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Panel Questions


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Amy Dickinson, Josh Gondelman and Brian Babylon. And here again is your host. And we have a correction to our previous intro, America's sweetheart is actually Reese Witherspoon. Here's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill records some rhyme tone for his new podcast in our 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. Josh, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a plan this week that seems to be specifically designed to prevent whom from taking communion?


SAGAL: Yes, indeed.


SAGAL: The bishops voted to draw up a document that would prevent Joe Biden - who, as far as I know, is the most Catholic person in America - from receiving the right of communion because he's pro-choice. What are they doing? There is no better booster for the Catholic church than Joe Biden. He talks about it all the time.

GONDELMAN: If this - next he's going to get banned from Amtrak. He has so few loves.

SAGAL: Right.

GONDELMAN: And for one of them to turn on him in this way - wow.

SAGAL: Yeah. And then, like, the local ice cream store and then he'll have nothing.


SAGAL: Nothing.

GONDELMAN: And then just the Sunglass Hut will put down their shutters as he walks by.

BRIAN BABYLON: So will it be like Joe Biden gets to to church and then his name is like - you know how in bodegas when people get caught stealing...


BABYLON: ...Do not serve - and it's going to be Joe Biden.

GONDELMAN: They put up your picture at the front of the church.

SAGAL: It'll be more like the "Soup Nazi" episode. Except instead of soup, it's the body of Christ.

GONDELMAN: No Christ for you.


SAGAL: Amy, Netflix has come up with yet another variation on the dating show. This time all the contestants will be flirting and dating and who knows what else while they all are doing what?

AMY DICKINSON: Are they harvesting something? No, they're not.

SAGAL: Yes, organs.

DICKINSON: Right. Oh, I - is there a hint that will help?

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, it's a little ironic because they're all required to do this just as the CDC has said the rest of us don't have to anymore.

DICKINSON: They're require - oh, mask?

SAGAL: Yes, they're all flirting and dating while wearing masks.


SAGAL: It's called "Sexy Beasts."

BABYLON: These like "Eyes Wide Shut" masks?

SAGAL: No, no, this is the thing. So the show is called "Sexy Beasts" and the idea is they go on dates with each other wearing these elaborate masks. But they're not just like, you know, masks you'd get at a costume store, they're these, like, Hollywood level prosthetic headpieces in which the face is still there. But you look like a dolphin or a gopher or a devil - an alien. And the idea is to see if these people can hit it off based solely on personality.

DICKINSON: But don't they usually have to make out in a hot tub or something? Like...

GONDELMAN: In the trailer, they show two of them kissing wearing these, like, animal masks. Yeah.

BABYLON: That's not...


SAGAL: Yeah. It's nice, I guess, that the show is encouraging people to look past appearances and focus on people's personalities so we can realize everyone has also let their personality go during the pandemic.

GONDELMAN: I got set up on a blind date in college with a young woman who was my college's mascot, so I do relate. I'm the only person in America who relates to this show.

SAGAL: Can I ask - I think this is an important question, Josh, what was the mascot of your college?

GONDELMAN: Ollie the owl, an owl holding a gavel because they were the Brandeis judges. And still I - shout out to Beth, if you're listening.

SAGAL: Shout out to Beth the owl.

GONDELMAN: I don't know if I'm even now allowed to doxx her as having been the owl, so (laughter)...

SAGAL: Amy, the COVID pandemic is being blamed for a lot of things, like the economic disaster and the fact that none of our pants fit. But according to a new study, you can now say that the pandemic is the reason your what is so terrible?

DICKINSON: Your social skills? Your...

SAGAL: Close. I'll give you a hint. It's like - you get to say, it's not you, it's not me, it's COVID.

DICKINSON: Oh, breakups.

SAGAL: Well, essentially. Your relationship, yes.


DICKINSON: Yeah. Yeah.

SAGAL: But you can blame COVID for how crappy your relationship is and it will actually help. It's like, sure, you and your partner might be fighting all the time, but that's because of the lockdown. You don't hate your partner, you just hate spending time with them.

GONDELMAN: I think that that's always a great relationship strategy is finding something worse than your relationship to focus on, right? Like, oftentimes it's someone else's terrible relationship that you can make fun of and be like, wow, I'm glad we're not them. And I feel like I've coasted for, like, six months just on that with people in the past.

SAGAL: Yeah. And is a great out. Just blame everything on COVID. I'd love to get the vaccine, just been dragging my feet because there's a pandemic out there.


GONDELMAN: I thought the answer to the original question was credit score. Because it's like, yeah, I've been buying a lot of stuff I don't need...

SAGAL: Your credit score?

GONDELMAN: ...Making less money than usual.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Brian, we're all familiar with overseas call centers doing customer service, right? We've all had that experience. This week, we learned that some of those people in those call centers overseas have a new job. They're watching live security footage from the U.S. and doing what?

BABYLON: Give me a clue.

SAGAL: All right - drop that, get out of there, stop robbing immediately.

BABYLON: They're doing this to scare off burglars to pretend - when people are not home, to pretend like they are home. Like, leave my Amazon package alone. But this person's in Bangladesh.

SAGAL: Pretty much. That's it.


SAGAL: They are actually shouting at robbers. 7-Eleven - this is actually a retail thing - 7-Elevens and other businesses are paying people in overseas call centers to keep an eye on their security cams. And if they see somebody, you know, pilfering the Pringles, to just let them have it over a speaker. So you're just, you know, doing some light shoplifting and suddenly you hear the voice of God, like, "put the Skittles down" or "don't make me come in there."

GONDELMAN: That doesn't work with every voice. Like, with my voice, if I was like, hey, stop stealing those Pringles, people would be like, oh, free Pringles and I get to beat up some dork.


TREVOR JACKSON: (Singing) Drop it, drop it, drop it where you are. Drop it, drop it, drop it where you are. Drop it, drop it, drop it where you are. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.