Bluff The Listener

Apr 11, 2014
Originally published on April 12, 2014 1:44 pm
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CARL KASELL, BYLINE: 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 Charlie Pierce, Amy Dickinson, and Luke Burbank. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT ... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ... DON'T TELL ME.

DAN PEDERSON: (Caller) Hi, Peter. This is Dan Pederson calling from Bend, Oregon.

SAGAL: Hey, Dan. How are things in Bend?

PEDERSON: (Caller) Gorgeous.

SAGAL: I've never been to Bend, but I'm told it is, in fact, gorgeous.

PEDERSON: (Caller) It is.

SAGAL: And what you do there?

PEDERSON: (Caller) I make beer. I'm a brewer.

SAGAL: Oh, of course you are...


SAGAL: ...because you live in Oregon. I'm told that, I think, it's now 70 percent of the population of Oregon makes beer.


PEDERSON: (Caller) Maybe 80.

SAGAL: Maybe 80, it's like that. Is it, is it hard - in a state where so many people make craft beer, delicious beer, is it hard to stand out in that business? How do you attract attention to your product?

PEDERSON: (Caller) You just make extra distinctive beers. You try to not make the same thing everybody else is making.

SAGAL: All right, and what's the most interesting beer you've made?

PEDERSON: (Caller) Boy, I've made a smoked German lager.

LUKE BURBANK: Made from an actual smoked German.


SAGAL: Dan, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Dan's topic?

KASELL: Help wanted.

SAGAL: It isn't fair, really, that only people with valuable skills get the good jobs. Not to worry. This week, we read about a great new low-tech job any of us can do. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Guess who is not lying this time, and you'll win Carl's very high-tech voice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

PEDERSON: (Caller) I am.

SAGAL: All right. Let's hear first from Luke Burbank.

BURBANK: Are you a lady of distinction? The distinction being you often feel the overwhelming urge to belch like a truck driver who just downed a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos?


BURBANK: Then run, don't walk, to St. Louis, Missouri, where an ad agency has posted a Craigslist notice seeking women between the ages of 18 and 40 who can burp to order for an upcoming TV commercial. But what if I don't have the right kind of disgusting burp they're looking for, you ask? That's just the thing. They're looking for all kinds of embarrassing sounds that might come out of your mouth, from small, quiet burps too monstrously loud belches, the ad reads. But won't it humiliate my family to be on national TV doing this?

Probably, but there's a good buck in making your mother cry tears of shame, $750 for the day and all the fizzy drink you can handle. The ad specifies no acting experience necessary, just bring a pair of lungs that don't do well with carbonation.


SAGAL: A call goes out for women belchers on Craigslist. Your next story of a job almost anyone could do comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Gwyneth Paltrow hit back at tabloids this week over reports that she has hired a rickshaw to ferry her and her children around London. Newspapers ran a grainy photo of the superstar and her children Moses and Apple and their vegan Irish wolfhound, Bathtub, seated in the back of a rickshaw being pulled through Chelsea. Paltrow took to her website, Goop, to explain. First of all, this is not a rickshaw. It's a pedicab, she said. And it is not pulled by one person. There is a family, and they take turns.


DICKINSON: They live above what used to be our garage but is now our pedicab-orium. Paltrow also noted that recently, when her rickshaw puller got winded, she gave him a break.


DICKINSON: I myself was not wearing the proper footwear. And well, Apple was seated closest to the edge, and so I consciously coupled her to the pedicab and off we went.


SAGAL: So you could get a job, maybe, pulling Gwyneth Paltrow's pedicab. Your next story of a job with a very low bar to entrance is from Charlie Pierce.

CHARLIE PIERCE: The Podolsky (ph) Cheese Company of Mukwonago, Wi. is known for its artisanal cheeses. Recently, however, a large batch of the company's bestseller, its Swiss cheese, came out of the cheese-making process without the holes characteristic of that particular variety. The company put out a call to the community for 20 people who would be willing to work 30 hours a week with an awl and a rubber hammer to put holes in the wheels of cheeses that came out of the process.


PIERCE: The community responded with wonderful enthusiasm at exulted Mike Podolsky, who inherited the company from his father, Fritz Podolsky, Jr. We got about 20 people in about 45 minutes. The company made sure that all health and safety precautions were taken. The volunteers were given a 30-minute training session, in which they punched holes in large sponges before being sent out onto the factory floor. At first I laughed, said Louise Wensley (ph), one of the first people to sign up. But the money was pretty good, and it was like we were doing something for the town, too. Louise was remarkable, said Podolsky. I think we can probably move her up to cheddar packing if she wants to stay with the company.


PIERCE: And in keeping with the company's innovative spirit, it is now selling the round chips of cheese produced by the hole making process as cheese pogs.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: Let's, let's sum it up. Let's say you're a person with a lot of ambition but no real marketable skills. Which of these real jobs could you at least apply for? Would it be, if you're a woman, belching as per Craigslist from Luke Burbank, from Amy Dickinson, a chance to pull or, and/or pedal the Gwyneth Paltrow family around London on their very own pedicab or from Charlie Pierce, a job punching holes in defective Swiss cheese with an awl? Which of these was the real job opportunity we read about in the news this week?

PEDERSON: (Caller) Wow.

SAGAL: Yeah.


PEDERSON: (Caller) Just because I'm in the beer industry and beer is supposed to cause burps, I'm going to go with Luke's story.

SAGAL: Yeah, well, Luke's - because of this strange, scurrilous rumor that beer causes people to belch, you are going to choose Luke's story of the advertisement. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone familiar with this real story.

LINDSAY TOLER: If you're a lady and you are able to burp, you can make $750 from the company.


SAGAL: It's rude but profitable. That was Lindsay Toler. She writes for the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. Congratulations, Dan. You got it right.


SAGAL: You earned a point for Luke Burbank, and you've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Well done, sir.

PEDERSON: (Caller) Thank you.


SAGAL: Thanks for playing with us today.


PEDERSON: (Caller) Thank you.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.