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Panel Round 2

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Maz Jobrani, Maeve Higgins and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, the man who's had something in his teeth this entire Zoom call - and no one has told him - Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill wins a 5-4 decision in the Sup-rhyme (ph) Court. It's our 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, though, time for some more questions for you from the week's news. Maeve, BMW has made another leap forward...

MAEVE HIGGINS: Yes.

SAGAL: ...In the luxury automobile business. For a subscription of only $20 a month, you will have the use of what?

HIGGINS: Oh, their showrooms.

SAGAL: No.

HIGGINS: You can go into their showrooms and use the bathroom like a Starbucks.

SAGAL: No, but...

PAULA POUNDSTONE: That would be great.

SAGAL: I'm just trying to think of, like, why would anybody want to do that?

HIGGINS: Because it's a BMW. It's all about the status.

MAZ JOBRANI: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, to set it up a little bit, you may know that the secret to business success is seen as subscriptions. That's why Netflix has billions of dollars.

HIGGINS: Right.

SAGAL: Everybody gives them $9, but they do it every month. So BMW is trying to come up with some way to get people to pay them $20 every month for what?

HIGGINS: Oh, so it's an extra onto the car.

SAGAL: Yeah - sort of an extra fee, and you pay 20 bucks a month.

HIGGINS: An ejector seat.

SAGAL: No, that would be great.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, I'll give you a hint. You'd better put your - on autopay before it gets cold, and you really need those heated seats.

HIGGINS: Heated seats.

SAGAL: Pretty - I'll give it to you - basically, a subscription service that allows you to use the luxury options in your car.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

HIGGINS: Oh.

POUNDSTONE: Otherwise, you couldn't use them.

SAGAL: Exactly. Here's the thing.

POUNDSTONE: That's ridiculous.

SAGAL: I think so, too. But BMW has tried for years to figure out ways to treat their own customers with the same snooty contempt that their customers treat everybody else with.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So under this new plan, the idea is you'd pay, like I said, $70,000, $80,000 for a car with things like heated seats or electronic lane change assist. But if you want to actually use those services, you have to pay a subscription fee. And you'd better do it beforehand because it's hard to get those coins in the slot when your fingers...

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Are numb from the cold.

JOBRANI: Twenty bucks to get your luxury going - that's horrible because if you're, like, with your friend, and they're, like, oh, great - seat-warmer, and they press a button, you're, like, no, I had the 70K for the car, but (laughter)...

SAGAL: I didn't pay the bill.

JOBRANI: ...I couldn't afford the 20 bucks a month.

SAGAL: It's like something out of Dickens. They turn off your heated seats because you didn't pay the bill.

JOBRANI: I'm going to...

POUNDSTONE: What they start with is just that logo thing that's on the front of the car...

JOBRANI: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah, the hood ornament.

POUNDSTONE: ...And - the hood ornament, right. They start with the hood ornament. And then you buy that for 70-something thousand. And then they go, oh, you wanted seats? Oh, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: All right. And then, what do you mean wheels? Wheels - that - oh, that's - OK. Let's put the wheels on for him. Otherwise, you just see somebody running down the street with a hood ornament.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Paula, a few weeks ago, the band Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A in acknowledgment of the Black Lives Matter movement. Antebellum, of course, refers to pre-Civil War South. But this week, they found out there's a Black blues singer who's been using the name Lady A for decades. So this week, the band announced they're going to do what?

POUNDSTONE: Changing their name to just The Antebellums.

SAGAL: No - quite the opposite.

POUNDSTONE: Quite the opposite. So they went back to Lady Antebellum?

SAGAL: No.

POUNDSTONE: They invited the blues singer to join their band?

SAGAL: Well, let me put it this way.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: If they change the name to Lady A, and they found out that somebody already was using the name Lady A, and them saying, oh, we shall change our name back or do something else would be one choice.

POUNDSTONE: They changed their names and sued - they sued the blues singer?

SAGAL: Yes, they did.

POUNDSTONE: Oh.

SAGAL: They sued the original Lady A.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: We thought it was cool when Lady Antebellum announced they were going to go by Lady A. But I guess the A stood for all lives matter?

HIGGINS: Oh, no (laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Wow.

SAGAL: This is the most outrageous white privilege incident in branding since Burger King forced the great blues guitarist Burger Burger King (ph) to go by his initials.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Lady Antebellum says they applied for the Lady A trademark five years ago, but Anita Lady A White has been using the name for 20 years. That's their argument. There is a simple solution to this problem, though - Lady A the band should just go by Lady A-hole.

POUNDSTONE: How can musicians be that tone-deaf?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DOIN' FINE")

LADY A: (Singing) Woke up this morning, sunlight in my eyes. Smell the coffee, know it's time to rise. I sang hot all week. Now I'm ready for the weekend. Going down to Jackson, y'all, do it all over again. You ask me how I'm doing. Baby, I'm loving life, and I'm doing fine, doing fine. Yeah. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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