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Larry Craig: "I have never been in a restroom in Union Station having sex with anybody"

Amazing story in the Idaho Statesman. Good decision, I think, not to publish it earlier, as the evidence that Craig was a cruiser was still pretty spotty at that point. Not anymore.

How much longer will he lie about this?

From the Idaho Statesman:

His June 11 encounter with the officer was similar to an incident in a men's room in a Washington, D.C., rail station described by a Washington-area man to the Idaho Statesman. In that case, the man said he and Craig had sexual contact....

In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he'd never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages.

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable....


You know there are rules about how men are supposed to behave in public restrooms. The key one, as I understand it from many years of being both a man and someone who uses restrooms, is Do Not Talk To Another Man Unless You Are On Equal Footing. What this means is, for example, that you don't talk to a guy who is at the urinal unless you, too, are at the urinal. If he's at the urinal and you're over at the wash-basin, you're not on equal footing. Most men understand this rule instinctively. Clearly this should be a major story in tomorrow's Style section. (I'd write more about this but it's so obviously Weingarten's beat.)

Political fallout discussed by Cillizza.

This item at Firedoglake is pretty funny.


Love this comment posted on Farhi's story on the demise of WaPo radio:

"I had no clue this station existed."


Here's an email from reader Dave Schalton in reaction to my Outlook piece on print vs. online journalism:

'You're right: this is an interactive medium. However, I'm not sure I'd want the readers to run the show - even Vaudeville had emcees (and some acts were better than others).

'Here at home, we subscribe to the print edition of the Post and read the online edition. When I leaf through the print edition, I scan the headlines and look at the accompanying photos as a lead-in to reading any of the articles (a well written headline or photo caption still grabs my attention) and when I'm saturate with a topic, I skip it (just like in the online edition). However, one of the biggest lost opportunities in the online edition is the lack of capitalizing on photojournalism to illustrate articles and topics: many of the articles refer to other photos that are not published online - what's up with that? Why isn't the website richer in content? Why isn't it more diverse? Why just a dumbing down or rehash of (as you, yourself, note) yesterday's news? Since many of the articles in the Post are published online first, why not use the online eye-ball count to inform the print edition? Why isn't the website used to gauge and drive what gets published as lead articles in the print edition?'


Mining the boodle: Here's yellojkt's blog item on Cute Baby Pictures.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 28, 2007; 12:14 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: August Resignations; Back to School
Next: Achenblog to Take Over Washington Post Radio Studio?


Let's look for the good in every situation. At least the WaPo newsroom will regain some space, right?

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I ain't a-gonna highlight nuthin', and I ain't defending nobody, but I'd like to point out there's a glaring defect apparent when you put these two sentances together:

"The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004."

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Craig better be aware of current events:

Posted by: jack | August 28, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Could you imagine getting oral sex from anyone who used the phrase "Jiminy God"?

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Try this link. The links within the left column of the article that go to some primary research are cool. My memory can be short bit this is the fist time I recall seeing links to primary research in that particular format in an online newspaper article. The article details the significance of the palms up hand gesture.

Posted by: jack | August 28, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

On what occasion, byoolin?

Posted by: jack | August 28, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

On what occasion?

Pretty much any, I'd say. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Labour Day.

Irregardless [as they say], it would be, to borrow a phrase from Jonathan Weisman in his chat earlier today, "disgustingly detumescent."

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The Weingarten chat had (IMHO) only one good laugh line (the single word "Buttholeum"); the rest was uniformly shrill, unfunny, and uninteresting. YMMV, but not by much, I think. I'm starting to think about skipping it if it doesn't pick up.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

If Craig resigns his replacement will be anmed by Governor Butch Otter.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I spend a lot of time in the Minneapolis airport and never knew it was such a hotbed of anonymous gay sex.

Weingarten's beat-good one JA.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse


"The key one, as I understand it from many years of being both a man and someone who uses restrooms, is Do Not Talk To Another Man Unless You Are On Equal Footing."

First I never knew that but of restroom lore, but then again I seldom talk to people in restrooms anyways. Even people I know at work... usually a "hi bye" if the other person insists on talking ... and I once concluded this must be some sort of WASP hang-up.

But Now... I know better the rules of restroom behavior have been instinctively put into me by my Dad.

Second, As a gay guy I feel pity for the Senator. Not because what he did was right, lewd behavior and all ... but because he had to resort to picking up guys in public restrooms.

And if you make an error and picked up on a straight guy not to say a cop

Uhg! How embarassing is that!

He could have easily gone to an adult bookstore or gay bar or club and had all the sex he wanted in private and if he was careful safely.

Lots of straight guys do. And nobody cares. (Except if they bash gays in public like Rick Santorum's staff guy.)

So, if you like guys in a sexual fashion, do youself a favor and just admit it and find a cozy place to do it cleanly and safely.

Otherwise you could be outed, get a fine, AND a disease. And Imagine your embarassment if you passed it on to your wife, esp if its AIDs.

Posted by: Kurt | August 28, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 'Mudge, I couldn't figure out if Gene's a vegan, wants to be a vegan, or just thinks vegetarianism is good.

I agree with him about Opus, though.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you 'Mudge. I always go in with such high hopes, and then... nothin'

Jonathan Wiseman's politics chat was very funny, and made me even more disappointed in Gene. Maybe they should switch duties.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's good to see the "No Child Left Behind" act is working: It appears that the entire nation has slowed down until the laggards catch up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

SCC ..named by .....

Sheesh. I can screw up when punch line is handed to me. Sorry. Sorry.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with him about Opus, too, Scotty; and I thought the Opus cartoon was terrific. But even given that, it wasn't a funny discussion.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

You omitted the exception to speaking to another man on equal footing rule: if you are the only two people in the restroom, you may speak urinal to sink, but it must be initiated by the man at the urinal, or initiated prior to entering the john (this allows for conversation regardless of additional persons present). Under no circumstances should stall-to-other conversations take place.

Posted by: mkt | August 28, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's really disappointing to see that his denials are more focused on whether or not he's gay, as opposed to whether or not he cheated on his wife.

Posted by: mmg | August 28, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I used to think I, too, understood all the unwritten "Man Rules" for behavior in public bathrooms ... until I started watching "Allie McBeal" (where the bathroom was, admittedly, unisex). According to the corporate culture of Boston law firms, it is apparently OK to have all manner of extended interprersonal discussions in the john, up to and including mixed-gender dancing to and singing of Barry White songs.

I think Sen. Craig might have had a better shot at that undercover cop if he'd just broke out with "You're the First, the Last, My Everything." Cops need to know they are appreciated for their humanity, and aren't just another pretty face in a uniform. And then maybe a line dance.

Just a suggestion, nothing more.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert, as it were...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Mudge, if you're going with Barry, I think ya gotta go with "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," or "It's Ecstacy." Next best bet...Al Green, and "Tired of Being Alone."

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey LiT!!! *LTNS Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Awww, that was a typo? I was so wanting to ask what "anmeding" was! I figured it had to be pretty kinky if I'd never heard of it.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 28, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I know you guys can't stand giving credit to anyone outside the mainstream media, but it was blogger Mike Rogers who broke the Union Station story. Other than interviewing the same source, which Rogers had provided to them, the Statesman added nothing to the story.

Rogers was criticized by many for going out on a limb and relying on unverified information, but the Hennepin County police have vindicated him. The least you could have done was give credit where it's due.

And let's be clear: the issue here, just as it was with Clinton, isn't just sex. It's lying (about his behavior) and hypocrisy (both in pursuing Clinton but also in voting for various anti-gay pieces of legislation). It also happens to involve illegal behavior. So I hope we won't hear the usual nonsense about prying into people's private lives.

Posted by: Kstreet | August 28, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey S'nuke. It's been a month of Monday mornings for me. Now, I'm up at The Cabin, trying to make heads or tails out of all the construction. Besides the renovations, it seems every time I get something around here fixed, something else breaks (last week, the internet and the kitchen faucet, today, the dryer).

Today's kit reminds me about something I wanted to ask. Thing 1 doesn't take Dear Child out for more than an hour or so because of the public restroom problem. She's too young to send into the ladies' room alone, too big to take into the men's room. I've suggested he find a mom-type, then stand directly outside the door, and give them 60 to 90 seconds. He's not keen on this idea. How did you handle it? Any suggestions for Thing 1?

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Joel. I like it when I can find old posts that are relevant. "Neoteny" is my second favorite word behind "defenestrate".

The whole Larry Craig issue crosses over into Wonkette territory where I work blue.

Earlier today one of the topics was clues for the wives of these misguided closet cases that their husbands might be gay. Watching male-on-male pr0n was named as a big warning sign. My response was:

"How about he sure spends a lot of time hanging out in airport bathrooms? In fairness, that could just be a bad prostate. Either way, it's a warning sign."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' LiT a Mr. Fixit robot*

Yeeesh, that's a tough one for Thing 1. How did I handle it? I found places that had single-seater restrooms, essentially. Bet that doesn't help much, tho... :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

LiT - no Family washrooms?

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

women's bathroom rules and etiquette:

1) always check to see that there is toilet paper

2) always carry kleenexes in purse in case you forget rule #1

3) if you're really stupid and forget rules #1 and #2, you ask for help as in "could someone pass me some tp?" you do not madly flail your arm under a stall, especially when you know someone is next to you. that is just weird. such actions are only last resort when you are alone in a public restroom.

4) talking with people you know is fine, especially if you went to the restroom together, unless one is occupied with activities that require more effort and focus. but you usually go to the bathroom by yourself if that is the case.

5) talking with people you don't know is usually weird, but exceptions can be made if there is a good reason for it. or if people or just in a chatty mood. this is a women's public restroom after all.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 28, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of suggesting he ask whatever babe he'd been eyeing since he walked in the place (chances are he scopes out that scene pretty quickly), and then throwing in that DC is his sister, not his daughter. It might be too tempting to use DC as bait, though.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm fascinated by this glimpse into the complicated etiquette of the public men's [mens'? Mudge?] room. Things are much simpler in the ladies' room. Conversation is allowed without limitation, though I wish people would refrain from using cell phones. The only real rule is that, if the party is all women and one woman goes to the restroom, at least one other woman must go. For mixed parties, all women must go.

Whatever the merits of Craig's explanations, denials, etc., one thing he said in explanation of his plea rang true. He should have had a lawyer. There is no such thing as taking care of a criminal charge quickly and quietly by PLEADING TO THE CRIME. Geez. Or should I say, Jiminy. When arrested, do not explain your actions. Do not appear without a counsel and plead to the charge, or any other charge. Smile sweetly and call an attorney. The press couldn't have been worse than what he's got now.

Another public service tip: If someone has accused you of a particular action, and you may be under some investigation (criminal or journalistic), DO NOT engage in behavior which can be interpreted as that action during the course of the investigation. Wait until nobody cares.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

No discussion of urinal etiquette is complete without playing this game:

There is a great episode of Rosanne where Rosanne in Halloween costume as a guy goes into the bathroom to see what the big deal is.

She goes up to a urinal and starts up conversations with the guys around her. They all glare at her disgustedly. She goes, "Oh, it's like an elevator. You're supposed to keep quiet."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

DC would probably spill the beans anyway, LiT... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This whole tawdry business just adds to the mounting pile of evidence that those who oppose gay marriage because "it will redefine (hetero) marriage" are really worried that their preferred bits of closeted gay subculture may dry up. That's my theory anyway.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Or, did they actually meen to pass the "No Child's Behind Left" act?

Posted by: B | August 28, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Mudge -- once I figured out IIRC (and all on my own, too), you come up with YMMV -- what's that? "You make me venison"??? Oh, wait. Ewwwwwwww. Yuck.

Carry on.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

dmd, family washrooms are few and far between. I was pleased to have seen a diaper changing table in a men's room recently (the ladies room was out of order, and I'm not bashful).

Note to men...women can get away with being in a men's room; men cannot get away with being in a ladies' room, no matter how flooded the men's room is.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

He was on equal footing with the cop in the other stall, and he was evidently attempting to communicate by Morse Code, tapping his foot.

Posted by: Eric Riback | August 28, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse


Your Milage May Vary


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I think Thing 1 should march right into the ladies' room and announce in a loud, manly voice that he's there to assure DC's safety and soundess, and that he will leave as soon as she has completed her requirements of said ladies' room. And he should remember to cover his head when he does this so that he won't get a concussion from any Motherly Purses (the kind that would have a bottle of water and a Crayola box of 64).

Ladies' rooms have stalls, so there really isn't anything to see in there, is there?

Though I often wonder how you ladies get away with the open bar and the big screen TVs that most guys know nothing about.

Note: The "Announce Yourself" plan does not work well in the reverse scenario, as if you startle a bunch of guys at a urinal, their reaction might be to turn and look. If nothing else, this won't do your or anyone else's shoes one bit of good. "Oh, the huMANity."


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you about Weingarten, Mudge. This whole vegetarian thing is sooo 21st century, and who cares? My grandmother raised chickens, wrung their necks and plucked them for dinner. My mother bought whole chickens and cut them up to bake or fry. I just buy boneless chicken breasts because I'm lazy.

If the choice is between slaughtering cattle, hogs, and chicken or starving, I think I know which one I'd make. I'd get over being squeamish in a hurry. I'm all for humane treatment and clean, painless slaughtering, but these animals were domesticated! We think of food as a given, but it's not, and our ancestors didn't take it for granted. They raised all the meat they could, because they they knew they needed meat for energy. They also knew that hunger could come quickly.

Vegetarianism has its pitfalls. My younger child read that book about the production chain for fast food in high school and swore off meat. She now has to take large amounts of iron to ward off anemia. I really don't have much sympathy.

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I was able to ace the U-game (natch, decades of practice), but they left off the most obvious strategy when the whiz-wall is packed. Get a stall, or pretend to be waiting for one until the crowd thins.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I haven't followed this Larry Craig thing closely, but they should have searched his briefcase for a cordless drill and a holesaw bit.


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Himself used to go into ladies rooms with the girl children when they were wee (between 3 and 5 roughly, before that they went into the mens room, after the girls went by themselves with a vigilant Dad outside the door). He would crack open the first of the two doors, or ask a woman just entering, to respectfully request permission. He did not just walk in brazenly. I just checked with him and he reports that he was never once refused permission to come aboard, and no denizen of the ladies' ever seemed embarrassed or distressed. Rather, they really liked seeing a father looking after his girls so well in spite of his natural reticence.

He really has been the most fabulous father.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey folks, just remember you heard it here first.

Posted by: Audentes | August 28, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I think that's great Yoki. I wonder if Thing 1 is comfortable doing that. I'll sugggest it.

bc makes a good point..the ladies room is always at least 3 times nicer then the men's room.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The whole question of men's room etiquette brings up an amusing aspect of masculine American behavior. Men are taught from earliest childhood to forget personal modesty when in an all male context- bathhouse, locker room, swimming hole- but also never ever evince interest in the bodies of other males. Make a show of indifference in the midst of a communal shower and whatever you do avoid anything approaching comparison or appraisal. This creates considerable stress in the middle school years when primary and secondary sexual characteristics are developing, especially among the "late bloomers."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 28, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Kstreet, are you in fact agreeing that this Mike Rogers guy DID use unverified information, but that it was OK because the Hennepin County cops later agreed he was right? So it's OK to use unverified information as long as, you know, the cops later back you up?

Thanks for the tip about the lying part of the story. I think most of us got that pretty much up front.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Very astute. My college campus had several restrooms that had frequently repaired and just as frequently re-opened glory holes. I would use them in emergencies during daylight hours only.

When I was in college my roommate came out of the closet and we lost a roommate (the cuter one) as a result. To replace him we advertised in Creative Loafing (the Atlanta equivalent of City Paper) for a gay or straight roommate knowing full well we would only get gays responses.

What we didn't realize was that many of the callers only wanted short term accommodations of one night or less. We had to explain that we were REALLY looking for someone to split the rent.

Needless to say, for the next year hilarity ensued.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm reluctantly becoming quasi-vegan (meaning the occasional roast beef sandwich is to be preferred to cheesy omlettes). A partial reason is that rubbery chicken can induce really awful heartburn. Better reason is that my internist wants the cholesterol level low. Really low.

The New York Times science section has a long story on the old technique of causing mutations in crop plants by exposing them to radiation. It inadvertently points out just how plant-based some diets are:

"In Vietnam, the agency has worked closely with local scientists to improve production of rice, a crop that accounts for nearly 70 percent of the public's food energy."

Seventy percent. That's a lot of rice.

Chris Cillizza is already discussing Rudy Giuliani's strategy in Florida.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 28, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Perfect time for someone to event "the tapper" as opposed to "the clapper." Or in the senator's looming case the slammer.

Posted by: birdie | August 28, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

bc, yes that is a perfectly nice and reasonable solution.

Considering that me and the boys were a herd, it was easier. You don't get strange looks at all taking them to the ladies room, and when they are old enough, to the mens, even if only 1 had to go (like that ever happened), you just sent them all, whilst standing outside the door, warning them to check for people, and talk to no one and you would be listening right outside the door. Safety in numbers.

Which is exactly why women go to the washrooms in packs in mixed company. See simple, logical.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Enough about toilets.

Time for the "How Your 2nd Amendment Works For YOU" feature...

"The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

"U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.";

Almost a billion guns. No wonder we're short of ammo. But we've got a helluva head start if someone needs to make some plowshares.

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Give this Bushie a presidential medal of freedom! While the Singing Senators were playing with children, Bush protected Senator Mark Foley (Republican, Florida) and solicited advice from Bush White House spiritual leader Pastor Ted Haggard while enjoying a sausage tasting at prayer breakfast. Even Senator Vitter (Republican - The State Formerly Containing New Orleans) followed Neil Bush's example of Bush Family values. Republican Rep. Bob Allen is not only another RPOF backroom insider, he is also another Florida Republican who did it like they do on the Discovery Channel. Republican Senator Larry E. Craig certainly fits tightly in Bush's loyal family. So now we know what made the Singing Senators sing!

"Let the eagle soar...

Posted by: Singing Senator | August 28, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Surely "enjoying a sausage tasting" should win the The Metaphor Of The Month Award.

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Kurt. Poor Craig just couldn't bring himself to own his orientation and so found himself in this unsalubrious situation.

But I'm torn, you know? I find it hard to justify arresting someone for waving his hand under a stall wall, or even tapping a neighbour's foot (though it is definitely not something you expect while you are musing on the pot having your morning's morning). It wasn't like an outright pass or solicitation, it wasn't actually lewd, or aggressive, or anything that offends the generally accepted standard of acceptable sexual invitations. I mean, if this is a known code among what is surely a tiny minority of men-who-have-sex-with men who would wish to engage in such activities with a stranger in a public washroom, then a receiver of the attention who could decode the message would, almost by definition, not necessarily be offended, even if that person were disinclined to accept the invitation.

A bunch of us argued that Kim Nowak shouldn't have been charged with attempted murder because she didn't actually succeed in hurting Shipman (though I did not argue that myself). What is the difference in this case? It seems to me to be discriminatory and has more to do with discomfort with any sort of same-sex action than with actual public lewdness.

I'm all for crowing with delight when family-values anti-gay Republican stalwarts are exposed as hyprocrites and liars. All for it! And when they are additionally revealed as being as dumb as a stump it is even more delicious. I'm just not sure about the criminal aspects of the situation.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking how it would feel to be the cop who gets picked to be the "bait" in one of these stings.

And how do they pick'em?

Do they go after the ones with nice belts?

(Not that there's anything wrong with wearing a nice belt that matches your shoes.)

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, for a guide to how they pick 'em, read "A Confederacy Of Dunces" and keep an eye out for Patrolman Mancuso.

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, tied a bandana around your head, plop a crystal ball on your kitchen table, and go into business as a fortune teller; you've got the gift. I'll wager that your 3:16 post is a harbinger of the future, and that the good (?) senator never sees the inside of a jail cell.

Byoolin, your 3:04 comment 'bout 90 guns owned by 100 people done give me da willies. I'm gonna run out an' buy me one right now, by Gawd. "When guns are outlawed..." I'm gonna have me one - a big honk'n cannon that'l rip my armpit clean off.

Posted by: Kablam | August 28, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I believe you are conflating Kim Novak with Lisa Nowak. And please leave Robert Novak right out of it.

Posted by: Tim | August 28, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Those are all good points, Yoki. Craig actually pled to a lesser charge of disordely conduct, instead of the "gross misdemeanor interference to privacy" [quote NYT] originally charged. As you say, in the real world, most people would not consider touching a foot in the next stall and waving one's hand underneath the divider as disorderly conduct, much less an invitation to interfere with privacy.

In the world of undercover restroom investigations, though, pretty much anything will fit those categories. The arresting officer stated he was also suspicious when Craig put his roller bag against the front of the stall door after entering, since this "used to attempt to conceal sexual conduct". [quote NYT] Okay, let's review airport behavior. You can't leave your bag unattended. You have to go to the bathroom. Where does your bag go? In the stall. Where is there room for the bag? In the front. Bam! suspicious activity. The lesson here: in this category of crime, if an undercover officer is looking for suspects, apparently commonplace activity will fit. Craig's history and response are against him, but it would be hard for a blameless innocent to prove that he wasn't trying to send those signals under those circumstances.

The officer's counter to this, of course, is that this behavior is also typical of persons who ARE trying to be disorderly and interfere with (or at least share) the privacy of another. Maybe so. However, this is a perfect example of a criminal investigation which involves presuming that people who engage in otherwise unremarkable or explainable behavior are guilty because of their location (remember, the cop didn't know anything about Craig at the time).

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

hahaha. Tim is right. I've maligned the beautiful and ethereal Kim Novak! I'm so ashamed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Month o'Mondays here, too. Both work and home. Had my choice of backboodling or Gene's chat at lunchtime today. I chose unwisely. I agree with Mudge and Scotty--not much humor today. But here we're talking about restroom etiquette!

Ivansmom, when did the memo come out on multi-female party = >1 goes to the restroom? I know I've messed up on that one. What's the penalty?

*lowering periscope and submerging again*

Posted by: Raysmom | August 28, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I realize Craig is one of the few senators who isn't also a lawyer (he has a B.A. in poli. sci. from U of Idaho), but one would like to think a sitting U.S. senator has enough smarts to know when he needs a lawyer or not. I mean, hasn't he ever watched Fred Thompson on "Law and Order"?

I don't doubt for a second he's now sorry he pleaded guilty. It might be one of his rare instances of truth-telling, and we all kniow how devastating THAT can be for a career politician. Jeez, what was he thinking?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If you don't go to the ladies room with all the other women, Raysmom, you have to listen to the remaining guys at the table talk about why girls always go to the bathroom at the same time (even if you didn't). You also miss the bathroom chatter. Eavesdropping on a party of young women who've just left their table en masse can be pretty fun.

It used to be worse. When I was growing up, the rule here appeared to be that, when children were not being transported (in the pedestrian not religious sense), adult males sat in the front and adult females sat in the back. Men drove. I never could figure that out, but look anywhere and you'd see two couples out for the evening, with the guys in front and the gals in the back seat. Fortunately my generation appears to have changed this rule.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

No guns in my house (and none on the shopping list), but I'll arm wrestle to the death anyone who tells me I can't have one.

Thinking more on how a cop would feel about getting picked to be "bait" for a gay-sex-in-a-public-bathroom sting... If you were a cop and your supervisor said "have I got the perfect undercover assignment for you", would you A) punch him/her in the nose, B) sue the department, or C) reassess your manic grooming behavior and/or good taste in belts.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Hello, friends. I've had the person out here that fixes problems with one's Internet connection, and I am still having problems. Don't know what to do.

It is so hot here. I don't believe this hot weather is going anywhere.

I read the kit, and I'm thinking what was this guy thinking about. Is everything in Congress on the take? And this person is married too? Lord, help that wife. I wonder if she knew what she was living with? And this person belongs to the party that doesn't talk about "gay" anything, right?

I don't know what to think about this. I mean this is a person that is suppose to be someone that is a leader? If one goes to the bathroom to solicit sex, isn't that risky in more ways than just admitting you're gay?

And if he's married, isn't that a lie?

I had to almost draw the repairman a map to my computer. The bedroom looks like someone has been playing war games in it. It's not quite that bad, but not good.

Error, I viewed your site, and the fairy door. It is beautiful. You know I have good thoughts for you, although we seem to bump heads on the religion question. I still want you to have the best outcome, and a good life.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 28, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten seems so be going through a rough period humor wise, but vegetarianism is clearly something he feels passionately about. And I can see the logic of his position. I certainly think there are some valid ecological reasons for reducing the amount of meat that is eaten. I just don't see this as an "all or nothing" proposition.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

>It wasn't like an outright pass or solicitation

I don't know Yoki, if somebody reaches under a stall wall and touches me I'm going to jump right off the toilet. As I understand it rule 1 is NO TOUCHING without consent.

If he just asked then you could say "No thanks" and then it's not a criminal matter, or wouldn't be for me.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 28, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Yoki. Getting (mildly) propositioned in a restroom is creepy, but should it be a crime? I don't feel I need the criminal justice system's protection in such a case. But whether Craig should have been arrested is another matter. The State of Idaho has apparently seen fit to enact a law with a broad definition of "lewd conduct" (or the police were using considerable latitude with the phrase) and no doubt Mr. Craig supported the statute. So, he gets the government he deserves. Maybe once his term is over he will lobby to change the law, eh?

Posted by: CowTown | August 28, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I know from first-hand knowledge (I broke the rule, remember?) that the guys will not have the discussion of what women talk about in the ladies room if a female remains present.

Another exception to the rule appears to be BPHs. At least I don't *think* we all get up if one does.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 28, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

When women wander off together to the rest room we men worry about what terrible things the women are going to be saying about us.

Comments about our table manners, personal grooming, conversational skills, drinking habits, and oral hygiene are especially feared.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

RD, what other topics are there?

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra! I am glad your grandsons visited this weekend, even if they did leave a mess.

You have Craig's situation down right: he is supposed to be a leader, he was apparently lying to his wife and everyone else, and looking for anonymous sex in a bathroom is risky whether you are straight or gay. Even if you're afraid life as you know it will end if you admit you sometimes have sex with men (see? don't have to say "gay"), your life may well actually end, permanently, if you look for sex like that on a regular basis.

Of course, I suppose if you only have sex in places where you can't see the other person (like they're in another stall), you can claim you didn't know for sure it was a guy. Except for the whole genitals thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

From reading Weingarten's chat, what he evidently wants is an animal that tastes like a chicken but is vastly more stupid. In other words, a turkey.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom... the "suspicious" bag placement you described sounds an awful lot like "driving while black".

It's also kinda like "driving in a hippie van while under the influence of absolutely nothing and obeying all traffic laws".

Sometimes I'm really surprised by the difference in reactions from law enforcement I get when I'm driving our "normal" grocery getter vs. Stella the Bus. I'd probably have to run them over in the Windstar to get their notice. Stella, on the other hand, is a magnet. And they always bring out the K-9 unit.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This is why I always make sure that neither stall adjoining mine is occupied. Because I can be fidgety.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Yep, martooni, this kind of investigation can be a lot like that. By the way, I hope you NEVER drive Stella while under the influence, for obvious reasons. Just a criminal law tip.

RD, your fears are well founded. I fear I also often break the "all go to the bathroom" rule, but I've heard things.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

RD I agree that some of the ecological reasons need to be addressed but that applies to vegetarian crops as well (backyard organic gardens excepted).

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

>You know I have good thoughts for you, although we seem to bump heads on the religion question.

Cassandra, thanks for stopping by the site. At least we live in a country where you can disagree about religion and not have to actually shoot each other over it. If those guys in Iraq would just get that part of America we'd be home free there.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 28, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I follow your defense argument up to the putting the hand under the stall wall. I have never put my hand under a stall to a complete stranger. This would be fantastically unacceptable behavior that could result in the hand being kicked or stomped.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Weingarten cares one whit about vegetarianism -- he admits that he eats meat all the time. He does care about Liz's feelings, to his credit.

But I think what he's intending is to cares about is expose the self-serving and muddled rationalizations the rest of us meat-eaters use to justify it. He's getting us to think and articulate (and is certain that he is the most superlative thinker and moralist ever, anywhere) and that is just par for the course.

I of course feel next to no guilt about eating animals, so am untroubled by the whole debate.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I do get the hand under the stall either, but is it a crime - to me it is not. Even if it is some sort or signal is it any worse than some of the things men have approached me with, not really.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Vegans: They're what's for dinner.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC that would be do NOT get

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

And now all this bathroom talk has reminded me of the classic Cheech & Chong scene, where Cheech and Sergeant Stedanko (or whatever his name is) are side by side at the urinals and Cheech turns to answer the Sergeant's question and pees all over him.

I think that would be my reaction to any advance by Craig or another of his persuasion.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I agree, yellojkt, that whole hand under the stall thing takes this a little far out for "normal" bathroom behavior for me -- unless, of course, he was looking for toilet paper (see L.A.Lurker's post above). Unlikely. If he didn't expect the hand to get stomped, what was he doing? That (and the plea, of course) makes me think he was doing what the cop arrested him for doing.

As Mudge says, I bet he's sorry he pled now. Truth-telling indeed.

I'm just suggesting that a lot of these actions are grounded in regular behavior, and those that aren't may not in themselves support a criminal charge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

dmd - that's a very good point. And I guess if someone really wants to encourage more ecological animal husbandry the logical way is to create a market for it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with Ivansmom. I doubt not he was propositioning the fella in the next stall, I just can't see being arrested for it.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom-I'm with you on the whole accompanying other women to the bathroom thing. Don't do it and don't get.

Heard snippets of a Talk of the Nation interview with an Indiana University anthropologist. This foot tapping thing as signal for sex in public restrooms is supposedly 1. well known and 2. perhaps "generational" in that older men who didn't have many outlets for approaching other men were more likely to know and use the secret signal.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Heck... if I were arrested for every unsolicited, unwelcomed or otherwise malformed preposition I've made, they'd throw the book at me.

Oh... you said "proposition".

No matter. I'd still be in jail.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh Martooni I love that movie and are proud to say I have it on tape and dvd.

I love it when they throw the doobie in the car full of nuns!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

So in other words Frosti, if I were an older gentleman I should turn off my IPOD before I go to the bathroom lest I hear a song I like and tap my toe to the tune :-).

Saw this story yesterday and it has bothered me since, while it does only tell one side of the story it is a little scary - particularly for those of us who reside close to the border.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point in your 4:18 Yoki. Just asking, without an offer of cash, hardly seems criminal.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, I under stand that Weingarten is "expos[ing] the self-serving and muddled rationalizations the rest of us meat-eaters use to justify it" and he's free to do that. But I think my larger point is, it's getting tedious, it's been done to death before on his chat, and most of all, it isn't amusing. I also realize he's using his infallibility schtick, but that too is wearing a bit thin. It's OK as schtick when the context is clear and the subject is fainting ridiculous--such as insisting that NO ONE SHOULD PUT MUSTARD ON A HOT DOG or something like that.

I don't insist he "be funny" all the time; but I AM saying that we go to that chat with certain expectations, and those expectations aren't being met. Weingarten has the right to do whatever he wants. And I have the right to be bored, and to drift away. And that's how it's looking. PETA isn't funny. Veganism isn't funny, and to me it's tedious and shrill, and I just don't want to read any more about what a hypocritical, self-delusional, rationalizing and generally evil person I am. That's not how I want to spend my lunch hour.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... that's why I drink alone.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

dmd-that's exactly what 60ish "Day to Day" cohost Alex Chadwick said. He also said after decades of using public restrooms he'd never bee propositioned (at least that he was aware of I guess).

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay... so here I have one slice of toast with real butter on it, and next to it is a slice of toast with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" on it.

Film at eleven.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

SCC-my 4:20, that should have been NPR show Day to Day not Talk of the Nation.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to figure out why any one needs to 'feel guilty' about meat. There is also the supposition that there is something inherently civilised about modern mankind and that we are above other creatures in our actions. The questions show a rather arrogant assumption that humans are no longer part of the food chain.

We are part of the food chain, and our species worst predator is us. I watch the news, I'm pretty sure we are the least civilised creatures on the planet.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

dmd, from my own experience- my wife and I got detained and full body searched on the return from our honeymoon in Mexico (because we had brought back no alcohol, they assumed we had drugs)- I can believe any horror story about the U.S. customs folks. I got stopped once coming into the country from New Brunswick at Houlton Maine and the guy asked me where I bought my cameras. I replied that I had bought them in Chicago and he asked for proof of purchase otherwise how would he know that I hadn't bought them in Canada. I told him that I had no proof other than the fact that I was not an idiot and only an idiot would go to Canada to buy Japanese cameras and pay 50% more than in the U.S. He was not amused. We became better acquainted over the course of several hours. Eventually I was released.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 28, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, look at it this way, martooni. You may be a hypocritical, self-delusional, rationalizing and generally evil person, too, which makes us birds of a feather. And I like you anyway.

Keep building them doors.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Assume in the future all toilet rooms are co-ed and a female is in a stall. Without warning a mans hand comes under the stall partition. What course of action or legal recourse would you feel appropriate?

A Weingarten chatter summed it up nicely. By condoning restroom solicitation are you encouraging restroom sexual activity? I hope not. Get a room.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Answers to course of action Yello.

Say something, like get your effing hand out of my stall.

Perhaps a more extreme foot to hand solution.

Just a thought, the courts are busy enough.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt: spike heels.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I was thinking *exactly* the same thing.

But then, I often think of women in spike heels.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, folks, let's all get a grip here. When you're sitting in a stall you don't go sticking your hand into somebody else's stall for ANY reason, and you don't stick your foot over there, or anything else. It may or may not be criminal, but jeez, there is NO "innocent" explanation for that behavior. You just don't do it, I don't care how desparate you are for TP. And if you do need TP, you don't stick your hand under and go flailing around for it hoping you'll bump into it--ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU KNOW THERE'S SOMEBODY IN THERE. As yoki said so eleoquently, JaysusGod. And if you do need the TP, you say, "Hey buddy, do you mind passing me some toilet paper?" You don't squeeze his ankle, fer cryin' out loud.

The rules about guys touching guys are extremely strict under normal circumstances; you sure as hell don't go anywhere near violating those rules in a freakin' men's room.

Whether or not that behavior is criminal is worth debating. But there is no innocent explanation for it. Even Jim from Cincinnati knows better by now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This is so on-topic, except for the gay sex part, that I have to offer this true story that happened to me just a couple of weeks ago - in a women's multi-stall restroom at a tennis club in the Sacramento area. I'm in a stall, doing my, um, business, and I hear a cell phone ring in the stall next to me. The lady answers it, says "yeah, I'm at the tennis club, actually I'm in the restroom going to the bathroom." "OK, sure, I'll call you later, what's your number?" Just then, one of the toilets flushes. She says, "Wait, I can't hear you, what's the number?" Then another flush. She says, "Oh for crying out loud, I can't believe how much flushing is going on - this is ridiculous!!!" I had to laugh... Nobody asked anybody for sex (that I know of).

Posted by: Slats | August 28, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

martooni, that 'I Can't Believe it's Not Butter' is going to kill you.

Seriously. Butter, a relatively unprocessed whole food, albeit high bad fats cholesterol which humans developed thousands of years ago, versus an extremely highly processed substance humans developed 50 years or so ago.

I say go au natural. (insert appropriate spelling for french natural)

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Do I have this right? Women's restrooms are still too few in number and men have the time to have *sex* in restrooms? That is SO unfair!

Posted by: dbG | August 28, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

yello, I would hope that if I were in that situation I would have the presence of mind to open my purse, pull out my bottle of hand sanitizer, and squeeze some onto his palm.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 28, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... came across this over at CNN and thought you might get a kick out of it:

btw... I'm thinking of changing my "profile" here at the Post to include "hypocritical, self-delusional, rationalizing and generally evil person". Not sure about the evil or hypocritical parts, but the rest is spot on.

And more doors are being built (got six more in the works). Unfortunately I somehow managed to land a very bad head/chest cold, so production has come to a standstill.

Error... left a quick message on your blog, but wanted to let you know that I'm glad our little surprise package didn't result in the bomb squad being called out. Hope you get a really sexy fairy to take up residence in it (talk about getting your milk for free).

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm- deeply ambivalent about the whole *get arrested for waggling fingers under a stall* thing. I'm one with Yoki about the singular pleasure of watching hypocritical family values types getting their comeuppance. Just can't get enough of that!

But...I have this nagging thought that perhaps if John Law wasn't keeping their eye on that type of activity and in essence, sanctioning it, what kind of situation would your average joe walk into all unawares? A waggling hand? Or lots of waggling hands? After all, it was noted that this bathroom was well known in the airport as being a hotbed of this activity
anyway and it kind of makes me wonder what it would be like without The Man popping in every now and the immortal words of Mudge...I'm just sayin'.

Error - loved your fairy door. So very nice of some Boodlers to do that.

Is waggling a word?

Posted by: Kim | August 28, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, dbG, believe it or not, I went to college with Jill Porter; she was in many of my journalism classes. My best friend at the time (who totally coincidentally sent me an email today) sorta had the hots for her (rightly so). that would make her my age about she's...ah...39.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

(While getting dressed in nice clothes for a work reception...)

MRS. D.: You're not going to wear THAT belt, are you?

ME: Yea, it's the only belt I've got.

MRS. D.: You had a nice belt. What happened to it?

ME: The dog ate it last year. (Really!)

MRS. D.: Why didn't you tell me so I could get you a new one?

ME: I have a belt.

MRS. D.: (rolls eyes, shakes head and turns away)

So I'm not sure what that indicates, but I guess I won't get picked for undercover stings.

Posted by: Dooley | August 28, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

dbG, Raysmom - thanks for cracking me up! Your 5:03 and 5:04 were priceless.

Slats - ewwww! I can't believe it when people talk on a cell in a bathroom stall!

Posted by: Kim | August 28, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So will you e-mail her that an imaginary friend linked her article to the boodle?

Posted by: dbG | August 28, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

dr... "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" is the least of my worries. If two-to-three packs of cigarettes a day don't kill me before booze does or Stella's failing brakes do, super-processed foodstuffs will just make me stronger.

(for the record, I do prefer the real stuff [butter], but Mrs. M did the shopping yesterday and it was on sale)

btw... it really *does* taste just like butter.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, dear one, no one has in the least suggested that Craig was not propositioning the guy in the next stall. We're just wondering if he should be arrested for it. So you agree with us, whilst begging us to get a grip. What's up with that?

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kim.

Raysmom, words cannot express how much your post made me laugh. ROTFL doesn't come close.

Posted by: dbG | August 28, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps ROTFLMAO, dbG? That's what I was doing!

Posted by: Kim | August 28, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The point about feeling guilty about eating meat arose naturally from the fact that few people answering Weingarten's poll stated that they eat meat and that this leaves them completely morally untroubled. Yoki is one of the few, the proud. If you are morally troubled by your own actions then you are, perforce, feeling guilty about it.

The poll was something of a blunt instrument when it came to evaluating the extent of "meat guilt", what kinds of meat provoke it, the circumstances under which a person feels it may be acceptable to eat meat, and so on.

I am amused by Mudge's view that vegans are shrill, annoying, and evangelical about their dietary preference. It has been my observation that most vegetarians and vegans actually are reasonably quiet and unassuming about their own food choices until specifically challenged on it. And a specific challenge almost always is raised, usually quite dismissively, by meat-eaters in a mixed-diet company. Not just a question like "why did you choose to eat only plant foods?" but more along the lines of "why would you do something so stupid?" or "why would you eat rabbit food?" In fact, my anecdotal experience suggests that the mere statement that a person is vegetarian can cause many meat-eaters to view themselves as personally verbally assaulted by a holier-than-thou moralist. I suggest that this is prime evidence of "meat guilt" in a person who feels the guilt, but not sufficiently strongly to eschew eating meat.

The most common argument against vegetarian diet is to note that we are evolved for omnivory. We have a medium-length gut, and mixed-function teeth. Religious types would replace "evolved for" with "made by God for" and otherwise make the same physiological argument. When I was a young turk, I made this argument myself, which is part of how I recognize it as an inadequate attempt at a "topper." Just because we CAN eat both meat and plants does not make it a requirement that we eat both. It is a choice, and we are each free to choose differently, according to our own lights. It happens to be relatively easy to make a tasty and nutritious meal based around meat. It is relatively more difficult, but certainly not insuperably difficult, to make tasty and nutritous meals with no meat. It is one step more difficult and one step more flavor-limited to make a completely vegan diet (and I do love my cheese). But not impossible, or even back-breakingly difficult. It is not possible to make a completely nutritious meal out of only meat -- we require nutrients from plants, but we do not absolutely require nutrients from meat; meat just happens to be the easiest source of some of those nutrients, however.

I suspect that the biggest problem with vegetarianism as most of us experienced or confronted it, growing up in North America, is that it is treated as a subtraction problem: remove the meat, and what's left? Salad and boiled potatoes. Most vegetarian proselytizers of the 60's and 70's seem to have been incompetent cooks with deficient taste buds, who treat food as a chemistry problem The stomach and intestines may see it that way, but to the mouth and the nose and the brain, food is a sacrament and an offering of love. Flavor matters. Texture matters. Presentation matters. I am thus a big fan of The Vegetarian Epicure (both books) and the Moosewood cookbooks, which offer a vegetarian cuisine that is not steak 'n potatoes minus the steak. It's good food from all over the world, food that happens not to include any meat.

For the record: I am not a vegetarian myself, because I am too much the weak-willed servant of my mouth and habits. However, the ScienceKids have both elected vegetarianism and are quite rigorous about sticking to it. It would be churlish to try to undermine my children's moral stance, so I support them by cooking only vegetarian in the home. They are makiing it easier to adopt vegetarian habits, so I am sliding towards a fully vegetarian diet for myself, both at home and elsewhere. Not vegan however. I do love my (kosher) cheeses.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | August 28, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

That Philly plumbing code is definitely obsolete. The most current International Plumbing Code has the following requirements for Assembly occupancies:

1 WC per 65 female.
1 WC per 125 male and 2/3 of the WC's can be substituted for urinals.
1 lavatory per 200 people.

Take a hypothetical 1500 seat theater. The IPC would require 12 toilets in the ladies room and 2 toilets and 4 urinals in the mens. That still doesn't sound like enough but it is way better than the old equal split rule.

And codes are a minimum. Anyone can exceed them. A call center I worked on back in the day put in triple the minimum number of womens toilets because their work force was 90% female and they didn't want to pay anyone to stand in line.

We need unisex or switchable toilet rooms. Most mens toilet stalls in public places go unused a majority of the time except for skeevy closeted congressmen.

At ice skating shows at the MCI Center about every other mens toilet gets field converted. At Melissa Etheridge concerts at Constitution Hall, the stalls in the mens room get commandeered. I speak from experience in both these examples.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

As to the moral issue of whether I choose my life over the life of a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, sheep, or blue whale: yes, I would choose me. However, I find that this sort of "me-or-it" survival situation rarely arises in the life of a gainfully-employed professional, so it is something of a red herring -- which I also would be willing to eat, properly prepared. Please, no cream, no pickling.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | August 28, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I knew that martooni, and hoped you wouldn't mind my small, very small funny. If you can't laugh...

The older I get, the more convinced I am that the only thing that won't kill us is humour, small and stupid though it might be.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse


I was not offering any opinion on whether Rogers should have gone with the story at the time he did. I was simply pointing out that he, not the Idaho Statesman, was the original publisher of the story and that, to the extent credit is given for breaking that story, it should go to Rogers, particularly since the Statesman had no more verification than Rogers had when it ran the story.

Posted by: K Street | August 28, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

You are correct that there are rules for using men's restrooms. The animated public service announcement, "Men's Restroom Etiquette," can be found at

It's really funny.

Posted by: GWB | August 28, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I can add to Yello's fine reportage on women's restrooms that there is no such thing as a men only loo at any venue hosting the NCAA women's final 4.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The proper way to solicite a policeman.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC solicit- I even took the time to look it up. Just shoot me.

Love your door Error. Clever boodlers.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Tim... I ain't got nuttin' against vegetarians who quietly munch on their lettuce and leave everyone else alone -- it's those militant vegans (emphasis on the veeeee) who end up bothering me. I couldn't give a flying guano what anyone eats (as long as it isn't me) so I don't want to hear any guano about what I eat. But veeeeegans seem to all be on a crusade.

They say "Meat is Murder", waving their PETA pamphlets around and throwing red paint on unsuspecting hamburger eaters as if they got the market on ethics cornered. What about all the bugs they squished with their sandals and bicycle tires on the way to the protest? What about all the little mites and other microscopic critters they destroy every time they take a shower? What about all the trillions of microbes murdered when making water safe to drink?

Talk about self-delusional hypocrites.

Don't they know that the vegetables they eat were once living and breathing? Just because a tomato can't say "ouch" when you pick it off a vine, that doesn't mean it don't have feelings. Just because a vegetable is rooted to the ground and can't hop around like a bunny doesn't mean you're not killing a living entity when you pull up a turnip.

Until we achieve photosynthesis in humans, we will always be killing something for lunch.

Now I'm hungry.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

dr... no offense taken. My reply was intended to resemble the "whistling past the graveyard" kind of humor.

Which reminds me... time to wet my whistler.

(and *no*, I'm not talking about *that* whistler)

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Mr. Rogers did his due diligence.

"Last October, just weeks before the midterm election, gay activist Mike Rogers reported that the married, GOP "family values" Senator repeatedly had sex with anonymous men in public bathrooms. His report was based on "extensive research," including interviews with several men whom Craig solicited for bathroom sex.

As Rogers argued at the time, the story was relevant -- just as the Vitter prostitute story was -- in light of Craig's frequent political exploitation of issues of sexual morality and his opposition to virtually every gay rights bill."

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that I have been LMAO throughout these wonderful postings. We are indeed a funny, funny bunch.

I have become much more vegetarian over the years (no red meat, at least) -- and I don't think I would ever become a vegan. I like fish too much to throw that over (so to speak). And low fat/no fat dairy items are on my dance card, as well. But I do want to keep my cholesterol down and lose weight, so meat is definitely out. And I do feel much better for that choice. There are also a wonderful mix of high protein grains available now, which weren't years ago. I'm a huge fan of quinoa and millet and the spring/summer/fall veggies are a garden of earthly delights as far as I'm concerned. Can't get enough. Nuke 'em in the microwave (with no fat included), add a sensation of hot sauce, and there we are.

Say, can my fellow boodlers gimme som advice of how to assuage what I'm sure I know is tendinitis in my left shoulder (dang -- did it at the gym -- too high a set of weights too quickly (although my workout routine w/ the weights and machines are done *very* slowly)). Any advice besides Advil, which isn't very kind on the stomach?

Thanks in advance to the community at large (or at small).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 28, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

One more thing -- humans really are stupid when compared w/ the so-called "animals" of the world. Could you imagine that a cheetah or leopard or lion would look at an NRA brochure and say: "Hey, cool! I want one of them -- don't have to chase 'em down and have them damn hyenas take my prey while I'm catching my breath."

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 28, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

And now I'm laughing out loud martooni!

One of my favourite lines and performances of all times is from Notting Hill. Where Hugh Grant's character is at dinner with friends and his sister has brought along a young lady who says, 'I'm a fruitarian'.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

As a general rule, humans who consume meat consume primarily non-carnivore varieties. It therefore seems probable that vegans would be the preferred choice of cannibals.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I was only reacting to the people who were suggesting Craig's toe-tapping or wide-straddling or whatever was innocent or had some plausible explanation.

I have very mixed feelings about whether his behavior or similar behavior is criminal or not. One the one hand, agree in this specific case there wasn't much harm done. But on the other hand there are plenty of instances where entire restrooms are hangouts, and it isn't safe or pleasant for an otherwise innocent person to walk in there. For instance, there are rest stops on interstates and other highways that are "known" hangouts, etc., and I can understand police using vice squad cops to go in and break up that activity; a public bathroom shouldn't be a hangout, and cops do have to do something about it. I suppose context is everything. A person sould be able to walk down the street without being solicited by a bunch of hookers, and a woman should be able to walk opast a construction site without having a bunch of glassbowls humiliate her. Whether any of it is strictly criminal is another question, perhaps. But I can understand the general desire of police to clean it up.

Tim, I don't think all vegans are necessarily shrill. But I think that chat was getting to be that way, and it wasn't just the vegans. But whether they are shrill or not, I'm just tired of listening to them. I just wanna eat my ham sandwich in peace without someone beating on me about it.

dbG, I haven't spoken to her in 35 years: I'd have to start from scratch explaining everything.

Running for the bus.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger... I swear by Aleve. It doesn't mess with your stomach and (in my case) goes easy on the liver. (none of that acetaminophen stuff)

I also swear by Jameson's Irish Whiskey, Sweet Mary Jane and other things, but those usually cause me to break out in fines and handcuffs.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I've reached the conclusion that becoming a vegetarian because of poor animal husbandry practices is like becoming a nudist because of sweatshops. In neither case will boycott accomplish nearly as much as a push for reform.

And just because the process of slaughter is viewed as distasteful and discomforting by many does not necessarily mean it is immoral. Sewage treatment is not something I wish to view either, but that doesn't make it evil.

The only valid argument for vegetarianism is the premise that it is inherently wrong to kill animals for food. And like all moral premises, this one can neither be proven nor disproven.

Instead, we must rely upon our own personal gut reaction.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm laughing, RD. Nudists and sweatshops indeed.

Through all this discussion, I'm grilling hamburgers.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

RD... well said.

It's like the old saying, "If you like sausage, you never want to see it made".

The same applies to commercially processed vegetable stuff -- you probably don't want to know how many bugs per gallon ends up in there or how many are considered an "acceptable level".

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

CBC has a story about the lack of a human 'willie' at the Icelandic Phallological Museum. According to the curator an American gentleman is having the tatoos removed from his so he can donate it before death. I suppose he wants to make sure it's properly mounted.

There is link on the site for "Honorary Members."

I know boodlers will be proud that I spelled "phallological" correctly and all by myself.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Boko, on my screen, it's spelled correctly three times! Good, very good.

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I've never grilled a Hamburger but I once asked a Berliner for directions.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I think my whole problem with vegans who won't eat a burger on "moral" grounds (and insist that I also refrain from eating anything juicy and dripping with fat and flavor) is due to the fact that their moral argument is fundamentally flawed.

How many of them buy bleach?

How many of them buy bug spray (even the organic stuff)?

If they bathe, are they aware of the effect all that "gray wastewater", often unloaded directly into streams and jam-packed with nitrogen and phosphorus, has on the environment?

If they drive a car, how many bugs, squirrels, birds, etc. got whacked because these "vegans" were too lazy to walk to the grocery store?

Priuses (or would that be Prii?) kill.

For that matter, how many animals were squished by trucks loaded up with soy milk this year?

Like I said earlier, unless you've figured out how to do photosynthesis on a personal level, or you've figured out how to eat rocks while making sure you haven't squished any critters on the way to the rocks, you're killing something (directly or indirectly) every time you go to the fridge.

btw... is there any truth to the tales about plants growing better when talked to? If so, that might imply that plants are maybe a little smarter than we thought. If so, then the vegans are all guilty of vegacide and should have to whack themselves over the head with PETA pamphlets and douse themselves in red paint while reciting "Plants are not food. Plants are our living, breathing, semi-sentient friends."

btw2... I think a lot of this has to do with the "cuteness" factor of animals. If they're furry and lovable, we're enchanted into eating turnips for supper. If they're ugly and mean or have a really bad PR guy -- fire up the grill and break out the spit Ma... we're eatin' critter!

btw3... I'm trying a concoction of fresh tomatoes from the garden (not Mr. Stripeys) and pressed garlic (store bought) to get rid of this dang cold. Don't know if it will work on the cold, but it should guarantee a peaceful night (Mrs. M is not a big garlic fan, so I'm not expecting any toe-tapping or finger-waving or other bathroom shenanigans under the covers).

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, though no one has asked my opinion (and I don't know why they would given that the only time I normally have time to post anything is at least 11:15 after the kids are in bed, the work done, the wife upstairs reading, and I'm on my second vodka and whatever is in the fridge ("hey, Fanta Orange, I'm having screwdrivers tonight!") and most boodlers are doing the other things they, ahem, do), I'm afraid this is a case of a hard (teehee) case making a bad scandal. Nevertheless, the schadenfreude of a hypocrite exposed is overcoming my worry about how far police forces are enforcing morality.

Like many cities, here in Indy cops go to public parks and engage with these (I assume) closeted guys lookin' for some covert fun. When genitals are touched, off to the pokey (more pun fun). Seems ok to me (the pokey that is, not the touching, not that there is anything in privacy wrong with that). Symptomatic of the societal difficulties facing males who can't come to grips with their homosexuality.

But, touching someone's foot and moving your hand under the divider? Geez, what does that prove? To further Ivansmom's point, I bet an agressive lawyer hired immediately could have gotten charges dropped early on and made the veracity of the facts definitely less certain.

By the way, I am posting this because now, unusually, the family is out with Children's Choir stuff. Had one NY strip steak left over from last week. Grilled it and poured a glass of red wine. Listened to Miles Davis "Milestones" (with Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley!). A piece of steer, fermented grape, and great music: Priceless! Weingarten can eat his heart out; oops, no he can't, he might feel guilty.

Posted by: bilol everything | August 28, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

We are still taking all or nothing positions. Just like the PETA people.

I *am* concerned about the condition of animals in commercial farms, massive feedlots and abattoirs. I don't feel guilty for eating farmed animals (or wild, for that matter) but to argue that we're predators and they're prey is just silly, given today's farming biz.

I think the way to amend the industrial practices of farming meat-bearing animals is to be an advocate for better treatment of animals before we kill and eat them. I don't insist on organic free-range hand-raised, as most of us cannot afford the product and it would be a travesty to advocate such high-falutin' stuff without recognizing that better nutrition for more people might require all of us to lower our standards just a bit, in terms of both year-round availability of everything and cheap food.

But to imply that meat-eating humans don't care about the condition of our victims, and that only vegetarians do; and also to compare our food-sourcing practices to natural predator-prey dynamics, is just wrong.

I don't expect to win in the effort to have vast numbers of factory-farmed animals treated humanely, but I am willing to cut back my consumption as a symbolic (futile) gesture and to advocate hard for the cause.

And then I sit down to a nice roasted capon or juicy grilled steak.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I wish redstateupdate had put this up before the Sen. Craig story broke. It would have been on topic for boodle and kit, sort of:

Attorney General Ted Nugent

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Yoki.

Bill everything, that sounds like a wonderful evening. It is nice to have the house to oneself now and again. I am Boodling tonight (usually time-limited during the week) because (a) I don't have a rehearsal tonight and (b) the Boy and Ivansdad do. It is the last week of the Shakespeare season, hurrah, and they're bringing back the first two shows in rep which means brush-up rehearsals. Let me also congratulate you, b.e., on escaping children's choir duty. Generally, I applaud the principle but cringe at the reality.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 28, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, ha ha!

I'm kind of with Yoki... if he didn't touch anybody inappropriately or even make overt noises, it's not really grounds for criminal charges.

LostinThought-- I can't talk to people in stalls. What I might do (if I have failed to check for toilet paper beforehand) is tap on the wall, and hope somebody else gets the message when I
extend the hand as a hint.

Of course, I have had to teach Wilbrodog that it's not his job to peek under bathroom stalls or heavens forbid, touch anybody.

Early on, people would joke that he should be headed to the boy's bathroom. Otherwise it's been good.

And about the women vs men's restroom inequality-- yeah, women wait in lines longer for the same amount of stalls, so they have greater need.

But when I read Weingarten's wife considers it an act of feminism to take over men's restrooms as needed, I was appalled (this is an attorney)?

If that's necessary at least write a sign saying "women's" and put it up so men get fair warning.
Otherwise, it's an assault on innocent mens' privacy, who may have to decide to debate urinal ettiquette around women or whether they'll get beat up for indecently exposing themselves in front of women-- or worse, laughed at.

And the information is important so nobody gets pursed to death for asking "Is there a transgender convention in town?"

I think Thing 1's design was well thought-out-- advance notice, making women aware, etc. Not perfect, but hey, I wouldn't complain.

As for veganism--There is no extant society that practices pure veganism.

It's an unsustainable lifestyle; Indians practice lacto-vegetarianism and worship the cow.

A flexterian lifestyle is more sensible-- cutting meat intake, increasing plant protein, but not going whole-soy.

Such an emphasis on veganism also overlooks the fact that people are not adapted to the staple of a vegan diet. Many people are prone to celiac disease, grain, legume, soy, nut and other allergies; B12 malabsorption.

Also, excess phytoestrogens can cause endocrine abnormalities. Vegan and vegetarian mothers tend to be less fertile and have more girls.

I think Mr. atheist has fallen into the clutches of a cult.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I assure you that if I were in the next stall and heard you tap, and then saw a small finger-wave beneath the divider, I would immediately interpret that as a request for the loan of some toilet paper (though, I confess, until I began to know you, I might well have asked, "Do you need some toilet paper?" and been disconcerted not to get a verbalized answer; now I might ask the question verbally, then knock back, and wait for a repeated knock, thus communicating exactly the same thing), spin it off the dispenser, wad it up (probably enough for you and the next woman too) and stuff it into your hand.

What I would not do is think you had been inappropriate in any way. And here, the difference between conventions in the ladies' and gents'.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

So you imply that phytoestrogens follows ontology?

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"Not going whole-soy." Wilbrod, I adore you when you make comments like that!

Potty parity, what a concept. I have to be careful of consuming caffeinated beverages, especially when I travel, because of the pressure they put on my bladder. I recall an uncomfortable time on a trip in the Virginia hinterlands. We finally found a Wendy's and I ran to the restroom, only to be behind three teenaged girls who looked at me and went into the one-seater and closed the door. Knowing my distress, Mr. T suggested that I go into the unoccupied men's room, also a one-seater. So I did, and he went with me. Ah, relief!

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people (ahem, that's you, Mudge and martooni) are so threatened by vegetarians. I've never been ranted at by any, and I live on the West Coast! Some of my best friends are vegetarians. It's just not a big deal. I eat meat, but not huge quantities, and not rare. I can go without meat for days, and it would be pretty easy for me to give up, except for the occasional strip of bacon. And I love cheese, so that's got to stay. What I don't like are huge corporate farms that treat the animals horribly and pollute the land and water in the process.

I don't know what GeneW's idea was - thought his stance was kind of lame. Maybe Chatwoman's not as funny as she used to be.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, this is but a one week reprieve, a one week reprieve . . .

Posted by: bill (not bilol) everything | August 28, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

To be clear, I would never move my hand over to the other side and into somebody's personal space if I was trying to hint at toilet paper needs, but rather tap and hold my hand where it can be seen in hopes the woman can put 1+1 together.

Writing a note also is a possiblity.

Really, I prefer to avoid this in the first place.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I meant to clarify - GeneW's wife only uses men's restrooms when they're one-seaters - with a lock. And there's a line at the women's. I don't know why I remember that, or think it's worth clarifying...

Anybody want to take bets on when Larry Craig resigns? Those Idaho people can't be happy.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Will it make much difference if Larry Craig resigns? His seat would be filled by the governor of Idaho, who is a Republican, right? So it won't affect the balance in the Senate.

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I share your problem with caffeine, Slyness. I rarely eat fast food but know all the major chains ladies' rooms quite well. Glad we don't have the complex restroom rules the men have to adhere to. I gave up feeling that I had to accompany other women to the restroom at social functions years ago, partly because of some very strange conversations amd confidences that were shared with me on those occasions. TMI.

Craig is guilty of stupidity at the very least. Pleading guilty if he's not is stupid, and pleading guilty if he is and then trying to convince people that he just did it to make it go away (!) is stupid, especially when his hometown newspaper has been making noises about his sexual preferences. I would hope he'd just resign and save himself and his family from further ridicule.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 28, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Wilbrod. Thus L.A. Lurker's Rule #2 of Women's Washroom Etiquette.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... I figured somebody would roll up their sleeves and dig up some science to back up my shtick. Thanks.

Yoki... I'm with you on the industrial farms thing, but not sure what a good alternative would be. Turkeys are dumb, but they're still hard to catch when let loose. And if you need several thousand of them in a hurry, well... there goes the neighborhood.

To be honest, the only animal I have moral issues about eating is lamb. I absolutely *love* to eat lamb -- on the rod, as chops, with mint, without mint, curried, stirred, fried, whatever. But they're so cute. And young. And if you do the "moral" thing and let'em grow up before you whack'em, all you got is mutton.

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I think everybody in the entire state of Idaho is a Republican. Well, except for those really rich people in Sun Valley - but those are just their vacation homes, so they don't count.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I agree with you, although I've gotten some "slaughter of animals" attitude.

One woman I know who is a vegan really tries at it-- no leather, no nothing. She doesn't own a car. I respect her; she's a jain in all but nature. My vegan friends are so thin, I get tempted by it too.

I like vegetarian, have lived it. I like good vegetarian food, and yes, it exists.

I also know enough vegetarians to know they often eat junk food or survive on snack bars instead of eating a healthy diet. I have a dislike of eating lots of processed food, never do well when I do.

One friend of mine took 10 years to go vegetarian-- she said she had to learn how to eat it right. Once in a while she eats seafood.

It IS difficult to change to a new eating style and do it consistently. It's easier to do as she did-- reduce meat and learn what to eat instead that will feel good.

Another method is to learn from successful vegetarians who have some similar food likes and dislikes.

As for the daughter who has anemia issues-- I suggest chickpeas or spinach, and always eating some vitamin C with iron-rich foods-- it enhances absorption.

One of my vegan friends attributed her absolute lack of anemia issues to a love of chickpeas.

They are also good sources of folate, and canned chickpeas can practically be eaten without any cooking, with mild spices and some oil, in salads, or cooked in curries with other vegetables.

Tea (black or green) also helps boost iron and other nutrient levels, and contains some vitamin c.

Broccoli, squash, pumpkin, or sesame seeds are also good options. (Broccoli has good vitamin C if cooked properly, enhancing absorption!)

Taking iron pills is a sign of underlying health issues or that she needs to re-evaluate her diet, perhaps to the staggering extent of eating red meat once a month.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

mostly, Yoki, exactly. I've never had a vegan or vegetarian confront me or make snide comments when I eat meat.

I don't see a difference between not eating traditionally-raised veal and not eating chicken raised in tiny cages. I mainly lived in farming communities when I was in Ohio and knew a number of farmers--none of whom I would have called an advocate of animals, but also none of whom were willing to "torture calves to make money", as one of them put it.

Free-range is an entirely different thing. I'm fortunate that I can afford my principles. If I couldn't, I'd have to be totally vegetarian instead of flexitarian.

Posted by: dbG | August 28, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

In my whole life, I have only known one person from Idaho. She was actually born in New Orleans, at Charity Hospital, where her dad interned as a pediatrician, but she grew up in Idaho. The family is definitely NOT Republican. Oh the stories she can tell. So there has been at least one family of Democrats in the state.

Posted by: Slyness | August 28, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Poking around the Idaho governor's website - yes, that's Governor Butch Otter - I have to admit I like someone where the first thing you see when you click on Family Photos are pictures of a pretty little foal:
(At least his wife has her priorities straight.) Nice dogs, too.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

> "I don't understand why people (ahem, that's you, Mudge and martooni) are so threatened by vegetarians."

I wish to make it perfectly clear that I have never been "threatened" by a vegetarian.

As if.

I may have "threatened" to eat particularly noisy vegetarians, but I've found that most of them are tough and stringy and even the best Chianti doesn't help wash them down, so I head for the lamb.

(Mudge... got any good marinade recipes? I'm just thinking... this could be as big as finding a way to make Kudzu palatable.)

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it still illegal in some states to even have gay sex? Whether in a public restroom or private bedroom? Maybe even Virginia, but I don't feel comfortable doing a Google search on that topic right now.

I don't think there's any state where it's illegal to wiggle one's hand. Maybe I'm wrong.

I do think it's funny, though, that this boodle has remained on topic throughout the day: eating meat.

Did I say that out loud?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

//"I would immediately interpret that as a request for the loan of some toilet paper."


Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, if you get uncomfortable at the thought of eating lamb so young...

I'm not going to break the news to you about what else you eat that isn't exactly full-grown and mature.

Let's just say that the evidence is found in the growth plates and ample chunks of cartilage still extant on the bones.

I like lamb too-- I never ate it growing up. I rarely eat it, but started buying it now and then a year or two ago.

I won't eat veal. I've seen the calves raised for veal and restricted in exercise so their meat stays pale and delicate. They are killed at around 4 months old and consume a special milk formula until then.

Lamb is from sheep under 1 year old; and they are raised similar to beef cattle-- pasture, feedlots, etc.

I don't think there's a particular moral issue at eating lamb as a meat, other than how cute lambs are.

Mutton isn't THAT bad.

One reason I like lamb is the flavor is so strong and fatty that it does very well with robust marinades and a little goes a long way.
It's not bad if you want to eat less meat.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Raising head from class prep to say a Doolian thing: we have teeth that suggest a combination of animal and vegetable foods will work best for us.

Camping is so much easier for men than women for the same reason that the lines are long during intermission for gal-theater-goers.

(Stating the forthright obvious!)

The moon is lovely this evening and well worth a gaze or two.

And can someone tell me if the Idaho-Canada border is smaller than the VT or NH touching of Canada. Somehow, the Larry Craig discussion makes me ask this.

Poor Mrs. C. and any children. I am so glad my disasters do not result in film-at-ll videos on Youtube or Wikipedia entries.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I've always privately snickered (yes, "snickered") to myself over CNN's (and other sites') "instant surveys" because they're usually loaded and almost never provide an "I could give a guano option".

Just saw this one and thought of a great option#3 and #4 (which I've added)...

"What should Senator Larry Craig do after being convicted of an incident in an airport bathroom?"

[ ] Stay in office
[ ] Resign
[X] Take it like a man
[ ] Push butt, wipe hands on pants

Posted by: martooni | August 28, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

According to Wikipedia, the Idaho-BC border is 48 miles long. I don't know if that's shorter than the NH-Canada border (Wikipedia failed me there). That's the part I've travelled across a few times - with the famous Lookout(!) Pass that terrifies me. It goes on way too long. A couple of years ago we went through southern Idaho - Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls - to get to Wyoming. They grow lots of potatoes. My husband has done the Sun Valley art show a couple of times - beautiful area, according to him. The Kennedys and Kerrys have homes there - Hemingway lived there. That's where Ahnold broke his leg skiing.

Lots of wilderness in Idaho too - that's why Aryan Nations types and Randy Weaver liked it. Michael Moore did an episode of his TV show visiting some very strange folks in Idaho (I think it was Idaho - possibly Montana).

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

All of this discussion of the extent of omnivorism of the human species reminds me of an interesting passage (pun) discussed in Undaunted Courage:

In September 1803, L&C and party finally cross the continental divide. Snowin' and gettin' cold. Still in high altitude they come in contact with the Nez Perce. Used to feasting on buffalo, deer and other meat on their way to the divide, and having no more source for meat, they consume large amounts of the roots eaten by the Nez Perce.

Imagine, basically, eating meat only for a year and a half and then only having roots to eat. Undaunted courage indeed, not to mention stomach cramps that would cause Mother Teresa to curse the Lord.

Posted by: bill everything | August 28, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

At my job - about four'ish when the cleaning crew is working - the restrooms have often changed destination.

A pregnant woman decided that she was not waiting nor was she walking upstairs - so the men's room became a temporary ladies.

And the gentlemen have taken field trips to the ladies - 56 seconds on average - they did say they would only be a minute.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 28, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me of the quote from a survivor of the Donner party, writing to a friend:
"Remember, never take no cutoffs and hurry along as fast as you can."

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Why are one seaters designated by gender anyway?

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I dated a girl in junior high that ended up attending U of Idaho in Boise. She said that the Aryan Nation had a booth at the student activities fair. A different world.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"Why are one seaters designated by gender anyway?"

Have you ever been in a men's version of a one-seater? They are usually filthy and smell terrible. I don't think the seat gets lifted and it doesn't appear that anyone takes the time to actually aim inside the seat anyway.

But this brings me to my biggest beef about ladies' rooms... women: SIT ON THE DAMN SEAT! If everyone sat on the seat, there'd be no need to avoid it.

At least if you hover... WIPE THE DAMN SEAT!

Yikes.. do I sound grouchy? No.. I sound like a woman who's been on the road a lot this summer.

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, martooni. See, this is the thing. If *cuteness* is the cut-off point, we'd be lost. Either eat animals or don't, but surely a full-grown, dirty, mean, smart, biting pig or pecking hen is the moral equivalent of a cute gamboling and frolicking lamb or kid (I eat lamb whenever I can afford it [her])?

My dear sister-in-law doesn't like to eat meat and doesn't, much (neither does #2) and that is fine, but she objects more to eating lambs or rabbits (sorry sorry RD, I wouldn't eat one of your lagomorphs!) than full-grown chickens or pigs or coons or beeves. She once asked me, when I admitted that I was not adverse to eating a lamb, whether I would "also eat road-kill?!" Depends on how fresh it is.

I've eaten moose and elk and deer and bear and walrus and insects of many kinds. It is all the same to me, morally.

Cuteness is not a line that has weight for me. The cute-meter is weak and culturally-determined.

If you are going to eat meat, then all meats should be open to consideration. I don't eat cat or dog or horse, because I too am a product of my culture. But I don't condemn those who do. I was thrilled, the first time I journeyed to India, to eat a water buffalo korma.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Ha! My mother tried to teach me to 'hover' on our first cross-continent road trip when I was about 4 years old.

It was not for me. It seems ridiculous. Either sit or stand up. This hovering thing betrays a very sad germophobia, along with a very small sad and ineffective solution.

I'm with you, sister! *insert female-power gesture here.*

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I can tell Yoki and I are true believers of the "omni" in omnivore (sorry, Omni).

Try anything at least once; you'll never know when you'll be starving to death in a post-WWWIII apocalypse and have to figure out how to cook roadkill alligator with plums and make it tasty.

I do dislike some meats because of the taste, expense, or sustainability concerns.

I do agree about caged chickens.

I've seen the USDA-approved conditions for chickens, and they're dreadful-- growing chicks always have a stage where their toes get caught in the wire and get amputated. You can see week-old chicks with missing toes already.

I'd rather eat to encourage free-range chickens or lobby for improved chicken husbandry standards-- so important for also preventing mass avian epidemics as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Boko, you make me laugh. Perhaps "gift" would have been a more felicitous choice of word.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I drop by and back boodle just a bit and the conversation is still around toilets! Awesome, dudes. :-) Somebody should write a book!

Posted by: birdie | August 28, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

BTW, thanks to Loomis and to any others about my query about (as my DC friend referred to him today) the former AGAG.

Been on the road today but appreciate the response.

Posted by: bill everything | August 28, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I have back boodled much farther and have tears running down my face from laughing so hard at so many classic comments regarding bathrooms and meat eaters. Bravo boodlers. And may we give thanks to the hand actions of Senator Craig.

There is (almost) nothing better than a hearty laugh. :-)

Posted by: birdie | August 28, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I should have been asleep ages ago, but couldn't bid the boodle fondue without directing you all to Sen. Craig's Valentines Day speech:

Posted by: frostbitten | August 29, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I see we're talking about not eating meat, and the guy in the bathroom. Odd.

I've seen sausage made up and I still eat it occasionally. As I've often said here, I've seen the whole hog thing, gutted and all. Every part used for a purpose, even the genitals. I think they're referred to as "mountain oysters" or some silly name.

Ivansmom, the grandsons did not destroy the bedroom, I did that. And if they had, I wouldn't have cared in the least. I was just so happy to see them. And as for the guy in the bathroom, he needs help.

We all need help. Micheal Vick, the senator, all of us. And His name is Jesus.

The g-girl starts to school today (Headstart), and today is her birthday. Her mom is here, and last night she was so excited, we had to make her go to bed. I cannot believe the g-girl is off to school. Has it been that long? I feel like crying this morning. It doesn't seem as if it has been that long since I cut the cord at her birth. I hope she has a good day. I can't go with her, I know I will cry all over the place. Going to laundry room, and will weep there. With one machine, I'll have plenty of reason to.

Good morning, Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, and all.*waving*

Have a good day, folks. It is still quite warm here. No rain in sight, and that is what's needed desperately.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 29, 2007 5:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

I see the has tinkered some more with its home page, finally getting around to creating a separate menu (below the "fold") for chats instead of a nearly invisible drop-down. This is good. And it seems to have created a new header called "Talk" next to those "On Faith" and "Post Global" headers. Well, maybe they'll get it right sooner or later.

Frosti, much better than Craig's Valentine's Day speech is Cong. Barney Frank's rininging denunciation of Craig on Bill Maher's show, at

Yoki, what do you think about these two cookbooks?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Both vegetarians and gays are so relevant to me, and I had such laughs reading last night. Just now I read Wilbrod's comment about staying on topic. I had to wipe coffee off the monitor.

My sister left the US so she could marry her partner. I had the Craig discussion with her yesterday. I think it is wrong to explicitly solicit sex from strangers, especially if they may be offended. In code, I think it should be OK. However, the guy did grab the leg. So that makes a difference.

And, my sister-in-law is vegan. She's a pain. She doesn't lecture, but she goes passive-aggressive at the dinner table, with the looks, the long silences, etc. And she maintains this totally self-righteous website that really irks me. My brother, who really enjoys a good steak, bends over backwards and goes to all extremes to make her happy, and I don't see her reciprocating. I hope she reciprocates in private, at least. Hmmm. Wilbrod, your comment rears its head once again. All puns absolutely intended.

Off to school I go. I'm still loving my job. Have a great Wednesday everybody!!

Posted by: a bea c | August 29, 2007 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Another high level White House defection:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I've stayed out of the silly vege-whatever-ian discussion because the whole debate is so ridiculous. There is nothing in this world that humans can't and haven't eaten including long pig.

It's like religion. Eat what you want, but don't go around proselytizing. What you eat is based on your culture, upbringing, and conscious. My mother-in-law is a very strict vegan for religious reasons. We have to have lots of tofu on hand when she visits. But she doesn't press it on us. She makes the best pork eggroll ever.

My wife has cut back her meat consumption because she has lost a taste for it, but that could be just a phase. When she was pregnant she had extreme cravings for steak. I ate well for nine months.

My son refuses to eat seafood in general and shrimp in particular. He calls them the cockroaches of the sea. I tell him that if real cockroaches were that tasty I would eat them as well.

I personally draw the line at housepets, but not livestock like goats and sheep. I had a lot of mutton in China and I have seen dog for sale in Vietnam. They have a joke in Vietnam that all the meat trucks head south with cows and north with dogs.

I don't feel squamish about seeing food prepared. In China I had a lot of food staring at me from the table. They like to know their food had a face. It didn't keep me from seconds of the Peking duck. My only qualm about seeing a side of meat in the back of a motorcycle was the lack of refrigeration in the van he got it from.

I have eaten a lot of different things including exotic game and plenty of things I'm not sure what they were. It all tastes like either beef or chicken.

I would volunteer for Gene's silly social experiment but I fear it is weird PETA aversion therapy type stuff he is picking up from his daughter the vet and he is using his readership to explore his misgivings.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, Cassandra give the g-girl a big birthday hug from me, my older girl also has her birthday today.

I have always wondered why there is a perception by some that it is wrong to eat meat, but fish or seafood are OK.

TBG still laughing over your hovering comments, I would like to add - Flush the Toilet!

Posted by: dmd | August 29, 2007 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, best birthday wishes to G-girl.

Posted by: a bea c | August 29, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Toles is great today:

Posted by: Achenbach | August 29, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's Boz on weak Nats attendance:

I think the numbers are squishy -- I've seen games where he attendance is supposedly 29,000 and there's no way there were that many people there.

Is it possible Washington just isn't a baseball town?

Posted by: Achenbach | August 29, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

It's the curse of the Expos Joel.

Posted by: dmd | August 29, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

yello, that First Dog article made me laugh.

Posted by: byoolin | August 29, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes Joel, that's a great Toles today.

And of course attendance figures are squishy, even with barcode scanners, since they can do interesting things with the variable of season ticket sales. I'd say this year's lagging crowds are a result of very low preseason expectations and a VERY slow start. I've enjoyed the games I've attended (even with a horribly blown save mixed in). Next year's bump in attendance will only be partially attributable to the new stadium.

*somewhat delayed Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Amen, yello, amen. I don't think I would do long pig but I'm willing to try almost everything. I've eaten stuff I had shot or fished and gutted and cleaned and well, it tastes even better when you have done it yourself.
How old is this Craig guy? Isn't it a bit sad that a 60-70 years old US senator is reduced to seek sexual gratifications with strangers in a batroom stall? But since he actively participated in the vilification and ostracization of homosexuals I have a very limited sympathy for the creep.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 29, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that the Post insists on making such a production of hiding the one thing that really sets its website apart--the Discussions?

When the discussions schedule was at the top of the home page, I visited several of them a day. Now I'm lucky if I drop by one or two a week. With the "new and improved" schedule I now have to scroll four pages down to find the schedule.

What would happen if the front page picture were smaller to make room? Even a dropdown link in the blue bar at the top would be better than the current location.

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse


Glad everybody is around for the g-girl birthday. I hope she has a good day.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, it just happens that I had to hit a bookstore last evening to pick up some texts on six sigma, and happened to flip through (but not buy) the Ron Silver pie book. I thought it looked pretty good. I've eaten a slice at Bubby's in Brooklyn, and liked the product very much, which is why I looked at the book. I especially liked the fact that he talks about techniques; sort of lets us into the back room of professional baking. And the pictures are delicious all on their own.

Based on the review, I'd be less inclined to pick up the Womanish book; it sounds sort of cute rather than useful. But what do I know? If you take a look at it, let us have a review.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The injury you mentioned at 6:22 last night might possibly be a rotator cuff. I'd strongly suggest you get it looked at by an ortho - type doctor. If it IS the rotator cuff, it won't get better by itself. It's got to get fixed properly, which is a huge deal. It's far better for you to get that done asap, than wait and let it get worse.

Oh, and that's 50 bucks for the consult, thank you very much.

Posted by: Practicing Medicine without a license | August 29, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Mudge-thanks for that link. First Barney Frank had me laughing, then nearly in tears.

Yello writes of the food fights, "It's like religion. Eat what you want, but don't go around proselytizing. What you eat is based on your culture, upbringing, and conscious." Good advice. A dear friend lost a girl friend after responding to her declaration "I won't eat vertebrates" with "What, too smart for you?"

Posted by: frostbitten | August 29, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, that made me LOL. She was obviously no loss!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I hope Barney remembered to use the WH Action Request form.

And that he remembered to check the box to apply for a Pardon. People are going to be asking questions about those "accidents" on the carpet.

The smells and stains of the Bush Administration is leaving behind won't come out easily.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "The smells and stains of the Bush Administration won't come out easily."

Dag, I should learn to think as slowly as my fingers can type.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. I hate to weigh in with medical info based on personal experience as YMMV, but Mr. F and I have both had quite painful rotator cuff injuries that did not need intervention beyond rest and non-prescription pain meds. Mine was a chronic tear, his acute complete with a visit to the ER. We found that the constant pain subsided after a few days but extension through the full range of motion in the shoulder was not pain free for several months.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 29, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Is it possible Washington just isn't a baseball town?"

Er, is *that* what those Nationals guys are supposed to be playing?

Seriously, it *would* help if the Nats played over .500 ball and threatened to get into the post-season. But given the ownership and management (incl. RFK and the stadium construction) situations at this point, I think it's going to take while before the Nats fan base gets into the middle of the pack attendance-wise.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I just want to say, if I lived in DC I would go to the Nationals games, despite their record. I miss having a major league team nearby (and no, the Rangers in Arlington TX and the Hated Cardinals [Astros fan] are NOT "nearby").

Cassandra, happy birthday to your granddaughter. A birthday and the start of school, what a great day! My birthday tomorrow promises to be considerably less exciting.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

bc, I think they need a big name player like A-rod, Jordan, Gretzky or Pele.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 29, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Just blame any stains on the previous administration. The do have a track record of leaving them behind. Heaven forbid anyone ever go through the the Oval Office with a black light.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Before reading Boz's piece I thought "he hasn't been to a Rays game." Then he goes and mentions the "moribund Florida franchises." Good choice of words, that. Frostdottir watches the Rays when she can get free tickets, which is pretty often through various promotions. I don't know which is sadder, when they inflate the attendance figures with free tickets or when the paid attendance is higher than the number of people who actually use the tickets to fill the seats.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 29, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all who practiced (until getting it right) medicine on me. Actually, I took Advil after dinner last night and after b'fast this morning (*never* on an empty stomach) and it's a bit better. I'm almost positive it's not a rotator cuff injury, since I don't do the kinds of exercises which would implicate it. I'm letting it rest this week (w/ Advil, alas) and start up with *lower* weights next week.

Cassandra - you just give g'girl a huge birthday hug from me and tell her that it's *my* birthday today, too. We're both in very good company. Today was also Ingrid Bergman's birthday (and, coincidently, the date she died). On the other hand, it's also Michael Jackson's birthday. Hey, ya can't have everything, ya know?

Gonna be a busy day. Cya

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 29, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday firsttimeblogger.

Posted by: dmd | August 29, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday g-girl and firsttimeblogger!! *HUGS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday firsttimeblogger. We sure have a lot of August birthdays around here.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Folklore affirms that Idaho's border with Montana was supposed to follow the Continental Divide. The surveyors botched that, so Missoula and a lot of other nice places ended up in Montana.

This seems a bit unlikely--the federal government paid for some very sloppy land surveys in the 19th century (I recall some serious messes west of Cody, Wyoming), but overall, the surveys constituted an astounding feat. Records from surveys of the Everglades have recently been used to construct a map of the region's natural vegetation.

No other country looks like a checkerboard from above. All those section lines.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to Cassandra's g-girl and to Firsttimeblogger! And all the other Boodlebirthdayers out there.

For some reason, I'm thinking of Nani today. Hope she's doing well.

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday today to both G-girl and firsttimeblogger (can we shorten that to 1stTB?).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to the g-girl and firstie. It's also my brother's birthday.

TBG, I share your frustration with the WaPo home page/discussions link. If they're going to keep moving it around, at least make it *easier* to find. Maybe they've become a subsidiary of Microsoft (motto: Gratuitously Rearranging the Menus Since 1990).

Posted by: Raysmom | August 29, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It's time to stoke up the old Scribe Mudge. You can probably get her blue bottom in Vancouver by the North-West shortcut before it freezes over.

And that warming thing isn't happening. It's all coincidence.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 29, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Kinda scary, wouldn't you say, Shrieking? Not the passage per se, but the melting of the ice.

All you birthday folks, I hope your day is a happy one! All these babies who were started over Thanksgiving!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to g-girl, ftb and in advance- to Ivansmom, as I have an action packed few days ahead of me, I don't think I'll be boodling much.

We went to see the Nats play our *beloved* Cardinals in early August. Not a great turnout for a Friday night and I was amazed that there seemed to be almost as many Cardinal's fans as there were Nats fans. Sadly, the Card's downward spiral continued with that series...sigh.

I was thinking about the whole Larry Craig farce (Did You See His Press Conference? I had to turn away) last night. Can you imagine the psychic energy it takes for that man to live his comparmentalized, twisted emotional life? It has to be so very, very exhausting.

I have been known to walk into an unoccupied single user men's room. It absolutely appalls my children. I cannot express how funny their faces are when I have done that.

Posted by: Kim | August 29, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I really really liked what you said about food. Its exactly what I believe. Its just a choice made for personal reasons.

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

What was the attendance level of the Expos before they abandoned ship? Maybe this glass is half full. Winning teams and pennant races sell tickets. After reading "Moneyball" I'm shocked there still isn't more parity in baseball.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the kind comments about food choices. I suggest renting "The Freshman" to really get the lighter perspective.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Expos/National attendance by season

Posted by: dmd | August 29, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

HB, 1stTB, G-G, IM.

Are you going to the NORD shindig on Sept. 28?

Bioethicist Jonathan D. Moreno, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania's highly respected Center for Bioethics, will present the opening address at the 2007 NORD Annual Conference in Rockville, Md., on Friday, Sept. 28. Dr. Moreno will speak on "Bioethics and Rare Disease Research".

Is he still in one of the Carolinas, or is it Virginia, or did he moved to Pennsylvania, and, if so, when? Do you happen to know if he wrote his book on quarantines, or just acted as an editor? Several years ago, I know he was interested in the Carville leprosorium in Louisiana, named after the same family of that of Democratic spinmeister James Carville.

Posted by: Loomis | August 29, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday g-girl and firsttimeblogger.

Hugs and best wishes to you both.

greenwithenvy, I hear the Nats may be secretly working on a deal with some scientists in China to clone Babe Ruth.
But just like so many other people, they're waiting until after January 2009 to let the Good Times roll.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Entrapment is pretty sick. The cops should stop chasing people who like prostitutes and those who are happy (gay?). I hope I've got that right.

Posted by: Robert James | August 29, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Boodle race fans, punditry please. Helio Castroneves is one of the 12 stars announced for the next season of "Dancing With the Stars."

Posted by: frostbitten | August 29, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday.

The Montreal Expos didn't "jump ship." They were voted off the island.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Firsttimeblogger and G-girl, Happy birthday. And my brother. Yesterday. I have to call him today.

Is part of the Nats problem and unstable fan base. I mean a lot of people move in and out every 4 or 8 years, so everything is going to be just a little loosey goosey. Maybe they need to start advertising their oponents just as much as advertising themselves? In practise they need to have fans behaving as if the Riders came to town.

When the Riders come to town, the standard is that half the people in the stadium cheer for the Riders and half for the home team. Happens everywhere. Its a rule. Maybe they should just hire some Saskatchewan Riders fans to, like, train the average joe?

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Got to love the shrink wrap!

Posted by: dmd | August 29, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

> "Heaven forbid anyone ever go through the the Oval Office with a black light."

Yello... I heard that George had one installed there (at taxpayer expense, of course) so that he can hold little get togethers with his old college buds. Apparently, there is something more to the sun pattern of the carpet in there he's always bragging about that can only be seen under a black light. The buzz from smoking $100 bills that have been used to snort cocaine also helps.

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

May I add that I'm very impressed the boodle went a whole day without mentioning cannabalism? Yello snuck in "long pig" this morning as is well and proper so don't take offenese yello. Considering the other topics being discussed I'm very surprised.

And more than a little concerned.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

frostie, are you asking whether IRL racing has now jumped the shark with Helio appearing on DWTS? Not really. I think any race series that can only field 18 cars per race needs all the publicity it can get. Thanks for bringing the announcment to my attention. Although I recognize the names of more of the professional dancers than those of the "stars."

Posted by: Raysmom | August 29, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I just looked up "long pig".

Not a good thing to do when you've already got an upset stomach and the township road crew is at the end of your driveway repaving the street with fresh asphalt.

And those backup beepers on all the trucks aren't helping none.

So far, I've tried some pepto, but that was rejected. Tried ginger ale with similar results (though much more fizzy). Beer didn't work. Neither did toast or crackers. Then -- for kicks and giggles -- I tried some sangria. It went down and stayed there, so now I'm trying another. If this keeps up, I think there's a nice long nap in my immediate future.

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure. NOW the blasted Northwest Passage is open. After all the time and effort Ernie and Roald and Henrik and Sir John and Marty and I spent looking for the d@mned thing. Sheesh.

The first time was when that Hispanic wack job Herman Cortes tried to send Hello Frankie (Francisco de Ullua to you). Frankie asked me to come along as navigator and lookout, which mean I'd have to spend a lot of time freezing my buns off up in the crowsnest trying to dodge icebergs, so I said "No way, Jose." (Well, not exactly in those words.)

Then Marty Frobisher tried no less than three times. I went on the one trip where I found this whopping huge bay when I was lookout. "Jeezey-peezy, this is one whopping huge bay, Frobisher," I sez to him. "Hmm. Frobisher Bay...I like the sound of that," sez he. And to think if I'd have just kept my mouth shut it mighta been known today as the Gulf of Curmudgeon. Hmmmph.

Speaking of hmmmph, a couple years later ol' Humph Gilbert took a shot at it. Once, again, I had my a$$ snugged down up in the crow's nest huddling around this little camp sterno I had, trying to thaw out my eyebrows when ker-thump, we run right smack dab into this whopping huge island.

"Land ho!" I cries out, we already being somewhat hard aground on it. "Avast, down on deck! There's this whopping big piece of new found land up ahead," I sez. Down on deck I can see Humphrey stroking his chin and muttering, "New found found land....hmmm. Nice title." They gave the b@st@rd a knighthood for it, too. I mean, where is the justice?

Two years later I'm once again up in the d@mned crow's nest (by this time I was in great demand by yer arctic explorers, being as I was the only guy who kept stumbling into all these bays and islands and icebergs and whatnot) and down on deck is Sir John Davis, who was a bit hard of hearing. One lovely bright morning when the temperature had soared up to about two degrees above zero, we sail into this huge bay. Once bitten, twice shy, methinks, so I yell down on deck, "Avast, I spy a bay, Curmudgeon Bay!" Later when I come off watch I look in the logbook, and what does it say? "Discovered Cumberland Bay." I sez to Sir John, "Jackie, old sod, o's this Cumberland piker?" "Mudge," he says, "Ain't that wot you called out? You'd found Cumberland Bay? I thought since you been 'ere before, you knew wot it was called, Cumberland. 'Course, I din hear you too well; at first I thought yiou said 'Cummerbund Bay,' but I thought that was kind of odd."

It was a good thing he was deaf, the old mossback, because of what I said next, which I can't hardly repeat here.

So the very next bleedin' day I'm once again up in the crow's nest, and once again I spots this whopping huge island. And I look through my spyglass and what do I see? Penguins, millions of 'em. And seals. And narwhals. And polar bears. And it must ha' been rutting season, cuz all these thousands of animals were doing the dirty deed, if ya know what I mean. There was polar bears doing it with polar bears, and penguins porking penguins, and harp seals plucking on the heartstrings of lady harp seals...why it was just an amazing sight. "Ahoy, up in the crowsnest, what are ye bloody looking at like that?" Sir John calls up to me.

"Why, soor, it's a marvelous boffing island," I sez. "There's animals boffing each other like you wouldn't believe!" So he writes something in the logbook, and later when I come down I look in the book, and what does it say? "Discovered Baffin Island."

By this time, I was used to that sort of thing.

Jack Cartier wanted me to come help him explore the St. Lawrence River, thinking that might be the coveted route, but I told him, Nah, nothing down that way except a thousand islands, and then some great lakes, but that's about all. He tried three times, but came back empty-handed. Then Hank Hudson wanted me to come along with him up the Hudson River in the Half Moon. I said, "Henrik, ya wanna see a moon, take a look at this." So he left without me, and was never seen again.

In 1762 or thereabouts, a cargo ship named the Octavius wanted to sign me up as first mate to make the passage, but once again I declined. They found her 13 years later off Greenland, with all the crew aboard--frozen solid.

'Bout 1845 Sir John Franklin wanted me to come out of arctic retirement and give it another shot. "Not me," sez I, "but don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out, Johnny." "But Mudge," he says, "we're taking plenty of food! I got the wife to put up 8,000 tins of vittles, all nicely soldered shut to keep 'em fresh during the journey." Well, you all know whatt happened to him. He and his whole crew died piecemeal, so to speak, over the course of a year or two, from (among other things) cannalism, and lead poisoning from the lead in the solder. They found three of the poor sods all mummified up on Beechy Island, full o' lead and somewhat cannibalized.

It waren't until 1903 that somebody finally done it by boat, and d@mn me if it waren't that crazy Norwegian, Roald Amudsen. "Ufftah, Mudge," he says, "the creditors is after me! I've gotta get out of this town, pronto. 'Come with me?"

"What kind of boat ya got, Ro," I asks him. Turns out he's got what my old pal Capt. Jack Aubrey used to call a "go----m Ducth-built herring buss," and only 47 feet long, single mast, called the Gjøa with a slash line in the "o", like those international symbols for "don't do this." So I took that as a sign, alrighty, and didn't go on the Gjøa. "Look, Ro, I'd love to come, but my two nextdoor neighbors here in Dayton are a couple of bicycle repairment, and they want me to come with them to North Carolina in Decemeber to help them push some kind of box kite off a sand dune. Sorry."

So Ro and his crew sail off in the Gjøa, loaded down with ten tons of lutefisk [sure glad I missed THAT culinary opportunity!] and darn if they didn't make it three years later, when Ro comes ashore in Alaska and calls his creditors and tells 'em to come to Nome to kiss his...well, never mind.

Me, I went with these crazy biker dudes to North Carolina in November, but that's another story.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that was for you, Shriek.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Helio Castroneves is
a: Handsome
b: in excellent physical shape and well-coordinated
b: Brazilian
c: Not having a great season in his Indycar

The Indycar season is over by the time "Dancing" starts, so he'll be able to focus his attention on winning *something* more this year than the St. Petersburg race back on April 1st...

Personally, I think he has a chance to win it all; he's really quite a charming guy with a huge smile.

ABC/ESPN hold the TV rights to IRL races, so this makes good sense for them for cross-promotional purposes.

I wonder if they'll let him dance in his driver's suit?

Next year, I want to see AJ Foyt in "Dancing with the Stars." I'd *pay* money to see it.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

A millennium of ink-stained wretchedness, and still the man doesn't know that there are no penguins in the Arctic. Puffins, my man, those must have been puffins. Or, possibly, Great Auks.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | August 29, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse


You have to collect all these great tales and bundle them in chronological order. Call it The Cummerbund Diaries.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

That may have been for Shriek, Mudge, but it made MY day. Thanks for the memories!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

By the by -- who was the first European to encounter penguins? It's not a rhetorical question. Wikipedia currently is stalled or something.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 29, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... your tale (all of which is true, I'm sure) tied in very well with what I currently have on the tube (Bean left her five-episode tape in the player):

Captain: Are you ready kids?

Kids: Aye Aye Captain!

Captain: I can't hear you!

Kids: Aye Aye Captain!

Captain: OHHHHHHH....

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Absorbant and yellow and porous is he!

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: If nautical nonsense be something you wish!

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Ready?

Captain and Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob SquarePants,
SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: SpongeBob SquarePaaaaannttss!!!

Captain: HA HA HA HA !!!!

Spongebob: (Plays the nose whistle)

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

'Upon discovering that the natural northern passage was frozen shut I resolved to force an unnatural one by a more southernly route.'

Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Magellan's ships may have been the first to see penguins in southern South America. In South Africa, the first near-European to see them might have been Hanno of Carthage, who apparently circumnavigated the continent.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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