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Who's Bill This Time?

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Bet you can't break me. I'm indestructi-Bill (ph) - Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, who is currently Googling the word host to find out what he's supposed to be doing, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks to all of you at home who I am certain are cheering wildly right now. Later on today, we are going to be talking to Chris Bosh, the NBA legend. He won two championships with the Miami Heat. He has written a new book with advice for talented young athletes. For example, he says it's not enough to just want to make a lot of money. He's right. For example, I would like to make a lot of money so I can buy things.

We know what your motivation is for calling us, to win a voicemail by answering our questions. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-1924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

PATRICK: Hey. How are you doing, Peter?

SAGAL: I'm doing fine. Who's this?

PATRICK: This is Patrick. I'm in Atlanta, Ga.

SAGAL: What do you do in Atlanta?

PATRICK: I'm a teacher at a middle school here.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. I find that work to be impossibly hard. I mean, I've never tried it, but I don't have the guts. How do you find it?

PATRICK: It has ups and downs. And it's my second year.

SAGAL: Oh, wow.

PATRICK: And so - yeah. I've really had quite a variety of experiences in just these two years.

SAGAL: Yeah.

PATRICK: I love it, but it's been crazy.

ALONZO BODDEN: You're doing the Lord's work, Patrick.

SAGAL: You really are.


SAGAL: I don't think even God would actually have the guts to teach middle school.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

PATRICK: God cannot operate Zoom.

SAGAL: Exactly. Right. Well, welcome to the show, Patrick. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, she's a Washington Post reporter whose two cats think she stayed home for the last 14 months just to wait on them. It's Roxanne Roberts.


ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, Patrick. How are you?


SAGAL: Next, she's the co-host of "The Secret Lives Of Black Women" podcast, and her debut comedy album, "Karate" is available on Spotify. Welcome back, Charla Lauriston.


SAGAL: Hello, Patrick.

PATRICK: Hello, hello.

SAGAL: And finally, a comedian who, as of June 21, will be on KBLA TALK 1580 Radio in Los Angeles. It's Alonzo Bodden.


BODDEN: Hey, Patrick. How are you?


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Patrick. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

PATRICK: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: It's a big deal for me.

SAGAL: That was Jeff Bezos announcing that once he steps down as CEO in Amazon in just a week or so, the first place he's going to go is where?

PATRICK: To space, outer space.

SAGAL: Exactly right. He's going to space.


SAGAL: This week, Jeff Bezos announced that he would be going to space in his own rocket ship next month. I guess when you're a billionaire, you can't have a normal midlife crisis. It may be problematic that he insisted that the rocket be a convertible. On the other hand, it will be very nice for him to experience just once what it's like to be one of his own warehouse workers. And by that, I mean being forced to use his pants as a bathroom.


BODDEN: This has become an ego thing amongst billionaires, who can get to outer space first, who can get the farthest, right?

SAGAL: Right.

BODDEN: Elon Musk has rockets, and the guy from Virgin has...

SAGAL: Right, Richard Branson.

BODDEN: Richard Branson has rockets. Bezos - I don't know. You get that rich, I guess you got to do something, right?

SAGAL: You got to do something. You're not going to, like, spend the money on poor people. No. I mean, what else is there to do? Oh, yes. We'll build a rocket. It is true. And, you know, of course, you know, Elon Musk, who has his own space rocket company - he's already achieved some, you know, orbital flight. And he's already got the contract with NASA. So I guess Bezos is trying to show him up, right? Bezos is like, oh, yeah. Elon Musk, you sent your car up there. I'm going to go myself. And, you know, when he gets there, he's going to find Elon Musk's car and key it.


SAGAL: Is there any way we can get all three of these guys up there at the same time and then just change all the locks on Earth?

BODDEN: Wouldn't that be great? We just get them to go to outer space. Then we'll just move the planet 10 feet over. Just move it over 10 feet, and they'll be like...


CHARLA LAURISTON: I'll bet you what will actually happen, though. They'll all get to the moon, and then they'll buy it. And then they'll block it from us. And that would be the last we get to see the moon.

SAGAL: Exactly. It'll just be their little private reserve.

This is one of the oddest things. So Bezos is not going alone. It's a three-seat spacecraft. And he is bringing his younger brother. And, you know, it's just 'cause, like, Jeff Bezos's mom said, come on, Jeff. Bring your little brother. It would mean the world to him. Come on. And the third seat - going to the highest bidder. That's right. For just a few million dollars, you could be the world's highest third wheel.


BODDEN: Oh, I think it would be great if, like, the CEO of Whole Foods used the money that he bought them out with to go and just tell him everything he's done wrong with the store since he bought it. Just...


BODDEN: You know, Jeff, back when I ran Whole Foods...

SAGAL: You know, who I have some sympathy for are the engineers who work for Bezos who just found out that the first manned flight is going to have their boss on it.

BODDEN: But the engineers - that's the greatest job in the world because when that rocket reaches peak altitude is when you say, so we wanted to talk about a raise.


SAGAL: Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Bezos. You'd like to come back. Wow.

BODDEN: We hadn't negotiated back yet.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your next quote.

KURTIS: Essentially, we've been on the back pockets of organized crime.

SAGAL: That was a man named Reece Kershaw talking about a messaging app used by hundreds of organized crime members to discuss their illegal activities and brag about the heists. Well, they were all arrested this week because it turns out the app was developed by whom?

PATRICK: Was this the FBI that sold them a messaging platform?

SAGAL: It was the FBI.


SAGAL: You're exactly right. Well done. This week, law enforcement agencies from around the world announced a simultaneous arrest of 800 organized crime members thanks to an app secretly created by the FBI called AN0M, which is a great name if you think about it because AN0M sounds like it's anonymous, but it's not. Criminals were sending messages to each other, but the FBI saw all of it. And the sad thing is it clearly said, oh, the FBI is monitoring everything you say in the terms and conditions. But nobody ever reads that.


BODDEN: I honestly did not know there was still organized crime. I thought everything they used to do has been legalized, right?

SAGAL: It's true.

BODDEN: You have daily lotteries. There's legalized prostitution. Drugs are legal. What business is left?

SAGAL: You really - I mean, they've actually been reduced to, like, actually importing olive oil, actually doing sanitation. I mean, is that what they're deduced to?

BODDEN: Right.

SAGAL: Now you might be wondering, how did the FBI - so they develop this supposedly anonymous messaging app. How did they get all these criminals to use it? They actually used a criminal influencer. And he liked it, so he started giving it to everybody he did business with. And they all wanted to be like him. So they used it. And it spread to 12,000 users. He got 12,000 other criminals to use this app. It's a good thing that powerful organized crime figures don't hold grudges.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

LAURISTON: If the FBI didn't take this app down, a mom joining would take it down, just like...

SAGAL: (Laughter) That's true.

LAURISTON: ...Your mom joining Facebook ends the app.

SAGAL: It was going to end with the FBI and international police arresting everybody or, like, Vinny the Chin's (ph) mom getting on it.



SAGAL: Everybody's like, aww, it's ruined now.

All right. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Hmm. I don't know. I don't know how to answer that.

SAGAL: That was Gerrit Cole. He is the highest paid pitcher in the history of baseball. And he was just answering a question of whether or not he does what?

PATRICK: Well, I want to say steroids, but I feel like it's something else.

SAGAL: It is something else that he's not supposed to do.

PATRICK: Cheating.

SAGAL: Yes, cheating. Very good.


SAGAL: Major League Baseball is finally cracking down on pitchers putting foreign substances - glue, sunscreen, something called Spider Tack and other sticky stuff - on baseballs to make them curve harder and make them harder to hit. And sure, they say it's because this tarnishes the game. But the truth is, pitchers have gotten so good at it that no one is hitting baseballs anymore. Even baseball now thinks baseball is boring.

Now, if you know what to look for, you can see how pitchers do this. They hide the sticky stuff under their hats or in their gloves or in the back of their necks. This is true. Officials once found a ball with so much glue on it that when they tried to remove the substance, the stitching came off the ball. Another sure sign that this kind of cheating is going on - the hitter swings that the ball, and it just sticks to the bat.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Patrick do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He threw a no-hitter. He got all three right. Way to go, Patrick.


PATRICK: All right.

SAGAL: All right, Patrick. Thank you so much for playing.

PATRICK: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


CARRIE UNDERWOOD: (Singing) I took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights, slashed a whole in all four tires. Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats. * Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.