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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We've been stuck inside for almost a year now, but it hasn't all been bad. We asked our panelists back in September about a benefit of being locked in and also, when you finally can't take it, how best to get rid of your house.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

SAGAL: Hari, according to a new study, people have saved as much as $2,000 apiece during the pandemic just because they've been making what at home?

HARI KONDABOLU: Dinner.

SAGAL: No.

KONDABOLU: Lunch.

PJ O'ROURKE: Breakfast?

KONDABOLU: Can I get a hint?

SAGAL: Sure. I've got a flat white for me. Is there a me here?

KONDABOLU: Sex.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: Coffee.

SAGAL: Yes, coffee.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Estimates are that since people are making coffee from home rather than buying it from coffee shops, we're saving up to $2,000 per person over the course of the pandemic. Of course, we still miss the experience of going to a Starbucks. So some of us have been recreating it by burning a $10 bill while misspelling our own name. Or if you really want to capture it, invite random strangers inside to stay in your bathroom for, like, 25 minutes.

O'ROURKE: And use your Wi-Fi.

SAGAL: Exactly.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Oh, I've saved money on everything since the pandemic. You know, the only thing I can't save money on is pet food, you know? They - and I...

SAGAL: Yeah, they just keep eating.

POUNDSTONE: When they look at me, you know, with those sad eyes, I go, but there's a pandemic. And they still want to be fed.

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: You can make your own pet food at home.

SAGAL: You can?

O'ROURKE: (Laughter) Yeah. I mean, all you need is, like, some dead animals and a blender.

SAGAL: True.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Anyway, don't get too cocky about saving all this money on coffee. We've also been blowing that money on sourdough starters and Zoom couples' counseling.

Paula, The Wall Street Journal reports that people across the country are increasing the value of their homes by taking what simple step? Doesn't cost anything except maybe just a new sign on front.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, putting a political sign in their front yard?

SAGAL: Oh, heck no. I'll give you another hint. Like, you could be living in Poundstone Manor.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, they just have a name for their dwelling?

SAGAL: Yes.

BILL KURTIS: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Giving your house a name increases its apparent value.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You could put a fancy new kitchen in your trash heap of a house, or you could just put out a sign that says Trash Heap Hall and get 10 grand over asking.

POUNDSTONE: Wow.

O'ROURKE: I didn't know.

KONDABOLU: That's fair. Who wants a feral home?

SAGAL: That's true, yeah. I mean...

O'ROURKE: OK. So if you name your house, does it come when you call?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: My house...

SAGAL: Yes?

POUNDSTONE: ...Pandemic Palace...

SAGAL: Yes.

POUNDSTONE: ...Should fly off the shelf.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

O'ROURKE: Yeah.

SAGAL: It should. It should. No, realtors and Airbnbers are finding a name really attracts customers. I mean, wow, I know this place has a weird smell. But what if I told you it was called Casa de Previous Owner Had Cats?

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: Now, do cutesy names work, you know? I mean, you know, Wits' End and stuff like that?

POUNDSTONE: Ooh.

KONDABOLU: How about New Zealand? I feel like New Zealand would be...

O'ROURKE: New Zealand.

SAGAL: That would definitely - I would definitely go to check that out.

O'ROURKE: Hari, New Zealand would be an excellent name for a house, yeah.

SAGAL: And you can use it as an excuse. No, I don't live with my mom. I live in Chateau Mama.

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: Le basement de Chateau Mama.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.