Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists tell us three stories of continuing education, only one of which is true.


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 Kyrie O'Connor, Brian Babylon and Faith Salie. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you everybody. 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!

BRUCE WAGNER: Hi, this is Bruce from Yorba Linda, California.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Yorba Linda?

WAGNER: Nice and warm.

SAGAL: Yeah. Isn't Yorba Linda at or near where Nixon used to live?

KYRIE O: Yeah.

WAGNER: That's where he was born and where the Nixon library is.

SAGAL: Oh really? So that's a big tourist attraction in your town?

WAGNER: That's the biggest.

SAGAL: Is it really?


SAGAL: I was kind of joking, but I guess seriously I...


WAGNER: You were right.

SAGAL: People flock in to check out the Nixon library.

WAGNER: I wouldn't flock.

SAGAL: All right.


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

KASELL: Back to school, nerds.


SAGAL: In his State of the Union address, President Obama pointed to a woman who had gone back to school to train herself for the new economy. But education opportunities are not limited to just learning the difference between a grande and a venti. We heard a great story this week about people taking classes to make themselves even better than they already are. Each of our panelists is going to tell you a story of extended learning. Choose the true story; you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine. Ready to play?

WAGNER: Let's do it.

SAGAL: All right, first, let's hear from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: You what it's like, your man says he has feelings, but how do you know? Where's the proof? Does screaming at Mark Sanchez last Sunday when he got sacked, dropped the ball and the Steelers ran it for 7 count? You need a little less iron, John, and a little more John Boehner.


SALIE: Enter the Men of Tears, a group offering classes and workshops in crying in San Anselmo, California. Some of these male students haven't cried since they were young boys, and want to embrace their inner lachrymose child, and some have never cried. The group's philosophy holds "the more men let out their tears, the less anger and violence in the world." "If you can't cry, you can't find joy," says former standup comedian and co-founder Lee Glickstein, who also heads a co-ed crying group called "Water Workers".


SALIE: A Men of Tears circle in action doesn't look like a ring of joy, however. The men sit and, well, basically, talk about things that hurt them, like childhood traumas or black eyes or the movie "Brian's Song."


SAGAL: Classes in crying for men. Your next story of a graduate learning comes from Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: Remember the good old days at Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns? A lot of former bankers and brokers sure do. And they remember them fondly, because back in those days they didn't have to do complicated things like ride the subway or order their own coffee.


BABYLON: Stephen Weeks(ph), an adjunct teacher at New York's Learning Annex, came up with the idea of a Normal Life Class 101, when he saw a man in a $1,200 Baroni suit standing in a subway station staring at the map and muttering, "Help me, someone please help me."


BABYLON: Mr. Weeks says, "These guys have spent their whole adult lives being driven around the city in limos and taxis and having whatever they wanted brought to them by assistants. Now that they're out in the real world, they're like helpless newborns." The class begins with basic street navigation. The Bronx is up and the Battery is down.


BABYLON: And then it moves on to more serious things like ordering Starbucks, how much to tip, and how to place a phone call yourself. I know it seems easy to you and me, but Weeks has said he's seen a guy who has been on his cell phone and says, "why won't you talk to me anymore." I have to show him how to turn on the power button.

SAGAL: A class in daily essentials for living for ex-bankers. And your last story of a new education opportunity comes from Kyrie O'Connor.

CONNOR: Andy Olden(ph) is ready and you're not, and he is serious. Olden trains groups of soft suburban adults to prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse.


CONNOR: On 200 acres of Texas ranchland, he takes IT technicians and mechanical engineers and makes them warriors. I hire 30 something hipsters to be attack zombies and the students have to do anything short of, well, fatalities to protect their precious brains. "I've seen kindergarten teachers morph into full-on killing machines," he says. "It's a transformation." Zombie Apocalypse Boot Camp has a six-month waiting list. "The zombies are coming," Olden said, darkly. Maybe they're diseased or maybe liberals.


SAGAL: All right. So let's say you're sitting around and you're thinking to yourself, I need more education. I need to learn something I don't know. You could go to one of these classes. From Faith Salie: a class in crying for men who can't cry. From Brian Babylon: daily essentials for bankers in New York, how to order coffee, how to tip. From Kyrie O'Connor: how to survive the zombie apocalypse. Which of these is a real educational opportunity?

WAGNER: Well, I liked the first story the best. I liked that idea. I'm going to go with Faith.

SAGAL: All right, you've chosen Faith's story of the crying class. Well, we actually spoke to one of the instructors of this class.

LEE GLICKSTEIN: Getting men together to go to that place of tears where it's okay to cry is just the place I want to spend a lot of my life.


SAGAL: That was Lee Glickstein. He is the co-founder of the Men of Tears crying circle in San Anselmo, California. Congratulations, Bruce, you did get it right. You earned a point for Faith. You've won our prize; Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine, crying if you want him to.


SALIE: Thanks, Bruce.

SAGAL: Carl, are you in touch with your feeling to that extent?


KASELL: I can cry.


SAGAL: Bruce, thank you so much for playing with us today.

WAGNER: Thank you. You all are great.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

BABYLON: Thanks, Bruce.



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