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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Mo, this week, researchers published the translation of a historic document - the earliest known communication between Christians outside of the Bible. It dates from 230 A.D., and it's a letter from one brother to another in which the writer pleads with his brother for what?

MO ROCCA: He pleads with - this is in the third century.

ROCCA: Yes, indeed.

ROCCA: He's saying, when are you going to be done with Leviticus? I want to read it now...

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: ...Because I love dietary restrictions.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Give me a clue.

SAGAL: I shall. We don't know if the phrase he used translates to ketchup, mayo or A-1.

ROCCA: Oh, it's one brother telling him about a great new condiment he discovered or asking for a condiment.

SAGAL: That's it.

ROCCA: Yes.

SAGAL: He's asking for sauce.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROCCA: Pick up the sauce.

SAGAL: Exactly.

ROCCA: Yeah.

SAGAL: The letter begins, greetings, my lord. My incomparable brother Paulus - and it goes on, please bring back that sauce I like.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's basically a primitive form of texting somebody to pick up dinner on the way home. The brother offers to reimburse Paulus via Venmo.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In those days, that was the name of the cow bladder you kept your coins in. The sauce in question is a fish liver sauce, which sounds gross. But when the entree every night is larks' tongues, you want to drown it in that stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Of course, it probably wasn't real fish liver sauce. You know it was just slang for weed.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: And where was this discovered - in the Middle East?

SAGAL: This was discovered in - it was a papyrus that originally came from Egypt. It had been sitting for decades in somebody's archive, and somebody took it out and translated it and discovered what it was.

ROCCA: I love a fast food Rosetta Stone. You have to use...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's funny because, you know, you think about it, the Rosetta Stone - what was it? It's all this writing on a slab. Maybe it was a menu at a drive-through...

ROCCA: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

SAGAL: ...You know? People call up, and they go, oh, I'll have the fish sauce.

ALONZO BODDEN: We're all out of fish liver sauce.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Maeve.

MAEVE HIGGINS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Maeve, this week, the website Lifehacker posted their advice for avoiding stress while flying. We all need that. Their number one tip is what?

HIGGINS: Don't sit in the window.

SAGAL: Really?

HIGGINS: Because did I - like, you know that I was just airsick this week.

SAGAL: I did not know that, Maeve.

HIGGINS: It is the worst because it changes your voice. And this thing happened to me where I was sick, and then I said to the child sitting beside me - I was stuck in the window, so I said, I felt like, oh, I'm going to be sick. And so I said to the child, excuse me, can you just - you know, can I just go to the restroom? You know, really nice, politely.

SAGAL: Right.

HIGGINS: And then they took so long with their iPod and their headphones and their - and I barfed all over the seat and all over myself.

BILL KURTIS: Oh, no. No.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: And then I turned to the child, and I said, (imitating demon) get the stewardess.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Like "The Exorcist."

HIGGINS: It was - I was, like, who's speaking? Who is that?

ROCCA: Did you barf on the kid, or did you just...

HIGGINS: On the kid, on the man in front, on myself.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: Somehow, on the kid's parents sitting behind me got hit.

ROCCA: That's amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: Yeah.

ROCCA: You managed to barf backwards.

HIGGINS: I was really - you know, it was extraordinary. I was - I almost cried.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, this is all charming.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: So now...

SAGAL: It makes me love and appreciate you even more, Maeve. But that's not relevant to the question at hand.

HIGGINS: The question was, what are...

SAGAL: It was, according to Lifehacker...

ROCCA: She deserves a point for that.

SAGAL: ...The number one thing you should do for a lovely, relaxing, easy flight.

HIGGINS: Don't eat pasta and pesto before you get on.

SAGAL: Clearly that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'm going to give you a hint. This doesn't sound crazy. It's only crazy to anybody who's ever done it that they're advising us.

BODDEN: Oh, take a redeye.

HIGGINS: Oh, a redeye.

SAGAL: Take a redeye, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROCCA: All right.

SAGAL: We'll give it to whoever said it first.

HIGGINS: Oh.

SAGAL: Now, their argument is, yes. Take a redeye flight - leaves at, say, 11 p.m., gets in at 5 a.m. Security lines are shorter. The tickets are cheaper. The plane is more likely to be empty. But that's because no one else is stupid enough to take the redeye.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Their main argument, though, is that you'll sleep better, which makes sense except for the fact that the flight is named after what happens to you when you do not sleep.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Oh, that's why it's called that.

SAGAL: Yes.

HIGGINS: Yeah. I would take pinkeye over redeye any day.

SAGAL: Absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: I think the thing to do is find out what flight Maeve is on and not take that.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: That's the first.

(SOUNDBITE OF M.I.A.'S "PAPER PLANES (DFA REMIX)")

SAGAL: And coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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