Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Panel Round Two

More questions for the panel: Sweet and Really Low, Lean On Me, and Where to Have the Best of Times.

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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 Paula Poundstone, Tom Bodett and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thanks everybody. In just a minute, Carl gets nominated for a Best New Artist Grhymmey in our Listener Limerick Challenge. That was Grammy but with the vowel changed so it sounded like "rhyme," Grhymmey. Just pointing it out.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: 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. Tom, the scientific journal Nature published a commentary last week saying that a grave threat to our health should be regulated as a dangerous and toxic substance like alcohol or tobacco. What is it?

TOM BODETT: Well coffee would be too easy.

SAGAL: That would be too easy. Although sometimes coffee has it in it, depending on your taste. People poison themselves by putting it in their coffee.

BODETT: Milk?

SAGAL: No.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Sugar.

SAGAL: Yes, sugar.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Sugar, seriously?

Sugar, sugar is a poison. It doesn't just make us fat, say the scientists in Nature. It's that eating it in the quantities that we do nowadays is actually poisoning us. The problem they say is that humans evolved to love sugar but prehistorically we couldn't easily get it. Honey, an example they give, was guarded by bees, right, so you couldn't get it all the time.

So one solution they're suggesting, you can keep selling cupcakes on every street corner but every cupcake must be topped by angry scorpions.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: That wouldn't keep me off it.

SAGAL: Really?

BODETT: No.

SAGAL: You'd be like, ow, ow, that was a good - ow, that was a good cupcake.

BODETT: And I'll bet you the bees didn't keep the Neanderthals out of the honey either.

SAGAL: Probably not. Well, it made them think about it. We were talking about this because you remember, what, was it 40 or 50 years ago when the medical reports first came out that tobacco was bad for you, say. And at the time people are like oh, come on. So is that where we are now?

Will like 20 years from now we'll be telling our grandkids, "well, you're not going to believe this but when we were younger, you could eat sugar on airplanes."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, for a while they had sugar eating sections. If you sat near them you'd get like secondhand cavities. Let me tell you, it was terrible.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PAULA POUNDSTONE: I tell you something, if sugar is poisonous, then I am the strongest woman in the world.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Yeah, I'm Ironman.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. I love sugar.

SAGAL: Poison seems harsh. Poison, is that like in action movies like the villains are going to be slipping sugar into the hero's cocktail?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I've poisoned you, Mr. Bond. No, I expect you to die-abetes.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: What's this idea of poison? Yeah, sometimes going to poison James Bond with sugar and then they're going to call back to their headquarters and say he should be keeling over in about another 50 years.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Paula, according to the New York Times, a number of cities in Europe are arguing over which of them has the honor of hosting what?

POUNDSTONE: The - can I have a hint?

SAGAL: Yes.

POUNDSTONE: I never ask for a hint.

SAGAL: They're trying to take the title away from the city of Pisa.

POUNDSTONE: That they have the most crooked buildings.

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

POUNDSTONE: Oh boy.

SAGAL: Other cities say that they have the leaningest tower.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thanks to some renovations in Pisa, the Leaning Tower there, it's no longer the leaningest tower. So other towers are vying for the title. One observer pointed out that the severe lean in the Tower of London, for instance, but that observer was just really drunk and lying on the ground.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It turns out dangerous flaws are all the rage in the European tourism business.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Buildings all over Europe are vying to be named the toxicest mold.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The flamingest roof they want. Poor Italy, though, in one year they lost the leaningest tower and the sexual harassiest prime minister.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No reason to visit Italy anymore.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: I love Berlusconi. What was it this week he said? I'm not a playboy, I'm a playman.

SAGAL: That's what he said. He was defending his record.

ROBERTS: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: He gave a long interview.

ROBERTS: Doesn't having the leaningest...

SAGAL: Tower.

ROBERTS: Tower is sort of a, you know, finite thing, because at some point the thing is just going to go over.

SAGAL: That's the trick. You want it to lean but not too much, because if it leans too much then you have the falling downiest tower.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And you have the most...

POUNDSTONE: It's like our chairs in the fourth grade.

SAGAL: Yeah, it's like who can go back. Who can...

POUNDSTONE: Exactly, exactly. You're cool if you can lean back but if the chair goes all the way, then you are dork of the month. That's bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Tom, this week the New York Times detailed a trip to one of Europe's most exciting theme parks. What is it?

BODETT: Well, Euro Disney's the low hanging fruit, but that's probably not it.

SAGAL: No, actually the reason they wrote about it was because the person who this was built in honor of, it was his 200th birthday.

BODETT: Oh, this week, it must be the Dickens...

SAGAL: Yes. They went to Dickens World.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BODETT: There's a Dickens World.

SAGAL: There is a Dickens World.

BODETT: Is that kind of like Dolly World with Oliver...

SAGAL: It's a little bit like that.

ROBERTS: Is it called...

BODETT: The ride, the Oliver Twist.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Who hasn't opened a copy, say, of "Oliver Twist" and said to themselves if only I could journey to that miserable orphanage.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well now, thanks to the Dickens World Theme Park in England you can. Do you like soot? They've got it.

BODETT: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Do you like chemical smell pots that waft the stench of organ meats and rotting cabbage around the park? They've got that too.

BODETT: Seriously.

SAGAL: Do you like powder sugar covered fried cholera balls?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, they don't have those. The creators are proud of the Great Expectations Flume Ride, which is real and really does splash down into a sewer.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Some visitors have been offended by the signs on some of the rides that read "you must be at least this hungry to ride this ride."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: I mean what do we answer that with? Like a small pox farm in Maine?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We were trying to think of what would be more attractive, like Kafka World, you just stand in line.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You never know what for and you never get there.

POUNDSTONE: And sometimes people cut in front of you.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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