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Panel Round Two

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 Tom Bodett, Jessi Klein, and Luke Burbank. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you everybody. In just a minute, Carl insists on re-watching his favorite movie Hot Tub Rhyme Machine.


SAGAL: It's 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.

Jessi, police in Arizona...


SAGAL: ...say drug cartels have found a fun new way to smuggle drugs across the border with Mexico. How are they doing it?

KLEIN: Well there was a story that I read. I don't know if it's related to this. Was this the breast implant story?

SAGAL: This was not the breast implant story.


SAGAL: Frankly, I'm much more interested in...

TOM BODETT: Another fun story.

SAGAL: It's just a question of getting the marijuana over the border, over the border fence specifically.

KLEIN: Over the border fence.

SAGAL: Yeah.

KLEIN: Just maybe hitting it with a wiffle bat.


BODETT: That's a good idea.

KLEIN: That's less...

SAGAL: That does sound like fun. Well, you know, it's probably the one thing that drug smuggling has in common with time-outs at an NBA game.


LUKE BURBANK: A unicycle team performs?

KLEIN: Yeah, I was going to say dancers.


KLEIN: Oh, a t-shirt thing.

SAGAL: A t-shirt cannon, yes.

KLEIN: A t-shirt cannon.


SAGAL: Yes, they shot the marijuana over the border fence with a t-shirt cannon, or a cannon like that one.

KLEIN: We live in the best continent.


SAGAL: We really do.

KLEIN: That's awesome.

SAGAL: Other continents get rain and snow, we get cans of marijuana falling from the sky.

KLEIN: Did someone shout "y'all ready for this" right before it happened?

SAGAL: Yeah, coming down.



SAGAL: I just hope, as with keeping with the NBA tradition, that the cannon was fired by the smugglers' mascot.


SAGAL: NARCO the Border Terrorist, you know.


SAGAL: Get a big foam head, mustache, bandolier.

BURBANK: I have the worst luck with this. I'm always like "Me" and then it goes like 40 rows behind me.

SAGAL: Yeah.

KLEIN: Yeah.

BURBANK: And I never get high.

SAGAL: Well that's the other question...


SAGAL: That's the other question. Who was supposed to catch it? Why didn't they catch it?


BURBANK: Don't you feel like at a certain point, we should just let them do it? Like, OK, well played, smugglers.

SAGAL: Yeah.

KLEIN: Yeah.


BURBANK: You got a t-shirt cannon.

KLEIN: Right.

BURBANK: You got cans. Somehow, you put weed in there; you shot it. You know what, get high.

KLEIN: Yeah.

SAGAL: Go for it.

BURBANK: Like, it's fine.


SAGAL: Luke, some exciting news from New Zealand. Three new residents there passed their driving tests this week. Who are they?

BURBANK: Oh, I think I saw a TV clip of this and I'm guessing it was in New Zealand. Were they in fact dogs?

SAGAL: They were dogs, Luke.


SAGAL: They were dogs. A New Zealand dog trainer has taught three shelter dogs to drive a car. The dogs were into it, because it's a marked improvement on chasing cars by running after them.


SAGAL: After seven weeks of dog training, they're able to shift gears, accelerate and brake. The shelter hopes this will up their chances of being adopted.


SAGAL: Or at least give them a vocational skill to fall back on if they're not. You thought cabs smell bad now, wait until you get in one of the dog cabs.


SAGAL: It'll be awful. The dog will spend the whole ride barking on the cell phone.


SAGAL: He'd be like "where you going, pal?" OK, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff.

BODETT: With his head out the window.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly.


SAGAL: It's hard to drive.

KLEIN: Is Romney soon going to be riding on the top of his own car?


BODETT: There you go.

SAGAL: The dog driving.

BURBANK: You got there.

KLEIN: Too late? Too late? Too soon?


SAGAL: Luke, new national standards are being implemented in schools across the country. So, "Catcher in the Rye" and "To Kill a Mockingbird," books like that, might well be replaced by what?

BURBANK: So those books, which are still the two probably sort of headiest books I've read because they were assigned in fourth grade.

SAGAL: Right.

BURBANK: They're replacing those with books that are maybe more seen as racially sensitive?

SAGAL: No. No.

BURBANK: Well I guess "Catcher in the Rye" doesn't really have much of that going on.

KLEIN: You didn't even read it in fourth grade, did you?

BURBANK: No, I didn't actually.


KLEIN: I think we just busted you on not reading one of the two books you brag about reading.

SAGAL: Anybody know the answer to this?

KLEIN: I think I do.

SAGAL: Well, go ahead, Jessi.

KLEIN: Like they want kids to be reading like instructional manuals.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.



KLEIN: Yeah, good times.

SAGAL: Specifically books like, classics like, "Recommended Levels of Insulation," by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and that classic, "The Invasive Plant Inventory," by California's Invasive Plant Council.


SAGAL: Now, the Common Core Standards, they stress getting students ready for the real world, and that means making sure that 70 percent of what kids read in school will be non-fiction. Because sure, musing about Holden Caulfield's psychological problems might be fun, but you're not going to have time for musing during your 35 years as a cubicle drone, so get cracking on that technical manual now is the thinking.


SAGAL: This means: goodbye Huck Finn, hello "Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management." Those are all titles on the recommended reading list.

BODETT: Actually, it makes perfect sense. I hope on there also are like assembly manuals that were badly translated.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.


KLEIN: Here in this classroom.

SAGAL: You know what's going to happen, the kids aren't going to apply themselves. They're all going to wait until the last minute and then go out and get the movie version of the invasive plant directory.


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

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