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Who's Bill This Time

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT.... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey, there, Jersey. Badda boom, badda Bill (ph).


KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., Peter Segal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: It is great to be back in New Jersey, where I grew up. In fact, we are about 10 miles from where I was born. So if I want to measure my progress in life. Now I know 2 miles per decade.


SAGAL: Later today, we're going to be talking to Tina Charles, star player for the New York Liberty of the WNBA. We've got a lot of questions for her, including if she played the Knicks. How much would she beat them by?


SAGAL: And would she need the rest of her team to do it?


SAGAL: We want to be a part of your highlight reel. Give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.



FALLSTON: My name's Rachel Fallston (ph). I'm calling from East Brunswick, N.J.

SAGAL: East Brunswick?


SAGAL: So what do you do here in New Jersey?

FALLSTON: I'm a rabbi, and I work at a hospital.

SAGAL: Oh, really? I don't know if this goes for Jews. But I've always imagined that if you were in a hospital room and, say, a priest walked in, you'd panic. So...

FALLSTON: Yeah, a lot of people scream.

SAGAL: Do they really?


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Rachel. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's the co-host of Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone. It's Adam Felber.


ADAM FELBER: How you doing, Rachel?

FALLSTON: I'm doing good.

SAGAL: Next up, a comedian who'll be performing at the Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley September 28 and at Hyena's Comedy Club in Fort Worth, Texas, October 17 through the 19th. It's Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: Hi. Hi, Rachel.


SAGAL: And a writer for the upcoming season of "At Home With Amy Sedaris." It's Peter Grosz.



SAGAL: So, Rachel, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Of course, you know this. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job - simply explain or identify two of them. Do that - you will win the finest prize in public radio - the voice of anyone you might like on this show on your voicemail. You ready to go?

FALLSTON: I am ready.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is a tweet from John Bolton.

KURTIS: I offered to resign last night, and President Trump said, let's talk about it tomorrow.

SAGAL: Minutes before he tweeted that tweet, what happened to John Bolton?

FALLSTON: He was fired as national security adviser.

SAGAL: That's exactly right. Very good.


SAGAL: Either President Trump fired national security adviser John Bolton this week, or Bolton quit. They're each saying something different. And with these two, the only thing we can say is that whoever is telling the truth is doing it for the first time.


SAGAL: The president hired Bolton 18 months ago, even though he disagreed with him on everything. Bolton's sole qualification was that the president saw him a lot when he turned on his TV. That is not a joke. That's why he got the job. It's also why the new national security adviser is mesothelioma.


FELBER: You know, this could just be the second act of that romantic comedy.

GROSZ: Oh, yeah. That's true.

SAGAL: What do you mean?

FELBER: Bolton could be heading for the airport in Washington, heading back to - and Trump will run on the plane and go, John, I decided to let you nuke somebody.

GROSZ: Is it raining?

FELBER: I think that...

GROSZ: I didn't even notice.


SAGAL: What's weird is that the most implausible thing about that scenario you just laid out was Trump running.

FELBER: Trump running.

SAGAL: Yeah.


FELBER: You know, some liberals are giving Trump credit, like, he finally did something rational by firing Bolton. But he hired Bolton in the first place.

SAGAL: Right, exactly.

FELBER: You know, it's like if you stick your tongue in an electrical socket, I'm not giving you credit when you decide to take it out.


SAGAL: All right. Very good. Your next quote is about a new product that debuted with some fanfare this week.

KURTIS: Seeing pics of it makes me want to set everything on fire.

SAGAL: That was somebody commenting on the controversial new design of a new phone announced by what big tech company at their event this week?

FALLSTON: The new Apple iPhone.

SAGAL: You're exactly right, the new iPhone.


SAGAL: Now, the new iPhone - iPhone 11, I think. It has three very large camera lenses on the back, and this is all true. It is triggering people's trypophobia, which is a fear of things with lots of holes. This is a real thing. Scientists say it may have to do with prehistoric dangers to early humans, things like poisonous toads or croc shoes.


GROSZ: Why - first of all, why is a fear of holes not called hole-aphobia (ph)?


GROSZ: Why is it called trypophobia? That makes me think that I'm, like, afraid of tripping.

SAGAL: Well, it's actually true because when we're thinking about this, like, oh, wow. People are scared of this phone because it has three circles that look like holes. Remember phones? Remember the actual phones we used to have...

GROSZ: Hundreds of holes.

SAGAL: Hundreds of holes in each piece. And would this mean that for - like, for generations, people would pick up the phone and go - hello? (Screaming) Ah.


FELBER: The 1950s and '60s were known as a very paranoiac time.

SAGAL: It's true.

HONG: I - this is how you know that tech companies are run by mostly men because it's just, like, more holes. They're just adding more holes.



HONG: Grow up, guys. Grow up.

GROSZ: You know what it is? They're in there designing, and one puts, like, one hole up. And the other guy's like, put another hole up there.


GROSZ: And then they close the door. And they're like, we can put as many holes in this thing as we want.

FELBER: Dude, put one more.

SAGAL: All right, Rachel. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: It's the first game where women make more than men.

SAGAL: That was from a Hasbro press release about a new version of what classic board game?

FALLSTON: It's the game of Life.

SAGAL: No, it's not the game of Life. I'm sorry. Women are still screwed in life.


SAGAL: Sorry.


FALLSTON: It was Ms. Monopoly.

SAGAL: I'm sorry. Say that again, Rachel.

FALLSTON: It was or Ms. or Miss Monopoly.

SAGAL: You're right. It's Ms. Monopoly.


SAGAL: A new version of Monopoly called Ms. Monopoly has all sorts of features that are supposed to make up for the disadvantages women have in the real world and make it easier for women to win the game. So if you're frustrated by the vast inequities inherent in the institutional patriarchy, the fact that you still make less than men and command less power, well, can't do anything about that. But here's a pretend railroad.

FELBER: I know.


GROSZ: I don't understand how this is supposed to make you feel better.

SAGAL: Well, that's the...

FELBER: I'm going to ask the one woman who's sitting here. Do you feel better about a change in the real world, or about a board game that - like, maybe it takes as long as an actual lifetime to play, but it's just confined to the rules of the game?

HONG: This is the dumbest thing - this is as dumb as when they came out with lady pens. Do you remember that?

GROSZ: Oh, yeah.

SAGAL: Lady pens, yeah. Pens for ladies.

HONG: Remember when Bic was like, ladies, have we got a pen for your tiny, little hands.


HONG: We were like, what are you talking about?

SAGAL: I know what...

FELBER: I'd love to write something down, but who can hold these giant pens?


FELBER: So does Ms. Monopoly have smaller dice?



SAGAL: It has different tokens, feminine-oriented things. I have no idea what. And...

HONG: You mean like the little - the player pieces?

SAGAL: Yeah.

HONG: Like there's a tampon, and there's a...

SAGAL: Exactly.


HONG: There's a bra.

GROSZ: There's a shoe, but it's, like, slightly smaller.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HONG: Yeah. There's a...

GROSZ: The hat is much nicer.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: I want to be the pump. I want to be the pump.

HONG: There's a dollar, but it's actually 73 cents.


SAGAL: No, actually...


FELBER: That's a thing.

SAGAL: Hold on because that actually is the point of the game. They are addressing inequity in pay in the real world by reversing it in the game. This is true. Women - you know, all that play Monopoly, you get money to start. Well, female players get more money than the men. And when you pass Go, men get 200 like always. The women get $240.

FELBER: Oh, that sounds like such a fun game for the whole family to play.

GROSZ: Also, like, yeah.

FELBER: That would work in my household.

GROSZ: What guy is going to be like, I would like to play that game?


GROSZ: And I'm just going to just eat it for as long as you want to play, honey. And...

SAGAL: These were dumb changes. They - what they should have done is they should've changed Broadway to Strong Women Way (ph).

GROSZ: Oh, nice.

SAGAL: And...


FELBER: You've got a few of these. We'll sit back.

SAGAL: And now in the middle of the board is a pile of cards. It's called Stop Looking At My Community Chest.


GROSZ: What about Not As Good At Parking Place?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

HONG: Hey.


GROSZ: I mean, just in terms of, you know, like, the general stereotype, not something I believe in.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Rachel do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She's a rabbi. What do you expect? Perfect score.

SAGAL: Well done, rabbi.


SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

FALLSTON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Take care.


BEYONCE: (Singing) Girls. Who run the world? Girls. Who run the world? Girls. Who run the world? Girls. Who run the world? Girls. Who run this motha? Girls. Who run this motha? Girls. Who run this motha? Girls. Who run this motha? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.