Panel Questions Happiness for Sale; The Mean Streets of Paris.
NPR logo

Panel Questions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/643922116/643955235" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Panel Questions

Panel Questions

Panel Questions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/643922116/643955235" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Happiness for Sale; The Mean Streets of Paris.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Paula Poundstone and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill is about to explode. He's a ticking rhyme bomb.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: 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, some more questions for you from the week's news. Adam, thanks to new research published in The New York Times this week, we finally know the key to happiness. What is it?

ADAM FELBER: Keys.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Who knew? They were right there.

(APPLAUSE)

FELBER: The key to happiness.

SAGAL: The key to happiness.

FELBER: Sleep.

SAGAL: No.

FELBER: Can I have a hint? What is the key to happiness, Peter...

SAGAL: We've always been - what's interesting about this is we've always been told that this is not, in fact, the key to happiness.

FELBER: Money.

SAGAL: Exactly right...

FELBER: I saw that study.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Turns out...

FELBER: Yeah.

SAGAL: It was previously thought that money cannot buy happiness. But then, happiness said, oh, sorry. I didn't realize how much money we are talking about.

(LAUGHTER)

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: This is a study. It showed that, all other things being equal in a population, those people who win the lottery end up being much happier than people who don't. And the idea of...

FELBER: Wow. That's a...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: That's a big differential right there.

SAGAL: Well, I know. But if you just take a population, and some of them win the lottery, it's a perfect experiment because they're randomly selected, except some of them, as the researchers put it, have been injected with money. And, like vitamins or heroin, it makes you feel better.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: You know, and I wouldn't do this for just any cause. But I would be willing to be a guinea pig in this experiment.

SAGAL: I appreciate that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But - and so the thing that I didn't tell you is that this study was done in Sweden...

FELBER: Oh.

SAGAL: ...Among Swedish people and Swedish lottery winners. So, of course, they're happy. There's nothing nice to blow their money on. What are you going to do? Go to IKEA and get the really fancy furniture?

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: There's some nice cafes in Stockholm.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Oh, I'm going to get a double espresso. I won the lottery. Really?

FELBER: Right. That's about as far as it'll go, though...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: ...Because the Swedish character is so conservative that I bet, you know, the day after, it's like, (imitating accent) yeah, well, I invested it soundly.

SAGAL: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: (Imitating accent) I'm overjoyed.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: (Imitating accent) That's a whole lot of money.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Now you're talking Minnesota. I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Roxanne, if you travel to Paris, you will enjoy magnificent sights and great food and newly installed kiosks all over the city streets that will allow visitors to easily do what?

AUDIENCE: (Imitating urination).

FELBER: (Laughter).

ROBERTS: Does this have...

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: The audience is giving you a very creative hint right now.

ROBERTS: I am...

AUDIENCE: (Imitating urination).

ROBERTS: Does this have something to do with...

SAGAL: Oh, stop.

ROBERTS: ...Portable restrooms?

SAGAL: Yes, it does. They are, in fact, portable restrooms so that you can...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Relieve yourselves whenever you might want. Public urination has become such a nuisance in Paris that the city has installed bright-red freestanding urinals at designated spots all over the city so that people can, as they say in French, wee-wee (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's a great idea. It helps - it keeps people from, you know, doing it in less convenient or sanitary places. But we cannot say the same thing about all the bright-green public bidets.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now, these urinals...

ROBERTS: Are they, in fact, urinals?

SAGAL: They are. What they are...

ROBERTS: So this is a - very gender-specific.

SAGAL: Oh, very much so...

FELBER: Well, public urination is a fairly gender-specific problem, as well, to be fair...

SAGAL: Yeah. Sure.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's designed to look like a small, red planter. There are flowers planted in the top, so it looks very pretty. But it also - it looks like a little mailbox with a slot in the side in which...

FELBER: In a way, it is.

SAGAL: Yeah, in a way.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In more ways than one - in that there is, in fact, a slot on the side in which you place your package.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: So you're not - it's not like a regular public toilet. You're not stepping into a little building...

SAGAL: No, you're not. You're just - instead of stepping, you know, up to a wall or a tree, you're stepping up to this thing and, shall I say, being very, very - you're depositing from very, very close range, let's say.

FELBER: So they solve the problem of public urination by constructing machines that allow public urination.

SAGAL: Pretty much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.