PETER SAGAL, HOST:
We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. For tickets and more information, go to wbez.org, or you can find a link at our website, waitwait.npr.org. Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news..
Faith, extreme weather conditions are becoming more and more common, but homeowners can rest assured that their insurance policy will cover them in the event of a what?
FAITH SALIE: Sharknado.
SAGAL: Yes, indeed, a sharknado.
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SAGAL: For those who have not seen the SyFy channel original movie...
SALIE: What's wrong with you?
SAGAL: Exactly. A sharknado is what happens when a giant tornado forms over the ocean and becomes stuffed with thousands of angry, dizzy, man-eating sharks.
SAGAL: It's essentially a meteorological turducken, and a sharknado, of course, is the most deadly weather event since the infamous beaverlanch hit Colorado back in '06. But never fear because according to Consumer Reports, most insurance plans would be forced to cover any damage caused by a sharknado. Consumer Reports also goes on to tell us that it would cover other apocalyptic scenarios such as the doomsday prophecy of The Weathergirls, if it comes true, and it finally starts raining men.
SAGAL: Charlie, you know Smokey the Bear, only you can prevent...
CHARLIE PIERCE: Personally.
PIERCE: We used to be forest rangers together.
SAGAL: He says only you can prevent forest fires. Well, they're making over his image. Now instead of giving you a warning, Smokey Bear will give you a what?
PIERCE: A bite in the leg.
SAGAL: No, although that might me more effective.
SALIE: An e-cigarette?
SAGAL: No, although that would be helpful, I guess, if you think about it.
PIERCE: He, I don't know, he will give you a ticket. He will give you a fine.
SAGAL: No, it's much more touchy-feely.
PIERCE: He'll give you a hug.
SAGAL: Yes, he will give you a hug.
PIERCE: A bear hug.
SAGAL: A bear hug.
PIERCE: There we go.
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SAGAL: The new ads show campers doing something right, like making sure their fire is out before they leave the campsite. Then Smokey comes out of the woods and gives them a big, warm hug. This teaches people the right information about fire safety, and the wrongest possible information about bears.
SALIE: About bears.
ALONZO BODDEN: There's nothing like a giant bear coming towards you, and you realized that you put out fire, the only thing that might scare him.
PIERCE: Yeah, Smokey's been working that scam for about 50 years now. Yeah, go ahead, put out your fire. That's really good. Yeah, you're great. Let me get the family over here because it's lunchtime.
SAGAL: The commercials have a social media component, too. They're encouraging you to use #smokeybearhug.
PIERCE: And if you Twitter it, you get an indulgence, and you can leave the forest.
SAGAL: It's true.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.