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Small talk: Mascots, ATMs and libraries

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TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: This final note today on a Friday, a perfect chance to step back from the headlines and check in on the other news of the week, courtesy of Rico Gagliano, Brendan Newnam, and the rest of the Marketplace staff.


RICO GAGLIANO: Matt Berger, senior Web producer at Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

MATT BERGER: Looks like I'm going to be talking about Wenlock and Mandeville, they're the new mascots for the 2012 Olympics in London.

GAGLIANO: I've seen photos of these characters, they look like guys dressed in spandex with eyeballs for faces. They're names are Wenlock and Mandeville?

BERGER: It's teletubbies gone bad is what it is.

GAGLIANO: I just feel like there are so many British symbols that they could use for this, you'd have a bobby throwing a javelin.

BERGER: Some fish and chips.

GAGLIANO: There should be two characters called fish and chips, one could kicking a soccer ball.

BERGER: The other one could be swimming in a giant pool of vinegar.

BRENDAN FRANCIS NEWNAM: Stacey Vanek-Smith, senior reporter for Marketplace, what's your story this weekend?

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: Well, in the Senate they're thinking about capping ATM fees.

NEWNAM: Something I can totally get behind. It would be amazing.

SMITH: I know, right, but not all of the senators understand it because apparently a lot of them don't really know how ATMs work. Senator Ben Nelson says he's never used an ATM machine.

NEWNAM: So these people who are supposed to regulate the banking industry, they can't even get $20 from a cash machine to pay for lunch?

SMITH: Brendan, they don't get cash out for lunch. That's what lobbyists are for.

GAGLIANO: Rob Schmitz, reporter and future China correspondent at Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

ROB SCHMITZ: I'm going to be talking about a library book borrowed by our first President George Washington, and it was finally returned this week 221 years late.

GAGLIANO: What's the return fees on that?

SCHMITZ: $300,000

GAGLIANO: Does somebody have to pay that?

SCHMITZ: Actually not, but the staff at Washington's home in Mt. Vernon, Va., offered to replace the book with another copy of the same edition.

GAGLIANO: So our nation's president would not tell a lie, but he would steal from libraries.

SCHMITZ: Exactly.

GAGLIANO: I think this calls into question the entire character of our nation.

SCHMITZ: Yeah, I'm starting to really question this country, which is why I'm going to China.

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