Name That Horrifying Injury

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After the Wall Street Journal published a list of codes hospitals use to identify injuries to insurance companies, we ask our panelists to identify some very odd — but very real — injuries.

CARL KASELL, host: 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 Peter Grosz. And here again is your host, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon, Peter Sagal.


PETER SAGAL, host: Thank you, Carl. Thanks so much. In just a minute, Carl uncorks a bottle of delicious Oregon Rhym-o-noir in the Listener Limerick Challenge. Yeah, I feel the same way about that one.


SAGAL: If you'd like a sip, give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, it's time for a new game that we're calling?

KASELL: Name that horrifying injury.


SAGAL: This week the Wall Street Journal revealed a list of hundreds and hundreds of codes used by hospitals to indicate specific injuries for insurance purposes. And man, are these codes specific. So we're going to ask you three questions about that list. Here we go.

First up, Peter, according to this list, there are no fewer than nine different ways you can be injured by what? A: medieval jousting lances? B: turtles? Or C: fellow audience members at a GOP presidential debate?


PETER GROSZ: B was just turtles? Nothing specific about that?


GROSZ: I don't know, turtles.

SAGAL: Yes, it's turtles, very good.



SAGAL: There are nine different ways you can be injured by a turtle, as indicated on this list. There's a different code for each. Among them: struck by turtle, bitten by turtle. Also very dangerous: macaws, cows and the sinister chicken. There are three codes for the three different ways you can be bitten by a dolphin.


SAGAL: One of them I assume is lovingly, I don't know.


SAGAL: Roxanne, you're up next. According to insurance codes, which of these urban menaces can cause at least three different kinds of injuries, each one has its own code? A: people who refuse to look up from their Blackberrys? B: falling pianos? Or C: lampposts?


ROXANNE ROBERTS: Okay, I'm going to eliminate pianos on the theory that there's only real way to get injured.


SAGAL: You could be under it. You could be riding on it as it descends. And you could be attempting to play it and - no.

ROBERTS: The only thing you can do is really smash your car and smash your self, walk into a lamppost. So I'm going to say blackberry.

SAGAL: No, actually it was lamppost.


SAGAL: You do not have the imagination of an insurance adjuster, because you could "walk into lamppost, initial encounter." That's one code. And there's another code for "walk into lamppost, subsequent encounter."


SAGAL: So it's like you walk into one lamppost, ow, you bounce off and you hit the other.


SAGAL: All right, Roy, this one's for you. Two of the following are the name of real bands, musical bands and one is an injury that insurance companies need a code for.

ROY BLOUNT: Oh, I see.

SAGAL: Pick the injury. Is it A: The Unspecified Balloon Accident? B: The String Cheese Incident? Or C: Nickelback?


BLOUNT: Unspecified Balloon.

SAGAL: That's it, the unspecified balloon accident.



BLOUNT: There is a band called String Cheese.

SAGAL: That was the point, Roy. We know this. There is also a band called Nickelback, but we don't want to talk about them anymore.

GROSZ: They're a Portland band, right?

SAGAL: I don't think so. No.

GROSZ: I am greatly joking.

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