Myles Stubblefield plays Not My Job on NPR's 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' It's our first-ever show in Buffalo, so we invited royalty. Myles Stubblefield is a vermiculturist known as the Worm King of Buffalo, but what does he know about musical earworms?

'Wait Wait' for April 30, 2022: Live from Buffalo!

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped in front of an audience of real, live people.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I've been to several Super Bowls. I'm Buffalo Bill...


KURTIS: ...Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at Shea's Buffalo Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y., a man currently covered head to toe in wings sauce. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thank you, the people of Buffalo. We are finally here. This was another show we had to cancel in the spring of 2020. And we are so grateful to have finally made it here. But don't worry, everybody. We have kept the show we were going to do for you then.


SAGAL: So if you're listening at home, it is your chance to call in and answer questions about that Michael Jordan documentary and murder hornets.


SAGAL: The number to call is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. Hello?

CHARLIE: Hi. This is Charlie. So sorry.

SAGAL: It's OK, Charlie.

CHARLIE: I'm from Austin, Texas.

SAGAL: I know - you know what? I'm always doing something else when I'm listening to the radio, too, you know? You were playing Wordle, whatever? You're calling from Austin. What do you do there?

CHARLIE: So I work as a art development specialist at a furniture design company, which basically means that I get to help artists make an income by licensing their work and helping bring it to the market.

SAGAL: Right. And this is an artist for furniture.

CHARLIE: No, it's artists, painters, photographers, you know, folks in graphic design, all different sorts of art mediums.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Sounds like a pretty great Austin-type job. Well, Charlie, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, the writer behind the "Ask Amy" column. Her newsletter - that's on Substack. It's Amy Dickinson.


SAGAL: Hi, Charlie.


SAGAL: Next, an award-winning correspondent in VICE and host of the podcast "Cheat!" It's Alzo Slade.


ALZO SLADE: Hey. What's up, Charlie? How you doing?

CHARLIE: I'm doing good.

SAGAL: And her new book, "Tell Everyone On This Train I Love Them" is out now. It's Maeve Higgins.



SAGAL: So, Charlie, welcome to the show. You, of course, are going to play Who's Bill This Time? You knew that. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready?

CHARLIE: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Next, I'm buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in.


SAGAL: That was somebody talking about his next big acquisition after he bought Twitter this week. Who is it?

CHARLIE: Oh, geez. Is it Elon Musk?

SAGAL: It is Elon Musk.


CHARLIE: Oh, no.

SAGAL: Oh, no.


SAGAL: Be careful. You live in Austin. You might run into him. Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $45 billion. And if you're having trouble picturing that amount of cash, just picture all the money you will ever see in your entire life and then add $45 billion.


HIGGINS: Wait. Is 45 billion - is a billion 100 million?

SAGAL: A billion is a thousand million.


SAGAL: It's what you British people would call a thousand million.

HIGGINS: A thousand million.

SAGAL: A thousand million.

SLADE: I don't even know what that...

DICKINSON: I know. I know. No.

HIGGINS: Wait. I'm not British.


SAGAL: I apologize.

KURTIS: Not at all.

SAGAL: This means that someone is going to kill me now, right? I've always...


SAGAL: I'm vague on all this.

DICKINSON: It can be arranged.

SAGAL: But I know people get very upset. Now, Mr. Musk says he wants to take over Twitter to make it more like the town square. Well, it has been the town square for a while, but now he wants it to be a more, you know, medieval type of town square...


DICKINSON: Oh, gosh.

SAGAL: ...With a guillotine in the middle of it.

DICKINSON: Oh, gosh.

SAGAL: Now, what's weird is - I don't know how closely you've been following this, but so he - first, he revealed that he was the biggest shareholder. Then he was going to be on the board. And then they said, we don't want you on the board. And then he said, fine, I will buy the company. And then they said, we don't want you to buy the company. We're going to keep you from buying the company. And he said, how about all this money? And they said, well, wait a minute. Maybe yes, you can buy the company. So that was all in, like, one week.

HIGGINS: Yeah. They were like, is that a hundred million, or is that a thousand million?

SAGAL: Yeah, they didn't know either, Maeve.


SAGAL: And then all of a sudden, he started behaving really erratically. He started, like, attacking senior Twitter executives and saying terrible things about Twitter. He said - and then he said that crazy thing about putting cocaine back in Coca-Cola, which, when you think about it, could be both the way this ends and also how it began.


SAGAL: This is an actual speculation - is he might be doing this so that they break off the deal, so he doesn't have to go through with it, but he won't be blamed for, like, changing his mind. It's like when you behave so egregiously, they have to fire you, so you don't quit, right?

DICKINSON: So this whole thing was, like, he's auditioning for the ten-part Netflix series about the deal.

SAGAL: Exactly, yes.


SAGAL: Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal is playing him next.

DICKINSON: Right, already.

SAGAL: That's how it works.

SLADE: With all of this money in this back-and-forth I really can't relate. The closest thing I can think of is when I buy a suit to go to an event, and then I take it back.


SLADE: And I knew that I was going to take it back when I bought it.

HIGGINS: I was insulted when you did that for our wedding, actually, Alzo.


SAGAL: You think, like, he's going to walk into the Twitter offices, and he's going to hand back Twitter and say, it didn't fit?

SLADE: It didn't fit.


SLADE: Yeah, exactly.

SAGAL: All right. Here, Charlie, is your next quote.

KURTIS: We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.

SAGAL: That was an authority on infectious diseases earlier this week, seeming to declare that COVID was over before we had to more or less take it back the next day. Who was it?

CHARLIE: Anthony Fauci?

SAGAL: It was Anthony Fauci.


SAGAL: Now known as Anthony Oopsie, he went on "PBS NewsHour" this week and said - and we quote - "We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase." Now, with all those qualifiers, out of the pandemic phase, of course, does not mean it's over. So all of us heard that and said, it's over. The next day, he had to come out and say, no, no, I didn't mean that it was over. Too late. We were all outside, inviting complete strangers to just breathe on us.


SLADE: Well, I feel like I'm sort of out of the pandemic phase myself, because when people sneezed about six months ago, I was ready to punch him in the face.

SAGAL: Right.


SLADE: Now I just say, bless you.


SAGAL: That's good.

DICKINSON: We're adjusting.

HIGGINS: And then you punch him in the face.

SLADE: (Laughter) Right.

DICKINSON: Just because he can.

SAGAL: No, COVID isn't over. We'll know COVID is really over when all the leftover COVID candy is 60% off at Walgreens.


SAGAL: But seriously, it was this weird thing. Everybody blamed Fauci. You know, he misspoke. He wasn't precise. He should have known better. He said this on "PBS NewsHour." Being old enough to watch "PBS NewsHour" is in and of itself a comorbidity.

DICKINSON: It's a risk.


DICKINSON: That's true.


HIGGINS: He has had to be so careful, though, for, like, years now.


HIGGINS: Like, he's guided us through and he's been - watched his words and, you know, been super careful. And I guess he just let his guard down for a few seconds.

SAGAL: Yeah. Or maybe we just got to him.

HIGGINS: I know (laughter).

SAGAL: Maybe we were just like, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Fauci, can we go outside? Can we go outside? Can we go outside? Please, please, please? We want to go outside.


SAGAL: And he finally said, fine, fine. Just go. And he not only let us go. He gave us five bucks for the arcade.


SAGAL: We wore him down. All right, Charlie, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: It's a terrible idea.

SAGAL: That was a doctor quoted in USA Today responding to the latest health trend on TikTok, where people are saying that for a good restful night's sleep with no snoring, you should do what?

CHARLIE: Oh, God, I have no idea.

SAGAL: Well, I'd tell you, or I'd give you a hint, but my lips are sealed.

CHARLIE: Keep your mouth shut?

SAGAL: Keep your mouth shut, but make sure it stays shut by doing what?

CHARLIE: Gluing it?

SAGAL: Close enough - taping it shut.


SAGAL: I will give it to you. People on TikTok...


SAGAL: ...Are saying that you should tape your mouth shut while sleeping to reduce snoring and allow for deeper rest. And of course, everybody is now doing it. TikTok is absolutely trustworthy. I mean, if you think about it for 2 seconds, it does not make sense at all. If you want to sleep better, tape your eyes shut.


SLADE: I feel like mass murderers around the country are like, hmm, if I get caught, I was just trying to help them sleep better.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: Or the whole thing might be promulgated by kidnappers trying to make their jobs easier. Like, yeah, duct tape your own mouth shut. That'd be great. Do that. Lie down. We'll be right over.

SLADE: It has to be duct tape, though, because...

SAGAL: Well, no.

SLADE: ...If you have to do paper tape...

HIGGINS: No, wait. Alzo, you made that up. It doesn't have to be duct tape.

SAGAL: It doesn't have to be duct tape.

SLADE: No because if - when you start drooling, you know, it's not going to hold the adhesive.

HIGGINS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It would wet the paper.

SLADE: That's what I'm saying. And then you just wake up and...


DICKINSON: Alzo has really thought this through.

SAGAL: I was about to say, how do you know this?


SLADE: Listen. You're asking too many questions. I just know things.


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

KURTIS: Charlie came to play - 3 and 0. She's a perfect score.


SAGAL: Yay, Charlie.

CHARLIE: Thank you so much.


SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about the week's news. Maeve, next week, Tropicana - you know them - they're unveiling a new breakfast cereal. It's the first-ever breakfast cereal specifically designed to be eaten how?

HIGGINS: By the sea?



SAGAL: I will stress once again that the company providing this breakfast cereal is Tropicana. What else does Tropicana make?

HIGGINS: The fruit company. Banana.


DICKINSON: Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

SLADE: It's juicy, Maeve. It's juicy.

HIGGINS: Orange.

SAGAL: Orange...

SLADE: Juicy.

HIGGINS: Oh, you just pour the orange juice onto it.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.



HIGGINS: Thank you, thank you. Thanks so much.

SAGAL: We can only assume some hungover Tropicana Juice employee poured his orange juice and his cereal by mistake, like many of us have done, and said, I meant to do that.


HIGGINS: Americans will come up with new ways to add sugar to anything.

SAGAL: It's really true when you think about it.

HIGGINS: It's a beautiful part of the culture.

SAGAL: You take a sugared breakfast cereal. It's called Tropicana Crunch, and it's specifically crafted to pair with Tropicana orange juice. And Tropicana Crunch is an improvement over the cereal's original name, Taste of Vomit-O's.

SLADE: Have you ever had Tropicana orange juice with pulp? That is cereal in and of itself.

SAGAL: It's true.


HIGGINS: You have to chew it.

SLADE: You have to chew it.

DICKINSON: You ever tried to serve that to young children? They're like, it's the grossest thing in the world. It has things in it.


SAGAL: Yeah. But seriously, it's sugary breakfast cereal with orange juice, part of a healthy, complete breakfast for hummingbirds.


SLADE: And in the cereal box, there's a prize. It's insulin.


SAGAL: Coming up, it's a highly productive Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more on 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 Alzo Slade, Maeve Higgins and Amy Dickinson. And here again is your host at Shea's Buffalo Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y., the GOAT, not because he's the greatest of all time - because of his distinctive musk.


KURTIS: It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you very much. And thank you to everybody in the audience who started applauding 'cause you thought he meant it.


SAGAL: Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.

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

DAVID MCCABE: Hi. This is David McCabe (ph) calling from Philadelphia, Pa.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

MCCABE: I am a student.

SAGAL: Oh, really? What are you studying?

MCCABE: Environmental science and political science.


SAGAL: Oh, my God. You decided to major in two distinct disasters.


SAGAL: Which of them do you think you can go fix?

MCCABE: I think we can fix anything if we put our minds to it, you know?


SAGAL: Yeah.

SLADE: This guy.

DICKINSON: Hey. Hey, Philly. Right now, Buffalo wants to go over and beat the crap out of you.


SAGAL: But in a loving way. All right, David, great to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is David's topic?

KURTIS: Productivity Boost.

SAGAL: So everybody wants to increase productivity. NPR, for instance, just launched an incentive program where they pay hosts by the word, which I think is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good idea. Our panelists are going to tell you about another scheme to increase productivity. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You'll win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you very, very, very ready to play?

MCCABE: I am very, very, very, very excited.

SAGAL: You don't make a dime from it, friend.


SAGAL: All right. Your first tale of a productivity boost comes from Maeve Higgins.

HIGGINS: Chaos at the Albany Cheese Factory on Tuesday as the manager realized they were running low on mature cheddar cheese. With summertime coming up, when people are just longing for a nice, cool bowl of mature cheddar, the workers started to panic. How would they aged the cheddar? Fast. How would they make young cheese old? The factory manager, Abigail Curd (ph), a senior herself, told reporters, we had to think fast, which is hard for us on account of all the dates our grandchildren were born blocking up our brains.


HIGGINS: So how did they age the cheese? They tried everything - bifocals, gray wigs, stress. They gave each young cheddar four even younger cheddars to look after. Finally, they sent a virus around the factory, forcing the young cheddar to shelter in place with just Instagram for company, thereby slowing time down and making a month feel like a year. Here's Grandma Curd again. You can age up a cheddar just like a person, by making it live in the year of our Lord 2020 - uh, wait, what year is it again? That's from the news.


DICKINSON: It's from the news.

SLADE: It's from the news.

DICKINSON: Ripped from the headlines.

SAGAL: So a moving story of how cheddar is aged from Maeve. Your next story of someone getting motivated comes from Amy Dickinson.

DICKINSON: Every coffee shop everywhere is filled with writers typing away on their laptops. Ask them what they're doing, they'll say, I'm writing a novel or a screenplay. Force them to tell the truth, though, and they'll say, I'm arguing with a stranger on Twitter, editing an Instagram post to make it look like kittens can bowl, and, of course, Wordle. Now a cafe in Tokyo caters only to writers who need to be pushed past their procrastination. Customers enter with their laptops, declare their deadline goal, and sign up for one of three verbal prompts from the staff - mild, normal or hard. The coffee is free. You pay for a side of ass kicking.


DICKINSON: Depending on what works for you, a staff member will literally stand over your shoulder and lightly bully you into completing your assignment. While this approach would definitely work for some, I would require a barista to dress up like Christine Baranski and yell at me, your ex-husband was right about you. You'll never be as good as your sister. And finish up, girl. The bar is about to open.


SAGAL: A cafe in Tokyo for writers, but they won't let you leave unless you finish your assignment. Your last story of increasing output comes from Alzo Slade.

SLADE: Since the pandemic has kind of ended, people have been excited to get back to in-person work functions, the very things they were excited to avoid pre-pandemic. The thing is, we've lost our social skills. According to one once gregarious pharmaceutical rep quoted in The Wall Street Journal, "ooga booga (ph). I talk good no more. Me sell no drugs to anybody. Big sad." So enter Cyrano de Berger-app (ph). Just pop in an Airpod, and Cyrano will tell you what to say and what to do. Quote, "I was frozen," said the pharmaceutical rep. "Then Cyrano whispered in my ear what to say. Can't wait to touch base and get on the same page. Let's leverage our core competency and circle back in Q2. I don't know what the hell it meant, but it sealed the deal, and I'm back in the game."

The app also gives you hints when it senses you're about to make a social error. Nobody wants to see a picture of your dog. Your 2-year-old is not special for reading at a 2-year-old level. Abandon topic. You forgot to wear pants. This is not a Zoom call. Return home ASAP. Cyrano de Berger-app is available free or for $1.99 for the ad-free version, which we recommend. You don't want to accidentally repeat an ad for Blue Apron to a potential client.


SAGAL: All right, here are your choices. From Maeve, a cheese factory, which is speeding up the cheese-aging process by submitting them to the same conditions we've lived under since 2020; from Amy Dickinson, a Tokyo cafe where writers go like writers often do, but this one, they insist you finish your work before they let you leave; or, from Alzo, the Cyrano de Berger-app, which tells you in real time what you should say at work functions to succeed. Which of these is the real story of a productivity booster?

MCCABE: Oh, well, I think I actually heard of Amy's story, so I'll have to go to the Tokyo cafe.

SAGAL: So you're going to go to the Tokyo cafe...


SAGAL: ...The writers where they have a tough-love approach. All right. Now, this is one of those cases where we always like to get in touch with somebody associated with the real story and get them on tape. But in this case, they would only give us a written statement. So, Bill, could you read that for us?

KURTIS: Only writers can enter the Manuscript Writer's Cafe. You will not be able to leave until you reach that writing goal.

SAGAL: Yes. In fact, the real story was Amy's. You picked it. You have won our game and earned a point for Amy. Congratulations.


MCCABE: Thank you.

DICKINSON: Well done.


DAFT PUNK: (Singing) Work it, make it, do it, makes us...

SAGAL: And now the game where people who do interesting things take on something they're not particularly interested in. Now, the city of Buffalo began as a grain port on the western end of the Erie Canal. And everybody thought that would last forever because who could ever improve on big flat boats pulled by mules? Well, time went on. So the brilliant innovators of western New York have been trying to come up with something new ever since. And our guest today, Myles Stubblefield, might have figured it out because he has discovered a growth industry. Myles Stubblefield, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MYLES STUBBLEFIELD: Thank you so much.


SAGAL: No more suspense. Can you tell us the title by which you are informally known?

STUBBLEFIELD: Informally, I am a vermiculturist (ph).

SAGAL: You're a vermiculturist. I have heard you called the worm king of western New York.

STUBBLEFIELD: The worm king.


STUBBLEFIELD: I like it. I've been called worse things.

SAGAL: I bet you have. But let me establish your credentials. You are from around here, right?

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah, born and raised.

SAGAL: Born and raised in Buffalo or like one of the other places?


SAGAL: Buffalo. Buffalo. There you are. And you started out with working with dogs, right?

STUBBLEFIELD: Absolutely. I spent maybe last about 12 years just working on a whole new outlook on how I engage with dogs. I've worked at almost every dog kennel and boarding facility we have out here. And I've noticed that those dumpsters get fairly healthy (ph).

SAGAL: Yeah, they do. They do.

STUBBLEFIELD: And so we're putting out hundreds and thousands of pounds of dog waste. And how do I get rid of it? I tried to bury it. I tried to hide it. That didn't work.

HIGGINS: Just like a dog.

SAGAL: Exactly.

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know what I mean? I try to get...


SAGAL: I hope you stopped with hiding it and burying it. You didn't move forward down the dog list of things to do with poop.

STUBBLEFIELD: I want to be honest, so next question.


SAGAL: And then you came up with something to do with all of this stuff.

STUBBLEFIELD: Absolutely. You compost it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah. And I used worms to do it.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: So that's how it started.

STUBBLEFIELD: That's how it started.

SAGAL: Right. So how many worms did you start with?

STUBBLEFIELD: I bought a little bin. Everybody thought I was crazy. I had about 2,000 worms in a little Tupperware container here.

SAGAL: All right.

HIGGINS: How much are worms?

STUBBLEFIELD: Oh, they're a lot. They're banging for, like, 80 bucks a pound, $65 a pound.

SAGAL: Really?

HIGGINS: Eighty dollars for a pound of worms?

STUBBLEFIELD: Amazon Prime to the house. Absolutely.

SLADE: Really?

SAGAL: You can order live worms on Amazon Prime?

STUBBLEFIELD: Yes. And if you order them in Buffalo, you know it's going to come frozen.


STUBBLEFIELD: So I got them local for you all. Let's go.

SAGAL: Yeah. How do worms shiver if they can't wrap their arms around themselves?

STUBBLEFIELD: They wrap around each other.

SAGAL: Oh, do they?

STUBBLEFIELD: They wrap around each other. Oh, joke for you.

SAGAL: Yeah.

STUBBLEFIELD: Right. So two worms got mad at each other, right? Man, they start beefing, right? They're doing their thing.

SAGAL: It'll happen.

STUBBLEFIELD: (Inaudible) got ugly. Right? So you know how it ended?


STUBBLEFIELD: It ended in a tie.

SAGAL: Worm humor.

HIGGINS: Worm humor.

SAGAL: So how many - so you got, like, how many thousands of worms you got from Amazon? How many worms do you have now?

STUBBLEFIELD: Well, counting in thousands, I wouldn't know. I'm with you. I wouldn't know. But we're probably a little bit over a million worms at this point.

SAGAL: A million worms?

SLADE: Million worms.


SAGAL: OK. And why did you...

DICKINSON: What are their names?


SAGAL: Alphabetical order, please.

SLADE: So where do you keep these million worms?

STUBBLEFIELD: Inside a building, a big warehouse with our dog kennel.

SLADE: So not at the house.

STUBBLEFIELD: Used to be at the house.

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: Imagine if somebody tried to break in one night, they thought, oh, there's this big warehouse. There's some great stuff in here. And they break in, and it's just the worms.


SLADE: If they knew how much they cost, they'd be like, I hit the jackpot.


SAGAL: And you can't leave them outside because if it rains, they're all like, that's not going to work. So, you know, do you, I mean, you're an animal lover. Do the worms have any, like, personality? Are they fun?

STUBBLEFIELD: Some of the bins do. Yeah. Some are a little spicier.

SAGAL: Collectively they - like bin A4, those guys are great.

HIGGINS: A party bin.

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah, absolutely. I heard that they actually light tables on fire and power slam each other through - only on Bills games though.

SAGAL: Worm bin B16, they're terrible. Don't hang out with them. They're the worst.

SLADE: You have an emotional connection with these worms.

STUBBLEFIELD: Unfortunately, yes.


SLADE: So the only thing I know about worms is, growing up, we used them to go fishing.


SLADE: So is that offensive to you?

STUBBLEFIELD: No. We can use them for fishing definitely, for sure.

SLADE: OK. All right.

SAGAL: Yeah. The dull worms, the ones they send for fishing.

SLADE: Yeah, that's bin 318.


HIGGINS: How big, and also, how old do they get to do? Do they die of natural causes?

STUBBLEFIELD: Usually, they die of natural causes unless I, like, go fishing, right?

HIGGINS: Do they eat one another?

SAGAL: Or you step on them.

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah. That happens.

SAGAL: Does it really?

STUBBLEFIELD: Yeah, but I didn't think we would talk about that.

SAGAL: Oh, really? I mean, like...

SLADE: You've killed some of your own worms?

DICKINSON: Wormicide (ph).

STUBBLEFIELD: You walk into the dark and just squish.


HIGGINS: I can hear their little screams.

STUBBLEFIELD: Luckily, the worms are all cannibals. So then, you know, their cousin - yo, Eric didn't make it guys.


SAGAL: Oh, man.

DICKINSON: Myles, are you packaging the casings and selling it?


DICKINSON: Wow. That's great.

STUBBLEFIELD: We've got so many organic farmers out in New York. We said we're farm country. And we shipped out our first 1-ton order last month.

SAGAL: Hey. There you are.

DICKINSON: That's fantastic.


SAGAL: Well, Myles Stubblefield, it's really a pleasure to talk to you. But we have asked you here to play a game that this time we're calling...

KURTIS: We Will We Will Rock You.

SAGAL: So you're an expert in worms, but what do you know about earworms, those songs you can't get out of your head? We're going to ask you three questions about tunes that burrow into your brain. Answer 2 out of 3 correctly and you'll win our prize. Bill, who is Myles Stubblefield playing for?

KURTIS: Steven T. Watson (ph) of Buffalo, N.Y.

SAGAL: There you go.

STUBBLEFIELD: All right, Steven. Let's get it.

SAGAL: Not just a neighbor, potentially a customer.

STUBBLEFIELD: There we go.

SAGAL: Here's your first question. One of the biggest earworms of all time, of course, is Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." (Singing) Galileo, Galileo. Now you all will hear it in your head. The song was so popular when it came out, the band was sent stacks of fan mail from behind the Iron Curtain. Sadly, they didn't see any of them. Why? A, the East German post office refused to believe that Freddie Mercury was a real name; B, a then 23-year-old Vladimir Putin confiscated them and all in order to, quote, "prevent joy," or C, all the mail was addressed to Queen, London, so postal workers dropped it all off at Buckingham Palace.


STUBBLEFIELD: Well, if that song was released this year, I'd say B, but, however, I going to go for Charlie. Let's go for C.

SAGAL: You're right. Yes.


SAGAL: You're a military guy. I heard that.


SAGAL: The queen must have been very amused, though. All right. Here's your next question. Which of these songs is one of the Top 5 earworms rated for its, you know, stickability in your head according to a 2015 study from actual scientists who actually studied this at the University of London? Is it A, "Worm In Your Ear" by the Buggles; B, "Please Let Me Stop Humming, God" by the Plastic Ono Band; or C, "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue?

STUBBLEFIELD: To me, they all sound fake. Let's see. C. We're going Charlie. Let's go.

SAGAL: That's right. Yes.


SAGAL: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"...


SAGAL: ...Is, ironically, one of the great earworms. All right. Here's your last question. If you're trying to get rid of an earworm, many people suggest just listening to a different annoying song, like, for example, the 187 - for example, like, the 1-877-Kars4Kids jingle.

DICKINSON: Oh, God. Oh, no.

SAGAL: But there's one proven effective cure for earworms. What is it? A, putting a metal trashcan over your head and banging on it; B, chewing gum; or C, screaming the song into a paper bag, then burying the bag.


STUBBLEFIELD: I'll try Charlie later, but I think it's Bravo.

SAGAL: You're right.


SAGAL: Chewing gum, yes. Apparently, the jaw movement from chewing gum interferes with your ability to hear the song in your head. Try it. Chew some gum right now, and see if it gets the Kars4Kids jingle to stop. Bill, how did Myles Stubblefield do on our quiz?

KURTIS: A rare win, Miles. You got them all.

STUBBLEFIELD: Let's go - Stephen and I.

SAGAL: Hey, before we let you go, I wanted to ask you one last question, and you'll see why I saved this for the end so you couldn't get too offended. People who work on farms smell like earth and dirt. People who work with cows smell like cows. What do you smell like at the end of the day?


HIGGINS: Peter, why don't you go over and smell him?

SAGAL: I can't. I'm tethered to my spot. Otherwise, I would.


STUBBLEFIELD: What a weird question (laughter).

SAGAL: That's why I saved it for last.

SLADE: You should ask those...

SAGAL: I should probably ask...

STUBBLEFIELD: At the end of the day - I work probably about 12 hours a day. I smell like after club sweat.

SAGAL: Yeah. There you go, man. That's awesome. Myles Stubblefield, the worm king of Buffalo, N.Y. - Miles, thank you so much. You were awesome. You're done.


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: (Singing) They call me Dr. Worm. Good morning. How are you? I'm Dr. Worm. I'm interested in things.

SAGAL: In just a minute, we go feral 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're playing this week with Amy Dickinson, Maeve Higgins and Alzo Slade. And here again is your host at Shea's Buffalo Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y.


KURTIS: He's a man who watches "Bridgerton" for the articles.


KURTIS: It's Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill expresses no remorse whatsoever in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you would like to play that game, give us a call at one, triple eight, wait, wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from this week's news. Amy, Sarah Palin is running for Alaska's one seat in the House of Representatives, but despite her high name recognition there, she might have a race on her hands as one of her opponents has even higher name recognition. What is his name?


SAGAL: In Alaska.

DICKINSON: Is it a human being?

SAGAL: It is. It's a real human being.


DICKINSON: He lives in Alaska?

SAGAL: Yes, specifically, he lives - and this is true - in North Pole, Alaska.

DICKINSON: (Gasp) Santa?

SAGAL: Santa Claus.


DICKINSON: Oh, my God.



SAGAL: Another candidate in the race is named Santa Claus...

DICKINSON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...And that is his legal name. And yes, he has ruddy cheeks and a big, white beard. He is also an avid - this is true - Bernie Sanders supporter...


SAGAL: ...Which is just...


SAGAL: ...Which is just what you'd expect from someone who likes to give freeloading kids presents they didn't work for.


SLADE: That's right.

DICKINSON: Oh, that is very exciting.

SAGAL: It is exciting.

DICKINSON: Yeah. He's totally got my vote.

SAGAL: Yes, first it was the Martians versus Santa Claus. Now it's Sarah Palin. It's great. We cannot wait, though, for the inevitable attack ads she's going to take out against him, right?


SAGAL: And they're going to get one of those guys...

DICKINSON: Her with, like, a gun.

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: (Imitating gun sound).

SAGAL: Shooting down the sleigh like (inaudible).

DICKINSON: Yeah. Bam, bam.

SLADE: He's a thief in the night, coming into your home.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: They're going to get one of those guys - it's almost always a guy who specializes in, like, attack ads. And this will be like, Santa Claus says he puts Alaskans first, but why does he give presents first to kids in the Eastern time zone?


DICKINSON: Real men don't wear red velvet.


SAGAL: Alzo, an alarming number of arachnid species finish the act of mating with a female devouring the male. But a new study shows that the male orb-spider has evolved a useful tactic to avoid being eaten. What is it?

SLADE: Spin her in a web?

SAGAL: No, she would see that coming.

SLADE: Aargh.

SAGAL: Let me give you a hint. It's a lot more obvious than you think.


SLADE: (Laughter) They just run.

SAGAL: Yeah, they jump the hell out of the way.


SAGAL: So female orb-spiders traditionally devour their mates after mating. You know, we've all been there. Afterwards, a little hungry - you want a snack. It's right there.


SAGAL: But this week, scientists discovered that male orb-spiders have apparently evolved a survival technique by getting the hell out of the way. The spiders have been recorded jumping very far away, very quickly to avoid this sexual cannibalism, probably while yelling something like, I have an early morning tomorrow; I'll call you.


SLADE: Yeah.

DICKINSON: But imagine, like, the first spider that did that successfully, then goes back and tells the others.

SLADE: Yeah.

SAGAL: That's probably how it happened.


SAGAL: 'Cause, like, it had to be, like, the first guy, right? And he's like, I think I figured it out. And what I really think is all the other guys, all the other male spiders, are like, you know, she's going to eat you.

DICKINSON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But you know men.

DICKINSON: (Laughter) I'll chance it.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly.

SLADE: The fellows were like, yo, weren't you just kicking it with Elvira (ph), right?


SLADE: How are you still here, bro? He's like, man, let me tell you what I did.


HIGGINS: Do you think his friends thought he was lying? They're like, you didn't sleep with her.

SLADE: Yeah, you didn't.

SAGAL: Yeah, you're lying.

SLADE: You're lying.

HIGGINS: You'd never make it out alive.

SAGAL: Amy, according to The Washington Post, the return to the office also means that we will once again all have to deal with what kind of people?

DICKINSON: Mm - nosy people? People taking our lunch out of the fridge? Uh...

SAGAL: You know, Amy, I'm going to have to be surprised that you didn't get this right away because, really, I think you are the smartest one here. I mean, I'm just always...

DICKINSON: Oh, the flattery? The...

SAGAL: Yes, the suck-ups.


DICKINSON: Oh, the suck-ups.


SAGAL: The pandemic work from home has been awful for office suck-ups. How do you suck up on Zoom?

DICKINSON: (Laughter) It's so hard.

SAGAL: Oh, wow, Bob, that's such a great bookcase behind you. I bet you've read all of them.


SAGAL: And I love the way you mute.

DICKINSON: Because you have to suck up and also undermine.


DICKINSON: That's the thing.

HIGGINS: It's a gift.

SAGAL: You're sucking upwards, undermining sideways.


SAGAL: That's exactly right.

HIGGINS: That's like when the makeup lady said to me, your face sure can take a lot of makeup.


HIGGINS: I was like...

SAGAL: What?

HIGGINS: I know. Yeah, I was crying so much, she had to redo my mascara.


SLADE: The real estate on those cheeks...



HIGGINS: Extra product over here.


JAMES BLUNT: (Singing) You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You're beautiful. It's true.

SAGAL: 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. You can click the Contact Us link on our website, Also, come see us live. Tickets are on sale today for two shows in San Francisco on May 26 and 27. And we have just launched our Wait Wait Stand-Up tour for the year. Come see your favorite comedians from this show doing what they love, free from FCC rules. We'll be in Salt Lake City and Denver on June 24 and then the 25. Tickets and info are at Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MAIV HIGGINS: Hi there, friends. My name is Maiv Higgins (ph), and I am from Buffalo, N.Y.

HIGGINS: Oh, my God.


HIGGINS: Hi, Maiv Higgins.




SAGAL: Have either of you ever met another person named Maeve Higgins?

MAIV HIGGINS: No. I've never met a Maiv older than me. But I also - do you know what it means?

HIGGINS: It means the intoxicating one.

MAIV HIGGINS: Yeah, and my darling.

HIGGINS: But there's the intoxicating one - one.


SAGAL: Oh, no. You've just met, and now you're going to have a fight.

MAIV HIGGINS: Just the one. Uh-oh.


SAGAL: Well, Maiv on the phone, 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 in two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. You ready to play?

MAIV HIGGINS: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: In my speech, I am rattling my saber. A tough candidate, also good neighbor. But my breath starts to quake. Did my water just break? Oh, no. I just went into...





SAGAL: Erin Maye Quade running to be the Democratic nominee for a state Senate seat in Minnesota. She was at the nominating convention. And she was not going to let anything, including contractions, stop her from giving her speech. I have no ill will towards my opponent, a true - (yelling) holy mother of God.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Though the A's have successful at-bats, the human attendance stays flat. But on stadium grounds, feral felines abound. So we're filling the bleachers with...


SAGAL: Yes, cats.


SAGAL: Sure, it must be depressing for the Oakland A's to play in an enormous stadium that sometimes has less than 4,000 spectators per game. But at least they've got an appreciative audience of, they think, 40 feral cats who've taken up residence in RingCentral Coliseum, as it's now called. Now, that might sound charming, having all these cats running around, until you realize how much of a baseball field is sand.


SAGAL: And, you know, I mean, cat baseball fans are better than humans. Baseball's boring, but cats love boring things. They're just going to sit there anyway.


HIGGINS: But wouldn't it be devastating to be, like, hitting the balls and running around and everything, and then the whole audience is just curled up asleep?

SAGAL: Yeah.


HIGGINS: With their backs to you. You know how cats are.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, those are the worst. On the other hand, they're very easy to entertain between innings. Forget about sausage races. You just need a laser pointer.


SAGAL: Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: We feel battered in our own four walls. All day long, we hear golfers' fore calls. Then it's whap. Then it's clang. And it's darn ping and bang. We are constantly pelted by...


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: A Massachusetts couple has been awarded $5 million in their lawsuit against the country club that is right next to their house. The couple knew they were buying a house with golf course views. They didn't realize it meant the golf course could see them. This is true. In five years, their house has been hit by 650 golf balls.

HIGGINS: Oh, my God. You know what my nightmare would be? I'd be sunbathing in the back garden, asleep, and then two golf balls would whack into my face and replace my eyeballs.


SAGAL: That's a very specific nightmare.

HIGGINS: That's a $5 million-worth nightmare.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Maiv - not the one here but the one on the phone - do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Maeve Higgins got a perfect score, did very well. And so did her shadow.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Maiv.

HIGGINS: Congratulations.

MAIV HIGGINS: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.


ANNIE LENNOX: (Singing) Walking on, walking on broken glass.

SAGAL: Now it's time for 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 now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Maeve and Alzo each have two, and Amy has four.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. All right. Alzo and Maeve are tied for second. Alzo, I am just going to randomly choose you to go first. Fill in the blank. On Thursday, Moderna requested authorization to use its blank on kids 5 and under.

SLADE: Vaccine.



SAGAL: In response to a worsening drought, Southern California imposed a round of emergency blank restrictions.

SLADE: Water.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a 9-year-old's book about her mother's issues with garden pests went viral because the 9-year-old called it blank.

SLADE: Amazing.

SAGAL: No, she called it "Those Effing Squirrels" (ph).


SLADE: That'll do it.

SAGAL: On Tuesday, Harvard University pledged $100 million to address its historical ties to blank.

SLADE: Slavery.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: According to a new study, the least affordable state in the U.S. to live in is blank.

SLADE: Alabama.

SAGAL: No. Florida. This week, a lost child in Minnesota was able to call for help...


SAGAL: ...Thanks to a man who had fortunately blanked.

SLADE: Got hit with golf balls.

SAGAL: No, who had the foresight to install a payphone in his front yard. Fortunately for the child, he was very lost, but he wandered into the yard of one Brian Davis, a man who installed a payphone in his front yard just for fun. The payphone worked. The kid was able to call 911, and officers were able to get him home. It was really easy. The dispatcher asked, where are you now? And the kid said, I'm not sure. I'm on a payphone. And they were like, oh, that guy. We'll be right over.


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

KURTIS: Three right, six more points, total of eight. And he is in the lead.


SAGAL: All right, Maeve...


SAGAL: ...Time to see if you can do as well as your namesake on the phone because you are up next. Fill in the blank. After Elon Musk announced his plans to purchase Twitter, blank's stock plunged 12%.

HIGGINS: Twitter.

SAGAL: Yes. No. Tesla's. According to audio leaked this week, GOP House leader blank thought Donald Trump should resign after the Capitol attack.

HIGGINS: Kevin McGrath (ph).

SAGAL: I'm going to pretend you mumbled and got it right. It's Kevin McCarthy.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, Kim Jong Un vowed to expand blank's arsenal of nuclear weapons.

HIGGINS: His own.

SAGAL: Yeah. I'll give it to you. It's North Korea.


SAGAL: On Monday, Kane Tanaka, the world's old - the world's blankest person, passed away in Japan.


SAGAL: That's a gimme.

HIGGINS: Oldest.



SAGAL: After disciplining fans last week for doing it...


SAGAL: ...The Cincinnati Reds reversed course and said that fans would be allowed to blank in their stadium.


SAGAL: No, wear paper bags on their heads.


SAGAL: The Reds have had an awful season, and in response, some fans have started wearing bags over their heads, some think to avoid having to look at the team, some think so people won't know it's them there. Owners initially banned the practice but have since changed their mind. Now we just need them to allow the team's batters to do the same thing because, honestly, it could only help.


SAGAL: Bill, how did our Maeve Higgins do on our show?

KURTIS: Well, this is significant. Broadway is cheering right now. Maeve had three right, six more points, tied for the lead with Alzo at eight.


SAGAL: All right. And how many, then, does Amy need to win?

KURTIS: Three to win.

SAGAL: All right, Amy, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Thursday, President Biden asked for $33 billion in new aid for blank.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn was caught trying to bring a blank onto a plane again.

DICKINSON: A loaded gun.



SAGAL: According to a new report, the U.S. blank has contracted 1.4% in the last quarter.

DICKINSON: Oh, the economy.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, it was reported that Florida would have to pay nearly $1 billion in order to dissolve blank's special tax district.

DICKINSON: Oh, Disney.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, an elementary student in the U.K. cut off a chunk of his own hair after his classmates blanked.

DICKINSON: Opened a barbershop.

SAGAL: No, after they told him his hair looked like Boris Johnson's.


SAGAL: This week, NASA announced that the James Webb blank had completed its optical alignment.

DICKINSON: Telescope.



SAGAL: On Thursday, the 2022 NFL blank started in Las Vegas.

DICKINSON: The draft?



SAGAL: This week, prospective buyers of a house in Virginia...


SAGAL: ...Were greeted by the neighbors of the house who put a sign on their lawn saying, blank.

DICKINSON: This is not your house. I'm with stupid with an arrow.

SAGAL: No. The sign was warning people not to buy the house next door. It actually read, do not buy that house before talking to us. It turns out, say the neighbors, both houses have been rehabbed by the same development company.

DICKINSON: Golf course.

SAGAL: Right. No.


SAGAL: And the plumbing in the neighbor's house was so bad that when you flush the toilet, it comes out the shower.

DICKINSON: Oh, I love that.


SAGAL: The listing actually includes that as a feature - bathroom with revolutionary water-saving technology. Bill, did Amy do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Super Bowl quality - six, 12 and 16 for the win.


HIGGINS: Congratulations.

SLADE: Congratulations.

DICKINSON: Brought it home to Buffalo. Yeah.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what would be the next thing somebody buys for $45 billion? Amy Dickinson.

DICKINSON: Some rich person should get it together and spend $45 billion to get the Buffalo Bills a roof for their new stadium.


SLADE: You brought that one home.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SLADE: You brought that one home.

SAGAL: Alzo Slade.

SLADE: I think the next obnoxious person with $45 billion is going to try to get Chick-Fil-A to be open on Sunday.


SAGAL: And Maeve Higgins.

HIGGINS: Oh, my hand in marriage.


KURTIS: Hey, well, if that happens, we'll ask you about it here on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Amy Dickinson, Alzo Slade and Maeve Higgins. Thanks to the staff and crew at Shea's Buffalo Theatre and our fabulous audience here in Buffalo. Thanks to everybody at WBFO in Buffalo. And thanks to all of you out there for listening. I'm Peter Sagal. We will see you next week from some less benevolent city.


SAGAL: This is NPR.

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