Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me Bluffs Again on Rice University

The hosts and panelists of "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," from left: Carl Kasell, Roxanne Roberts, Peter Sagal, Adam Felber and P. J. O'Rourke.I want their job so much.

I love Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the sometimes informative and often entertaining weekend morning news quiz. Sure, the show may have almost killed me as I chuckled while working out at the gym and then nearly dropped a weight on my head. But I’m sure the risk is worth it.

One of my favorite parts of the show is playing along, notably during the Bluff the Listener segment. I’m usually pretty good, given that my insane obsession with keeping up on current events often leads me to hear about the actual event before one of the panelists talks about it. However, sometimes it is easy to exclude options because the facts stated are sheerly wrong. This happens occasionally when they reference Rice University. And it happened again in last week’s show.

Ms. ROXANNE ROBERTS (Columnist, Reliable Source): Like so many basketball fans, Toby Stevens’ March Madness bracket was busted, badly, by the second round, and he lost his bet to best friend Jack Kane, which is why the Rice University business major was wearing boxer shorts on his head to Monday’s final game in Houston.

Was he embarrassed? Well sure. Did the CBS cameras love it? You bet. They showed Stevens at least four times during the broadcast. Is he now a budding internet entrepreneur? Well, yes. By the time he got home from the game, Stevens’ inbox had more than 1,000 fan emails, including an offer from a venture capitalist to launch a, quote, “head boxers” business.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. ROBERTS: In the last three days, Stevens has created a website and sold more than 5,000 units at ten dollars each, available in 100 percent cotton or comfy poly blend. His motto? Think outside the boxer.

That actually sounds pretty believable. Rice student have done much stupider thing than wear boxers on one’s head on national television. However, Rice doesn’t have a Business major. Alas, only a Business minor. It passed the undergraduate curriculum committee in a 6-3 vote back in 2007. I would know, I was on the committee, and was one of the three votes against (as the Thresher editorial at the time would hint).

Sorry, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, but my habit of attempting (and usually failing) to turn small microcosms of institutional authority into private fiefdoms wins again.

On an additional note, I tried to find the transcript for a recent Prairie Home Companion, but I don’t think they exist for free. So instead, I wrote down the segment that I thought was really good. Here it is:

Sheep we are. We’re herd animals. We’re terrified of loneliness. Except for at this time of year. We feel blessed. It warms up. The sun shines. The lilacs are almost in bloom. And we feel the great antidote to loneliness, which is each other. Suddenly you wake up in the morning and you’ve moved from Outer Mongolia to the Caribbean and you have fruit and vegetables, and suddenly you forgive all the women whom you used to know. You have no grudge against them whatsoever, anymore. You’re grateful for their affection, you remember them in their very best moments, going back to when you were in high school. You forget all of the jagged things they might have said to you at bad times. You feel grateful for all the people you’ve ever loved. All who’ve loved, there is no mistake in it, they go on forever. You think about yourself when you were 17, the first time you ever lay next to a girl, you lay on the grass, it was in the evening on her parents lawn. Her parents could see you, from the porch, but you didn’t mind that because you lay your two bodies curved together, your face pressed against her hair, your left arm was under her head, your right arm was over her hip, you lay there and you just breathed together, looking up at the stars. And the suddenly she said, “Say something,” she said. It was for just that moment that you had memorized that poem, in English:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,

You said as your arm tightened around her waist on that spring night years ago in Lake Woebegone.

   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

That’s the news from Lake Woebegone, where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. 

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4 responses to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me Bluffs Again on Rice University

  1. I’m curious why you voted against the business minor.

  2. The best part is how you were one of the three votes. And how Thresher people were on all sorts of committees.

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