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, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
SAGAL: Oh, thanks everybody. Thank you. Much appreciated. We do have a great show for you today. Tech guru Guy Kawasaki will be joining us later to play Not my Job.
But first, like a lot of people, we were really impressed by poet Richard Blanco's performance of his inaugural poem this week. It was called "One Today." It was really classy, you know, and we thought we would try to up our game, start our show the same way, with a poem we've commissioned from our, you know, Poet Laureate, Mr. Carl Kasell. Carl?
KASELL: There once was a quiz show from Nantucket...
SAGAL: No, wait a minute.
SAGAL: OK. Good try. We'll work on it, be back with you in four years.
SAGAL: If you've got some verses you want to share, give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-88-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
MICHAEL PISA: Hi, this is Mike from Washington, D.C.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Washington? Did you stick around in town for all the festivities or did you get out of town?
PISA: I stayed in town, but I didn't show up. I stayed away from downtown.
SAGAL: That's the cool thing to do, to be...
PISA: It is the cool thing to do.
SAGAL: ...to be unimpressed.
SAGAL: All right now, Mike, let's introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian whose special "I Come in Peace" premiers this weekend on Showtime, Mr. Maz Jobrani is here.
MAZ JOBRANI: Hello there.
SAGAL: Next, the woman behind the advice column Ask Amy, it's Amy Dickinson.
PISA: Hi, Amy.
AMY DICKINSON: Hi, Mike.
SAGAL: And the author and humorist whose latest book is "Alpha better Juice," Mr. Roy Blount, Jr, is here.
ROY BLOUNT, JR.: Hi.
SAGAL: So, Mike, welcome to the show. You're, of course, going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, standing right here, is going to start us off with three quotations from the week's news. Your job, correctly identify or explain that two times out of three. Do that, you win our prize. Ready to go?
SAGAL: All right, Mike, your first quote comes from Fab, formerly of Milli Vanilli. He's talking about Beyonce.
KASELL: Everyone should just step back and relax. There are far more important things to worry about.
KASELL: But I can certainly relate to what she's going through.
SAGAL: I bet you can, Carl. Fab was responding to claims that Beyonce lip-synced at what big event this week?
PISA: That would be the inauguration.
SAGAL: Yes, indeed it would be, very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The second inauguration of President Obama wasn't quite as inspiring as his first. You could tell he was enjoying never having to run for anything again, especially when he ended his address "God bless America and smell you all later."
SAGAL: And then he picked up Joe Biden and smashed him on the stage, it was like...
SAGAL: He didn't spend any time in his address - did you notice this - reaching out to his opponents at all. If the theme of his first term was Obamacare, the theme of the second will be Obama Don't Care.
JOBRANI: She did a good job with it. She ripped the earpiece out and she...
SAGAL: All right, we'll forget the address, we'll forget the President, let's go right to Beyonce. I understand where your priorities are.
JOBRANI: Well, you know, she's hot, so...
SAGAL: Well, here's the thing, as everybody knows, they had all these singers at the performance, and Beyonce did the National Anthem. And very soon afterwards, there were accusations that she might have lip-synced. On the one hand, people watching the tape say that he lips exactly matched the sounds. That's very hard to do with lip-syncing.
JR.: Well, yeah, that's what I think.
SAGAL: Yeah. Now, this is what people heard via the speakers and on their TVs, Beyonce.
(SOUNDBITE OF BEYONCE SINGING)
SAGAL: Right, OK, so there you go, Beyonce. We got the close-ups on her. It looks like she's moving her lips just in time to that.
SAGAL: But here's the thing, NPR, as you know, was broadcasting the inauguration and we happen to have a feed directly from the soundboard. So this was what Beyonce's mike was picking up.
(SOUNDBITE OF NATIONAL ANTHEM)
SAGAL: So it's not definitive proof, but I think Beyonce owes us some answers.
JOBRANI: But also, look, even if she lip-synced, like she could have been - like it could have been worse, she could have been singing like the North Korean national anthem. That would have been bad.
SAGAL: That's true.
JR.: I'm always tempted to lip sync this show.
SAGAL: Here is your next quote. It's from, of all people, Dr. Ruth Wertheimer.
KASELL: Since I was a sniper in the Israeli Freedom Fighters, I am all for it.
SAGAL: Dr. Ruth was commenting on the story this week that the U.S. military will now allow who to serve in combat roles?
PISA: That would be women.
SAGAL: It would be women, and it is women, very well done.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The Pentagon has finally lifted its ban on women serving in front line combat platoons. The best part of this is how embarrassing it will be to the Taliban. Not only were you just shot, you were shot by a girl.
JR.: I think it's great, women in combat. But we've got to be prepared for war movies from now on to be a lot more like "Mamma Mia."
DICKINSON: Lots of dancing.
SAGAL: More singing.
JOBRANI: War the Musical.
SAGAL: Well, it is true. War movies will be different. They'll be like "Full Metal Jacket and Matching Slacks."
SAGAL: "Saving Meg Ryan."
DICKINSON: Right, there you go.
DICKINSON: As the loan woman here up on stage...
JR.: Oh, don't feel bad.
DICKINSON: Can I respond?
SAGAL: You may.
JOBRANI: You know, on behalf of all my sisters.
DICKINSON: Here's what we think about that. Yay.
JOBRANI: So they get to go to the front lines. Like why would you want to go? I would think you'd be like, "no, no, it's cool, you guys go."
DICKINSON: I know.
DICKINSON: I'm like "after you."
SAGAL: What's interesting about the debate that started, once this announcement was made, is the kinds of objections that came, especially from male soldiers. One former marine, he was writing in the Wall Street Journal. He talked about how disgusting he and his fellow marines are while in combat and how uncomfortable it would be for the woman to be around that.
Of course, a female soldier might be able to prepare for that experience by simply being around any man ever.
JOBRANI: Also, just real quickly, when you said that it was Dr. Ruth Wertheimer.
JOBRANI: So she was a sniper?
SAGAL: Yeah, this is true.
DICKINSON: I know, imagine that.
JOBRANI: The rifles are bigger than her.
DICKINSON: She's tiny. Yeah.
SAGAL: She's a tiny person.
SAGAL: But she was able when she was a younger woman...
DICKINSON: But you know, what a great sniper she would be, because she could run underneath everything, you know.
JR.: You'd like up in the tree and you'd say that can't be the sniper, that's Dr. Ruth.
SAGAL: Mike, for your last quote, we're going south to Florida for a story that caught our eye. This is a quote from a story from the AP, some advice for travelers who were taking on a special contest that's going on in Florida this month.
KASELL: Drink water. Wear sunscreen. And don't get bitten by anything.
SAGAL: So, if you needed another reason to go to Florida, the state has created a month long contest with a top prize of $1,500 for the person who catches the most what?
PISA: Oh, I saw something about snakes in Florida, so pythons.
SAGAL: Yes, giant Burmese pythons. Very good, Mike.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: As we have mentioned on this show, Florida is overrun by giant Burmese pythons. They're decimating the local wildlife. They're ravaging the buffets at the all-inclusive beach resorts.
SAGAL: And many of them are apparently voting for Pat Buchanan for president.
SAGAL: The state of Florida started a contest, 1,500 bucks to whoever kills the most pythons. A thousand to whoever kills the largest python. And two dozen live sheep to the python that bags the most amateur snake hunters, just to make it competitive.
JOBRANI: So the state is sponsoring a competition and the best they can do is $1,500?
JOBRANI: How bad is the economy there? Like 1,500 bucks to go face a snake? Are you out of your mind?
SAGAL: How much would it cost for me to get you to do it?
JOBRANI: You have to start at like, at least a million.
SAGAL: A million?
JOBRANI: Oh, yeah, I'm not going to mess with a snake. That's like this whole - you should send some of the combat women to go fight the snake.
JR.: Draft the snakes. Let the snakes fight.
JOBRANI: Let the snakes fight the Taliban.
SAGAL: Joining us now to discuss this latest effort to make Florida livable for humans, we're happy to welcome back once again, WAIT Wait's resident Florida expert, author Carl Hiaasen. Carl, welcome back to the show.
CARL HIAASEN: Nice to be there.
SAGAL: Carl Hiaasen. So, the great Florida giant Burmese python hunting contest. This is obviously your next novel writing itself, I assume.
HIAASEN: The only thing scarier than the pythons is the hundreds of redneck tourists with firearms.
SAGAL: So, I mean this is, you know, the economy is still a little depressed. Could I make a good living hunting pythons in Florida?
HIAASEN: No. I actually went on a wild python hunt a couple of years ago, to do a column about it for the Herald. And it's a long day, and as big as they are, they blend in pretty well.
I don't know. Like you said, a thousand bucks, you could spend weeks and weeks and maybe catch one puny little python. So this is not something people are doing for money. They're doing it for the sheer sport of it, as it were.
HIAASEN: But I mean, we'll take anything that brings tourists down here, trust me.
HIAASEN: Anything that brings a single warm body into the state at this point, we'll go for it.
JOBRANI: Are they in swamps or are they like at the beach, South Beach? Like where would you find these pythons?
HIAASEN: Oh god, if only they were on South Beach.
SAGAL: That would be awesome.
HIAASEN: Oh, that would be - listen, I would put up bleachers.
HIAASEN: No, they're out in the swampy part of the Everglades. They live along canals and lake banks, and you have to kind of creep around. And then when you see one, you'll leap out of your vehicle, and you leap on the snake and you pray that he doesn't get four or five coils around you.
And they caught one a couple of months ago, Peter, that had a - it was easy to catch because it couldn't move because it had just digested a 74-pound white-tailed deer.
DICKINSON: Oh my god.
HIAASEN: That's like a Michele Bachmann sized deer.
SAGAL: I do believe...
DICKINSON: There is an image.
SAGAL: Congresswoman Bachmann is the universal measure of deer size.
SAGAL: Hunters brag, "Oh, that one's three Bachmann's I got this week."
SAGAL: Carl Hiaasen is, of course, a columnist for the Miami Herald and a great author of very funny books. Carl, thank you so much for calling in. We love talking to you.
HIAASEN: All right.
SAGAL: Mike, we appreciate your patience. How you doing out there?
SAGAL: Carl, how did Mike do on our quiz?
KASELL: Michael, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your answering machine or voicemail.
SAGAL: Well done.
SAGAL: Thanks for playing, Mike.
PISA: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.