Small Talk

Small Talk

Marketplace Contributor Jan 29, 2010
Small Talk

Small Talk

Marketplace Contributor Jan 29, 2010


KAI RYSSDAL: As we wrap things up on this Friday, let’s take a moment to review. Not the major news of the week, but the items that didn’t quite make the headlines.

Courtesy of Brendan Newnam, Rico Gagliano and select members of the Marketplace staff.

Rico Gagliano: Paddy Hirsch, senior editor. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Paddy Hirsch: I’m going to be talking about a report that the most successful enterprise in Italy last year was the Mafia.

Gagliano: I’m supposed to be surprised by this?

Hirsch: Well, here’s the thing, Italy’s growth fell by 5 percent, but the Mafia ended up making a profit.

Gagliano: But the good news is that now all businesses that cater to the mobster demographic are going to go through the roof right, tommy gun? Fedoras?

Hirsch: Overcoats.

Gagliano: Definitely invest in overcoats, also fishes and cannoli.

Brendan Newnam: Rod Abid, senior producer of the Marketplace Morning Report, what’s your story?

Rod Abid: It’s from Britain. Apparently because they’ve had such a cold winter this month, the Holiday Inn in Manchester, England has a new service: It is a human bed-warming service.

Newnam: Are you sure that’s a new service?

Abid Yeah, exactly.

Newnam: How does it work?

Abid: Pretty stupidly, I’ve gotta say. But what they do is, one of the employees of the hotel will dress in an all-in-one fleece sleeper suit, get in your bed for a little while and leave. To me, this sort of sounds like Goldilocks mixed with a home invasion, you know?

Newnam: What’s wrong with a human thermostat adjuster?

Gagliano: Amy Scott, New York bureau chief, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Amy Scott: A Chinese airline accidentally gave hundreds of passengers a huge discount.

Gagliano: Like, how huge?

Scott: Apparently, you could buy a ticket for $2.90. And some of those tickets were first class.

Gagliano: This is because of a computer glitch or something?

Scott: That’s what the company says, but it is going to honor the tickets.

Gagliano: Well that’s nice of them.

Scott: I hope they have pretzels on the flight.

Gagliano: They will, but they’ll cost a thousand bucks.

Ryssdal: There’s oh so much more of what Rico and Brendan can do on their podcast. It’s called The Dinner Party Download. There’s a link on our Web site,

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