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Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Oct 08, 2013

Gene's next monthly chat is next Tuesday, October 29 at noon. You may submit questions here.

- Want to find out what you're missing? Check out Gene's September live chat to get an idea of how the monthly chat works.

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.

Good afternoon, update readers!

We begin today with something that happened to me yesterday, on a walk with Murphy.   Murph and I met a little boy, maybe two years old, and his daddy.  I asked the boy what I often ask toddlers, because so many of them take it literally:

"Do you have a name?"

Usually, they stare dumbfounded at this question.  They're pretty sure EVERYONE has a name, but maybe they're wrong!  After all, this grownup seems to not be sure.   Are they supposed to volunteer their name? 

Then I say: "My name is Gene, and this is Murphy!" as though having a name is a great, great thing indeed.  Usually this induces them to give up their name.  But this little feller remained mum, so his dad told me the name. 

I didn't have any idea what to say or do, because what I wanted to do was grab the kid and run.  You simply cannot countenance child abuse.  But that would have been unwise, because this dad was young and strong and all that would have happened was a beatdown and a call to the cops.  But I had to do ... something.  The American culture could not survive much more of this sort of thing.  

Instead, I asked the dad to repeat the name, and it turns out I had heard wrong!  Everything was NOT lost.  

I have composed a short poem to commemorate this near miss. 

I had a culture scare today: 
Met a kid named "Atticus," at play.
But me, I stood there panickin' 
What I THOUGHT I'd heard was "Anakin."


So I tweeted this adventure, and sure enough (you know where this is going) I began to hear from persons out there. 

One guy says he has a second cousin named "Jedi." 

One guy says he knows a girl named "Padme," after the senator from Naboo.  

One woman says she knows a girl named, sigh, Lilo.

So I'm not all that relieved.  There's probably an Anakin or two out there, after all.   

And, indeed, a little research proves there have been ... hundreds.


For the second week in a row, I'm going to try to make a point about the lameness of The New Yorker caption contest.   Try not to disappoint me this week. 

Here is the latest New Yorker cartoon to be captioned

And here are five possible captions, three of which are finalists, and two of which should be but are not. Which is the best?

- "Big deal. All closers have scary-sounding nicknames."

- "I mean, there are closers—and there are closers."

- "I hope Skip doesn't ask me to sacrifice."

- "Watch out for the knuckleball."

- "They say he's not as effective without his cutter." 

» Vote for the best caption


Okay, that's it for today.   Please send in your questions for the next full chat

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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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