Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wait! Wait! I'm not really crazy!

I'm a devoted fan of the NPR News Quiz  show Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me.  I listen to it on my ipod on my way to and from work.

 Since I live in NYC,  to and from  generally involves a subway.

And since it's NYC I very rarely commute by myself.  In fact, an empty subway car means generally one of three things:

1. There is a foul odor such that car occupants fled mid ride;
2. The air conditioning is broken;
3. You're on the train right directly behind the train that is stuffed like a cattle car.

All this to say, when you have your Ipod plugged in to Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me you can find yourself laughing outloud on a crowded subway car like a crazy person.  Tonight the crazy lady on the train was me.

Here's the setup.  The show has a segment called Lightning Fill in the Blank in which a caller must fill in the final word of a limerick.

I can face all the undead hordes calmly,
even if they can learn how to bomb me.
In my fort I keep fresh,
and they won't eat my flesh.
My new home will protect me from _________.



Contestant: Romney?

I was on the floor!
As was the listening audience, the host and the panelists.

Usually when I find myself laughing on the train I can discreetly chuckle into my backpack but this time I was laughing out loud on a subway car at rush hour and normally unfazed New Yorkers were inching away.  (That was ALMOST as funny as the podcast!)

Of course the real answer was zombies, but that wasn't anywhere near as fun.


Jane | @janelebak said...

It happens, and people were probably jealous. ;-) Once in 10th grade I was crammed into a 6 train beside a guy reading the Wall Street Journal. I was reading MAD Magazine, and I came across something so funny it had me doubled up and crying, and while I was struggling to get a grip, the guy beside me murmurred, "Trade you," and that set me off again.

Think of it as providing entertainment for everyone else in the car. :-)

Scribble Orca said...

Thanks Jane and Janet. Double laughs.

*still giggling*

Jill Thomas said...

I agree with the caller--zombies aren't nearly as scary. Thanks for the mid-week chuckle.

JeffO said...

I love that show. Entertaining, AND informative!

Jen said...


And hey, crazy usually gets a good seat on public transport.

Leah said...


Thank you, Ms. Shark. I SO needed that laugh this morning.

We're coming up to the city in November...I'll be taking my 4 year old down into the subway systems for the first time in her little life. I hope we run into at least one person laughing like a crazy person. :)

Becky Mahoney said...

Ahahahahaha! I have so been that person. Except I'm usually set off by remembering something funny that happened to me days ago, which looks even crazier.

I love Wait Wait Don't Tell Me so much, even though I never get to listen to it (no car means no radio, sniff.) I didn't realize there was a podcast, though! Perhaps I should make it part of my subway ride, too...

Emily said...

A) When I read that limerick, I heard Carl Kasell's voicei n my head.

B) I was that person on a plane once - I was 8 months pregnant and watching Ricky Gervais on my ipod. I'm certain the dude in my row was glad to be rid of me.

Amanda Capper said...

I wish I lived in New York. No, wait, I love being Canadian.

I wish I had an apartment in New York. Yeah, that's it.

Anonymous said...

Janet: ahahah I also love WAIT! WAIT! and completed the limerick with "Romney" as well. Honest! Maybe cuz I am in SLC Utah for a college reunion--encountering many of Mitt's persuasion. O < :}
nan kilmer

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit. I've had strangers move away from me because I'm hunched over my phone reading Twitter or a funny blog, and can't control myself. And I sort of have a cackling laugh, which doesn't help.

GillyB said...

I was trying to repeat this story to my father just now. So I read the limerick out loud to him. He completed it with "Romney" with not one second of pause. When I started laughing again, he seriously did not even get the joke. He was like, "But that's the answer." This is why I love my dad.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I'm working a reference desk in a library right now, so I understand the urge not to laugh out and seem crazy! I managed to keep it to a snort this time.

Michael Seese said...

You might want to file this away as a technique for creating "personal space."

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Best limerick ever . . .

I love being that crazy person. Although it is usually me in a movie theater laughing at jokes that may or may not have been intended.

They'll look at me and I'll be all like, "yeah, but Bullwinkle was a metaphor for the cold war, OMG, this is hilarious!"

Then I'll sit stone-cold through the crowd-pleasers.

Ima such a nerd.

Sheila JG said...

That's so funny!

I was listening to Wait Wait while walking a popular loop in the hills. Just as I was passing a group of women, Paula Poundstone said something that had me laughing out loud. The women looked at me funny, and I realized I kinda knew one of them. Aw, damn.

I only listen to it in private now.