Bluff The Listener

Jul 26, 2013
Originally published on July 27, 2013 10:41 am
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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Maz Jobrani, Kyrie O'Connor, and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl.



SAGAL: Thank you. It is time once again for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

ANNA SCOTT: Hi, this is Anna Scott.

SAGAL: Hi, Anna, where are you calling from?

SCOTT: I'm in Oakland, California.

SAGAL: Oh, Oakland. Oakland is a town I like. Oaktown(sic), what do you do there?

SCOTT: I am a leadership development coach.

SAGAL: Really? So can you give me, like, some quick tips on how to be a good leader in case I'm ever asked?

SCOTT: Yeah, it's not good to make the other wrong. It just doesn't work.

SAGAL: Make the other person wrong.

SCOTT: Don't do that, just...


PAULA POUNDSTONE: What if they - what if they are wrong?


SCOTT: Well, then do it nicely. Do it in a very positive way, how you can help them grow and become self-aware.

MAZ JOBRANI: You're the best dumb person I know.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: Well, Anna, welcome to the show. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Anna's topic?

KASELL: Back in my day...

SAGAL: Being a kid just isn't what is used to be, what with all the new electronic toys and screens and the way that kids play changing. Well, our panelists are going to read you three stories of someone taking something sacred from childhood and just ruining it. Guess the true story, you will win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail, whatever you've got there in Oakland. Ready to go?

SCOTT: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. First let's hear from Maz Jobrani.

JOBRANI: Recently, Marvin Kesselman(ph) put his two-year-old boy on a slide in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and watched in horror as the toddler got launched like a projectile, rising four feet off the ground before landing on his rear end. Fortunately, the boy had his diaper on, so he wasn't hurt. But Kesselman, who happens to be an engineer, realized something had to be done.

So he set out to invent a spray for slides to decelerate the babies as they go down. What Kesselman did not intend was to make a product so good that now the babies don't go down at all. Maria Gomez(ph), whose baby plays at the same park, complained: My baby doesn't like the slide anymore because it doesn't work. All she does is sit, get up, sit, get up, sit.


JOBRANI: That is not a slide.


JOBRANI: Reached for comment, Mr. Kesselman admits that he might have added too much adhesive to his compound. I've just got to find the right mix so these kids don't get hurt. If Mr. Kesselman can find the right mix, he stands to make millions of dollars, as it seems there have been a spate of babies flying off slides in the past few months.

Just this spring, a three-year-old girl in Las Vegas, Nevada, flew so far off a slide that she ended up at the entrance of the Luxor Hotel, where her parents found her and took her to an all-you-can-eat buffet.


SAGAL: So Maz tells a story of an engineer making sure the slides don't slide.


SAGAL: The next story of the modern age crashing into your past comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Many a fine doctor or nurse got their inspiration from the toy doctor kit, complete with black bag that they unwrapped joyfully on an early birthday or holiday. It included a fake syringe that the pretend doctor sadistically found several medical necessities per visit for the mock injection of their younger sibling patient. Now, Truthful Toys, a subsidiary of Squamo Industries(ph), has updated the doctor's kit.

The colorful plastic kit of old gives kids a misleading notion of what to expect at a doctor's visit, which can cause it to be an even more traumatic experience. Kids and families are responding very well to our new, realistic kit. Kids love having their pretend patients fill out the forms...


POUNDSTONE: ...and electronically sign contracts they couldn't possibly understand. Plus, if the patient registers on our website, they can receive phone calls denying coverage of certain procedures.


POUNDSTONE: And threatening bill collector calls that can interrupt nap time from a pretend call center. The kit includes an accurate timer and a Disney princess decal that the child can stick on the wall and stare at to create their very own waiting room experience.


SAGAL: A realistic toy doctor kit, complete with insurance forms.


SAGAL: And your last story of a childhood treasure being trampled comes from Kyrie O'Connor.

KYRIE O'CONNOR: Let's just call this the moment childhood died. A former executive with the toy company Hasbro and his toy expert wife have come out with a line called the Real Tooth Fairies, not to be confused with the Real Housewives, whom they closely resemble, alas. With their big hair, heavy makeup and Miss USA-style gowns, they look as if they'd be more at home collecting cash off a 45-year-old's dresser than putting it under an eight-year-old's pillow.


O'CONNOR: There's only one way this can be stopped and one being who can do it: actual, true Tooth Fairy, we are counting on you.

SAGAL: All right, let's review your choices.


SAGAL: From Maz Jobrani, a safety spray that makes sure your kids can't slide down the slide. From Paula Poundstone, a realistic toy doctor kit with all the ennui and misery of going to the real doctor. And from Kyrie O'Connor, the Real Tooth Fairies. The Tooth Fairy has been sexed up and commercialized. Which of these is the real story about a childhood treasure being destroyed?

SCOTT: Well, I love Paula's, and I would love to go with it, but I think I'm going to go with Maz's.

SAGAL: You think you're going to go with Maz's, of the spray that keeps the kids from sliding down the slide.


SAGAL: There are some killjoys in the room who enjoy that story, apparently.


SAGAL: OK. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone intimately involved in the real story.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The Real Tooth Fairies love to brush with glowy toothpaste and an official Real Tooth Fairies toothbrush. It's magical fun.

SAGAL: That was Twinkle, one of The Real Tooth Fairies encouraging you to brush twice a day, but only with an official Real Tooth Fairy brand toothbrush.

POUNDSTONE: I would rather have my kids' teeth rot out of their head.



SAGAL: Let me try this the new, enlightened way. Anna, you did great.


SAGAL: You expressed such creativity and such faith, and I really admire what you did here by choosing Maz' story, even though it wasn't actually truthful. The real story was obviously the one from Kyrie, so you did not win. However, you did do a great job, earning a point for Maz for creating his realistic story about the slide sticky spray. So congratulations.

SCOTT: Thank you, thank you. You're a great (unintelligible).

SAGAL: How was that, did I do a good job?

SCOTT: You did great.

SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you for playing, Anna, bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.