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Not My Job: Singer Trisha Yearwood Gets Quizzed On Unhappy Couples

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your hose at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. Thanks everybody. This week...


SAGAL: ...We're facing the new year by turning our backs on it and thinking about the old year.

KURTIS: One of our highlights was talking to the reigning couple of country music. First, the woman who wears the jeans in the family, Trisha Yearwood. She joined us in Atlanta back in February. Peter began by summing up her remarkable achievements.


SAGAL: So you've got a furniture line, you've got cookbooks - best-selling cookbooks - you've got a line of cookware, a food network show. Of course, you've got your best-selling music. Have you ever sat in one your own chairs, cooking one of your recipes made in your own cookware while listening to your own music and said to yourself, I am killing this?


TRISHA YEARWOOD: Every morning.

SAGAL: 'Cause I would totally do that.

YEARWOOD: Every morning. It's funny, the whole cooking thing came out of just a random thought of writing a cookbook with my mom and my sister for fun...

SAGAL: Right.

YEARWOOD: ...Having no thought that it would do what it did. So I'm the most surprised person that it has led to this other career.

SAGAL: I asked Martha Stewart this question once, and you're getting into that arena. Do you feel obligated, as Martha Stewart sort of does, to do everything perfectly because you have a lot of people - television, online, readers of your book - who now emulate not just...

YEARWOOD: No, no...

SAGAL: ...Your life but your lifestyle?

YEARWOOD: ...No, no. I'm the inspiration for picking it up off the floor after it fell off the stool and figuring out a way to make it still work.

SAGAL: This explains the title to your...


SAGAL: The title to your second best-selling cookbook, "Down Here We Call It The 10-Second Rule."

YEARWOOD: There you go.



FAITH SALIE: There's a recipe, I think, in one of your books called Garth's Breakfast Bowl.

SAGAL: That is amazing. Tell us....

SALIE: It's got...

SAGAL: No, no, please, Ms. Yearwood...


SAGAL: ...As he calls you - I'm going to ask you about that in a second - tell us about Garth's Breakfast Bowl, is it?

YEARWOOD: Yes, it is a compilation of everything you could possibly eat for breakfast, including - so he layers the bottom with, like, some sort of potato - his preference is a tater tot - and eggs and cheese and sausage and bacon. But he also then puts tortellini in it, which - he puts tortellini in everything. I don't understand this. It's his solution to everything.

SAGAL: And how long after you married him did you find out about this quirk?

YEARWOOD: He didn't tell me for a while.

SAGAL: I can imagine.

YEARWOOD: You know, really - actually, it's funny because it's a sore spot with me because I have all these recipes that, you know, you have to measure things out and put them in. And then you bake it and it becomes this thing. And it's not a recipe. This whole - and everybody's like, oh, we just love Garth's Breakfast Bowl. It's the best thing ever. And I'm like it's - it's like taking out whatever you have in your fridge and putting it in a bowl and eating it. That's what he does.


YEARWOOD: And it's like, it's so amazing. So, yeah.


SAGAL: On the cookbook, is it true that you came out with a third cookbook because people were like, you know, if you eat everything in the first two cookbooks, you're going to die? Because the third cookbook - I was looking through it - it seems to have, like, more healthy things. The word quinoa appeared, which I thought was amazing.

YEARWOOD: It is. It's for balance, if you want to do that. But the truth is that we all know how we're supposed to eat. And so if you have fried chicken and mashed potatoes and white gravy, then the next day you have, like a grape and you're totally evened out and you're good.


YEARWOOD: That's my system.

SALIE: It's called balance.

YEARWOOD: Exactly.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: So you have a recipe that's just a grape?



POUNDSTONE: So it was probably easier to write the third book, I'm assuming.

YEARWOOD: It was a little easier.


SAGAL: Now, I mentioned this earlier, I'll say it again, in interviews and in the forward to your book, he refers to you - his own wife of how many years now?


SAGAL: Ten years - his own wife of 10 years as Ms. Yearwood.


SAGAL: That strikes me as both really gentlemanly and weird.


SAGAL: At what point will you allow him to start using your first name?

YEARWOOD: It's weird. I...


YEARWOOD: I call him Mr. Yearwood, so I don't think it's weird at all.


POUNDSTONE: So I kind of - I kind of picture you in a Terry-cloth robe staggering into the kitchen, taking out a bowl, filling it with everything in the refrigerator. (Imitating Southern accent) Here's your breakfast bowl, Mr. Yearwood.


SAGAL: Well...

YEARWOOD: No, actually, he makes me get up first. And I get up and I turn the fog machine on, and then he comes up through the floor.


SAGAL: He does like to make his entrances, I know.

YEARWOOD: Yes, yes.

SAGAL: Trisha Yearwood, what a great time talking to you. But we have asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: How Do I Live With You?


SAGAL: So you have this big hit song, "How Do I Live Without You?" So we thought we'd ask you three questions about people who just could not live with each other. Answer two of these questions correctly, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - Carl Kasell's voice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Trisha Yearwood playing for?

KURTIS: Katie Lange of Atlanta, Ga.




SAGAL: Hometown girl.


SAGAL: All right, here's your first question, Trisha. Back in the 15th century, unhappy married couples in Germany settled their disputes in an interesting way. How? A, standing in a field for night and day until one member of the couple was struck by lightning, demonstrating God's judgment; B, marital duels - to keep things fair, the husband had to fight while standing in a hole; or C, throwing chickens at each other until one gave in.


YEARWOOD: I'm going to say that they dueled with swords with a man standing in a hole.

SAGAL: You're exactly right.


SALIE: Whoa.



SAGAL: That's true. You can see this illustration. That's how we know about this. The man is in a hole up to his waist and the woman is not. And she has a kind of club, and he is unarmed. So I - you might want to try this.

SALIE: He's unarmed?

YEARWOOD: Yeah, that's not even fair.

POUNDSTONE: He's in a hole and he's unarmed?

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Who wrote these rules?

YEARWOOD: I know, at least give him a chicken.

SAGAL: At least give him a chicken.

ROY BLOUNT JR.: (Imitating chicken clucking).

SAGAL: Next question - you got that one right. Next question - in 2011, when this was checked, one-third of all divorce filings in the United States contained which of these words or phrases? Was it A, Facebook; B, hussy; or C, home brewer.



YEARWOOD: All really good reasons for divorce.

SAGAL: Oh, I can - yeah.

SALIE: Tortellini was D.



YEARWOOD: I'm going to say Facebook.

SAGAL: Yes, it's Facebook.


SAGAL: Of course it's Facebook.


SAGAL: I don't need to tell you why it would show up in divorce filings. All right, you can go for perfect here - in this and in everything else in your life. Here we go.


SAGAL: The filmmaker George Lucas - we've heard of him. He was once in a very unhappy marriage, which he says inspired what in one of his films? A, Jar Jar Binks...


SAGAL: ...Based on his ex-wife...


SAGAL: ...B, the Ewoks who peck a storm trooper to death based on his ex-wife's lawyers; or C, the guy having his still-beating-heart ripped out of his chest in the second "Indiana Jones" movie.

YEARWOOD: Wow. I think I would go with the birds pecking like the lawyers.

SAGAL: The Ewoks.

YEARWOOD: The Ewoks.

SAGAL: They're not birds, Trisha.

YEARWOOD: Did I say birds? Sorry.


SAGAL: They're small...

YEARWOOD: I've seen "Star Wars."

SAGAL: ...Sentient teddy bears.

YEARWOOD: There you go.


SAGAL: And you're saying that you're going to go with B. That was the storm troopers getting sort of attacked by the little furry Ewoks...

YEARWOOD: That's my story.

SAGAL: ...Until they fall down. That's your answer. Well, no, I'm sorry. It was C. It was the guy in "Indiana Jones." Mr. Lucas said, quote, "I was in a bad mood."


SAGAL: Bill...


SAGAL: ...How did Trisha Yearwood do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, she's still a winner. You got 2 out of 3.

POUNDSTONE: There you go.

KURTIS: Congratulations.


SAGAL: So I see that you are about to go on tour with your husband.


SAGAL: Now, have you done that before?


SAGAL: And how does that go?

YEARWOOD: It's good.

SAGAL: So if you and your husband are having a bad day and you have to get in front of - I would assume really large crowds, how do you handle that?

YEARWOOD: I - when you're up there on stage together, if you're not getting along that well, you just try to outsing the other one. It's kind of like well, there's - take that and take that, you know? So...


SAGAL: And everybody benefits.

YEARWOOD: Exactly.

SAGAL: Trisha Yearwood is the host of Food Network's Emmy-winning "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," and you can see her on tour this year with her husband, Mr. Yearwood, Garth Brooks. Trisha Yearwood, thank you so much...

YEARWOOD: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: ...For joining us. (Unintelligible) Trisha Yearwood. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.