Last Thursday night my husband and I did our civic duty and went into Center City Philadelphia to support public radio by being in the audience for a taping of "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," the NPR news quiz.
It was about as wild and crazy and sexy as you would expect an NPR event to be, and it was even complete with tote bags. I kid -- we really had a helluva time, even the part where we went to the wrong place at first because I am a big dumb dummy who didn't read the part of the ticket where it said "Academy of Music." (We went to the Kimmel Center first. Where we paid $22 to park. Yeesh.)
Not sure if you've ever listened to the show, but it's actually pretty great. For a long time I thought NPR was nothing but boring stories about politics and whatever, but sometime in the last 15 years I discovered Nina Totenberg, "Car Talk," Ira Glass, "A Prairie Home Companion," and of course "Wait Wait," which is basically a game show for giant nerds like me. Only, you know, on the radio.
And where, instead of spinning the wheel for a chance to win a million dollars and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, "the San Francisco treat," the big prize is getting veteran NPR newsman Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering device. Which I personally think is the absolute be-all-and-end-all of game show prizes.
Better than a Jules Jurgensen watch, even. Or A BRAND NEW CAR! (Yes, I am a very cheap date.)
If you do listen to "Wait Wait" regularly, then your questions are probably these: (1) Who was your panel? PJ O'Rourke, Amy Dickinson, and the stealth hottie Tom Bodett (seriously, is he way hotter than you expected, or what?). And (2) who was on for "Not My Job"? Only the AH-MAH-ZING Bobby McFerrin, who rocked my shollow self-centered little Universe.
You can listen to "our" episode here, or just the Bobby McFerrin part here. Pretend you hear us laughing, even though we were all the way up in the second-to-last row and I spent a good portion of the evening trying not to puke on the people sitting in the sections below us, because my vertigo was so bad.