Puja Patel plays Not My Job on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Tom Papa is in the host's seat for an interview with music critic and Pitchfork Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel. She may be a tastemaker, but can she answer three questions about first pitches?

'Wait Wait' for July 16, 2022: With Not My Job guest Puja Patel

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm ready for my close-up. I'm on the Sunset Bill-evard (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis.

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: And here is your host at the Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, Ill. Filling in for Peter Sagal, it's Tom Papa.

(CHEERING)

TOM PAPA, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. Welcome, everybody. I'm Tom Papa here at the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! summer camp. Peter Sagal is out after what can only be called a freak pillow-fight accident.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: He's expected to make a full recovery once all the goose down clears his system.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: While Peter convalesces, we've got a great show for you. Later on, the editor of Pitchfork, Puja Patel will be joining us to play our game. But first, it's your turn. Give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. So let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

ADRIENNE: Hi, everybody. This is Adrienne (ph) from Mechanicsville, Va.

PAPA: Oh, hi, Adrienne. Thanks for being here.

(CHEERING)

ADRIENNE: Hi.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Adrienne, I thought Mechanicsville was West Virginia. Is there more than one?

ADRIENNE: It feels like it.

POUNDSTONE: It seems like it.

(LAUGHTER)

ADAM BURKE: I have a question. In Mechanicsville, does everything take longer and cost more than they say it's going to?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, nice to meet you, Adrienne. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, it's a comedian doing three nights at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City, July 19, 20 and 22. Tickets available at cherrylanetheatre.org - a great place and a great comedian, Emmy Blotnick.

(CHEERING)

EMMY BLOTNICK: Hello. Hello.

PAPA: Next, it's the comedian who will be at Chicago's Koval Distillery July 22 and CG's Comedy Club in Bolingbrook August 5 and 6. It's the great Adam Burke.

(APPLAUSE)

BURKE: Hello. Hi, Adrienne.

ADRIENNE: Hi.

PAPA: And you can see her in Marin, Calif., at the College of Marin on Saturday, August 13. Her podcast is "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." It's Paula Poundstone.

(CHEERING)

POUNDSTONE: Hey, Adrienne.

ADRIENNE: Hi, Paula.

PAPA: Welcome to the show, Adrienne. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? The lovable Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you choose on your voicemail. Are you ready?

ADRIENNE: Yes. But let me just preface it with, it's summer vacation - a little bit dumber.

POUNDSTONE: Ooh.

PAPA: A little bit dumber 'cause you're on summer vacation - you're going to fit this show perfectly.

(LAUGHTER)

ADRIENNE: OK.

PAPA: All right. Your first quote is from NASA's official Twitter account.

KURTIS: Personally, I went and had an ugly cry.

PAPA: What news out of NASA this week is making everyone cry?

ADRIENNE: Is it, like, all the galaxies from the Webb telescope pictures?

PAPA: That's right. Good job.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Not so dumb. Photos of the universe - this week, NASA released its first images of the universe from the James Webb telescope. Everyone that saw the images was awestruck. Like we heard from Bill there, it's enough to make you cry if you have the eight years of graduate school required to understand it.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: To me, it looks like what I see when I'm driving at night - floaters, flare, something that looks like a squirrel-bat.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: I think that might be glaucoma. You should have that looked into.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: Some of them do look like the default screensaver on, like, a MacBook, too, where I was like, did I just not open the news today? But...

BURKE: Yeah.

PAPA: This telescope is much more powerful than the Hubble - suck it Hubble - and could help NASA find an Earth-like planet that we won't be able to get to in time.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It is really - I mean, like, when the Hubble came out, we didn't have smartphones yet. We didn't have, really, a lot of stuff. So it was like, wow, these are awesome images. Now everyone has these great phones. Everyone's like, yeah, I've seen better.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: But isn't the James Webb telescope - at some point, it's like any photos of a vacation. Around about the ninth, it's like, yeah, I get it. It looked very nice. I can't afford to go to Niagara Falls.

PAPA: Right. I'm so happy you're having a great time up there.

BLOTNICK: Oh, you got to see this one I took of the fireworks on July 4.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: This is the kind of paradigm shift in understanding that can unite humanity. Democrats were excited about the victory of science. Republicans were excited that those galaxies 13 billion light years away are the closest legal abortion for someone living in Texas.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I knew it was going to be spicy.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: But Peter's not here. All right. Here is your next quote. It's a tweet from the world's richest man.

KURTIS: Poop emoji.

PAPA: That was a tweet from Elon Musk. And it was entered as evidence when he was sued by whom this week?

ADRIENNE: Twitter.

PAPA: Good job.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Two in a row in the summer. Twitter - if you haven't been following, Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. And now they're suing him because he backed out of the deal. He says it's because Twitter lied. Yeah. That's like returning a car because it drives.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: This is going to go down in history as the biggest impulse buy of all time.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's like he was in the checkout aisle, and he's like, I'll grab some gum, a ChapStick and, ooh, a Twitter.

BURKE: Shouldn't Elon's poop emoji be gold-plated?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Maybe that's why he wants to buy it.

BLOTNICK: It's a self-crapping poop, actually.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Maybe he's just doing it just to be cool with his kids. You know, he's got all those kids now. Just ask his kids, X-1-1-7-Delta.

BLOTNICK: How many was that?

PAPA: That's one of his children.

BLOTNICK: OK.

PAPA: And his other child, Sound a Modem Makes.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Adrienne, you're doing great. You've got two right. Your last quote is about this summer's animated blockbuster.

KURTIS: Are they lemon or banana flavored?

PAPA: That was Taylor Garron on Twitter asking an important question about the main characters in what movie?

ADRIENNE: "Minions," maybe?

PAPA: That's right. The "Minions" movie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ADRIENNE: Oh, my God.

PAPA: Great job, Adrienne. "Minions: The Rise Of Gru" is the biggest movie in America. It had a huge opening weekend, and it's a certified TikTok phenomenon. For those who aren't familiar, the Minions were the breakout stars of the "Despicable Me" movies made by Illumination Studios, a company which dared to ask the question, what if Pixar wasn't good?

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Wait, what makes it a certified TikTok phenomenon?

PAPA: All the cool kids like it.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Are you...

PAPA: Well, no, it sparked this trend called gentle Minions, where teenagers and 20-somethings dress up in suits and ties, and then they go to the movie. And it's freaked out some theater owners who won't even let them in. I mean, look, if you want to dress up for a movie, sure. But you put on Boba Fett's full-body armor, or you stay the hell home.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Wow.

BURKE: This is how this is how broken we are. We are so broken that the way kids rebel is to dress for the job they want.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: It's horrible.

PAPA: Yeah. They're not letting some of the kids in because they're dressed up in suits and ties. I wish...

POUNDSTONE: And they won't let them in?

PAPA: Yeah, they won't let them - it's freaked some of them out. They're like, why is everybody showing up at the movies? I thought the pandemic was still happening.

BURKE: And the funniest thing, which - 'cause apparently they go, and they're quite rowdy. And some people - especially in England, some people complained, who were like, you're ruining this movie about tiny yellow people who speak gibberish. I can't follow the plot.

BLOTNICK: You're overdressed.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Oh, so they're not letting them in not because they're dressed in suits but because this is identifying them as these kids who go in...

BURKE: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...And then are rowdy during the movie.

PAPA: I don't - how rowdy are kids in suits? What are they doing?

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: They're running around. They're filling out people's taxes.

PAPA: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. A lot of them have been involved in smash-and-notarize incidents.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Adrienne do?

KURTIS: She did great. Adrienne, you're an expert...

ADRIENNE: Thank you.

(CHEERING)

KURTIS: ...From Mechanicsville.

PAPA: Thank you for playing, Adrienne. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

POUNDSTONE: Thanks, Adrienne.

ADRIENNE: You too. Thank you.

PAPA: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FUNKYTOWN")

LIPPS INC: (Singing) Got to make a move to a town that's right for me. A town to keep me moving, keep me grooving with some energy.

PAPA: And now it's time for another installment of the game we call...

KURTIS: What's Martha Stewart Up To?

PAPA: Emmy, what's Martha Stewart up to this week? Is it A, announcing her new collaboration, the Burger King Martha Stewart meal, or B, wishing death upon her friends so she can date their husbands?

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: Is there a C?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: There is not.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: So she's either making a Burger King meal or putting, like, a hex on her friends. These are both...

PAPA: A or B.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: It's the death one, isn't it?

PAPA: It is.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BLOTNICK: All right.

PAPA: B.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Asked about her love life on Chelsea Handler's podcast, Martha Stewart complained the only way she meets men is when they're married to her friends. How wonderful a hostess she must be. Her guests have a lovely evening, even though she's envisioning the flower arrangement she'd like to leave on their graves.

BURKE: The cool thing about Martha Stewart is when she puts a hex on you, the voodoo doll is this beautifully crafted from locally sourced linens.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: Yeah. Your grave looks amazing if Martha's doing it.

PAPA: That is a weird way to try and find a boyfriend.

BLOTNICK: But it'd be weirder if she made a Burger King meal, right?

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: That was what I was weighing.

BURKE: Yeah. Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAPA: Coming up - keep your eye on the ball in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of 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 Paula Poundstone, Emmy Blotnick and Adam Burke. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., in for Peter Sagal - Tom Papa.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Thanks, Bill. 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

REBECCA: Hello.

PAPA: Who are you?

REBECCA: This is Rebecca (ph).

PAPA: Hi, Rebecca. Where are you calling from?

REBECCA: Chattanooga, Tenn.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE MEMBER CHEERING)

PAPA: Chattanooga, Tenn.

REBECCA: Yeah.

PAPA: How's life in Chattanooga?

REBECCA: Chattanooga's a wonderful town to live in.

PAPA: Well, that's nice.

POUNDSTONE: I used to work a club there a thousand years ago, and I stayed at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. And I went...

REBECCA: At the Choo-Choo, yes.

POUNDSTONE: I went in the gift shop one day, and I was just sort of singing, (singing) pardon me, boys, but that's...

REBECCA: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: And I said to the woman, boy, I'll bet you nobody ever sings that in here. And she went, no, they do.

(LAUGHTER)

REBECCA: All the time.

PAPA: All right. It's nice to have you with us, Rebecca. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What's the topic, William?

KURTIS: Play ball.

REBECCA: Mm, OK.

PAPA: Going to a baseball game is boring except for those brief, wonderful moments when they stop playing baseball.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: We're going to ask you about something that happened between innings at a recent minor league game. Pick the one who's telling the truth and you will win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail.

REBECCA: OK.

PAPA: All right. Here we go. First up, Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: Thanks to a cross-promotion with the local aquarium, fans at a recent Long Beach Armada game were treated to a visit from a special guest - an octopus with a talent for throwing baseballs. Scientists have seen octopi unscrew the lids of childproof jars and untie large knots. But never before had they seen an octopus bring a stadium of baseball fans to their feet. The frighteningly dexterous creature was discovered launching objects like projectiles in his tank and over time learned to throw pretty mean pitch. After watching the octopus throw eight straight strikes - one with each of its arms - Armada's manager inquired about acquiring the cephalopod for his roster because by the transitive property of "Air Bud" law, there's no rule that says an octopus can't play baseball.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: All right, we have octopus pitching from Emmy Blotnick. Your next story of a baseball breakthrough comes from Adam Burke.

BURKE: The seventh inning stretch is a vaunted tradition in baseball - a chance for fans to get up, stretch their legs, spill the remainder of your beer on the guy in front of you and listen to a version of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" sung by a celebrity you thought had died in the '90s.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: But to celebrate Men's Health Awareness Month, one manager of the Single-A baseball team the Eugene Emeralds added a bit of urological mindfulness to the usual late game intermission by singing the popular song while simultaneously receiving his annual prostate exam.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: That's right. General Manager Allan Benavides had the understandably strained notes of his rendition of the national pastime's unofficial anthem piped into the grounds of PK Park while, from the seclusion of the executive box, he and a certified medical professional brought new meaning to the terms knuckleball...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: ...Sliding into home, going deep into the infield, seventh inning stretch and of course, the sweet spot. In addition to making us all too aware of men's health, Benavides also hoped the performance might give his team a morale boost, but that seems to have been fruitless. Ah, well, as with both baseball and the recommended frequency of prostate exams, there's always next year.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: All right. That's prostate stretch from Adam Burke. And your last story of passing the time at the great pastime comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: For fans of baseball's Fred Nats of Fredericksburg, Va. - one of the Washington Nationals minor league teams - taking a couple of hours off from listening to January 6 committee hearings, even to watch their beloved team, is not easy. So at the inning breaks, the team's mascots are acting out various scenes revealed by the hearings.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: They are doing an amazing job, says fan Bob Whitey (ph). I knew the Lehigh Valley Iron Pig mascot was Donald Trump right away.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: The crowd went nuts. They had a bunch of furry bears in Wichita Wingnut jerseys and a giant eclair wearing an Eau Claire shirt. I didn't realize it was Rudy Giuliani until some of the chocolate started dripping down the side of the...

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: ...Big pastry with a face. Baseball - it's America's pastime.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: OK, Rebecca. You've got a pitching octopus, a prostate exam and mascots reenacting the January 6 committee hearings. Which of these is the true story?

REBECCA: Well, they're all pretty strange, but I'm going to have to go with Emmy's, the octopus.

PAPA: OK. You've chosen Emmy's story about the pitching octopus. To find out the correct answer, we have this very special piece of tape. Listen for the word crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME")

ALLAN BENAVIDES: (Singing) Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to that crowd.

(LAUGHTER)

REBECCA: Wow.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: That was the general manager of the Eugene Emeralds singing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" while getting a prostate exam.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Sorry, Rebecca, but thank you for being with us.

REBECCA: That's OK. Thanks. It was fun.

PAPA: Take care.

BURKE: Bye, Rebecca.

BLOTNICK: We love you, Rebecca.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN TOO DEEP")

SUM 41: (Singing) Maybe we're just trying too hard when really, it's closer than it is too far cause I'm in too deep and I'm trying to keep...

PAPA: And now for the game where we invite trendsetters to just chill out with us for a second. It's, Not My Job. For over a decade, Pitchfork has been the go-to music publication for the independent music world, the place to hear about the next big thing or the next big flop. And since 2018, the website has grown under the guidance of editor-in-chief Puja Patel, who went from nerding out as a kid reading music criticism in the library to running it herself. Puja Patel, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Thank you so much for being here. It's really nice to meet you.

PUJA PATEL: So happy to be here.

PAPA: Yeah. This is very exciting. So how did you get into music journalism? Was it - what was your relationship with music when you were a kid?

PATEL: So I grew up in a house full of music, the kind of house where you wake up to your mom blasting music, and that really sets the tone for what her mood is for the day. So, you know, if it was something really - like, if it was Chaka Khan or Tina Turner, we were going to - you know, it's going to be a great day. If it was something sad, I pretended I was asleep for another hour.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Yeah. And when you were a little kid just listening to the music, were you rating things?

PATEL: Yeah. It was slowly - you know, this is four tomatoes out of five, just taking household objects and starting to rate things, yeah.

PAPA: So everybody talks - and I know you get this question a lot. Everybody talks about the rankings of albums and songs on Pitchfork. Is there a difference between, like, an 8.2 and an 8.6?

PATEL: Yeah. I'm not so different from my mother in that it's affected by my mood that day. But...

PAPA: That's so upsetting. There's a band out there just trying their best in the garage. They finally get it all done...

PATEL: Yeah. And I haven't had my two coffees yet.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

PATEL: So it can be extremely arbitrary to you. But if you care, you really care.

PAPA: Right. It really, really means something.

PATEL: Really care.

PAPA: Yeah. And do you get a lot of pushback? Do people go crazy and - how could you rank this this?

PATEL: Yeah. It...

PAPA: Does that happen a lot?

PATEL: It happens all the time.

PAPA: It does.

PATEL: It happens all the time.

PAPA: Where the fans get angry.

PATEL: The fans get really, really angry.

BURKE: And do they show up with, I don't know, some kind of implement? I can't think of what it would be.

(LAUGHTER)

PATEL: Shovels.

PAPA: And are you still a passionate fan? Like, do you still really love music? Like, if you want to relax...

PATEL: Yeah.

PAPA: ...And just enjoy yourself, do you - does music even do it for you anymore 'cause you're working and hear it every single day? Or do you just, like, listen to the microwave going on?

(LAUGHTER)

PATEL: I - it really depends on my mood. But I can't imagine a day without listening to music, no.

PAPA: Yeah.

PATEL: Yeah.

PAPA: Do you have any guilty pleasures? Anything that you listen to that would surprise people?

PATEL: I just got into an argument with one of our editors on staff about the album "Jagged Little Pill" by Alanis Morissette, which I say is very good.

PAPA: You know, and it's so funny 'cause you're so cool. I immediately wanted to blurt out, I love that album, but I was like, what if it's not that great?

PATEL: I'm giving you permission. It's a great album.

PAPA: I love that album. And at its time when she came out, I mean, it was all grunge. And then she comes out, and...

PATEL: And a song about Uncle Joey?

PAPA: Yeah. Wait, was it really about Uncle Joey?

PATEL: Oh, for sure it was about Uncle Joey.

PAPA: It was - in the theater?

PATEL: No, "You Oughta Know."

PAPA: "You Oughta Know."

BURKE: Yeah. But I know...

PAPA: Yeah.

BURKE: Yeah. He's talking about a very specific line.

PAPA: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: All of a sudden you're talking a different language.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Paula, just give me five minutes. The cool kids are talking.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Let me - I'll bring you into it, Paula. Have you heard of the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo"?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, that is a good question, though, because, you know, I'm a dad of two teenage girls, and I'm so aware of not being present. And, like, when you're younger, what happens to us? When you're young, music finds you.

PATEL: Yeah.

PAPA: And then you get to a certain age and hairline and you have to...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: You have to go find the music. It's no longer a part of your world, and you don't even have - and you have no reference of whether it's cool or not. What happens to us, and has it happened to you, ever?

PATEL: Yeah. I think especially in the last couple of years, people tend to return to things that feel familiar and comfortable. And that's the stuff that you listened to when you were younger.

PAPA: Right.

PATEL: And our brains are shaped that way, too. I mean, just mechanically, you remember things, you learn things faster when you're younger. You associate emotions and, like, sensory memory to things when you were younger, and then when you get old, you're just like, life is bad.

(LAUGHTER)

PATEL: Let's return to the good old days.

BURKE: What Pitchfork rating would life get?

PATEL: Right now?

BURKE: Yeah.

PATEL: Hovering around a 4.2.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, I have to say, I don't feel cooler since you've been here. I feel like I still need to know a lot more. Give me one band that I could put on while I'm with my daughters that they won't give me an Eyeroll. 'Cause a lot of times I'll throw something out and be like, this is cool.

PATEL: Yeah.

PAPA: And it's not been cool for a while.

PATEL: I think you should listen - I met your daughter. I think you should listen to Doja Cat.

PAPA: Doja Cat.

PATEL: Yeah.

(CHEERING)

PAPA: Everyone loves Doja Cat. Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, Doja Cat.

PAPA: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

PATEL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: I love Doja Cat. They did "Who Let The Dogs Out," didn't they?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: They did a remix of "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right. Puja Patel, we've asked you here today to play a game that we're calling...

KURTIS: Put down the pitchfork...

PATEL: OK.

KURTIS: ...It's time to pitch firsts.

PAPA: You know all about Pitchfork, but what do you know about the hallowed baseball tradition, the ceremonial first pitch? Answer two of the three questions correctly, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who's Puja Patel playing for?

KURTIS: Joe Edison (ph) of San Francisco, Calif.

PAPA: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: You ready?

PATEL: I'm ready.

PAPA: All right. Here's your first question. Everyone is familiar with the president throwing out the first ball on opening day. What you might not know is he used to do this from the stands. And there was a second part of the tradition - what? A, he'd throw the ball to his vice president, who could play any position he wanted in the first inning.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: B, he'd throw the ball to the director of the Smithsonian, who would immediately put it on display, or C, he'd just throw the ball out on the field, where all the players would fight over it like bridesmaids going for the bouquet.

(LAUGHTER)

PATEL: I'm going to say B.

PAPA: B, that he'd throw the ball to the director of the Smithsonian, who would immediately put it on display.

PATEL: This sounds - all of these sound insane. OK. So you're telling me C.

PAPA: I am contractually bound not to tell you anything.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: But yes, C.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: He would just chuck it out there, and whoever ended up with it got to keep it.

PATEL: Wow.

PAPA: Yeah. And apparently, people went pretty crazy for it. All right. Here's your next question. To honor the 150th anniversary of baseball coming to Japan, the New York Mets invited the Japanese ambassador to throw out the first pitch, but he never got to do it. Why? A, a seagull with a hot dog landed on the mound and chased away anyone who came near, B, Mets pitcher Max Scherzer went out onto the mound to warm up and wouldn't get off to let the ceremony happen, or C, the ambassador was so excited to see the big globe and towers from the end of "Men In Black" in the park across the street that he was an hour late to the game.

(LAUGHTER)

PATEL: See, both of those are viable options. B?

PAPA: You're right. It's B.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Apparently, Max Scherzer has a routine and sticks to it no matter what country he insults. Here's your last question. Not all first pitches go as planned. Red Sox superfan Jordan Leandre fired the ball from the mound, but unfortunately, it didn't reach the catcher's mitt. What did he hit? A, his own foot, breaking five bones, B, the groin of a photographer standing 10 feet behind home plate, C, the face of the Red Sox manager, who was standing in the dugout.

PATEL: Dang, I should know this. I'm going to say B.

PAPA: You're going to say B. You're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: The groin of a photographer standing 10 feet behind home plate - couldn't have thrown it any better if he tried. Bill, how did Puja do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Three - home run.

PATEL: Wow.

(CHEERING)

PAPA: Congratulations. You did very well. It's really nice to meet you. Puja Patel is the editor-in-chief of Pitchfork. And Pitchfork Music Festival is taking place this weekend, July 15 through the 17, in Chicago. Visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com for tickets. Puja Patel, thank you so much for joining us.

PATEL: Thank you. It was so fun.

PAPA: Very nice to meet you.

PATEL: So nice to meet you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KISS ME MORE")

DOJA CAT: (Singing) We hug, and yes, we make love...

PAPA: In just a minute, Bill enjoys a futuristic twist on a summertime treat in our Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on air. We'll be back in a minute with more of 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 Emmy Blotnick, Paula Poundstone and Adam Burke. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., in for Peter Sagal, it's Tom Papa.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Thanks, Billy. In just a minute, Bill reads limericks. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. But right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Adam, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new way to clean your teeth. What do they want to put in your mouth?

POUNDSTONE: Oh, gross.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Like, a tiny, like, window cleaner - like, a...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: ...Just - like that - like, is it, like, a little Roomba?

PAPA: Close - do you want a hand?

BURKE: Yeah, I would love a hand.

PAPA: R2-Oral-B2 (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Tiny robot.

PAPA: Yes. A...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: ...Swarm of tiny robots.

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: That's awful.

PAPA: Imagine a bunch of tiny, microscopic robots crawling all over your teeth. No, you're not stuck in a horrifying nightmare; you're using toothbrushing microbots (ph). The Penn researchers say they do a far better job than basic brushing and flossing because they use nanoparticles to kill pathogens and because you're lying about flossing, and everybody knows it.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Yeah, we will do anything to not floss, like (laughter)...

POUNDSTONE: Are you kidding me? Everywhere you look on the street, there's those damn plastic floss things. Like, people are apparently socially flossing everywhere they go. Like...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...Honey, let's go for a walk and floss together.

PAPA: It's - it seems like people are doing their inside bathroom things on the outside.

POUNDSTONE: It does seem...

BURKE: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...Like that.

PAPA: I see that all the time.

BLOTNICK: Nail clippers.

PAPA: Nail clipping.

BLOTNICK: That's a terrible...

PAPA: I saw a guy clipping his nails at the gate at the airport. And then when it was time to board, he just put them in a little pile and got on the plane.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: Wait, did he leave the pile?

PAPA: Yes. He was like, I'll rake the leaves, but I'm not bagging them up.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: That's nothing. I heard about a guy who got a prostate exam at a baseball game.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, Adam, that's not true.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Emmy, the no poo movement is growing on social media. It's a group of people who have sworn off what?

BLOTNICK: It's either shampoo or lactose.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: I'm going to lean shampoo, though.

PAPA: You're right...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: ...Using shampoo.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: More and more people have quit shampoo and not just because they're all trying to look like a 1990s Ethan Hawke.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Some are trying to stop using plastic. Those people clearly haven't heard of my new business, Tom Papa's Big Glass Cup Of Loose Shampoo.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: No poo-ers (ph) have come up with some very creative substitutes. This is true. One woman lets two egg yolks sit in her hair until, quote, "it looks gross." A California woman uses cocoa powder. A Scottish woman uses only hot water. Put all of these together, and you can get a drink known as the hairy old fashioned.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Or you can wake up with cake head.

BLOTNICK: Yeah, it's a flourless chocolate cake, I'm pretty sure.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Paula, as the worldwide economy contracts, Japan is dealing with an additional problem. According to a new survey, half of all Japanese companies have one old, male employee who does what?

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Careful.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: One old, male employee - do you have any hints for me?

PAPA: I do, Paula. Whatever you're thinking of, now imagine them not doing it.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Oh, who won't work.

PAPA: That's right. They do nothing.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: A consulting firm interviewed employees at 300 different companies asking if their office had an old guy who does nothing all day.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: And about half of those surveyed said, yes, we do. To which all Americans responded, how do I get a Japanese work visa?

BLOTNICK: Hey, we won't have equality until there's an old woman who doesn't do anything.

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All the old women are busy doing their job plus the old man's job.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE LAZY SONG")

BRUNO MARS: (Singing) Today I don't feel like doing anything. I just wanna lay in my bed. Don't feel like picking...

PAPA: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank.

But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhymes. If you'd like to play on-air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Also, come join us at our new home in Chicago, the Studebaker Theater.

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Whoo hoo (ph).

PAPA: It's just like listening on your headphones at the gym, except clapping and laughing won't get you kicked out.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Tickets and information at nprpresents.org.

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

JACOB: Hi. This is Jacob (ph) from Chicago.

PAPA: Hi, Jacob from Chicago.

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

JACOB: Hello.

PAPA: What do you do here in Chicago, Jacob?

JACOB: I work in HR for a cannabis company.

PAPA: Oh.

POUNDSTONE: Oh.

PAPA: HR for a cannabis company - wow. You've got to be pretty liberal to be HR at a cannabis company.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOTNICK: What kind of complaints do you get?

JACOB: Just that people are not high enough.

BLOTNICK: Oh.

PAPA: Yeah, this dude's trying to work.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's bumming me out.

Well, welcome to the show, Jacob. 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 limericks, you're a winner. Here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: To my last scoop, a harsh blow was dealt. A heartbreak we all have once felt. I don't want to rush, but the heat makes a mush. I need ice cream that simply won't...

JACOB: Melt.

KURTIS: Melt it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Melt it is.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: That's right. There's a new ice cream in China that doesn't melt at all, even under extreme heat. It's terrible news for people who love having to constantly lick around the ice cream cone to catch drips, but great news for people who love chemicals.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: I love that this is our best idea for combating global warming. It's like, well, you know, the icebergs are going to melt, but your cone won't.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Yeah.

All right, Jacob, here's your next limerick.

KURTIS: Our whiskey is mixed up in a lab. At crustaceans we're taking a stab. We're distilling the shell and the pinchers as well. We are making our whiskey with...

JACOB: Crab?

PAPA: Yes.

KURTIS: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

POUNDSTONE: Wow, that sounds gross.

KURTIS: Good for you.

PAPA: Crab.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: A distillery in New Hampshire has a solution to invasive crabs - drink them. They're making crab-flavored whiskey - a fun new twist on getting drunk and getting crabs.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: I think I've had that crab whiskey 'cause last night I got so drunk I walked sideways.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Wouldn't - I didn't know they had invasive crabs in New Hampshire.

PAPA: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

PAPA: They have invasive crabs.

POUNDSTONE: So many of New Hampshirite has been heard to say, who let you in here?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Get out of here, crab.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: What you doing in my drink, little fella?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, all right, bottoms up.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Here's your last limerick.

KURTIS: At a cookout, we men grab more buns, while women will gladly have none. When out in the light, we would like a quick bite. We get hungry when we're in the...

JACOB: Sun?

KURTIS: Sun it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Yes. Great job. Sun.

KURTIS: Good for you.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Great job. Sun's out, forks out. According to a new study, sunlight makes men hungrier. But to be fair, so does moonlight, fluorescent light...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...And just breathing air.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I don't think sun actually makes me hungrier. I think...

BLOTNICK: It makes you thirstier.

BURKE: That's the...

PAPA: Yeah. I'm never, like, poolside - like, who wants meatloaf?

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Yeah. There's nothing like some poolside mashed potatoes, too.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Jacob do?

KURTIS: Three in a row, Jacob.

POUNDSTONE: Wow.

KURTIS: You did great.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Great job, Jacob.

JACOB: Whoo hoo.

PAPA: Thank you so much, Jacob. It was nice having you here.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAPA: Now on to 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 worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Adam has one. Emmy has four. Paula has two.

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

BLOTNICK: Stunning.

POUNDSTONE: Sounds about right.

PAPA: All right, Adam. You're in third place, so you're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. During his trip to the Middle East, President Biden said the U.S. was committed to its relationship with blank.

BURKE: Israel.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Tuesday, the White House urged Americans to give vaccine boosters to combat the new blank variant.

BURKE: Omicron?

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Coronavirus variant. This week, a judge in Virginia rejected Amber Heard's request for a new trial in the defamation suit filed by blank.

BURKE: Johnny Depp.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Citing long lines and flight cancellations, London's blank airport asked airlines to stop selling tickets until September.

BURKE: Heathrow.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Wednesday, surgeons in New York successfully transplanted blank hearts in two brain-dead patients.

BURKE: Pig?

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Thursday, disgraced actor and star of "The Usual Suspects" blank pled not guilty to assault charges in the U.K.

BURKE: Kevin Spacey.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: After being awarded the Presidential Medal of...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

PAPA: ...Freedom last week, Olympic legend Simone Biles was surprised when a flight attendant blanked on her flight home.

BURKE: Did, like, a triple backflip...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: ...Right into the cockpit.

PAPA: Mistook her for a child and offered her a coloring book.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: When the flight attendant tried to give the seven-time Olympic medalist a coloring book for the flight, the gymnast handled it well, saying, quote, "No, I'm good. I'm 25."

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Adam do?

KURTIS: Very well - six right for 12 more points. He has a total of 13. He is in the lead.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: OK, Paula, you're up next. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, Liz Cheney revealed that Donald Trump had tried to contact a witness in the blank hearing.

POUNDSTONE: January 6.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Monday, President Biden delivered a speech following the passing of new blank safety legislation.

POUNDSTONE: Gun.

PAPA: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Wednesday, officials in the EU warn that recent heatwaves had led to an outbreak of blanks across the continent.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, I don't know, floods?

PAPA: Right, wildfires.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: On Tuesday, "Succession" and "Better Call Saul" led the nominations for the 2022 blank awards.

POUNDSTONE: Emmys.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, emergency workers in New York were called...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

PAPA: ...To one of Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop stores...

POUNDSTONE: Oh, no.

PAPA: ...After a fire broke out because blank.

POUNDSTONE: They were using charcoal starter on their privates.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: That's pretty close.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Because employees tried to make s'mores over candles doused in rubbing alcohol.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE REACTING)

PAPA: Luckily, the store had a fire extinguisher. Unfortunately, the fire extinguisher was made out of vibes and amethyst.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Paula do?

KURTIS: Three right, six more points. She's in the game - total of eight.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: But Adam leads with 13.

PAPA: And Bill, how many does Emmy need to win?

KURTIS: Five to win.

PAPA: OK, Emmy, this is for the game. Are you ready?

BLOTNICK: Yeah.

PAPA: Fill in the blank. As protests in the capital intensify, the president of blank fled the country on Tuesday.

BLOTNICK: Sri Lanka?

PAPA: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: For the first time since 2002, the blank fell below a 1-to-1 exchange rate with the dollar.

BLOTNICK: The euro.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Tuesday, Japan held a private funeral for former prime minister blank.

BLOTNICK: Shinzo Abe.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Police in Texas say they nabbed a man smuggling meth when they noticed blank.

BLOTNICK: He drove off the road?

PAPA: They noticed him suspiciously eating a cheeseburger.

BLOTNICK: What?

PAPA: On Thursday...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...Officials warned that demand for blanky (ph) pox vaccines is still outpacing supply.

BLOTNICK: You want me to just say monk? Blanky? Monkey? Monkey? But it's - OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Monkey pox.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

PAPA: That's right.

BURKE: Monk.

BLOTNICK: Blanky pox.

PAPA: According to a new study, a quarter of Americans say their next blank purchase will be electric.

BLOTNICK: Car.

PAPA: Yes...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: ...Car purchase. After decades of debate...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

PAPA: ...Scientists in Australia have determined that a fossilized egg discovered in the 1980s belongs to an extinct species called blank.

BLOTNICK: It was an egg that belongs to a T. rex.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: The giant demon duck of doom.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Researchers say the ducks stood over 7 feet tall with taloned feet and sharp beaks, and their primary food source was old men on park benches who didn't bring enough bread.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, did Emmy do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Well, she got - she needed five, and she got five.

BLOTNICK: (Inaudible).

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: Total of 14.

PAPA: Panel, what will we see next from the James Webb telescope? Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: A little bit of spinach in your teeth.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Adam Burke.

BURKE: It'll reveal the reason we don't know exactly how old the universe is is because it's had work done.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: There's a planet way far off where you can barely make out a Walmart.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Well, if any of those things happen, we're going to ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

PAPA: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Emmy Blotnick, Adam Burke and Paula Poundstone. And thanks to all of you for listening.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: I'm Tom Papa, in for Peter Sagal. And we'll see you next week.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAPA: This is NPR.

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