Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Panel Round One

Social Studies.

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Roy, fourth-graders in Texas were recently asked a reading comprehension question where the kids are told a story and asked what it means. In this case, the story was about a family facing a problem. What was the problem?

ROY BLOUNT JR.: The problem was that they couldn't find - they found most of their guns, but one of them was...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, don't think so much about Texas. Although...

BLOUNT: Oh.

SAGAL: ...The fourth-graders who gave the tests were in Texas. Think about, say, "Melrose Place."

BLOUNT: I don't know what that means.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, how about...

BRIAN BABYLON: Oh, you mean Monopoly? Is that a Monopoly thing?

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Maybe a more - maybe a more - maybe a reference more appropriate to your generation - think "Peyton Place."

BLOUNT: "Peyton Place." Ooh. Ha ha.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: Fourth-graders and "Peyton Place."

SAGAL: Yes, that's the problem. Well, basically it's about a wife.

BLOUNT: Yeah.

SAGAL: And she discover something in the story problem for the fourth-graders. What does she discover?

BLOUNT: That her husband has been up to something?

SAGAL: Exactly right.

BLOUNT: Oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Adultery is the problem.

BLOUNT: Oh, my Lord.

SAGAL: The fourth-graders read about a married woman name Ruby who found a hair clip she didn't recognize...

BLOUNT: Ah.

SAGAL: ...On quote, "the bed she shared with her husband, Mike."

O'CONNOR: Woah.

BLOUNT: Woah.

SAGAL: The 9-year-olds were then asked to explain why Ruby got so upset. The correct answer - Mike was cheating on Ruby with another woman, which was confusing to 9-year-olds.

BABYLON: But you know what? You know what?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Cheating on what? Candyland?

(LAUGHTER)

BABYLON: But they should of got it 'cause at the end of the problem, it was like, (imitating "Jerry Springer" audience) Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I know. It does seem like a reading comprehension test is the wrong way to introduce children to the cold reality of adult life. Like, how about if it's math. If a train carrying daddy leaves the station at 5...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Traveling 60 miles per hour, how much time does it...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: How much time does mommy have to meet with the mailman before daddy gets back?

(LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: We didn't have any at all spicy magazines around the house when I was in fourth grade. But we had the Lady's Home Journal. And there was a column in there called "Can This Marriage Be Saved?"

O'CONNOR: Yes.

SAGAL: Really?

BLOUNT: And it scared the pee out of me every time.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Why?

BLOUNT: Well, I was like, marriages can be lost? What is this? Or are my parents doing this? Surely not. Oh, God.

(LAUGHTER)

BABYLON: I can just see Roy reading that like, oh, girl, mm.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: What you going to do?

O'CONNOR: At age 9.

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We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

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