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, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
SAGAL: Thank you all so much. Thank you so much. I'm just as excited as you are. We have a great show for you today. We've got the great novelist John Irving coming on to play our game later.
But first, NPR announced this week that they, at long last, will be hosting a cruise. This is true. You can join Michele Norris, David Green, and other NPR News luminaries next year on a trip to Asia. And this is the amazing thing, it is free, except every day the ship stops dead in the water and won't go again until you donate money.
SAGAL: But we are steaming on ahead, give us a call, the number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
EDITH WAGNER: Hi, Peter. This is Edith Wagner from the beautiful River West neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
SAGAL: Oh, I love Milwaukee.
SAGAL: It's got some of the finest corner bars that I've ever seen.
WAGNER: And the River West neighborhood probably has the most.
SAGAL: It's true. And it's great. And you're like, oh, this is so fabulous, every corner has a bar on it filled with color and people. And you're like, why do the people there need to drink so much?
WAGNER: Am I supposed to answer that?
SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Edith. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian performing at the Warner Theater in Washington D.C., October 6th, Mr. Maz Jobrani is here.
SAGAL: Next, the author of the syndicated advice column Ask Amy for the Chicago Tribune, it's Amy Dickinson.
WAGNER: Hi, Amy.
AMY DICKINSON: Hi.
SAGAL: And lastly, a writer whose latest is "Alphabetter Juice," Mr. Roy Blount Jr.
ROY BLOUNT JR.: Hello, Edith. How are you?
WAGNER: Good, thanks.
SAGAL: So Edith, you're going to start us off, of course, with Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell will recreate for you three voices, if you will, from the week's news. Your job, correctly identify or explain that two times out of three and you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your home voicemail. Ready to go?
WAGNER: Thank you.
SAGAL: All right.
SAGAL: I will take that as a yes.
WAGNER: That's a yes.
SAGAL: That's a yes. All right, here if your first quote.
KASELL: For $50, Joe Biden will watch you eat and tell you it's a "big bleeping meal."
SAGAL: That was ABC News imagining all the extraordinary extras being offered to people who donate money to what?
WAGNER: The Democratic campaign.
SAGAL: Yeah, the president's campaign in this case. Yes, very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: This is going to be, according to experts, the most expensive presidential election ever. So they're raising money. One day this week, the President went to six fundraisers in six hours; it is a punishing schedule, especially for a sitting president. He has other things on his mind. Late in the day on Tuesday, he got confused, and ordered a drone strike on Sarah Jessica Parker's townhouse.
MAZ JOBRANI: They should just set a limit so you can't go after a certain amount. Because aren't companies - there's a lot of money in there now, billions.
SAGAL: Well, basically, I mean because of these various court cases, including Citizens United, there is now no limit as to what companies, corporations, individuals can donate to campaigns.
JR.: Is there a limit to what you can give NPR?
SAGAL: No, there's no limit. Actually, not only that you can donate more money, it got easier to donate money. The FEC ruled this week that people can donate to candidates by texting from their phone, like you do with say the Red Cross. One worry, though: this will introduce the new phenomena of Butt Donating.
SAGAL: You'll be like, well, I'm a lifelong Republican but my butt is supporting Obama.
DICKINSON: Or drunk donating.
DICKINSON: Late at night. I love you man. You're the one.
SAGAL: Or also you can now sext the Obama campaign.
SAGAL: Now, for his part, Mitt Romney said this week that he wasn't sure he'd turn down the presidential salary if he wins, even though he's a very wealthy man. And he raised the idea of pegging his pay as president to performance. Well, he gets more.
JOBRANI: Like president on commission. So he'd be trying to sell people up on things. Like, I know you want to get the car...
JOBRANI: Upsell, right.
SAGAL: He'd upsell.
JOBRANI: China, I know you want to deal with us, but check out the leather paneling that we go.
SAGAL: So that aircraft carrier your guys are going to want to buy the undercoating, right?
SAGAL: You want that rust proofed.
JOBRANI: And also, let me go talk to my manager. Let me see what we could do.
DICKINSON: Right, right. I don't know.
JOBRANI: I'll be back. I want to give you the deal, China. But let me see what...
JOBRANI: Let me see what...
SAGAL: OK, Edith, here is your next quote.
KASELL: "All the people that were rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up and have the same life they had before."
SAGAL: That was a basketball player talking a year ago about all those people rooting for him to lose. Well, all those same people have another chance to root against him this year. Who is it?
WAGNER: Oh my. I don't know.
SAGAL: He's probably the most famous and most disliked basketball player today.
WAGNER: Oh, oh, oh, oh, the guy that went from Ohio to Florida.
SAGAL: Oh yeah.
WAGNER: OK, um...
SAGAL: Do you know his name?
WAGNER: I think I don't.
SAGAL: Actually, that could describe my grandfather but that's another story.
SAGAL: He went for different reasons. He's like "I'm taking my talents to Tampa."
DICKINSON: I'm going.
SAGAL: Well I'll give it to you. It's LeBron James is the person you're thinking of, LeBron James. This year, the NBA Finals pits LeBron James and the Miami Heat against the Oklahoma City Thunder. There are some good reasons to hate the Thunder too. Right after buying the team - this is great - the owners from Oklahoma City invited the team executives to Oklahoma City, and fed them a meal of fried testicles, without telling them what it was.
JOBRANI: For what?
SAGAL: That's true.
SAGAL: The worst part? The testicles were their own.
DICKINSON: And so what does Thunder, what does that refer to?
SAGAL: I think it refers to the weather patterns in Oklahoma City.
DICKINSON: Like weather?
SAGAL: General speaking. It's the Thunder versus the Heat, it's an all climate finals.
DICKINSON: I know, it's so weird.
SAGAL: But let's say...
DICKINSON: All climate, right.
SAGAL: Let's say you want to break the mold and you want to root for the Heat, which nobody is doing. Well, we have someone who can help you figure out how to do that, joining us now from his home in South Florida, Mr. Carl Hiassen. Carl, welcome back to WAIT WAIT, Carl.
CARL HIASSEN: Great to be here.
JR.: Hey, Carl.
SAGAL: So you're there. You're in South Florida. Tell America why they should root for the Heat.
HIASSEN: Well, pity is the first thing that comes to mind.
SAGAL: Pity? Pity?
HIASSEN: Not for the team and not for LeBron but for the city itself. I mean we're desperate rooting for the Heat because we want the rest of America to forget about the naked face-eating zombie guy.
SAGAL: Shouldn't you spin that, however, to be sort of like a point of pride for Miami? Maybe change the name of the Heat to the Naked Zombies?
HIASSEN: Yeah, that or you know what they say, it's not the heat, it's the humidity.
SAGAL: Right, exactly.
SAGAL: That'd be a better name for the team, actually.
HIASSEN: Yeah, the Miami Humidity, yeah.
SAGAL: That's true.
HIASSEN: Well, I mean, also you want the championship, the NBA championship to be in an interesting place, and this is not to disparage Oklahoma City, but, you know, there's no "CSI: Oklahoma City."
HIASSEN: You know, Miami is a sexier town. It's a more corrupt town. These are all reasons to cheer.
SAGAL: I was just thinking about what "CSI: Oklahoma City" would be. It's be like every episode would be like "well, he died of old age."
SAGAL: Pretty much. Yeah, I do like your attitude though. It's like America, root for the Heat because hasn't Miami had enough?
HIASSEN: Haven't we been through enough, is my motto.
SAGAL: Carl Hiassen's new book is "Chomp." Carl, thanks so much for joining us.
HIASSEN: It's good to talk to you all. Bye-bye.
SAGAL: Bye-bye, Carl.
SAGAL: All right, Edith, you still there?
WAGNER: I am, and I know who Carl Hiassen is.
SAGAL: There you are.
SAGAL: He's the power forward for the Heat. Did you know that?
SAGAL: Here's your last quote, Edith.
KASELL: "Calamity? Gotcha. So what are the Kardashians doing today?
SAGAL: That was LA Times cartoonist David Horsey. He was talking about American reactions to the news that what is ending?
JR.: Sounds serious.
SAGAL: Turns out the Mayans were right.
WAGNER: Oh, the earth, the planet, us.
SAGAL: The world is coming to an end, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Good news from the journal Nature. We don't have to worry anymore about destroying the world. Bad news: it's because we've already done it. A new paper suggests we've already done so much damage to the planet, with our overpopulation and our deforestation and our reality programming and our kitten videos that it is done, it is over.
But, since we've already ruined it, you can relax. Cool your house by propping open the door to your freezer. Buy a Hummer, use it to push your Prius over a polar bear. It's fine.
DICKINSON: I mean, do we have like 200 years? How long?
SAGAL: We got a couple of hundred years before, like, we're all cinder.
DICKINSON: Oh, I guess I'm good with that.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Edith do on our quiz?
KASELL: Edith, you had two correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your voicemail or answering machine.
SAGAL: Well done.
WAGNER: Thank you.
SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Edith.
WAGNER: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.