Panel Round Two



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More questions for the panel: You're It; Productivity vs. Exercise; Subway Comes Up Short.

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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. We're playing this week with Faith Salie, Charlie Pierce and Brian Babylon. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you so much, Carl.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl bets the house on the San Francisco Forty-Rhymers in the 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. Charlie, this month the department store Nordstrom named a new chief marketing officer, and in his first week on the job, he inquired about the security at their corporate headquarters. Apparently, he's afraid somebody might break into the building and do what to him?





PIERCE: Hire him away to Macy's.

SAGAL: No. He should have just made his new office "base".

PIERCE: What, tag him and say he was it?

SAGAL: Exactly right.




SAGAL: Tag, it's not just one of Mitt Romney's weird kid's names.


SAGAL: The Wall Street Journal did a story about the Nordstrom, the new Nordstrom CMO and nine of his friends. They have been playing a single continuous game of tag for 23 years.


SAGAL: It started when they were in high school. They revived the tradition several years later. And when one of the players, a lawyer, drew up a contract, they all signed, tag participation agreement. The game is live for the month of February every year. Whoever is it on March 1st has to suffer the indignity the rest of the year. So, they spend February trying to find each and tag each other.


SAGAL: Wherever they are in the world.


BABYLON: Little one percenter games.

SAGAL: Yeah, well.



BABYLON: What? Just one percenter reindeer games. Get out of here.

SAGAL: No, no, like these guys, you know they met in high school, so they have all gone into different walks of life.

For example, one of the players at one point flew into his teammate's or opponent's town, made a deal with the guy's wife to hide in the trunk, right, of the guy's car. The guy comes out, opens the trunk of the car. He jumps out, tags the guy, says "tag, you're it." And one of the rules in the contract, no tag backs, right.


SAGAL: And he's like - it was such a surprise leaping out of the trunk that the women stumbled backwards, tore a ligament in her knee and had to have surgery. And the guy's like I feel bad about that but I still got him. That man is a priest.



BABYLON: Man, wow.

SAGAL: "The fact these men spend all this time playing a pointless game is ridiculous," said an unnamed CEO, who was busy a metal stick to drive a tiny white ball into a hole.


SAGAL: Brian, more and more offices are installing active workstations for their employees, you know cubicles with a treadmill under the desk or balance balls in place of chairs. While it's great for workplace health, it's bad for what?

BABYLON: The budget.


BABYLON: People are just not doing their work effectively...

SAGAL: Exactly, it's bad for getting work done.


BABYLON: You know, concentration, productivity.

SAGAL: Precisely right. It's hard to stay in shape at your job. We know this. Just look at the people in your cubicle farm or any professional baseball team.


SAGAL: But active workstations have their price. The Wall Street Journal reports that workers tested on treadmills make more typos and get worse at crucial skills like mouse clicking and not falling onto their faces and being thrown backwards into the cubicle wall.


SAGAL: So you know it's...

BABYLON: What does that mean, a treadmill desk?

SAGAL: A treadmill desk is a desk that has a treadmill built into it on the ground.

BABYLON: Are you sitting down, going...

SAGAL: No, you stand on the treadmill and you walk while you work.

PIERCE: Yeah, it's like...

BABYLON: That sounds like some stuff that happened - remember when the internet was all big and those companies were popping up and they were having like tents and nap rooms and all that stupid stuff.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FAITH SALIE: And now the internet's not big anymore


SALIE: They do say that you are something like 75 percent more creative when you're in motion.

SAGAL: That's what they say.

SALIE: So maybe you're not efficient and you're making typos, but...

SAGAL: You're thinking?

BABYLON: Yeah, that's like called smoking weed too.


BABYLON: I could sit at my desk and smoke and be like, oh, man, this is amazing. I'm creative.


SAGAL: Charlie, the fast food chain Subway has apologized and is now making changes after admitting that their foot long sandwiches are actually what?

PIERCE: Overcompensation.


PIERCE: Not a foot long.

SAGAL: Exactly, only 11 inches long, which is a big deal.


SAGAL: Earlier this month, an Australian man posted a photo of his alleged foot long Subway sandwich with a measuring tape, proving it came up about an inch short. At first Subway denied it. They said that their sandwiches really are 12 inches long. It was just cold out that day.


SALIE: Subway said it's not you. This has never happened before.

SAGAL: I know.


SALIE: This is why...

PIERCE: That's OK, Subway, it happens to everyone.


SALIE: And then Subway said, can I just hold you?


BABYLON: Let's just talk.


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