Panel Round Two

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More questions for the panel: A license to speed; The Mutton Diet; The Westminster Dog Show loosens its collar.

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 Amy Dickinson, P.J. O'Rourke and Luke Burbank. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl celebrates his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Limerick in the film Dallas Rhymers Club. 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, though some more questions for you from the week's news. Amy, British spies have a new advantage in car chases, thanks to a change in the law. They're now allowed to do what when pursuing a criminal?

AMY DICKINSON: Woo, British spies...

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: My favorite things. Does it involve in visibility?

SAGAL: It does not sadly?


DICKINSON: Turbo - they get to exceed the speed limit.

SAGAL: Exactly right.


SAGAL: Ah, yes.


SAGAL: So let's say your standard British superspy is chasing a supervillain through the streets of London, trying to stop him before he can assassinate the Queen with a time bomb disguised as a Corgi.


SAGAL: Before now, before this change, the spy could be stopped by a bobby and fined for speeding. That is why all these years the Queen's dogs have been exploding.


SAGAL: But Parliament just passed a law saying that like regular police officers, agents of MI5 and MI6, the British intelligence agencies, can speed in pursuit of their duties, which means, British drivers, that from this moment, you are all undercover agents.


SAGAL: And of course - this is the best part - when the metropolitan police pulls you over and they say, where's the fire, governor, you can say, in the supervillain's lair inside the volcano. I must speed to it.


SAGAL: It's just amazing all this year they couldn't speed? They had to drive responsibly? This means like...

P.J. O'ROURKE: They're Sean Connery at 55 with that Aston Martin with all the rockets on it and stuff.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. And, like, he meets with Q and Q's like, well here's your new automobile 007. This device is a turn signal. Make sure to use it.


SAGAL: Luke, although it may seem hard to believe, a new study has found that even during the middle ages, what was all the rage?




BURBANK: That was where - but they would tie it to an actual bird.


BURBANK: And a lot of people don't know this. Birds couldn't carry more than 140 characters in the middle ages, yeah.

SAGAL: But that's how they could limit (unintelligible)...

O'ROURKE: ...the whole thing came about.

BURBANK: And, so anyway...

O'ROURKE: It's all explained now.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. Even in the 10th century, people worried about love handles, although of course they were, at the time, arranged marriage handles.


BURBANK: People were worried about getting fat or exercising?

SAGAL: And so therefore since they were worried about getting fat so they would have a - they would follow along a...

BURBANK: I'm not following along a - what you're saying.


DICKINSON: It involves...

SAGAL: If you want to lose weight, what do you do?

BURBANK: Dieting.

SAGAL: Yes, dieting...


SAGAL: ...was apparently a big thing in the middle ages.


SAGAL: Let me explain. According to a medieval history professor at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, the fad diets of today are exactly the same kind of eating regimens used by medieval monks and hermits. Of course, we're trying to fit into our bathing suits and they were trying to starve themselves so they could hallucinate visions of god but, you know, we're all counting carbs here.


SAGAL: For example, there's one popular diet where you eat - this is today now - and the diet is you eat for five days and then you starve yourself for two, just like a medieval hermit. If you're having trouble, use this little hermit dieting trick and only have five days worth of food.


SAGAL: Another great way to lose weight in the middle ages, the black death.


SAGAL: You know what they say, live fast, die young and leave a corpse covered with pustules.


DICKINSON: Oh, gee. Wait a minute. I don't get that because those outfits that they wore were very forgiving.


DICKINSON: So what's the point?

SAGAL: Well, you know, if the monks got fat they just let out the rope a little bit.

DICKINSON: Right, right.

BURBANK: That would seem like the one upside of committing yourself to a life of celibacy and just copying some holy text word-by-word in candlelight, would be that you could have a gut.





SAGAL: Be optimistic, Amy, maybe you will know this answer.

DICKINSON: Oh, it could happen.

SAGAL: Big news this week.


SAGAL: For the first time in the long history, more than a century, of the famously snooty Westminster Dog Show, what will be allowed to compete?

DICKINSON: Not, like, mixed breeds?



SAGAL: Yes, mutts.

O'ROURKE: Yeah, mongrels.




SAGAL: Until this year, only the snooty purebred dogs were allowed in the Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show in New York. But for the first time ever this year mixed breed dogs are being let in. At the American Kennel Club, which governs all this, mixed breeds are called all American dogs.


SAGAL: It's true.

BURBANK: You know, they weren't going to let them in but then Sarah McLachlan just showed up holding a couple of American dogs.




BURBANK: ...just crying and singing Adia and they were like, OK.

SAGAL: Now, the mutts will be allowed to compete in the agility trial. This is where the dogs actually, unlike normal dogs, just have to do something. They have to run around and go through obstacles.

DICKINSON: So it's only on agility? Do they judge them on their looks and their carriage and...

SAGAL: Well, I'm not certain because...

O'ROURKE: No, it is only on agility, as a matter of fact.


O'ROURKE: I know this because high Sean McCarthy is a friend of mine who is the president of the Westminster Kennel Club and who has allowed this wonderful inclusiveness to happen.


SAGAL: Wow. Did his monocle fall out when someone brought in the non-fancy dog?


O'ROURKE: Not at all, no. Not at all.

SAGAL: Because you can imagine, this is controversial in the world of dog shows.

DICKINSON: My concern, which is really the only thing to worry about - and I hope your friend has thought about this - like, there's proximity. There are agile, strong, mixed-breed dogs out and about...


O'ROURKE: Right next to Fifi.

DICKINSON: ...right next to Fifi. I predict a whole new kind of...

O'ROURKE: ...more mixed dogs.


SAGAL: It's going to be like Westside Story.



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