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Panel Round Two

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Another question for the panel: Animal House of Representative, Life in the Fast Food Lane, First Domesticated Hairball.


CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Roy Blount, Jr., and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl. Thanks everybody.


SAGAL: Things are rocking along and in just a minute Carl admits we can't go on together with Suspicious Rhymes.


SAGAL: It's the listener limerick challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Roxanne, Steve Stockman is a Texas congressman who's announced he's running for Senate. While this campaign did not get off to a great start, what happened?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: I kind of read this and then I kind of skipped over it, so I kind of did read it. Can I have a hint?

SAGAL: It's like when they find cockroaches at your local Taco Bell, more cockroaches than usual, I should say.


ROBERTS: His campaign headquarters were infested?

SAGAL: And what happened?


SAGAL: Haven't you ever been to a restaurant where they found some health violation? What does the sign say at the front of the restaurant?

ROY BLOUNT, JR. AUTHOR: (Unintelligible).

ROBERTS: Oh, they closed it.

SAGAL: They shut it down.


SAGAL: It was condemned. It was a health hazard. Filthy bathrooms, holes in the walls, exposed wires. Congressman Stockman's campaign headquarters was equal parts Animal House and crack house.


SAGAL: Stockman defended himself saying, sure there were all these violations but he had outfitted the headquarters with multivitamins and antibacterial soap so...


AUTHOR: I wonder why cockroaches do go into politics, which often seems the case.


SAGAL: It's true. Actually, when investigators broke into Stockman's headquarters, they found that his entire campaign staff, all 40 of them, were feral cats.


SAGAL: In response to his accusations, his spokes cat barfed and then licked it back up.


SAGAL: Tom, you're familiar with EZ-Pass, or I-Pass that lets you pay, you know, your highway tolls without stopping.

TOM BODETT: Yep, love it.

SAGAL: Well the technology is finally being used where it makes sense...where?

BODETT: Pay bathrooms? It would work. I mean, think of it, it would work. I don't know where you'd mount it but it would work.


BODETT: Where it really matters.

SAGAL: Well, they're trying to make something that's convenient even more convenient.

BODETT: Even more convenient. OK, we're back to the bathrooms but...


BODETT: Do you have another hint?

SAGAL: Well, pull ahead to the second window.

BODETT: Banking?


BODETT: Oh, fast food.

SAGAL: Yes, fast food drive-thrus.


BODETT: Oh, what a great idea. I mean, if you're into that kind of thing.

SAGAL: 2013, the year when we decided that being fed without having to exit your car was no longer convenient enough.


SAGAL: Five Wendy's locations in New York are pioneering this technology that allows you to pay for your food exactly in the same way you'll eat it without stopping and with no thought of the consequences.


SAGAL: It's good. It's not quite the American dream. It still requires you to use your hands to eat. What we really want is to just pull up at Wendy's or wherever and have a giant bird regurgitate in our mouths.


SAGAL: That would be...

BODETT: If there was a dispenser in my minivan where you could just fill it up with coffee and then suck it out of one of those camelback spouts.


AUTHOR: There must be a way that you could just get fat without eating.


SAGAL: That would be the final thing. Roy, the recent discovery of 5300-year-old fossils in China reveal that humans had what even earlier than we thought?

AUTHOR: You mean earlier in the morning or...


SAGAL: This is something we have today but we didn't think that we did this until much later in our history as a species. It turns out that 5300 years ago at least we were doing this thing.

AUTHOR: Meatballs.


AUTHOR: I don't know.

SAGAL: They just found some noodles and extrapolate.

AUTHOR: Yeah, yeah, yeah...


AUTHOR: ...you know...

SAGAL: They also found a 5300-year-old litter box.

AUTHOR: Oh, pets.

SAGAL: Specifically.




SAGAL: Pet cats. It has long been thought that domesticated cats originated in the Middle East and didn't spread to other places until about 1,000 years later. But these remains have humans and cats living together for millennia all over the world. The cat fossils were found near shards of broken pottery, leading scientists to believe the cats had died shortly after knocking them off a counter for no reason.


SAGAL: But the question is, how do you know that it was a domesticated cat while it was found with the remains of seven other cats and a woman who lived alone?


(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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