is also the cause of her red nose.

Not sure about the poophoria part, as if this were true as everyone of my patients will be in heaven (poop heaven)

How does this sound, weepy poopers?

It's a poem just like a blank canvas could be a piece of art. What you get to decide is if you like it or not. You are not allowed to define what a poem or what a piece of art is.

I once heard of an intelligence test with this essay question, asking the test taker to explain, with examples, this statement:  "If you are too openminded, your brains might fall out."  It was an interesting test of people's ability to understand the metaphorical.   Dummies tried to literally explain how openmindedness might result in car accidents in which brain material might... etc.   The smarter the person, the more complex and nuanced the answer.    Your statement reminds me of this question.

All things are not open to debate.    "I love you" is not a poem in any context.    This, by Yeats, is a poem in any context:

Never shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.'

'But I can get a hair-dye
And set such colour there,
Brown, or black, or carrot,
That young men in despair
May love me for myself alone
And not my yellow hair.'

'I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.'


I am willing to accept that poems don't have to rhyme.  I am willing to accept that a refrigerator warrantee, placed in a highly ironic context, might be a poem.  (I'm waiting for one, but I can see it.)

But some things you have to read, and say no, or the word "poem" has no meaning at all.

That little bit of refrigerator-message nonsense by William Carlos Williams ain't no poem.  

Part of the problem with those that bring up the slippery slope argument about same sex marriage and polygamy is that they are thinking of the issue in terms of "changing the definition" of marriage instead of equal protection of the law. If you are doing nothing more than changing definitions then anything can be a slippery slope result. But the actual argument involves equal protection, just as it did when bans on interracial marriage were struck down in the 60's. And there is no equal protection argument for polygamy or bestiality. So, the framing of the argument makes a big difference.

In my experience, people who raise slippery slope arguments are often -- not always, but often -- unable to debate their case on the merits.   I was once that person.  Exempting child porn from First Amendment protection bothered me, on the slippery slope grounds (and I didn't really want to defend it on any other grounds, because there were none.)  But you know what?  The slope wasn't that slippery, turns out.  

So I learned this week that Jodi Arias, who apparently is on trial for murdering her boyfriend/husband in a very brutal manner, is also a painter, and is trying to sell some of her paintings to raise funds for her defense. She really sin't very good, from the examples I've seen, but that isn't the important part; what I'm interested in is this being yet another example of a VBP (very bad person) who engages in the creative outlet of painting (see, e.g. Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, et al.). Is this some weird method that sociopaths try to (or "try and" if I worked for the Post) use to demonstrate that they're "normal" and trying to connect with the beauty in the world, or what. This might be a great topic for someone's Ph.D dissertation. If so, please show your work and share the final product with the chat.

Don't forget George W. Bush! 

Anyway, here is a Jodi Arias painting.   No, she isn't very good, but yes, there would be a market for this.  She isn't very bad, either.   I like the skin tone. 

I haven't followed this case THAT closely, but from what I have seen she killed him in self-defense about 67 times. 

Gene, any thoughts on nail biting? I am a mid-30s woman, and I am usually fine at home, but the second I get to my office I start chewing on my nails. I can't stop it, and it drives me nuts. I just got back to the office after a long-ish absence, so had some nails grown in, and now they're almost all all ragged again! I am sure it's some mental thing, but I havne't ever been able to figure it out...

I'm not sure I've ever actually owned up to this before: I am a nail biter, but I have figured out over the years how to tame it to the point where it is no longer really a bad habit.  I bite my nails very carefully, to trim them.  They are not ragged.  They don't look "bitten."   My teeth are more than competent manicurists.

I haven't used a clipper on my hands in years.   

"Blondie never faces the reader so the reader can't look up her skirt." You can if you hold the comic up to a mirror.

True, but Dean Young knows this and is famous for hiding  little suprises up there for those who try the mirror thing.   Rubber duckies, Groucho glasses, a dead mackerel, etc.   

A little different etiquette question--I'll happily hold an elevator for someone within reasonable distance but I'll also slow down or step out of sight to allow the currently arriving elevator to leave without me. My friends think I'm anti-social but I'd rather wait for the next car. Maybe counterproductive, who knows.

I know severe elevator neurosis.   I have bad knees, so I will ride an elevator one floor, but not if anyone else is waiting.  And if I get on an occupied car to go one floor, I apologize to everyone profusely.   It is not good being me.

When I first read the poem, I thought nothing of it. When I imagined the writer taking a bite of the plums at each line break, it seemed more poetic to me.

Well, now, that would push it just a teensy bit toward poem.  But you are reading in more than he delivers.  The first three words are "I have eaten..."

This is so readily accepted as a great poem that if you enter "plums delicious" in Google, it is the first dropdown.  We are SO uncritical.

You're buying a watch, not negotiating a hostage release. All the back-and-forth the poster suggests seems crazy to me. You're buying an item for the price asked, not sliding it into your pocket.

We'll end here.

This situation, coincidentally, happened to me on Sunday at Eastern Market.  Giant box of garbage watches.  None of them worked.  There was no price listed, but this would clearly be a buck a watch, if that.  Digging through I found a really cute little early 1960s Timex (back then Timexes were made surprisingly well) .    I laughed and looked around, and thought about the chat, and I was going to buy five and offer the guy three bucks, or something, but then I decided I was entering grift territory ON SOMETHING COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.  This was shabby and petty, like academic politics.  So laughed out loud, and showed the guy the watch, pointed out it was working and kinda neat, and we settled for $2.

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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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