Bluff The Listener

Jun 13, 2014
Originally published on June 14, 2014 11:42 am
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BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Brian Babylon, Tom Bodett and Ophira Eisenberg. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. It's time now 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.

PAULA CANCRO: Hi, this is Paula.

SAGAL: Hi, Paula. Where are you calling from?

CANCRO: I'm calling from Shrub Oak, New York.

SAGAL: Shrub Oak, New York?

CANCRO: Yeah, little bush, big tree.


SAGAL: Is that your town slogan or are you making some kind of offer here? I'm a simple man, I don't understand sophisticated big-city ways. Where pray tell is Shrub Oak, New York?

CANCRO: We're about 50 miles north of Manhattan - Big Apple.

SAGAL: The Big Apple. That also sounds totally suspect now. Let's just move on. Paula, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Paula's topic?

KURTIS: It's not you, it's me... Actually, no, it's you.


SAGAL: Some of us are lucky enough to find true love. The ying to our yang, the Ernie to our Bert - then, of course, we blow it. Our panelists are going to read you three stories of people finding love, then promptly screwing it up. Guess the real story of failed romance and you'll win scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. You ready to play?

CANCRO: I'm ready.

SAGAL: OK. First up, let's hear from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Nothing but the truth was a life coaching concept born of love. Michael Shivale and Beth Pera were meant for each other - both successful, fit, disciplined, and in love - that many splendored, confounded thing clinical tests have shown as second only to watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" for making you stupid.

In their inspired altered state, they vowed to never ever say anything untrue to one another. This way, they thought, there could be no secrets. Trust would reign supreme and you get the picture. They joined hands, joined forces and went to work spreading their gospel of truth in Holiday Inn ballrooms across the country.

In the beginning, it was fine. I find children kind of creepy, my real name is Kipinski, not Shivale, I sometimes lactate when I hear train whistles - the usual stuff. But after they became intimate and traveled together for a while, things took a dark turn. Have you ever had better, says he? Not in a few weeks, she says. Do these slacks make my butt look too big? Yes, I love your huge butt. It couldn't last - it didn't last.

Michael and Beth still travel and coach together, but their relationship now is strictly business. We honestly don't know what we saw in each other, says Beth. But I learned a lot about being in relationship and that's what we now share with our white lie living seminars. Keep secrets, never speak from your heart. Michael agrees, seriously, lie your butt off. Lie your great big butt off.

SAGAL: Nothing but the truth as a life coaching technique finds its match in a relationship. Your next story of love lost comes from Ophira Eisenberg.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, BYLINE: Chris Koolurus of New York, New York is reminded of a valuable lesson every time he fiddles with his joystick. If you're going through relationship issues, do not work on your arcade more than your relationship. After moving in with his girlfriend, Koolurus put his Manhattan apartment on the market, but that apartment didn't sell and he suffocated while cohabitating with his girlfriend surrounded by all of her stuff. So inspired a sci-fi novel about videogame culture, he decided to transform his former apartment into his own personal '80s arcade fantasy. Classic arcade games, first edition "Transformers" action figures, and, of course, a pull out futon with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" sheets and matching blanket. What girl wouldn't be impressed? Answer - his girl. As the New York Daily News put it, quote, his fiance said, "game over." Quote, "now the only scoring he's doing is on his Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Tron machines."

SAGAL: An apartment entirely devoted to video games loses a man his true love. And your last story of someone throwing love away comes from Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: Every guy fears the moment in a relationship when their girlfriend wants to have the talk - marriage, baby and ultimately a matching headstone. For Floyd Johnson and his girlfriend Jessica Kinsee of Gary, Indiana, it did not go well. Ex-girlfriend, Jessica, told the Huffington Post, quote, "I told him I wanted to take things to the next level, get married, buy a house, and to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, you know, stuff that grown-ups do. Amazingly, Floyd seemed to agree. Said Floyd, quote, "I wanted to do something big, fun and funny like you see on the Internet." That was Floyd's first mistake. Quote, "She wants to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, so I went out and got two dozen squirrels and let them loose on the hardwood floors in our bedroom. The squirrels freaked out and bit Jessica, who came down with what the CDC has classified as a rare case of squirrel to human hunted virus syndrome. Side effects included itching, climbing, and wild cravings for acorns. Jessica says I was actually going to forgive him, but the idiot posted a video on YouTube and it got 2 million views.


SAGAL: All right, here are your choices. One of these is a story of a romance that was going well until it really didn't. Your first was from Tom Bodett, a pair of life coaches who decided to tell each other the truth until they realized that was unworkable. From Ophira Eisenberg, a guy who blew his chance at love and marriage by setting up his apartment as a videogame paradise. Or from Brian Babylon, a guy who thought it would be really funny to play a joke on his girlfriend involving a dozen squirrels. Which is the real story of love lost?

CANCRO: Well, it's the dork with the video machines.

SAGAL: All right, well, your choice is Ophira's story about the man who turned his apartment into an arcade. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to the man himself.

CHRIS KOOLURIS: You know, it's kind of bittersweet. I've got this amazing arcade, but now the only woman I in my life is Ms. Pac-Man.


SAGAL: That was Chris Kooluris, the man whose homemade arcade got in the way of his love life. Congratulations, Paula, you got it right. You earned a point for Ophira and you won our prize, Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your answering machine or voicemail. Well done, thank you so much for playing.

CANCRO: Oh thank you all, this is so great.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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