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Panel Questions


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, Helen Hong and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host - no, no, no, no. He's the father, not the grandfather - Peter Sagal.

HELEN HONG: (Laughter).


Thank you, Bill (sighing) - a sigh of truth there. In just a minute, Bill's got rhymenuts (ph) roasting in an open fire. It's 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. But right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news.

Tom, this week, investigative reporters discovered that a website by and for women sharing a deep, common passion for something was, sadly, fake. What were these women supposedly passionate about?

TOM BODETT: Motherhood.


BODETT: Oh, God. I need a hint because I'm thinking...

SAGAL: Well, if you love scrapbooking, you'll love frack-booking.

BODETT: About oil exploration?

SAGAL: Close enough - natural gas.


HONG: What?

SAGAL: The website was called Women for Natural Gas.


SAGAL: And looking at it, you'd think...

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...It was just a homemade passion project by a bunch of women who just wanted to tell the world how natural gas had changed their lives. But no, it turns out they're stock photos of women with invented backstories.

HONG: What was the purpose of this? Was this to get other women to go on and on about the joys of natural gas?

SAGAL: Apparently, you know, natural gas, as you know, has this public relations problem because they get natural gas these days by fracking, which can be very destructive to environments and can cause all kinds of problems. You've all seen the stories of people turning on their faucets and flames coming out near fracking sites. So presumably, this was public relations saying, oh, no. We're natural, normal women just living the American dream, and we love natural gas. It showed them working in the natural gas industry, bathing their adorable babies in natural gas...


SAGAL: ...Heating their homes with pumpkin spice natural gas...


SAGAL: You know, me time in the bath with a glass of wine lit only by flare stacks burning off excess methane.


PETER GROSZ: Are you sure they weren't drinking a glass of natural gas...

SAGAL: Exactly.

GROSZ: ...Reading a romance novel about a shirtless fracker (ph)?


SAGAL: Peter, in 1937, an ancient mummified man was found in what is now Texas. And just this week, archaeologists finally determined that that man died of what?

GROSZ: He died of boredom because everything sucked in the Middle Ages.

SAGAL: No, that's not right, I'm afraid. He did not die of boredom.

GROSZ: He - give me a hint, please.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. Unfortunately, the man lived hundreds of years before the invention of Metamucil.

GROSZ: (Laughter) Oh, no. He died of constipation?

SAGAL: He did. He died of constipation.


SAGAL: The man had a blockage that caused his colon to swell to six times its normal size...

HONG: What?

SAGAL: ...A condition called megacolon. By the way, megacolon...

HONG: What?

GROSZ: What?

SAGAL: ...Is also the name of the punctuation mark you use between the phrases, check this out, and, this man's colon was six times its normal size.


BODETT: Oh, what a way to go. Where did they find him?

HONG: Oh, no.

SAGAL: Well, apparently, they found him in Texas.

BODETT: Texas.

SAGAL: They found him in 1937. And the research is also notable for determining exactly how long it takes after finding a mummy for scientists to say, well, I guess it's time to look at his colon.


GROSZ: The nice thing about scientists who research mummy colons is when they find something like that, that's, like, the best day of their lives.

SAGAL: I'm going to be on the cover of the Journal of Mummy Colons. They were so excited.


GROSZ: Mummy - The New England Journal of Mummy Colons.

SAGAL: Mummy Colons, yeah.

BODETT: They might be just the specialist who, like, goes all over the world when a mummy is discovered with a possible colon issue.

SAGAL: But...

BODETT: They fly the guy in. He gets a call. Where are you going now, honey?


GROSZ: Oh, honey - you think he's tied down?

HONG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: You think he's tied down to one woman, Tom?


GROSZ: Not even close - that international jet set Playboy mummy colon guy?


DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES: (Singing) I can't go for that, no, no, no can do. I can't go for that, no, no, no can do. I can't go for that... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.