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Who's Carl This Time

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, and filling in for Peter Sagal, Mike Pesca.



Thank you, thank you all so much. That is very kind of you today. Thank you. We do have a great show for you today. Violinist Itzhak Perlman will join us. But first, I am Mike Pesca. I am filling in for Peter this week. I work for Slate.com, hosting a new daily podcast that is starting next month.

If you recognize my name, it's because I've covered sports for NPR. If you're unfamiliar with the idea of sports on NPR, they go like this: A screaming line drive over the short stop's head, screaming like cry of the rhinoceros beetle, whose Amazonian habitat is slowly eroding due to the effects of deforestation.


PESCA: But we invite you to give 110 percent when you call in to play our games. We're at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hello, you are on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

ANNA PACCHIONI: Hi, this is Anna, and I'm calling from Toronto, Canada.

PESCA: How are you, Anna?

PACCHIONI: I'm good. How are you? I'm trying to speak slowly so I can understand you.

PESCA: Right, because the Canadian accent is impenetrable to our ears.


PACCHIONI: I'm Italian, so it get mix up.

PESCA: Oh, an Italian Canadian. What do you do up there in Canada?

PACCHIONI: I do visual effects for movies.

PESCA: What does that mean?

PACCHIONI: I do explosions, gore, all the things that you don't see when you go see movies.

PESCA: OK, for movies, right? You're sure about - OK, good, yeah. What's the stupidest thing you've ever had to explode?

PACCHIONI: I had to kill a lot of Vikings lately.


PACCHIONI: Explosions, I had demons.

PESCA: You've killed Vikings, you've killed demons.


ROY BLOUNT JR.: Which are harder to kill?

PACCHIONI: I think the Vikings.


PESCA: Well, Anna, let's introduce you to our panel. First up, a humorist and author whose book "Alphabetter Juice" is out in paperback now, Roy Blount Jr.


JR.: Hi, Anna, how are you?


PESCA: Next, a writer at the Houston Chronicle, Kyrie O'Connor.



PESCA: Finally, a humorist who will be appearing along with Peter Sagal at Storytellers on a Mission at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont, on April 19th, it's Tom Bodett.


TOM BODETT: Hello, Anna.

PESCA: We're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready, Anna?


PESCA: All right. Here's your first quote:

KASELL: This is not another Cold War that we're entering into.

PESCA: That was President Obama talking about another Cold War that we're entering into with what country?


PESCA: That is correct.



PESCA: This week, President Obama finally got tough on Russia. He gave them the strongest tongue-lashing yet, and if that wasn't enough, he helped kick them out of the G-8. Now dismissal from the G-8 is quite a shot across the bow. You know, Russia can't use other countries' workout gym for free, there's no discount at participating Olive Gardens.

JR.: They need a loose cannon in the G-8. It's just all - get Libya or North Korea or somebody in there.


JR.: Have a little fun.

BODETT: Yeah, that eighth chair should rotate, I mean really.

PESCA: For excitement purposes, yeah.

BODETT: But I've got to say, you know, this Putin thing, I make worrier lists every year, and it's one of my New Year's traditions, and like 10 years ago, Putin was like on that list, but he was way down there, like number nine or 10, like around where my prostate was, you know.


PESCA: Now, they've both enlarged.

BODETT: Well, this is the thing.



BODETT: And now he's up around two, maybe three, and so is my prostate. So I think that we don't need the PSA test anymore, gentlemen. I think we'll just use the Putin index.

JR.: Putin sounds like something that lies right next to your prostate anyway.


BODETT: And I tell you if he goes - if he goes further into Ukraine, gentlemen, go see your doctors.

PESCA: All right, on to your next quote.

KASELL: Everybody go to Hobby Lobby today to buy glitter for your IUD.

PESCA: That was our own Faith Salie referring to a big case argued where this week?

PACCHIONI: In the court?

PESCA: Which court? Think a big, big case argued.

PACCHIONI: The court of America?


BODETT: No, she's thinking of Judge Judy. This is a different one.

PESCA: No, no, I know how to translate from Canadian, and we're going to give her that point.



PESCA: It is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. At issue, the owners of the chain of arts and crafts stores, based on their religious beliefs, do not want to provide certain kinds of contraception to their employees. Really, though, is there any more effective form of contraception than walking into an arts and crafts store?


PESCA: In fact, the Hobby Lobby was originally named Granny's Prophylactic Attic.


PESCA: I think I was watching a Viagra ad, and it said if your erection lasts more than four hours, visit a Hobby Lobby.



BODETT: Yeah, scrapbooking as foreplay.

JR.: Is it? I mean, maybe it depends on what your hobby is.

PESCA: So, but when you get right down to it, mentioning all these things that they sell in the arts and crafts store, couldn't an employee or a customer make their own contraception? Paper mache works great. Stay away from the googly eyes, though. During an amorous evening, are you wearing a rubber? Rubber cement, yeah.


PESCA: When you're in the mood, and you have time to let it dry, try rubber cement.


JR.: I know a really off-color song along those lines. It goes like this. (Singing) An impetuous young couple named Kelly are now forced to walk belly to belly because in their haste they used (unintelligible) paste instead of petroleum jelly.



PESCA: All available at the Hobby Lobby, yeah.

JR.: I very seldom get to bring that out...

BODETT: Yeah, I haven't heard that in a while, right.

PESCA: I believe Scalia invoked that from the bench, actually, yeah.


PESCA: Here's your last quote:

KASELL: Imagine basketball players striking before a Sweet Sixteen game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, and better food.

PESCA: That was Senator and former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander alarmed by a decision made this week allowing who to unionize?

PACCHIONI: Basketball players from universities?

PESCA: Well, not basketball players.

PACCHIONI: Baseball, sorry.

PESCA: Not baseball. It's football, college athletes, football players specifically Northwestern University. The National Labor Relations Board has voted to allow the players at Northwestern to unionize. The theory is that they are paid with a scholarship, they have to work many hours playing football, and they should receive compensation for injuries.

Now, people think it sounds crazy. But when it comes down to it, is there a better symbol for the union lifestyle than a football game: brief periods of activity between long periods of fat guys just standing around.



JR.: How good is Northwestern?

PESCA: They were OK. They're usually the punching bag of the Big 10.

JR.: That's what I thought. I mean, they probably need to get organized in some sense.


PESCA: All right, Carl, how did Anna do?

KASELL: Two correct answers. So, Anna, I'll be doing the message on your voicemail or home answering machine. Congratulations.

PACCHIONI: Thank you so much.

PESCA: Congratulations, Anna.

PACCHIONI: Thank you.


PESCA: And as I say to all our guests, keep blowing up those demons.

PACCHIONI: I will. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.