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Intern Net: Meet MacKenzie

The first "Wait, Wait....Don't Tell Me" intern, back in the day.
George Pickow
Getty Images
The first "Wait, Wait....Don't Tell Me" intern, back in the day.

As I come to the end of my first two weeks here, I thought it was about time to introduce myself, so you can know me as more than just the unpronounceable name Peter says at the end of the show.

Hi. My name is Mackenzie. I am a recent grad trying to put off doing something real with my life for as long as possible. Which is probably how I got to be the intern for "Wait, Wait."

As with any new job, my first two weeks here have been a slow period of acclimation. On top of the usual new job stuff, I am adjusting to working at an office of people who professionally make fun of everything. And, as a shy, small-town girl from Utah, I have found myself, much like Jane Goodall among the wild African primates, trying to gather data about this strange species, and simultaneously hoping they will someday come to accept me as one of their own.

I can imagine the field journal now.

Day 1.Their first communications I am witness to includes an imitation of the Queen doing a Jack Nicholson impression, and the phrase "Lady Hitler." I can deduce that their dialect is primitive, and based primarily upon cheap humor.

Day 6.Their language is at times foreign, composed mainly of peculiar sound effects and initialisms. What is FIB?

Day 7.I made an important breakthrough today: FIB = Fill in the Blank. Perhaps I shall manage to communicate with them yet.

Day 10.The tall one, referred to by the others asMike, seems to have gotten stuck on a single joke, like a needle caught upon a scratched record. He appears unable to move on with the script until he has found a way to combine the word "Romney" with the word "Gatsby." How curious.

Day 12.The bald one calledPeterand I wore the same shoes today. I consider my camouflage perfected.

And so, I have slowly begun to ease myself into this strange new world of public radio.

Though this internship is my first 'job' as a graduated, semi-adult, theoretically grown-up person, this is not the first job I have had. My long road here has included stints as a theatre reviewer, fashion consultant, receptionist, tour guide, and that's just the highlight reel. But I am not the only who has served my time before ending up at NPR.

So now, inspired by our varied career history, is the chance for you, dear blog readers, to participate in the very first interactive "Wait, Wait....Don't Tell Me" staff trivia quiz! Below, you will find the names of the staff, along with a list of everyone's first jobs. It then falls to you to correctly match the staff member to their first job. It's the sort of thing you'd find in People magazine, but without all the attractive people.

The answers are listed below the quiz. I would put them upside down like they do in magazines so you can't cheat, but I'm still trying to figure this whole blog thing out. Too early to get fancy just yet.

Oh and also...good luck!

a) Peter

b) Ian

c) Eva

d) Emily

e) Mike

f) MacKenzie

g) Lorna

h) Robert

i) Blythe

1) "Ice cream person at Commonwealth Park Equestrian Center."

2) "Civil War-style blacksmith. Also, time traveler, which is how I got here."

3) "Participant in a medical study about how Ipecac leaves the body. Because why not get paid to do something you're probably doing anyways?"

4) "Dickey's Frozen Custard. Eve 6 'Inside Out' played on repeat."

5) "Employee at a health food storewhere I mostly ate fruit leathers, made myself sandwiches and got in trouble for letting my friends hang around. Also, Shelley Duvall came in once or twice and terrified me."

6) "Driving an ice cream truck. I was so bad at it and ate so much of the product that the first week I cleared $1.40 in profit."

7) "Stamping cans — with a wonderful mechanical doohickey, with gears and springs and an inkpad and adjustable number stamps — at my grandfather's grocery store, circa 1975."

8) "Dishwasher at a bakery, but dishwashing was only part of the job. Every night we had to get on our hands and knees and scrape the floors with dough scrapers."

9) "I played dinner music on a Hammond organ (complete with tip jar) at Josh & Ruby's Steakhouse. I was Billy Joel's inspiration for Piano Man."

Answers: a, 7; b, 3; c, 5; d,1; e,8; f,2; g,9; h, 6; i, 4

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MacKenzie Van Engelenhoven

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