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Who's Bill This Time?

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey there, MLB. Why not play me, an all-star game of base-Bill? I'm Bill Kurtis. And here he is, a man who somehow wrote off his eyebrows as a business expense. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks one more time to our completely fake audience. And I want you guys to know I believe you're real.

Over the last year, a lot of people have turned to the teachings of a certain spiritual leader who has given us hope, faith and encouragement that we can emerge from this ordeal with a healthy mind and fantastic buns. I'm talking, of course, about superstar exercise guru Ally Love. You may know her from "Sundays With Love" on Peloton. She'll be joining us later. So remember to do your warmup by calling in to play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924.

It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

DANIEL COSME: Hi, Daniel Cosme here. I'm from Jackson, Wyo.

SAGAL: Hi. How are you, Daniel? Jackson is quite near the Grand Tetons, right?

COSME: Yeah, exactly.

SAGAL: Do you get to go outside and enjoy yourself at all?

COSME: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, you're just surrounded by it any direction you go in. And there's no shortage of just amazing things to do. And they're vacantly (ph) into the beautiful void. It's pretty fantastic.

SAGAL: You know, speaking as someone who's been locked inside my suburban house for a long time, can you tell me something about your life that sucks just to make me feel a little better?


COSME: It's snowing right now.

SAGAL: It's snowing right now. Is that all you got? It's snowing right now in the beautiful Grand Teton mountains.

COSME: And the ski conditions are subpar. Does that make you feel a little better?

SAGAL: Oh, OK. I feel better. Thank you. I appreciate it.

COSME: Yeah.

SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel this week, Daniel. First up, she's a writer and comedian you can hear weekly on The Atlantic podcast "Social Distance" with Dr. James Hamblin. It's Maeve Higgins.


SAGAL: Hi. Hi, Daniel.

COSME: Hey, Maeve.

SAGAL: Next, he's a comedian and host of a new show on Sirius XM that NPR rules prevent us from naming. But the name rhymes with Joy Luck Club. It's Joel Kim Booster.



COSME: Hey, Joel.

SAGAL: And finally, a comedian you can hear weekly on her podcast, "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone," available on her website or wherever you might get your podcast. It's Paula Poundstone.



COSME: Hey, Paula.

SAGAL: Daniel, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? 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 will win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

COSME: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: Here's your first quote.

KURTIS: Seems a lot like no shirt, no shoes, no service.

SAGAL: That was a Harvard law professor talking about what new ID that Americans may need to enter businesses.

COSME: A COVID vaccine ID.

SAGAL: Yes. Or vaccine passports, as they're being called.


SAGAL: That's right. Many states have announced plans to institute vaccine passports, a document that says you've been vaccinated and thus can go where you please. Great. Not only do we have to put on pants again. We have to carry something in the pocket. That said, passports for daily life seem fun. Oh, look. I have entry stamps for TGI Fridays and a vape shop. But remember, if you want to go to IHOP, that does require a visa.


POUNDSTONE: I think it should be the other way around.

SAGAL: What do you mean?

POUNDSTONE: I think that you should get, like, a stamp so you can say, like, OK, I've gotten people sick in Italy. I've gotten people sick...


POUNDSTONE: ...In Peru. Like, that's how it should be stamped.

SAGAL: And then, of course, what this means is that high schoolers will be going out and getting fake vaccine passports. You'll have all these 16-year-olds trying to pass themselves off as a 55-year-old with a comorbidity just to go see "Godzilla Vs. Kong."


MAEVE HIGGINS: I think I first got a fake ID - it wasn't a passport. But I was, like, 14. I can't remember. I was dating Matt Gaetz at the time and...


HIGGINS: But I can't wait. Like, the second I get vaccinated, I'm going to get a little passport. I love showing off stuff like that.

SAGAL: Oh, sure.

KIM BOOSTER: I want to get one - I just wish they'd make them, like, fun and cute and, like, collectible, like "Pokemon" cards, you know?


POUNDSTONE: Oh, that's a good idea.

KIM BOOSTER: And I wish you got one for every vaccine that you get. Just imagine if they were, like, tradeable. And some of them were holographic and some of them weren't. It would be so fun and cool. Like, game-ify the vaccine passport system.

SAGAL: It occurs to me, though, if you're going to start the program of having some sort of document to allow you to enter a business, you should just go with that as far as you need to. So, for example, not - if you're going to go into this bar, not only do you have to prove that you've had a vaccine but also that you're a good tipper and that you understand that the bartender is not flirting with you. She's just doing her job.

KIM BOOSTER: (Laughter).

HIGGINS: I don't know what you would have? Like, maybe a little tattoo saying, you know, 15%. But that's not a very good tip, is it?

KIM BOOSTER: No. It's not. Maeve...


KIM BOOSTER: ...What have you been tipping?

SAGAL: You have to get that one lasered off.


HIGGINS: That's correct.


SAGAL: Do you have this this percentage tattooed on your wrist, so you know how much to tip? You're, like, sitting there. Oh, let me calculate the bill, guys. And you look at your wrist and go, well, it's 15%.

HIGGINS: Yeah. I mean - and I have a whole load of equations to figure out what 15% of every number is.

SAGAL: You have an entire table. Yes. Oh, my God. You're going to have to have that removed.

HIGGINS: It was expensive. The tattoo artist was mad because I only tipped him 15%.


POUNDSTONE: You know, that's another reason to go to 20. It's just easier to calculate.

SAGAL: True.

POUNDSTONE: It saves time and brain power.

HIGGINS: Or 10, Paula.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, yeah. No. You want to get out alive.

SAGAL: All right, Daniel, your next quote is from someone protesting on Twitter.

KURTIS: It's official. No more Coca-Cola products at my house. It's Pepsi.

SAGAL: That was someone announcing that the drinks in their house will now be bad because Coca-Cola decided to protest what?

COSME: Georgia's voter restriction laws.



SAGAL: Yes, the Georgia voting bill. Everybody is mad at Georgia over their new voting laws. Even corporations are speaking out. You heard about Coca-Cola. There's Delta. Major League Baseball has announced they've moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Even the midnight train is now going to Colorado.


POUNDSTONE: You know, I'll tell you something.

SAGAL: Yes, Paula.

POUNDSTONE: I'm so glad that Delta came around to opposing voter - what's the word?

KURTIS: Suppression.

POUNDSTONE: Suppression. Thank you. Yeah.

SAGAL: Its critics call it - yeah - voter suppression.

POUNDSTONE: And especially because not only do I need the option to fly Delta. But they also have these cookies that I just love.

KIM BOOSTER: Paula, don't get me started. Don't get me started on those cookies.

POUNDSTONE: What are they? - the Biscoff. What is it? Biscoff?



KIM BOOSTER: Those tan cookies. I just found some in - I put on an old coat that I hadn't worn all season. And I found a pack of those cookies. And they hold up - years old.

SAGAL: You guys are getting excited about those incredibly stiff, nearly tasteless biscotti...

KIM BOOSTER: Peter, you shut your mouth.

POUNDSTONE: They're not - yeah, honestly. They're not...

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: When other airlines are offering the delicacy that is a stroopwafel, and you're getting excited about those things?

POUNDSTONE: I hate that thing. That thing is gross.

SAGAL: The company, though, that is in the real middle of all this is Major League Baseball, right? Because you have - now you're having Republicans coming out and saying they're not going to watch baseball games. It makes sense, of course, that baseball would be the center of a political logjam because baseball is basically the filibuster of sports. But it's...


SAGAL: It's so strange to see what this has forced Republicans to do. They're so angry at Coke, even the Koch brothers have changed their name to the Pepsi brothers.


SAGAL: Wait until they find out that mom and apple pie are now members of The Squad.


SAGAL: All right. Let's move on. Daniel, for your last quote, we've got some pressing questions.

KURTIS: Why do people with baguettes think they're better than me? Why is everything at my grandma's house moist?

SAGAL: Those were just two of the many questions posed on what online resource, which tragically will be shutting down next month.

COSME: Can I get a hint?

SAGAL: Well, that's where you go to get a bunch of yahoos to answer your questions.

COSME: Oh, Yahoo questions.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, technically, Yahoo Answers.


SAGAL: But we'll give it to you. Yahoo has announced that Yahoo Answers, the world's No. 1 source for different spellings of the phrase, am I pregnant? - will be shut down for good on May 4. And no, you're not pregnant. It's a place where users post questions they did not know the answers to to other users who also did not know the answers. It was supposed to be, like, this marketplace of ideas where people could meet to exchange information. You know, instead, when somebody asked, why do chips get stale? - the most popular answer was, Thog don't care.


POUNDSTONE: It was more of a support group for people who don't know.

SAGAL: Exactly.


POUNDSTONE: I like that.

KIM BOOSTER: One of the questions was, how does a cat's fur know how to grow around the eyes?


HIGGINS: Yeah, the right place to put the holes.

SAGAL: That's a very good question. It is a shame, though, to see Yahoo Answers disappear. Now if you want to ask or answer a dumb question, you'll have to use literally any other website at all.


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

KURTIS: He did so well with 3 and 0. You're going to have a great time on the slopes tomorrow, Daniel.

SAGAL: Daniel, thank you so much for calling to play.

COSME: Thank you so much. This was great.

SAGAL: Take care.

POUNDSTONE: Bye, Daniel.


HIGGINS: Bye. Well done.

COSME: Bye. Thank y'all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.