Panel Round Two
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 Cindy Shupack, Charlie Pierce, and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl tapes a new episode of his podcast 99% Invisible with Rhyman Mars 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. But right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Cindy, another revelation from the Edward Snowden NSA leaks this week. This one about the NSA itself. In addition to its many spies, the NSA apparently employs a fulltime what?
CINDY SHUPACK: Bird?
SAGAL: Well, (unintelligible) ...
CHARLIE PIERCE: A parrot.
SAGAL: ...this person's work appears in the NSA internal newsletter. It's like: Dear Agent Abby.
SHUPACK: Oh, an advice column.
SAGAL: An advice columnist.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: An internal advice columnist for the NSA. The advice columnist code named Zelda...
SAGAL: ...really - takes questions from employees on everything from office attire to interoffice relationships. One NSA staffer wrote in to ask Zelda complaining - and this is true - that their boss at the NSA was spying on them.
SAGAL: But how do you print letters from people deeply involved in classified activities? It's like, dear Zelda, is it normal that my redacted wants to redact my redacted?
PIERCE: The really interesting thing about Zelda is she knows the answer to the question before you ask it.
SAGAL: It's terrifying. Yes. People - all of a sudden they see their name in the column. It's like, I know this is from the listening device we have in your lamp you're having some marital problems.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Dear Zelda, I'm having a problem but if I tell you about it I have to kill you.
SAGAL: Yeah. Paula, there's a new app for your phone that claims to make maintaining a relationship easier. What does it do?
POUNDSTONE: It - give me a hint, would you?
SAGAL: OMG, I love you. LOL.
POUNDSTONE: Oh, it sends text regularly.
SAGAL: Yes. It automatically texts your girlfriend so you don't have to.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
POUNDSTONE: Oh god, I would so hate that.
POUNDSTONE: I don't like texting. I don't believe in it. I don't think - as an atheist I don't feel it's what God intended us to do.
POUNDSTONE: I just - I find it annoying. Just call, just talk. Just talk and get it over with.
SAGAL: It's called the Bro App. It's for guys who want a girlfriend but don't want to do the boring stuff like talk to her or remember her name.
SHUPACK: Yeah, there should be a database of all the men who purchase this for women.
POUNDSTONE: Trust me, there is.
SAGAL: It's in the NSA newsletter.
POUNDSTONE: I don't like, like, residual phony talk. Like, you know what really irks me?
SAGAL: What, Paula?
POUNDSTONE: Is if you go to your grocery store or the Burger King, when you get the receipt and it says thank you on it.
POUNDSTONE: I just feel like, save the ink and save the paper. Why put thank you on it? Is anybody really thanking me? And, by the way, recently these places like oh, Wal...
POUNDSTONE: ...Walgreens and Rite Aid do this awful thing where they have a tethered employee at the door...
POUNDSTONE: ...who goes, you know, thanks for coming to the Rite Aid.
POUNDSTONE: I'm always, like, turning and looking. It just...
SAGAL: When you say tethered, do you mean like there's a...
POUNDSTONE: They're chained. They're chained there.
SAGAL: They're chained.
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, which I think is illegal, isn't it?
POUNDSTONE: You know, nobody goes to the Rite Aid to socialize. Let's get this over with, is my feeling, you know. Like, I'm walking through and they stop me. I turned around and looked at them for a second and it wasted my time.
SHUPACK: I know. This...
POUNDSTONE: I got 16 cats. I got to get home.
SAGAL: Cindy, advertising is everywhere and while it may have seemed like there were no frontiers left, Spirit Airlines is now placing ads where?
SHUPACK: On the foreheads of the flight attendants?
SAGAL: Somewhere an executive for Spirit is writing these ideas down (unintelligible).
SHUPACK: The napkins.
SAGAL: Get - no, napkins already had this.
SAGAL: No. What else does everybody have in their seat in front of them?
SHUPACK: Of the...
SAGAL: And they're unlucky end up having to look at.
SHUPACK: Oh, on the barf bags?
SAGAL: Yes, indeed, on the barf bags.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
POUNDSTONE: Oh, boy. Gosh.
SAGAL: Ads on the barf bags. So there you are at 35,000', you hit turbulence, you feel sick, you pull up the barf bag and you're like, hey, those chicken McNuggets sure do look good in that picture. And in a second I'm going to have absolutely nothing in my stomach, so hey.
POUNDSTONE: What are the cocktail napkins for on the airplane?
SAGAL: I have always wondered that.
POUNDSTONE: They do absolutely nothing. If you spilled, they're certainly not absorbent enough to help you. They do nothing other than waste paper and have a bizarre exchange with the flight attendant where you kind of can't quite grab it.
POUNDSTONE: You know, I don't understand what they're for. They don't - they wouldn't stop your beverage from sliding across the tray table. There's a little indention for the cup on a tray table. And if you put the napkin underneath it, it makes the cup not fit there properly.
POUNDSTONE: I don't get it. It doesn't make any sense.
SHUPACK: But I am starting to understand the 16 cats.
POUNDSTONE: They do nothing offensive. They're there when you want them.
SAGAL: And mainly they listen attentively when she goes on...
SAGAL: ...about the messages on store receipts and airline cocktail napkins.
POUNDSTONE: They don't listen attentively. They share my view.
SAGAL: You feel that deep inside they agree.
POUNDSTONE: Oh, this infuriates my cat Oreo.
POUNDSTONE: I said to her the other day, I said, have you seen the cocktail napkins on the airplane? And she said, f-f-f-f-f-f.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.