Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Donate your vehicle and help support local, independent journalism today!

Panel Questions

BILL 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 Hari Kondabolu, P.J. O'Rourke and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, who's hoping this intro finds you well, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill guesses his name is Rhyme-pelstiltskin in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Hari, according to a new study, people have saved as much as $2,000 apiece during the pandemic just because they've been making what at home?




PJ O'ROURKE: Breakfast?

KONDABOLU: Can I get a hint?

SAGAL: Sure. I've got a flat white for me. Is there a me here?




SAGAL: Yes, coffee.


SAGAL: Estimates are that since people are making coffee from home rather than buying it from coffee shops, we're saving up to $2,000 per person over the course of the pandemic. Of course, we still miss the experience of going to a Starbucks. So some of us have been recreating it by burning a $10 bill while misspelling our own name. Or if you really want to capture it, invite random strangers inside to stay in your bathroom for, like, 25 minutes.

O'ROURKE: And use your Wi-Fi.

SAGAL: Exactly.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Oh, I've saved money on everything since the pandemic. You know, the only thing I can't save money on is pet food, you know? They - and I...

SAGAL: Yeah, they just keep eating.

POUNDSTONE: When they look at me, you know, with those sad eyes, I go, but there's a pandemic. And they still want to be fed.


O'ROURKE: You can make your own pet food at home.

SAGAL: You can?

O'ROURKE: (Laughter) Yeah. I mean, all you need is, like, some dead animals and a blender.

SAGAL: Sure.


SAGAL: Anyway, don't get too cocky about saving all this money on coffee. We've also been blowing that money on sourdough starters and Zoom couples' counseling. Paula, The Wall Street Journal reports that people across the country are increasing the value of their homes by taking what simple step? Doesn't cost anything except maybe just a new sign on front.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, putting a political sign in their front yard?

SAGAL: Oh, heck no. I'll give you another hint. Like, you could be living in Poundstone Manor.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, they just have a name for their dwelling?




SAGAL: Giving your house a name increases its apparent value.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You could put a fancy new kitchen in your trash heap of a house, or you could just put out a sign that says Trash Heap Hall and get 10 grand over asking.

O'ROURKE: Wow. I didn't know.

KONDABOLU: That's fair. Who wants a feral home?

SAGAL: That's true, yeah. I mean...

O'ROURKE: OK. So if you name your house, does it come when you call?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: My house...


POUNDSTONE: ...Pandemic Palace...


POUNDSTONE: ...Should fly off the shelf.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).


SAGAL: It should. It should. No, realtors and Airbnbers are finding a name really attracts customers. I mean, wow, I know this place has a weird smell. But what if I told you it was called Casa de Previous Owner Had Cats?


O'ROURKE: Now, do cutesy names work, you know? I mean, you know, wits' end and stuff like that?


KONDABOLU: How about New Zealand? I feel like New Zealand would be...

O'ROURKE: New Zealand.

SAGAL: That would definitely - I would definitely go to check that out.

O'ROURKE: Hari, New Zealand would be an excellent name for a house, yeah.

SAGAL: And you can use it as an excuse. No, I don't live with my mom; I live in Chateau Mama.


O'ROURKE: La basement de Chateau Mama.

SAGAL: Hari, a ball python at the St. Louis Zoo laid several eggs this summer, but she did it without the help of what?

KONDABOLU: A midwife?


SAGAL: Just trying to imagine what a snake midwife would be. No, I mean, this is something that is traditionally required by females to lay eggs.

KONDABOLU: Ovaries. Do snakes have ovaries?

SAGAL: Yes, the snake had ovaries, I assume, or whatever the snake equivalent of an ovary would be.

O'ROURKE: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Snakaries (ph).

KONDABOLU: Would it be a...

SAGAL: Think more...

KONDABOLU: A male snake?

SAGAL: Yes, a male snake. Yes.


SAGAL: A female snake known simply, as snake number 361003 was able to lay three eggs without any male fertilization. According to the snake, she decided she didn't need a man in her life after watching just one Ben Shapiro video. But not only...


POUNDSTONE: This snake - what was its name again, Peter?

SAGAL: It's - it was snake 361003.

POUNDSTONE: But you can recognize it 'cause it wears a T-shirt that says a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

SAGAL: And all its friends are like, you're a snake. I don't get it.


SAGAL: And not only that, not only did the snake manage to do this on a kind of virgin birth, but the snake is 63 years old. I mean, Hollywood tells snakes that they're obsolete after 35.

O'ROURKE: I think they're fibbing at the zoo. They're - you know, it's also easy for snakes to slip out in the evening.

SAGAL: Just slither away?

O'ROURKE: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: You know what? It's like - it's...

O'ROURKE: They're skinny, you know?

SAGAL: Where have you been? Nowhere. Well, I found your skin out by the club.

O'ROURKE: (Laughter).


EURYTHMICS: (Singing) We say sisters are doing it for themselves, standing on their own two feet and ringing on their own bells. Sisters are doing it for themselves. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.