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 Faith Salie, Paula Poundstone and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. In just a minute, Bill goes down to Katz's Deli and orders himself a past-rhyme-i (ph) on rye. It's 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.
Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Faith, great news for people who might worry about their diets. Turns out French fries are not so bad for you. All you have to do is what?
FAITH SALIE: All you have to do is eat six.
SAGAL: That's correct.
PETER GROSZ: (Laughter).
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Oh, wow.
SAGAL: Or, more to the point, just eat six. Eric Rimm, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, made a recommendation this week that absolutely no one will follow.
SAGAL: According to the doctor, a reasonable and healthy serving of fries is limited to six. Everybody was, like, great. No problem. I can do six bags of fries. And he said...
SAGAL: ...No, I meant six French fries. And people were, like, wait. Do they come in numbers that low?
SAGAL: Now, he did say you should only eat six - no more - fries if you want to stay healthy. But he did not say what size the fries had to be...
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, really.
SAGAL: ...So look...
GROSZ: Are they steak fries? Are they McDonalds fries?
SAGAL: So no, no. Look for McDonald's introducing the new pool noodle-size...
SAGAL: ...French fries.
GROSZ: I think he meant, like, hold six at a time, shove them in your mouth...
GROSZ: ...Wait, have six more, and then...
SAGAL: Well, that's true. There's also the time factor. He said six French fries per meal. So welcome to our new world in which you get to have three square meals every 12 minutes.
POUNDSTONE: You know how when you have the bag of fries, and then you pull up the one that's really long anyways, it's - that's always kind of exciting.
GROSZ: That is.
GROSZ: Six of those - six of those really good ones.
POUNDSTONE: The first thing I would have to do is dump the bag out and find...
SAGAL: Well, that will happen. If people are trying to limit themselves to this, they'll try to find the biggest six...
SAGAL: ...That they can find.
POUNDSTONE: I would maybe go to the other tables of diners...
SAGAL: To try to find...
POUNDSTONE: I'd try to - I'll trade you these two short ones for that nice, long one.
SAGAL: But, just to make it clear, it's not that six French fries are good for you. It's the most you can have without instantly dying.
POUNDSTONE: No, that's - no. I think you've misunderstood. No.
POUNDSTONE: If you're sick, what they're saying is eat six French fries.
SAGAL: If you're sick.
SAGAL: What do you mean?
POUNDSTONE: They're good for you.
SAGAL: They're good for you. It's like penicillin...
SAGAL: ...Nature's penicillin.
POUNDSTONE: Exactly. You know...
SAGAL: Six French fries - healthy, will clear up your mind...
POUNDSTONE: Cold and flu season...
POUNDSTONE: ...Best thing for you, six French fries.
SAGAL: Seven French fry - instant death.
GROSZ: That food pyramid is - at the very bottom is just a French fry lying on its side.
SAGAL: Peter, in honor of our appearance here at Carnegie Hall, America's most prestigious and storied concert hall, there's a new study out this week that's about intestinal distress.
SAGAL: Researchers found that what can trigger an intense need to run to the restroom?
GROSZ: It does have something to do with Carnegie Hall? Or you're saying it because we're talking about...
SAGAL: I was talking, basically, that I'm sitting here talking about explosive diarrhea on the stage that Bernstein himself graced.
SAGAL: So yes, that's why I brought that up.
SALIE: And this is definitely a run to do number two, not number one.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
SAGAL: So tell me about yourself. What do you do for fun? I'll be right back...
GROSZ: Oh, a first date?
SAGAL: A first date.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: First dates have now been...
SAGAL: ...Linked to incidents of what we will call date-arrhea (ph).
SAGAL: Scientists say the stress of a first date can be so great it can actually trigger your fight-or-flight response - the flight, specifically, of whatever you ate right out of your body.
SAGAL: So, you know, so just remember, though, the one thing that you can do to ease the tension of a first date - don't worry about your impression. Ask questions - questions like, will you excuse me?
SAGAL: Hold that thought. I'll be right back.
GROSZ: Do you have a spare pair of underwear?
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET THE RIVER RUN")
CARLY SIMON: (Singing) Let the river run. Let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come...