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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 Alonzo Bodden, Hari Kondabolu and Helen Hong. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. In just a minute, Bill channels his spirit animal, the rhyme-noceros (ph).


SAGAL: 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.

Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Alonzo, the future we were promised may finally be here. This week, a man named Franky Zapata became the first person ever to cross the English Channel on what?

ALONZO BODDEN: Something that flies.


BODDEN: A flying car.

SAGAL: No, not a flying car - even cooler and more futuristic.

BODDEN: A jetpack.

SAGAL: Yeah. I'm going to give it to you. It's a jetpack.


SAGAL: He flew across on a jetpack.


SAGAL: Technically, it's a...

BODDEN: Well, you didn't give it to me. I said a jetpack.


BODDEN: I actually - right? I said a jetpack. I appreciate your charitable nature...


BODDEN: ...But I did actually say a jetpack.

SAGAL: I understand that.

BODDEN: Look at you with the right answer. All right.

SAGAL: It's like a jetpack. It's actually a hoverboard that you stand on, so that's - a jetpack is close enough.


SAGAL: All right.

BODDEN: All right.

SAGAL: He did it. He flew all the way across the English Channel like George Jetson. And this is important because once Brexit happens, this will be the only way you can travel...


SAGAL: ...Between France and Britain. This guy named Franky Zapata designed the thing himself. It looks like a big drone - you know, the flying things. It looks like a big version of that you stand on. And he flew it across the channel in 22 minutes - zoom. Amazing.


SAGAL: Before you get excited, he had to land on a platform halfway across to refuel. And he says that standing on the platform while flying through the air at 110 miles an hour headfirst is incredibly painful. He said, I tried to enjoy it and not think about the pain.

HONG: And what was the pain part?

SAGAL: Well, he says - have you ever been on a Segway?

HONG: No. I'm not an idiot.


HONG: Those things are so stupid.


SAGAL: Well, Helen, I have been on a Segway.


HONG: Those things are so dumb.

SAGAL: And if you've been - those of us who enjoy the occasional Segway ride might tell you that it's actually very tiring in your legs because you're kind of bracing yourself against the motion of the machine. Multiply that a hundred times.

HONG: Because you're, like, balancing.

SAGAL: You're balancing as it flies you across.


SAGAL: And he says it hurt a lot, which is kind of sad. Imagine Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar lander and saying, one small step for man and - oh, my back.


HONG: Wait, this is what all the Equinox people are going to do now.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: Hari, there's a new trend in bathing, and it involves never, ever doing what?

HARI KONDABOLU: Is it washing your hair? Because...

SAGAL: That's included.

KONDABOLU: Not using soap?

SAGAL: That's also included.

KONDABOLU: Not bathing?

SAGAL: Exactly right.




KONDABOLU: No. The end of the world won't come soon enough.


SAGAL: Apparently, more and more people are forgoing showers and soap, opting instead, according to the Guardian newspaper, to, quote, "encourage friendly microbes to live on them."


HONG: What?

SAGAL: It's sort of like turning your entire body into kombucha...


SAGAL: ...A stinky thing very few people like that sometimes has a thick scum on top of it.


SAGAL: But people are saying - they say bathing is bad for you. They say soap dries out your skin. They say the natural biome - that's good for you, so you should leave it on. And they say that they stopped smelling after a couple of weeks without soap. They say that. This is because your friends can't complain about you when all your friends have fled.


HONG: They don't even do any little spot treatment - like a little...

SAGAL: Well, weirdly enough, there's one guy who's into this lifestyle - his name is David Whitlock. He says he has not bathed for 15 years.


SAGAL: And he says, quote, "If I get a specific part of my body dirty, then I'll wash that specific part." And now you can't get the picture I just conjured out of your head, can you?


PAUL ANKA AND BOBBY DARIN AND DUANE EDDY: (Singing) Splish, splash, I was taking a bath long about a Saturday night. A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub, thinking everything was all right. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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