Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists tell us three stories of people spending lots of money on something, only one of which is true.

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 Tom Bodett, Jessi Klein, and Luke Burbank. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you guys. Right now, of course, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our games on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

PETER TOMICH: Hi, this is Peter from Honokaa, Hawaii.

SAGAL: Honokaa?


SAGAL: That's got like three letters and eight glottal stops, right?


SAGAL: That's how you say things in Hawaii. Where is Honokaa?

TOMICH: It is on the big island of Hawaii.

SAGAL: I see.

TOMICH: On the northeast side.

SAGAL: So you get to live there. Do you live the life of paradisiacal pleasure that I would imagine that a Hawaiian lives?

TOMICH: Whatever you imagine, that's what's happening.


SAGAL: And you're too far away for me to check that, so...


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

KASELL: If I won the lottery, I'd buy a brand new answering machine cassette.

SAGAL: Money can't buy you class, but it can buy you a whole lot of something you've always wanted. This week our panelists are going to read you three stories of people coming into a lot of money and finding creative ways to spend it. Guess that true story; you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?


SAGAL: First, let's hear from Luke.

LUKE BURBANK: Carrie's Gas and Go in Defiance, Kansas looks like your typical mini mart. It's a cramped place, packed to the ceiling with soda, beef jerky, cassette tapes that time and apparently decent musical taste forgot. And in the back, under a heat lamp, trays of Jojo potatoes. Jojo potatoes that made Jack Lee Brooks a millionaire.

You see, Jack loved the Jojo's so much, he'd swing by Carrie's every day during his lunch break from the local refinery. And on one of those days, back in 2010, Debbie the cashier talked him into buying up a Powerball ticket, a ticket that turned out to be worth $140 million.

"Well that there money didn't change me," said Brooks, when reached recently for comment. "Me and my wife, we're just folks like before, still up at dawn every morning, still love them Jojo potatoes." It does bear noting that Brooks doesn't have to go quite as far for his beloved potatoes now, since he had an exact replica of the mini mart built on his property, next to his house.


BURBANK: It's staffed 24 hours a day. He and his wife are the only customers. And yes, Debbie is there, working the midday shift. "It was a little weird at first," says Debbie, "because he insisted on having that little bell thingy ding every time he came in. But I could totally see him when he'd leave the back porch, so I knew he was coming."


BURBANK: Debbie makes the potatoes with the same care she used when working at the original Gas and Go, dumping the box of intuitional grade frozen potato parts into a fryer, putting them in paper trays, and rotating them out from under the heat lamp every 18 days.


SAGAL: A lottery winner in Kansas just wants his Jojo Potatoes and makes sure that he gets them whenever he wants. Your next story of money burning a hole in somebody's pocket comes from Jessi Klein.

JESSI KLEIN: Nathan Budman from Lower Falls, Nebraska was a computer programmer but his real passion was movies. Ever since his parents took him to see "Star Wars," he'd been a film buff. Although he often complained that if he was the director, he would have ended the story differently.

So, when he recently sold his internet startup for $500 million, he quit his job and set about making his lifelong dream a reality, hiring the original actors from his favorite movies and shooting new endings.

He is currently re-shooting the finale for several movies, including "Jaws," a film he'd always loved but couldn't watch without wanting a different conclusion. Quote, "as he's swimming back to shore, Richard Dreyfuss should get eaten by a school of piranhas.


KLEIN: No one would see it coming," Nathan said to a report from set this week, where an irritated-looking Richard Dreyfuss was thrashing about in a four-foot pool.


KLEIN: Nathan was shuttling back and forth between "New Jaws" and the soundstage next door, where he was concurrently shooting the new ending for "Pretty Woman." Nathan has scripted a new final scene where instead of climbing up Julia Roberts' fire escape to tell her he loves her, Richard Gere finds out he has an STD and the two never speak again.


KLEIN: "It's much more relatable," Nathan wrote in a publicity statement.



SAGAL: An internet millionaire decides to use his money to remake the movies the way he wanted them made. And your last story of a big spender comes from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has it all: talent, good looks, fame, money and these days, the world's entire supply of donkey cheese. The cheese, known as pule is white, crumbly, and made from donkey milk.


BODETT: It recently received the distinction of the world's most expensive cheese, at $500 per pound, in part, because one pound of cheese requires over three gallons of milk, from donkeys.


BODETT: I didn't know you could milk a donkey, you might be asking. We looked it up. Turns out, if it's a mammal, you can milk it.


BODETT: Hyenas, kangaroos, gophers, Labrador retrievers, to name just a few whose world supply of cheese might personally be obtained.


BODETT: As for donkey milking, that appears to be a Serbian thing.


BODETT: All the donkey cheese on the planet is made at one Serbian farm, managed by Slobodan Simic, who says that having Djokovic buy up his inventory will save a lot of effort having to deal with various restaurants. One can imagine a day when all three of them might call.


SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: One of these people got rich and did what they've always wanted. Was it from Luke Burbank, a guy who won the lottery and recreated the mini mart where he bought his ticket, right in his backyard?

From Jessi Klein, an internet millionaire who decided to spend his money remaking the movies or the endings of the movies that he wanted to see? Or from Tom Bodett, a Serbian tennis star who took his money and bought up the world's supply of donkey cheese, just to make sure that you can't have any?


SAGAL: Which of these is the real story of money well spent?

TOMICH: Oh, boy. I'm going to go with Tom and donkey cheese.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Tom's story of donkey cheese.


TOMICH: Absolutely.

BODETT: He just wanted to say "donkey cheese."


SAGAL: All right, you have chosen then Tom's story of the tennis player who wanted all the donkey cheese there is. Well, we spoke to somebody who knew about this story.

DOM COSENTINO: I really never had Novak Djokovic pegged to be a donkey cheese guy. There's really nothing in his game that would lead one to think he's going to buy up all the donkey cheese.

SAGAL: That was Dom Cosentino from, talking about the tennis player who did, indeed, buy all the donkey cheese there is in the world.


SAGAL: Congratulations, you got it right, Peter. You earned a point for Tom Bodett and you've earned your prize: Carl's voice on your voicemail. Thank you so much for playing.

TOMICH: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.



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