Elana Meyers Taylor plays Not My Job on 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Elana Meyers Taylor an American bobsledder, and the most decorated Black athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics. She knows a lot about medals, but what does she know about heavy metal?

'Wait Wait' for March 12, 2022: With Not My Job guest Elana Meyers Taylor

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Quit your bellyaching and start your Billy-aching. I'm Bill Kurtis...

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

KURTIS: ...And here's your host, a man I consider a brother, which is why we sleep in bunk beds each night. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks once again to the live audience we had last week. You probably heard that the recent Beijing Winter Olympics introduced a new sport called monobob, which raised a lot of questions, all of which were basically, what? So we have invited on Elana Meyers Taylor, the most decorated American Olympic bobsledder ever, to explain it all. But first, we want to hear about the strange thing that you're better at than anybody else is. So give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

FRANCIS ROGERS: Hello, my name is Francis Rogers (ph), and I'm calling from Kearney, Neb.

SAGAL: Ah, Tarny (ph), Neb. I just love the sound of an authentic Nebraska accent. Are you from around there?

ROGERS: Oh, no, no. I'm a temporary immigrant, you could say.

SAGAL: You sound British. Are you?

ROGERS: Yes, exactly.

SAGAL: And how does a person from the U.K. end up in Nebraska?

ROGERS: Not out of choice.


SAGAL: OK, well, that's good enough for us. Well, welcome to the show, Francis. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian and host of "Fake The Nation." You can see her in Chicago at the Lincoln Lodge in April 15 and 16 and at Joe's Pub in New York in April 30. Negin Farsad.


FARSAD: Hey. Hello.

SAGAL: Next, a correspondent at VICE and host of the podcast "Cheat!" We welcome back Alzo Slade.


ALZO SLADE: Hey, hey, hey. What's happening?

SAGAL: And her HBO special "Cats, Cops And Stuff" is now available as an album wherever you might stream or download your music. It's Paula Poundstone.


PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey. I've been to Nebraska. It's great.

SAGAL: It's a fine place. It's a fine place. Francis, welcome to the show. You're going to play, Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. Your job - correctly identify or explain just two of them. Do that, and you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you may choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

ROGERS: Let's get on with it.


SLADE: I love the enthusiasm.

SAGAL: You can take the man out of Britain, but you can't take the Britain out of the man. I love that.

SLADE: And you combine that with that Cornhusker excitement.

SAGAL: Oh, man. Yeah.

ROGERS: I am nervous. I am a little bit nervous.

SAGAL: All right. Francis, your first quote is someone telling us everything he can do to stop the astronomically rising price of gasoline?

KURTIS: Can't do much.

SAGAL: So who said he's not going to do much about the price of gas?

ROGERS: Biden?

SAGAL: Yes, Joe Biden, our president.


SAGAL: According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas hit $4.25 this week, though it was five cents cheaper at the very next exit. Oh, you should have kept going. Biden claims that the incredibly high gas prices are Russia's responsibility, but that's awfully convenient coming from a man whose prom date was an Amtrak train.


FARSAD: Oh, my God. Biden should be out there, putting on his leather jacket and his Aviator glasses and should be out on those oil rigs drilling for solar panels, OK?

SAGAL: Exactly.

FARSAD: That's what Biden should be doing.

POUNDSTONE: I was thinking that he should be at the full serve, you know...

SAGAL: Really?

POUNDSTONE: ...Pull up. And get the windshield for you, ma'am? Absolutely. Thank you.

SLADE: I think that the high gas prices is just another ploy to lock us down because now that the COVID restrictions have been lifted, for the most part, COVID is like, yeah, go outside. But then gas prices are like, no, we're not going to let you go anywhere.

SAGAL: So you think there's, like, this weird existential conspiracy just to keep us at home.

SLADE: That's right.

SAGAL: The news, by the way - and I don't need to tell you guys this because you're there. The news is hitting particularly hard in car-dependent cities like Los Angeles or Atlanta, while New Yorkers, of course, are just laughing...

FARSAD: I know.

SAGAL: New Yorkers are just laughing in their kitchens, which are also their bedrooms.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

FARSAD: I just want to say, as the New Yorker on their show this week, everything in my apartment is now powered by whale blubber.

SAGAL: Yes, the old-fashioned way. It's artisanal.

FARSAD: No, exactly.

SAGAL: It's all whale blubber over in Williamsburg now. Those hipsters, man.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now, it's unclear - it's politically fraught. It's unclear what happens to Democrats who hold the presidency when gas prices skyrocket. We reached out to a historian specializing in Jimmy Carter's second term for comment.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SLADE: But what I love is that, you know, Biden says, we're not going to get any oil from Russia. But hey, Venezuela, I know we're not cool anymore, but I was just wondering if you could - you know what I mean?


SLADE: If you could just spare a little oil...

SAGAL: Yeah, all we're doing here is switching drug dealers.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It's really not a moral, you know, upgrade in any way.

All right, Francis, your next quote is about a giant, palm-sized creature that falls from the sky.

KURTIS: Try to learn to live with them.

SAGAL: That was an ecologist from the University of Georgia talking about a new species of what that is poised to invade the Northeast?

ROGERS: Canada geese. I don't know.

SAGAL: Canada geese are awful, but they're larger than palms. This is this is much ickier (ph) and creepier than Canada.

ROGERS: Ickier and creepier.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. In addition to flying through the air and being about the size of your palm, they also spin 10-foot-wide webs.

ROGERS: Flying spiders?

SAGAL: Flying spiders, yes.


SAGAL: According to entomologists, an invasive species of giant parachuting spiders will soon be infesting the Northeast coast of the United States. Scientists believe they may be dangerous because they just upgraded from parachutes to jetpacks.


POUNDSTONE: Where did - how did they get here, these invasive spiders?

SAGAL: Well, nobody is exactly sure. They originate in Japan, and the assumption was - is that because they're from a fairly warm place, they wouldn't do well in the cold weather. So basically, what scientists did was they decided to see how they'd do in the cold. So they basically put them in a freezer, and they - these spiders took to it like a crowd at the polar plunge, like, whoa, this is what I call spider weather. And then they, like, took off their shirts and they wrote letters on their chests. It was like, what are you doing, guys? It's cold out.

FARSAD: (Laughter). But I feel like you're like - I feel like you're giving them a really bad rep because what if these, like, spiders come to America and they're - and they "Good Will Hunting" us, right? And they're just sort of, like, gems in the rough. And it turns out they can, like, do math - you know? - and fall in love.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, that would be a surprising ending to the story.

FARSAD: You know?

POUNDSTONE: That's for sure.

SAGAL: What?

SLADE: I think the fact that they can survive, like, extreme climates, and they're really harmless - I think the roaches of the world are going to be jealous.


SAGAL: Because that's their gig. They're the ones who survive the nuclear winter.

SLADE: That's what I'm saying - is so roaches are like, wait. You're taking my position in this world.

FARSAD: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAGAL: That's their gig, man. That's their gig.

FARSAD: This is like a crazy - it's like a "Love Island" rivalry that's going to develop.

POUNDSTONE: But they're going to show off in front of the roaches. Like, they're parachuting. Like what can a roach do? It's afraid of light.

SLADE: Well, roaches - some roaches do have their pilot's license, though, so these spiders just have their paratrooper license certification. That's - you know?

POUNDSTONE: That's a good point right there. Yeah.

SAGAL: All right, Francis, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Same bat time, different bat price.

SAGAL: That was Entertainment Weekly talking about how theaters are charging more for people to see what hit movie?

ROGERS: Is it "The Batman"?

SAGAL: It is not a Batman, sir. It is "The Batman."


SAGAL: It's the name of the movie. Hollywood - that's a town in California where they do nothing but make movies about Batman - has just made a new film about Batman. It's called this time "The Batman," and it's become the highest-grossing movie of the year, beating out the prior record holder, a movie called I Don't Care What It Is: I Just Want To Get Out Of The House.


SAGAL: And here's the thing. Theaters have been adding, like, a $1.50 surcharge to the tickets to see this movie because it is a movie people really want to see and because they can. What are you going to do? Stay home and scroll mindlessly through Netflix for another lost evening of your precious, short life?

FARSAD: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: You know what they could have done...

SAGAL: What could they have done, Paula?

POUNDSTONE: ...That wouldn't seem as evil?

SAGAL: What?

POUNDSTONE: Is they could have made the large popcorn larger and then charged for that.

FARSAD: Oh, have another tier. Yeah.

SAGAL: But no, Paula, that's not what they do. They charge you - I mean, you don't want the popcorn larger. You want the popcorn smaller.

FARSAD: Smaller, but call it a large.

SAGAL: Because the large - the small popcorn is enormous and charge - it's, like, $5 when the larger popcorn is 6, right? They don't want you to buy a small popcorn because then they don't make as much money.

SLADE: Where - what theaters are you all going to where the popcorn is $5?

SAGAL: That was an arbitrary number. I mean... You're obviously...

FARSAD: Because we all - the popcorns are $72 now, Peter. You need to get with the times.

SLADE: Peter's going back in time to the picture show.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. Oh, when I go down to the nickelodeon, yes.

POUNDSTONE: You know, I like the old Batman. I like the television Batman. I like...

SAGAL: The funny Batman.

SLADE: You mean, like, the boom, bang, pop?

POUNDSTONE: Yes, exactly.

KURTIS: Adam West.

POUNDSTONE: Yes. I can't - you know, to me, a fight scene isn't real unless you see the word zap on the screen.

SAGAL: Like kapow.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Oh, kapow is the best.

SLADE: But those Batman - that Batman and his homie Robin - they were pitifully out of shape. They had bellies, and...

SAGAL: They did.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It was a different time. They were different stunts.

FARSAD: Yeah, you didn't - you had to - you could do a movie with just a one-pack. You didn't need a six-pack.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

SLADE: It was, like, boom, bang, flop, flap. That...


FARSAD: Yeah, yeah. The sound effects were from their muffin tops hitting other parts of their bodies.

SAGAL: (Laughter).


SAGAL: Bill, how did Francis do on our quiz?

SAGAL: Francis was that man. Three in a row.



FARSAD: So good.

SAGAL: Whoa.

ROGERS: Thank you, Bill. Thank you, Peter. It's been great to be on.

SAGAL: Take care, Francis.

KURTIS: Thank you.


SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Negin, you remember Trump aide Stephen Miller because trauma is always hard to forget.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Mr. Miller has objected to the January 6 Committee subpoena of his phone records, but in doing so, we learned something about him. What?

FARSAD: Oh, my God. I think I remember this. He is still on his parents', like, cellphone plan?


SAGAL: That's exactly right, Negin.


SAGAL: Stephen Miller is still on his parents' phone plan, and he's a grown man. It's been 36 years...


SAGAL: ...Since he burst from the chest of an unsuspecting astronaut.

POUNDSTONE: He's a grown man, but he still loves when his dad comes home from work, to put on his dad's big shoes and clunk around in them.


POUNDSTONE: You know, he might want to work with, like, an image person...


POUNDSTONE: ...Because...

SLADE: Yo, I love the way Paula's...

FARSAD: Yeah, yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...You know, sometimes, once you know something about somebody, then suddenly, the - when you look at them, you see something different, you know? But you don't have to know anything at all about him, and you look at him, and you see it.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

FARSAD: Yeah, I mean, he looks so evil that his actual face looks like a deepfake of his actual face.


SAGAL: And, of course, the surprising thing about this story is, Stephen Miller has parents?

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's great, you know?

SLADE: (Laughter).


SAGAL: We assumed his mother abandoned the nest after parachuting down from a tree and laying all the eggs.


SAGAL: Coming up, find out who's finally going to save the Earth in our Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.


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 Paula Poundstone, Alzo Slade and Negin Farsad. And here again is your host, a man who has yet to realize there's a giant parachuting spider on his leg.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

KURTIS: It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our games on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME

VICTORIA: Hi. My name's Victoria (ph). I'm from Guilford, Conn.

SAGAL: I actually know where Guilford is. What do you do there?

VICTORIA: I work in a genetics lab in Branford.

SAGAL: So what kind of genetics do you do? Anything that will result in some sort of horrible monster that ends all life on Earth, please?

VICTORIA: Actually, yes.

SAGAL: Whoa.

VICTORIA: No. I'm just...

SAGAL: Damn it.


VICTORIA: I (laughter) - I do DNA sequencing for cancer patients.

SAGAL: Oh, well, that's very useful.

POUNDSTONE: Victoria, I have a genetic potbelly.


POUNDSTONE: Is there anything you can do about that? Or is it too late?

VICTORIA: Well, we're working on cloning people, so perhaps in the future, we can clone you and...

SAGAL: With modifications.

FARSAD: Oh, without the - yeah, and the...

SAGAL: With improvements.

VICTORIA: Yeah (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Victoria...

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Welcome to the show.

VICTORIA: Thank you.

SAGAL: You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Victoria's topic?

KURTIS: Save the Earth.

SAGAL: Did you know Greenpeace got its start when its founder noticed a whale had a green piece of spinach stuck in its teeth? Turns out that's not the only well-known environmental organization that had an unusual beginning. Our panelists are going to tell you about another environmental group that started in a strange way. Pick the one who's telling the truth - you'll win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to play?


SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Alzo Slade.

SLADE: When a man who calls himself Quinn Quinoa (ph) moved to San Francisco after graduating from Texas A&M, he had trouble adjusting to the lifestyle. He would have anxiety attacks when throwing trash away because there were 10 bins for a different category of trash. But most importantly, he couldn't seem to get a date. Inviting girls out to get some barbecue didn't work as well as it did back in College Station. Quote, "I went on one date, ordered a hamburger. And the next thing you know, she pulled hummus from her purse, threw it at me, and stormed out of the restaurant." So he and his equally hard-up friends formed a vegan male collective that they called the Soy Boys.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SLADE: They started holding all-soy-based mixers and encounter sessions. It worked so well, in fact, that Quinoa is now, first, married to a lovely woman named Quasar (ph). And secondly, he's actually a vegan. The Soy Boys continue to advocate for the plant-based lifestyle, but he asked the San Francisco Chronicle not to use his real name because he's still got friends back in Texas.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The Soy Boys, a male vegan collective, formed just so the members could meet girls. Your next story of eco-origins comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Bare Necessities Bear Protection Society in Woodsville, N.H., is a small organization founded in 2021 when 8-year-old Lissa Negron (ph) came home from school with a book from her school library that her parents thought had been banned. We had been unhappy with the school for a while, says Lissa's mother, Rachel Negron (ph). She had a teacher that told her that the Mayflower smelled. It's so negative.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: My husband, Ord (ph), and I don't approve of the indoctrination, so we took her out to a family of bears in the woods and left her. A mother bear will care for the young of another species, and bears share a lot of our beliefs. The Negrons kept a distant, watchful eye on their daughter as she thrived among her adopted bear family. And gradually, they, too, were accepted by the bears. We lived with them throughout the fall until my brother Todd (ph) came to visit and the bears started to get aggressive. Todd is a bridge too far for lots of us.


SAGAL: Bare Necessities...

FARSAD: Oh, God.

SAGAL: ...A bear welfare group founded by a family who sent their own daughter to be raised by bears. Your last story of the beginnings of an environmental group comes from Negin Farsad.

FARSAD: Carly Sindhi, an Asheville local, loves the word fart. She loves it so much she got fart emblazoned on a customized license plate. That's right - fart. She wanted to drive down the street and for people to say, oh, there's Carly. She loves fart.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

FARSAD: But soon, the city's DMV received complaints. Inexplicably, people don't like farts as much as she does, I guess.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

FARSAD: And legally, the North Carolina DMV can reject custom plates that they deem lewd or obscene. But what if it's the initials of a reputable organization that just happens to sound like it's lewd or obscene? So Carly created the very real, useful-sounding organization Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails. That's right, F.A.R.T. She reverse-engineered fart, a lovable, gassy byproduct of the human butt, into an environmental organization, launched a website, and even organized a group hike. Did she bring bean-and-cheese burritos to the occasion? Probably. She claimed that the acronym really works for her because, quote, "I love hiking, biking and spending time outdoors." I mean, of course, she loves spending time outdoors. That's where you can fart without fear of recrimination.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: There is an environmental organization out there that started in an odd way. Is it, from Alzo, the Soy Boys, a male vegan collective founded by some guys who just wanted to meet, you know, girls; from Paula, Bare Necessities, a bear welfare organization founded by a family who sent their own child to live with bears rather than be indoctrinated in the public schools; or, from Negin Farsad, F.A.R.T., Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails, founded just so a lady could justify her lewd license plate? Which of these is the real story of an unlikely origin?

VICTORIA: It has to be the F.A.R.T. organization

VICTORIA: It has to be. I would concede that on our show you would probably be right, but let's find out. You've chosen Negin's story of the Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails. Well, to bring you the true story, we spoke to the founder of the organization.

CARLY SINDHI: F.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails.

VICTORIA: Woo-hoo.

SAGAL: That was Carly Sindhi, founder of the Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails, or F-A-R-T. I'm not going to say it out loud 'cause that's not the policy. You earned a point for Negin just for telling the truth in her patented, charming way. You've won our prize, the voice of your choice in your voicemail.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Congratulations. You did great.

VICTORIA: Thank you, guys, so much.

POUNDSTONE: Bye, Victoria.


SAGAL: Bye-bye.

SLADE: Bye, Victoria.



SAGAL: And now the game where we ask very competitive people to put that aside and embrace the emptiness of victory. Elana Meyers Taylor is the most decorated American Olympic bobsledder ever with five Olympic medals including two from the most recent Beijing Olympics. She often says, quote, "there are no dumb questions when it comes to bobsledding." And we are delighted to have a chance to prove her wrong. Elana Meyers Taylor, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


ELANA MEYERS TAYLOR: Thanks for having me. It's such an honor to be here.

SAGAL: It's a thrill. Congratulations on your medals at Beijing - very exciting - and your record-setting championship run there. We have so many questions. Let me start here. One of the weird things about bobsledding, which we only watch, like, most of us, once every four years, is it's almost impossible for us viewers to know what the heck you're doing. Yes, you push the sled and jump in. Then what happens?

MEYERS TAYLOR: We are actually driving the sleds, and most people don't realize that 'cause it's "Cool Runnings." The Disney film kind of hurt us there a little bit.

SLADE: (Laughter).

MEYERS TAYLOR: People think we lean and things like that, and that's how we navigate the sled. But I am actually driving the sled.

SAGAL: Yeah?

MEYERS TAYLOR: There is a steering mechanism, and it works like a pulley system. And you just pull left and right, and it moves our runners or our blades left and right to turn on and off of curves.

SAGAL: Right. So you're actually steering. Now, that's when you're in front. So...


SAGAL: If you are one - and I know one of your events is two-person bobsled. So the person back - the person behind pushes, pushes, pushes, jumps in, and then does what?

MEYERS TAYLOR: They sit there with their head in between their knees and can't see anything. They have blind trust in me to get us down safely...

FARSAD: Oh, gosh.

MEYERS TAYLOR: ...And just try to stay in a aerodynamic position as possible.


MEYERS TAYLOR: And they don't pull the brakes...

FARSAD: Oh, my God.

MEYERS TAYLOR: ...Until actually after we cross the finish line. So nothing except...

SAGAL: Right. Right. So - and do they ever - as you're rocketing down - 'cause you guys go pretty fast, like, above 80 miles an hour, right?


SAGAL: And as you're rocketing down this thing, is she - do you ever hear her going, please God, please God, please - or just, like, praying or, like, maybe backseat driving? Like, maybe could you slow down a little bit or whatever?

MEYERS TAYLOR: My brakeman at this past Olympics was actually cheering in the back of the sled. I guess she knew our run was going well, and she was actually cheering.

SAGAL: What was she saying?

MEYERS TAYLOR: She was screaming. She was, whoo, whoo in the back of the sled.

SAGAL: How the heck does she know how well you're doing? Her head's down between her knees in the dark.

MEYERS TAYLOR: She knows we're not hitting walls, and so she could feel it if we hit a wall.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

MEYERS TAYLOR: She knows we're not hitting walls, so it must be going well.

SAGAL: Wow. And is it - and again, I don't know. Is it an athletic experience steering the sled? Is that an athletic feat? Or is it just - you know, is it more akin to, like, driving a race car?

MEYERS TAYLOR: It's more akin to driving a race car. And so I like to say I can teach anybody how to get down a bobsled track. Like, if you want to drive a bobsled, I can teach you how to get down a track. Now, you probably will crash, but you'll get down on the track eventually.


SAGAL: Do you - I mean, another thing I've always wondered about bobsledding - so I mean, if you're a runner, you can go run around a track near your house. If you're an ice skater, you can get on a local ice rink. How - is there, like, a bobsled run near you that you can go practice at on a regular basis?

MEYERS TAYLOR: No. So bobsled tracks are only open six months out of the year, from October to April, so to speak. The two tracks in the U.S. are in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Park City, Utah, so those are our home tracks. But we don't have tracks in the Southern Hemisphere, so a lot of the other winter sports, they can practice during the summer months. But we have nothing to do, so we're just doing running and lifting and trying to get strong as fast as possible during the summer until our own ice season begins.

SLADE: Well, I'm going to - I just got to ask this question. I've not been to Lake Placid, but I've been to Salt Lake City, and I think it's one of the whitest cities in the country. And I know this because there are no Black people working at the airport. When there are no Black people at the airport...


SLADE: ...There are no Black people in the city. And like, as a Black woman - and you live in Atlanta, Ga. - what has been the response from, like, the community that's like - you know, 'cause we don't really do cold like that.

MEYERS TAYLOR: I still don't do cold. I hate the cold.

FARSAD: (Laughter) What?

MEYERS TAYLOR: I think it's...

SAGAL: Funny line of work for someone who doesn't like the cold.


MEYERS TAYLOR: Yeah, I think it's something that the community has kind of - first, in Lake Placid, N.Y., because it's such a small town and because it's an Olympic town, they're - they embrace the team regardless of what you look like. And there's always been people of color that have competed in bobsled since the '80s and have had a lot of success. So Lake Placid really embraces us. That being said though, it took quite a while. It wasn't until recently until they got Black hair products, so that's a big step up...



MEYERS TAYLOR: ...In Lake Placid. Now, I can get my hair - I can't get it done there still, but at least I can get the hair products that I need there now.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: So it's totally worth it.

SLADE: And do you - I got - the question I've always wondered, outside of PR events, do you ever wear your medals just to wear your medals?


MEYERS TAYLOR: I did my first medal. My first medal, I wore everywhere. I think my claim to fame was I went into Wendy's and actually asked if they had a bronze medal discount. And they were like, what the heck are you talking about?

SAGAL: Wait a minute.


SAGAL: Wait a minute.

SLADE: That's what I'm talking about.

MEYERS TAYLOR: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You did that?

MEYERS TAYLOR: Yes (laughter).

SAGAL: You tried to get a discount at Wendy's?

SLADE: Flex on them. Flex on them.



MEYERS TAYLOR: Bobsled is not the most glamorous sport. We are very - you know, we make our way. We can - and this was just when I was - just won a bronze medal, but I was converting into driver. And it's very expensive to become a driver and things like that. So I needed every dollar I could get.

SLADE: (Laughter).

MEYERS TAYLOR: And sure enough, they gave me a free Frosty, so (laughter) it worked.

SAGAL: Did they check? Did they look at it? Did they, like, bite it to make sure...


SAGAL: ...It was real?

MEYERS TAYLOR: They checked the medal. They didn't bite it, but...


MEYERS TAYLOR: No one's bit it yet, but they definitely checked it.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Wow, would that - I mean...

POUNDSTONE: Is a Wendy's Frosty part of your regimen? I...

MEYERS TAYLOR: No, (laughter) no. But it's just delicious (laughter),

POUNDSTONE: Couldn't you - in the off season, couldn't you get, like, a grocery cart on a hill and kind of practice?

MEYERS TAYLOR: (Laughter) My husband tried that, and he actually cut his shin open.

SAGAL: He tried? What?

MEYERS TAYLOR: Yes. 'Cause he was living in California at the time, which, of course, has no other bobsled tracks. So he was using a shopping cart and hit a curb and actually busted his shin open. So that ended our shopping cart experiments.

SLADE: Well, you can't - I mean, you can't really steer a grocery cart.

SAGAL: I just love the idea. Like, you were both next to the grocery cart. You said, one, two, three, push, push, push, push. And then you both jump into the grocery cart and go down the hill. That would have been awesome.

MEYERS TAYLOR: If we could have made it into the grocery cart, I think it would have.


SAGAL: Well, Elana, we are delighted to talk to you. We have more questions, but we have business to do. We have a competition of our own. Bill, what is the name of the game?

KURTIS: You've Medaled, All Right - In Death Metal.

SAGAL: So we were thinking Olympic medals, as you well know, are famously quite heavy, so we thought we'd ask you about heavy metal.

MEYERS TAYLOR: (Laughter) Oh, boy.

SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions about heavy metal bands, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, the voice of anyone they might choose for their voicemail. Bill, who is Elana Meyers playing for?

KURTIS: Jason Hall (ph) of Austin, Texas.

SAGAL: All righty, then.

SLADE: I feel like this ain't right, Peter.

SAGAL: Why is it not right?

SLADE: This ain't right. I mean, it's enough that the Black woman is already in bobsledding. Now you're going to ask her...


SLADE: ...To be knowledgeable about death metal.

POUNDSTONE: I think she's a shill.

SLADE: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: I think it's going to turn out she knows all about it.

FARSAD: Yeah. She knows everything about it.

SAGAL: All right. All right.

MEYERS TAYLOR: I don't know about that, but let's go.

SAGAL: We're going to find out. Here is your first question. Ready to go? The bandmates of the great metal band Black Sabbath had a unique relationship among themselves. For example, guitarist Tony Iommi would frequently do what to drummer Bill Ward - A, secretly replace his drumsticks with chicken drumsticks; B, convince him they were changing their name to Chartreuse Sabbath; or, C, set him on fire?

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, my gosh.


MEYERS TAYLOR: I'm going to go with A, replace them with chicken drumsticks.

SAGAL: The chicken drumsticks - how long do you think it would take the drummer to figure that out?

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, it would not take them very long, so (laughter) I'm guessing it might have to be B then.

SAGAL: (Laughter) No. It was, in fact, C, set him on fire.

MEYERS TAYLOR: (Laughter).

SAGAL: They used to do it all the time.

MEYERS TAYLOR: Holy smokes.

SAGAL: They would douse him with rubbing alcohol and light him. And then once, like, the rubbing alcohol soaked into his clothes and actually burned him, so they decided to stop doing that. All right. You have two more chances.

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, my gosh.

SAGAL: Not a problem. Here's your next question. Heavy metal acts like Gwar, for example - we all know Gwar - are famous for their over-the-top costumes. One of the wildest costumed metal bands is a group in which all the members dress up like what - A, a classical chamber music quartet; B, Ned Flanders from "The Simpsons"; or, C, eight giant ladybugs?

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, wow. I'll go with B, Ned Flanders.

SAGAL: You're right.



POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The band is called Okilly Dokilly.


SAGAL: All right. You got one right, with one to go. You get this, you win. Here's your last question. Hatebeak is a metal supergroup from Maryland that features whom on lead vocals? A, a high-end Dyson vacuum cleaner; B, former CIA director Leon Panetta; or, C, an African grey parrot named Waldo.

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, boy - no idea. I'm going to go with C, Waldo.

SAGAL: You're right.


SAGAL: Waldo...


SAGAL: ...The heavy metal parrot.


SAGAL: That's why the band is called Hatebeak. Bill, how did Elana do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, I'm sure she surprised herself, and she surprised us by winning - two out of three, Elana.


SAGAL: Congratulations. My recommendation is you immediately go to your nearest Wendy's and see if they give you a discount for this.

MEYERS TAYLOR: Oh, definitely. I think this is discount-worthy, for sure.

SLADE: And when I watch bobsled from now on, I'm going to be that obnoxious guy that acts like I've known bobsledding for years.


SAGAL: Exactly.

SLADE: Yeah, you don't you don't understand the technical knowledge the driver must have.

SAGAL: Elana Meyers Taylor is the most decorated Black athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics and our greatest bobsledder. Elana Meyers Taylor, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MEYERS TAYLOR: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. This is awesome.


CALVIN HARRIS: (Singing) Do you slide on all your nights like this?

SAGAL: In just a minute, we go under the sea in our Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Negin Farsad, Paula Poundstone and Alzo Slade. And here again is your host - we call him Mono Pete (ph) - Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thanks, Bill. In just a minute, Bill lets the Wild Rhyme-pus (ph) start 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.

Right now, panel, it's time for a new game that we're calling...

KURTIS: Take That, Putin.

SAGAL: We've actually been hearing a bunch of inspiring stories from Ukraine. And because we know he's a listener, we're going to rub Putin's face in them. We're going to ask you about them - rapid fire, true-false style. Get yours right, you get a point. Ready to play?


SLADE: Let's go.

SAGAL: All right. Negin, true or false - Ukrainian farmers have reportedly towed away so many Russian tanks with their tractors that Ukrainian farmers are now Europe's fifth largest army?




SAGAL: Alzo, true or false - a grandmother in Kyiv is being celebrated for bringing down a Russian drone with a sniper rifle?

SLADE: That is true.

SAGAL: No, it is false. She brought it down with a perfect throw...

SLADE: With the tomato.

SAGAL: ...Of a jar of pickled tomatoes. That's exactly right. Paula, true or false - a restaurant in Canada received dozens of complaints from people who thought their signature dish poutine was named after Putin.


SAGAL: That is true.


SAGAL: Negin, true or false - Ukraine's federal tax bureau told all Ukrainians that they did not have to file their taxes this year because of the war?


SAGAL: No, it's false. They told everyone they did not have to declare the tanks or anything else they seized from the Russians as income.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Alzo, true or false - the Ukrainian company that manufactures electric vehicle charging stations in Russia hacked them remotely so they would stop working.

SLADE: True. That's true.

SAGAL: No, it's false. They hacked them so the screens would read glory to Ukraine. Putin is a jackass.


SAGAL: Paula, true or false - for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has been stripped of his black belt by the World Taekwondo Federation.


SAGAL: That is true.


SAGAL: Negin, true or false - a man in Ireland apologized after crashing a truck full of communion wafers through the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin.

FARSAD: Oh, true.

SAGAL: No, false. He didn't apologize. He did it, and then he said, I've done my bit, lads.

Thank you all for playing Take That, Putin.


SAGAL: All right, panel, some more questions for you about the rest of the week's news. Alzo, a new startup company hopes to make package delivery faster than ever by storing cargo where?

SLADE: In airplane refrigerators.

SAGAL: No. Although that's an interesting idea, it's not it.

SLADE: Give me a hint.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. It's like Houston, we have a 12-pack of paper towels.

SLADE: Oh. Oh, in satellites?

SAGAL: Yeah, in space, yes.


SAGAL: A new company in California called Inversion wants to cut down their delivery time by sending packages up into space and then, when they're ordered, dropping them down at their destination.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SLADE: Does that make it quicker?

SAGAL: Yeah, because we all know the height of convenience is a case of Lacroix falling down at you at 300 miles an hour on fire.


SLADE: When the parachute doesn't work.

SAGAL: Apparently. The company's plan is to have these capsules in orbit that could be called down, slowing their descent with parachutes and landing within, you know, tens of miles of the target location. Just think. One day you could have, say, a brand new Instant Pot delivered right to somewhere 10 miles from you for just $79.95 plus $2 million in shipping and handling.


FARSAD: They really took their inspiration from that parachuting spider, huh?

SAGAL: Apparently, yeah. Paula, in Japan, there is a centuries-old famous volcanic rock called the Killing Stone that is said to imprison an ancient evil spirit. No worries, but this week, what happened?

POUNDSTONE: The evil spirit was released.

SAGAL: Yes, it broke open.


SAGAL: Hold on to your parachuting death spiders. Things are about to get worse. On Monday, the Killing Stone, as they call it, was found split in two. Legend has it that the stone contained the spirit of an evil, nine-tailed fox demon that posed as a woman who tried to kill the emperor in early 12th century Japan, so that witch is out. Experts say that the rock splitting in half was either caused by the spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae bursting free of her centuries-old prison to do evil in this world or rain water.

I - whenever I hear stories about the possible apocalypse - be it meteors, ancient Japanese demons - I'm all for it.

SLADE: But I feel like the end of the world has been coming since the world has existed.

SAGAL: Right.

FARSAD: No, but I'm with you, Peter. It's kind of like, we get it. We get this whole life thing. I got it. I get it.

SAGAL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

FARSAD: It's enough.

SLADE: But I feel like they just need - I think they just need to leave the rock alone. No need to bring it into the lab and test it and...

SAGAL: Well, they did. They left it alone. And one day, presumably this week, somebody hiked up to it and found it was split open. The demon had escaped. I imagine, given the world and what it is like now, the demon will soon be found trying desperately to get back in.



SLADE: The demon that came out was like, somebody beat me to it already.

SLADE: Exactly.

SAGAL: It's like, oh, man, I thought I was evil. Oh, my God.


THIN LIZZY: (Singing) Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak somewhere in this town. See, me and the boys, we don't like it.

HUGH LLOYD THOMAS: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or you can click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can also find tickets for upcoming show at the Harris Theatre in Chicago, April 7, with other actual human beings sitting around you. It'll be really fun. A little scary at first, but you'll get used to it. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

THOMAS: Hey, Peter. This is Hugh Lloyd Thomas (ph). And I'm an Australian living on Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts.

SAGAL: I'm sorry. Did you just say you're living on Nantucket?

THOMAS: Yes, I did.

SAGAL: So we have a caller from Nantucket here to play the Listener Limerick game.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, my gosh. That's perfect.

SAGAL: Isn't it amazing? We have been waiting for this moment for 24 years, sir, and I'm so glad. And how often does the whole sort of limerick thing come up in conversation when you say you're from Nantucket, that you are, in fact, I should go so far as to say, a man from Nantucket?

THOMAS: That is very true. I do - I'm more modest than that, sir. I don't repeat the limerick too often.

SAGAL: All right. I appreciate that. Well, Hugh, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Ready to play?

THOMAS: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Let's do it. Here is your first Limerick.

KURTIS: Fish and wildlife relations work busily. It's HR work where conflicts get sizzly. I tell ordinary bears to step in, grab a chair. I solve conflicts between man and...

THOMAS: Grizzlies.


SAGAL: Yes. U.S. Fish and Wildlife is looking for a mediator between the humans and grizzly bear populations in Montana. The mediators won't, and let's be honest, can't stop grizzly bear attacks, but they can ensure both parties in their interactions use I statements. For example, I feel like you are eating my leg. The bears also have hired a mediator. Oh, I'm sorry, they've hired a meat eater. Much of the role in this job, which sounds great, consists of stopping bears from eating trash in town and killing farmers' livestock. And it pays up to $100,000 a year. But unfortunately, money does not make you faster than a grizzly bear.

POUNDSTONE: I would do that job.

SAGAL: I would, too. We were so excited. We immediately looked at the actual job description. And this is true. The position is telework eligible. Can you imagine trying to mediate with a bear via Zoom?

FARSAD: Do they, like hold up a laptop to the bear's face?

SAGAL: I have no idea. Telework eligible. Really?

SLADE: Telework - bear on Zoom? Excuse me, Smokey. Are you on mute?


SLADE: I can't hear you. Are you on mute?

SAGAL: Oh, and he leaves the camera on when he goes out in the woods. It's like, oh, no, grizzly, no, don't. All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: As we toast a successful campaign, our mutual love's unrestrained. We're drinking the bubbly and feeling quite rubbly (ph). There's ecstasy in our...

THOMAS: Champagne.

SAGAL: Champagne, exactly right.


SAGAL: Bottles of Moet Chandon champagne are being recalled because they're spiked with ecstasy, which means Greg's office farewell party should be a rager. Everybody, please raise your glasses and your adult pacifiers. We should point out, of course, that while Moet is a real champagne because it comes from the Champagne region of France, this is not real ecstasy because it does not come from a man with a ponytail.

FARSAD: I mean, I don't feel like they should be recalled. I feel like let's...

SAGAL: That's like a new product category, right? Exactly.

FARSAD: Let's market that. I'm into it. I will be first in line.

SAGAL: Yes. All right. We have one more limerick. Here it is.

SAGAL: On Shackleton's ill-fated trip, the ice held a perilous grip. They soon paid the cost. Their transport was lost. At last, we found Shackleton's...



SAGAL: Yes, his ship. Ernest Shackleton's lost ship, The Endurance, has been found off of Antarctica. And how about this? The ship sank at the beginning of the First World War and was found right at the beginning of the third. For those of you...

FARSAD: Oh, dark.

SAGAL: For those of you who aren't middle-aged men who are into nautical history and sometimes think about smoking a pipe, Shackleton was an Arctic explorer whose boat got trapped in the Antarctic ice, stranding him and his crew for over a year. But here's the twist. Due to Shackleton's amazing tenacity as a leader, they all survived. Unlike certain shipwreck survivors, Shackleton made sure there was room in the door for the whole crew.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. It's an amazing story.

SAGAL: It is an amazing story. In fact...

FARSAD: There's something about shipwreck stories in general that - in finding lost boats and stuff like that, it just - I don't know, make my ovaries shrink or something. I find it so boring.


SAGAL: Really?

POUNDSTONE: So if you were to go to Annapolis, your ovaries would all but disappear?

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Yeah. Not a great place for me. Not a great place for me.

SAGAL: And the boat has been down there for a hundred years. They just found it, and it looks great. It was, like, Endurance, what's your secret? It says, well, I use a Retinol night cream, and you wouldn't believe how much I moisturize. I Bill, how did how did Hugh, the man from Nantucket, do on our Limerick challenge?

KURTIS: The man from Nantucket won a full bucket. All three makes him a champion.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Hugh.

THOMAS: Thank you very much. Really enjoy the show. It's really great. Thanks a lot.

SAGAL: Thank you for joining us. Take care.

THOMAS: Thanks. Bye-bye.

THOMAS: Bye, Hugh.

THOMAS: Bye-bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


OASIS: (Singing) In a champagne supernova, a champagne supernova in the sky.

SAGAL: Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer, as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: I can. Alzo has two. Paula has four. Negin has four.

SAGAL: Alzo, as you know, you are in third place, so that means you go first. Here we go. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. While in Poland, Vice President Harris called for a war crime investigation into blank.

SLADE: Putin.

SAGAL: Yes. Russia.


SAGAL: On Thursday, the TSA announced that they would extend their blank until at least mid-April.

SLADE: Mask mandate.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: After a week of criticism, the CEO of Disney said the company opposes Florida's so-called blank bill.

SLADE: Don't Say Gay bill.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a wild chicken in Louisiana set up a new nest outside of blank.

SLADE: (Laughter). The Capitol? I don't know.

SAGAL: The wild chicken set up a nest outside a Popeyes drive-through.

SLADE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: On Thursday, Elon Musk's space company blank launched more internet satellites into orbit.

SLADE: SpaceX.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: According to a new report, half of U.S. adults were exposed to harmful levels of blank as kids.

SLADE: Lead?

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: This week, a man who was hit by a car...


SAGAL: ...After leaving a Florida convenience store asked the EMTs that arrived in the scene to make sure that blank.

SLADE: Make sure you get my cell phone off the concrete.

SAGAL: No, no. He had - he asked them as they tended to him lying there on the pavement to make sure that his beer was OK.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SLADE: I mean...

SAGAL: The man was leaving the store with a six-pack of beer when the SUV rammed into him...

FARSAD: That's fair.

SAGAL: ...Threw him back inside.

SLADE: Priority, priority.

SAGAL: Emergency workers said he - only minor injuries, but sadly, the six-pack of beer was pretty badly hurt, which is why the EMTs had to give each can mouth-to-mouth.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Alzo do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He did very well - five right for 10 more points. He now has 12 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right. Very well done.


SAGAL: Negin, you are up. Here we go. On Tuesday, the first person tried for the January 6 attack on the blank was found guilty on all counts.

FARSAD: Capitol.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Sunday, disgraced New York Governor blank made his first public appearance since leaving office.

FARSAD: Cuomo.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, the House passed a $1.5 trillion dollar spending bill including aid to blank.

FARSAD: Ukraine.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, President Biden had a newly discovered blank named after him.

FARSAD: Aviator glasses.

SAGAL: No, newly discovered fossilized vampire squid. This week, George R.R. Martin admitted he made almost no progress on blank in 2021.

FARSAD: "Game Of Thrones" sequels.



SAGAL: According to a report, Green Bay Packers quarterback blank is set to become the highest-paid player in the history of the NFL.

FARSAD: Aaron Rodgers?



SAGAL: This week, the Indianapolis...


SAGAL: ...Fire Department was called to a park to rescue a blank stuck in a tree.

FARSAD: Oh, like, a kangaroo.


KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: They came to rescue a boy who got stuck in the tree while trying to rescue a cat stuck in the same tree. This kid - very helpful, saw the cat high up in the tree, thought there was a route to get it. Unfortunately, he discovered it's way easier to get up than to get down. So the fire department had to be called. Thankfully, rescue workers were able to get the kid down easy, and they brought him to a local shelter to get microchipped.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Negin do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, she got five right for 10 more points. And she now has 14 and the lead.


SAGAL: All right. So how many, then, does Paula need to win this thing?

KURTIS: Well, five to tie, six to win.

SAGAL: Here we go. This is for the game, Paula. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the U.S. rejected Poland's offer of 28 blanks to transfer to Ukraine.

POUNDSTONE: Airplanes.

SAGAL: Right. Fighter jets.


SAGAL: On Sunday, it was reported that the global death toll from blank had surpassed six million.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Monday, the White House announced new blank standards for heavy-duty trucks.

POUNDSTONE: Emissions.



SAGAL: This week, a screening of the new Batman movie in Texas was interrupted by blank.

POUNDSTONE: Somebody let a bat out.

SAGAL: Yeah, in the theater.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, the governor of New Mexico signed a bill making in-state blank free.

POUNDSTONE: Waterparks.

SAGAL: College tuition.


SAGAL: One day after having to call 911 to rescue him while hiking on a trail in Arizona, a man blanked.

POUNDSTONE: He rescued 911.

SAGAL: No, he had to call 911 to rescue him again from the very same trail.


SAGAL: First time this guy attempted this trail, he got lost immediately when the sun went down. And rescuers berated him for going out without the right gear.


SAGAL: They also told him to wait a few months for it to, like, warm up to try the trail again. So obviously, he got up the next day, hit the exact same trail at the exact same time and had to be rescued again. You know the old saying - fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; I do not know how to hike.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Bill, how did Paula do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Well, she had four right for eight more points, total of 12. That means with 14, Negin is this week's champion.


FARSAD: Whoa. Hey.

SAGAL: Whoa, Negin, whoa.

SAGAL: Now, panel, how will the giant parachuting spiders make our lives better? Negin Farsad.

FARSAD: Oh, the spiders will land in America, and they'll teach us how to love again.

SAGAL: Alzo Slade.

SLADE: Whenever someone refuses to pick up after their dog, a giant spider stealthily descends from the sky, wraps the poo in a web, and attaches it to the owner.

SAGAL: That's elaborate. Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: It'll take our mind off the nukes.


KURTIS: Well, if any of that happens, panel, we're going to ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Negin Farsad, Alzo Slade and Paula Poundstone. Thanks to all of you for listening. I'm Peter Sagal. We'll see you next week.


SAGAL: This is NPR.

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