While I Was Waiting Drawings: Small Animals and Alien CollectionMy favorite radio show is “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” I save the episodes and listen to them when I’m packing, one of my least favorite jobs of being a touring musician.

To my mind, you’ve really made when you’re on the “Not My Job” segment.

Wait, wait … I should be more specific: you’ve really made it when you’re a contestant on the ‘Not My Job’ segment.

I’ve always wanted to be on that show. And  yesterday I was! 

While I Was Waiting Drawing: Lip-Eye PeopleBut not as a contestant.

As a question.

When my bookkeeper emailed to tell me, I was in Istanbul (I’m on tour playing electric harp with guitar legend Steve Vai) – so I didn’t get a chance to listen to the segment until today and here’s what I heard  from host Peter Sagal, comedian Paula Poundstone and Secretary of the Smithsonian MuseumWayne Clough (thanks, NPR for this transcript!)


SAGAL Next question: a woman named Deborah Henson-Conant curates a kind of art collection. She is the curator of what?

  • A: The Museum of Doodles I Made While On the Phone?
  • B: The Burnt Food Museum?
  • Or C: The Museum of Interesting Bug Windshield Splatters?

(LAUGHTER)

CLOUGH: I kind of like the last one. I grew up in southern Georgia and we had a lot of bug splatters on the windshields.

SAGAL: You’re going to go for that?

CLOUGH: Yeah.

SAGAL: No, I’m afraid it was actually the Burnt Food Museum.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Wait a minute. There couldn’t be a Burnt Food Museum if they haven’t come to my house to collect.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, you have to submit, Paula. This all started…

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I didn’t realize.

SAGAL: …about 20 years ago when this woman was on the phone. She was making some spiced apple cider on the stove. She forgot about it. She came back and it had been reduced to a very interesting sculptural shape, and that’s how it began.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, wow.

SAGAL: So you have to submit things, take pictures.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I didn’t even realize.

(Copyright © 2012 National Public Radio.)


Former BFM Assistant models the official BFM Apron

So first of all – I hereby offer Paula Poundstone an honorary “Burnt Food Museum” Field Test Team apron (modeled above by former BFM assistant, composer Matt Pakulski) because Paula is my uber-favorite panelist on that show

And SECONDLY …

Those NPR researchers are psychic!

A:  I do also collect squashed bugs (but only have 2 – in special bug boxes in my kitchen) – but of course they’re not windshield splatters – I mean, that’s just weird.

While I Was Waiting Drawings: Dogs, Z's and Arrows B:  And I do collect doodles done while on the phone, a collection I call “While I was Waiting.” And you’ve seen a very small sample of that collection in this very blog!

Now I’m inspired to create that collection its own website like I did the Burnt Food Museum.

Meanwhile … I can still dream about being a contestant on “Not My Job.” 

And please come on over and visit the Burnt Food Museum and our lovely Exhibits.


Deborah Henson-Conant is currently on tour playing electric harp with guitar legend Steve Vai. Her next solo show is Fri. Dec. 21 at the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA.


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