Carl Kasell reads three quotes from the week's news: Roughing the Officials; UN-apalooza; Harry Potter and The Deadly Boring Book.
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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, filling in for Peter Sagal, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me, everybody. You're going to enjoy our show. Later on, the world's most famous punter, Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe will join us, to talk about the perks of being the world's most famous punter.
But first, you may have noticed something very strange in the news this week. This is the week of the famous political lull. This is something; it's very specific, it happens every four years during the election season. It always comes three weeks after the end of the political conventions and always one week before the first presidential debate, and it's nine days after the leaked video, making one of the candidates look like Ebenezer Scrooge.
GROSZ: And then it's actually 6 hours and 45 minutes before the incumbent has his mouth surgically removed to make sure he doesn't say something equally stupid.
GROSZ: If you still have your mouth on your face, and it works, please give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. And now, let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi there, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
PATRICK MORAN: Hello, how are you? How's it going? My name is Patrick Moran and I'm from Newberg, Indiana.
GROSZ: Oh, great, Newberg Indiana.
GROSZ: Wow, oh, just the loveliest smattering, Patrick.
GROSZ: What's going on there in Newberg? How far away from Chicago is Newberg, would you say?
MORAN: Oh, not far enough.
(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)
ADAM FELBER: Wow, you are making friends.
GROSZ: Yeah. Patrick...
MORAN: No, no, no, no, no...
GROSZ: There are about 500 people who are rooting against you to win this game.
GROSZ: All right, mister. Let me introduce you to our panel, Patrick. First up, it's comedian and host of the Morning Amp on vocolo.org. Say hi to Brian Babylon.
BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, hey.
GROSZ: All right, Patrick, next we have the deputy editor and blogger for the Houston Chronicle, Ms. Kyrie O'Connor.
KYRIE O'CONNOR: Hi, Patrick.
GROSZ: And finally, he's a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Adam Felber.
MORAN: Oh wow.
FELBER: Hello, Patrick.
GROSZ: All right, welcome to the show, Patrick.
MORAN: Thanks for having me.
GROSZ: You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotes from the news this week. If you can correctly identify two of the three quotes, you will win our prize, which is Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine or your voicemail. You pick. All right, are you ready, Patrick?
MORAN: As ready as I'll ever be.
GROSZ: OK, good. Hey, by the way, we're over that whole Chicago comment.
GROSZ: Just so you know...
MORAN: Thank you.
GROSZ: We want you to win this thing, man.
GROSZ: All right. OK, here's your first quote.
KASELL: Remember, you got what you demanded. No yelling at the refs on Sunday.
GROSZ: All right, that was a writer on MSN, reminding football fans they have to be nice this weekend, now that what is over?
MORAN: The referee lockout.
GROSZ: That's right, very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
GROSZ: Oh, at last, our long national nightmare is over.
GROSZ: The NFL and the officials' union have agreed on a new contract and the replacement refs are gone. And I just want to say, there are some terrible things happening in this world. We have global economies collapsing. The middle class is disappearing. There's chaos and fire all over the Middle East. But here in America, we have proven that once again, if a cause is truly unimportant enough, we will join together to fight for it.
BABYLON: Preach that. Preach.
GROSZ: Thank you.
BABYLON: Preach, Peter, preach.
BABYLON: No doubt about it.
GROSZ: No doubt about it. Is that right?
GROSZ: It was kind of amazing. It's like this actual moment of national unity. In this whole time where everyone's trying to bite each other's head off, we actually all feel the same way about this issue.
GROSZ: You know what I mean?
O'CONNOR: For one day, we were all Packers.
BABYLON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
BABYLON: Hold on, now, hold on. Never.
GROSZ: Take it easy.
BABYLON: Never that.
GROSZ: You're in Chicago, lady. It was kind of amazing, too, that it was just like the topic of the week. They asked everybody about it. They asked President Obama about it. They asked Paul Ryan about it. And they both, actually, agreed on it. They both said, like everybody, that the refs, you know, should come back.
And not to be, you know, missing out on all the common man bonding, you know, Mitt Romney weighed in. And he was like, "I can absolutely relate. This is just like the time when the dressage judges mistakenly penalized my horse for illegal prancing."
FELBER: But it is true that this unity ends on Sunday when suddenly the refs will be responsible for exactly half the teams in the NFL losing.
FELBER: And half the fans will believe that.
O'CONNOR: And they will still make horrible calls.
GROSZ: Yes. I have to say, though, I don't know why it was so hard for these refs, because, you know, what's the big deal about just coming in and, like, replacing a guy whose done a job for so long, you know.
GROSZ: Like, why would you make any mistakes?
BABYLON: No, it doesn't...
GROSZ: I feel like you should be able to do that job without making any mistakes.
O'CONNOR: No, you really can't do that. You can't do that.
GROSZ: So now it's time for Lightning Fill in the Limerick. Is that right?
GROSZ: No, I'm sorry that's not it. I messed that up. OK. All right, Patrick, so far you're doing great. Here's your next quote.
KASELL: Sign you've been working too hard, trying to open the door to your apartment building with your U. N. work ID.
GROSZ: That was a United Nations employee who has been working double time this week, and why?
MORAN: Oh man, because the President gave a speech.
GROSZ: Close. There is an event that is happening that he is probably working a lot at. Do you know what that would be called? It takes place at the U. N., I'll give you that much of a hint.
MORAN: Human trafficking?
GROSZ: Yes, Patrick, the United Nations has now gone full bore into human trafficking.
FELBER: Well they had so many connections.
GROSZ: They did.
GROSZ: Well, the words we're looking for actually...
MORAN: Oh, just give it to me.
GROSZ: General Assembly. It's called the U. N. General Assembly. It's when all the delegates and all the heads of state from all over the world descend on New York and it's kind of this, like, last gasp of the summer festival season, you know.
GROSZ: You've got Lollapalooza, you've got Burning Man, and you've got the U. N. General Assembly. You know, it's like...
MORAN: Right. I knew that. I was just making sure you guys knew that.
BABYLON: So, you know, every time it looks like the star of the show is - hold on, help me out - Mahmoud...
BABYLON: Who I feel looks like he wants to dress like a white guy from 1987.
BABYLON: Like he rocks the Members Only jackets.
GROSZ: No tie.
BABYLON: No tie. The Lands End shirt and then just yap, yap, crazy talk.
GROSZ: Is it Lands End specifically? But it was amazing, Ahmadinejad spoke and it was nowhere near as crazy as it normally is. There were no, like, 9/11 conspiracies and Holocaust denials. And that's part of the bummer, too, is it's like you go see a band and you expect them to play your favorite hits.
BABYLON: It's like...
GROSZ: And you're like, hey, man, do "Wipe Israel off the map," and he's like, "I'm going to play something from my solo album." Boo.
FELBER: My takeaway was extreme disappointment with Bibi Netanyahu. Because he was trying to make a big warning speech...
GROSZ: Yeah, about Iran.
FELBER: And did you see the chart he had?
FELBER: He showed everybody how close Iran was to getting nuclear weapons by having this spherical cartoon bomb picture.
GROSZ: Yeah, with the wick coming out.
O'CONNOR: Right. Yes.
FELBER: With the wick coming up.
BABYLON: Like Acme style?
GROSZ: Yes, Acme style.
O'CONNOR: Like a Wile E. Coyote bomb.
BABYLON: Acme style.
FELBER: I was watching this thing thinking, "Are we worried about Ahmadinejad or are we worried about Inspector Clouseau?"
BABYLON: And then he had, like, the little word like "Zoiks" put right next to it.
FELBER: And he was speaking very seriously. Like, he clearly thought this bomb chart was a good idea.
GROSZ: Well, I think his son made it was like "Will you take this to the United Nations please?"
GROSZ: All right, Patrick, you're doing very well.
BABYLON: No, he's doing OK.
GROSZ: You're doing OK. I'm trying to boost his confidence.
MORAN: I'm not doing bad.
GROSZ: You're not doing badly.
GROSZ: If you get this next one right, the prize will be yours. Here's your next quote.
KASELL: "The Casual Vacancy" is pure, unadulterated muggle.
GROSZ: That was a writer in Slade magazine, reviewing the new book that came out this week that was written by who?
MORAN: Written by whom, I'm sorry.
GROSZ: Yes, written by who? That's your question.
MORAN: I'm assuming it's J. K. Rowling's new book.
GROSZ: That is absolutely right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
GROSZ: Very good. That is right. Now, hold onto your hats, folks. If you're a fan of wizards and dragons and magic, you've got to check this book out.
In this new book, "Casual Vacancy," J.K. Rowling takes us to the small British village of Pagford, where she uses the death of a parish councilman and the ensuing vacancy on the town council to examine the inner workings of small town village government. And if you're still listening at the end of this sentence...
(SOUNDBITE OF SNORING)
GROSZ: Then this book is very boring, and it is for you.
BABYLON: You know what she should have called it, "50 Shades of Hogwarts." That's what it should have been called.
GROSZ: Yes, exactly. I'm worried though that like if this book is successful, then other writers will take these other sort of forays into stories about municipal minutia. You know, George R. R. Martin's next book will be called "A Game of Local Zoning Codes."
GROSZ: And the new Steven King novel will be about a sleepy Maine town that's hiding a terrible secret: the cost of parking around city hall will increase by ten cents an hour.
GROSZ: All right, well Carl...
FELBER: "The Lord of the Ring Binders."
GROSZ: Carl, how did Patrick do on our quiz?
KASELL: Patrick, you had two correct answers, so you win our prize. Congratulations.
GROSZ: Great job.
GROSZ: Thank you very much. Bye-bye.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.