Bluff The Listener
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 his week with Paula Poundstone, Tom Bodett, and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
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 air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
WILL PASSEY: Hi, this is Will Passey from Ithaca, New York.
SAGAL: Ithaca, beautiful Ithaca. It's gorgeous. What do you do there?
PASSEY: I am a graduate student at Cornell University.
SAGAL: I see, fine land grant institution there in the mountains.
PASSEY: That it is.
SAGAL: What are you studying?
PASSEY: I am getting my master's in industrial and labor relations.
SAGAL: Industrial and labor relations. Does that mean like a union thing?
PASSEY: I could go into unions, but odds are I'm just going to be the HR manager that everyone loves.
SAGAL: Well, it's nice to have you with us Will. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Will's topic?
KASELL: I can't believe it's been 10 years.
SAGAL: Facebook isn't the only thing turning 10 this week. We read a story about something else reaching its 10-year milestone. Guess the real anniversary and you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voice mail. Ready to play?
PASSEY: All right, I have one question.
PASSEY: Is Roxanne on the panel?
SAGAL: She's sitting right here.
PASSEY: Well then there's no need to put up the charade. I choose her story.
SAGAL: You know, yes, but what if we knew you would do that and assigned Roxanne to lie to you?
PASSEY: Well, I just have to go with my gut no matter what.
SAGAL: All right, well let's see what happens. First let's hear, why not, from Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Well, Will, this one is particularly apt for you. You're fired. No really. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump has come up with a new twist on his famous catchphrase, a spinoff reality show where contestants from the past decade will travel around the country actually firing people. Trump has teamed up with Hendricks Strategies(ph), a human resources firm that specializes in corporate layoffs, and, with cameras rolling, one of his apprentices will sit down with employees already slated for the chopping block and deliver the bad news.
Look, nobody likes losing their job, and it's hard for most bosses to actually say these words, Trump told the Wall Street Journal. We're giving them a chance to hear it from a celebrity who's been there, which has to lessen the blow a little.
ROBERTS: Trump said that all the ex-workers will get counseling and job training, and one lucky person will get a chance to work for his empire. Quote, getting fired will be the best thing that ever happened to them, he promised.
TOM BODETT: I'll pick that one.
SAGAL: "The Apprentice," celebrates its 10th anniversary by sending its alumni around the country to actually fire real people. Your next story of a 10-year anniversary comes from Tom Bodett.
BODETT: Ten years is a long time to go to work without pants on. Just ask Scott Simon. Or better yet, ask mailman Kenny Martin of Walled Lake, Michigan. Scott Simon works in radio, from a climate-controlled studio. Kenny Martin works in the neither rain nor sleet nor snow hard-scrabble world of the U.S. Postal Service. But after 10 years braving sleet, snow and snarling dogs, Martin, the leggy mailman of Walled Lake, has given up his trademark shorts for a pair of official U.S. Postal Service pants.
Asked if the change was prompted by this winter's record cold temperatures, Martin said yeah, that and getting older. My tolerance is less because we've been through this before no problem, but this year, man. Well said, Kenny. You could only imagine the decade of horrors a mailman in shorts has had to live through. When asked if he'd ever gotten completely wiped out on the ice, smashed his head on the concrete sidewalk, blood spewing everywhere, onlookers shrieking, Martin replied: No. But I got attacked by turkeys twice this year.
Ladies and gentlemen, the legend that is, Kenny Martin.
SAGAL: A mailman after 10 years of wearing only shorts no matter the season decides to put on long pants. And your last story of somebody celebrating the big 1-0 comes from Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: This week marks the 10-year point of an epic financial struggle, including relentless tax trouble, toxic mortgages, record incarceration recidivism rates and just plain bad luck. Nineteen- and 17-year-old Colin and Blain McPike(ph) of Boyne City, Michigan, have been playing the same Monopoly game for 10 years.
POUNDSTONE: We started on a snow day, and our mother brought us lunch while we played, says Colin. They took breaks for school and sleep and the occasional shower, they laughed, but have played for no less than 15 minutes and up to 18 hours each day for 10 years. Blain bought Mediterranean Avenue on his second trip around the board, and in 10 years it has earned him over $20.
POUNDSTONE: Neither player has yet landed on the powder-blue Connecticut Avenue, so it is still up for sale from the bank. They've always been quite competitive as brothers, said their mother Catherine McPike(ph). The truth is Blain hasn't really wanted to play for the last seven years, and now he'd like to go to college, but he won't forfeit the match, and he can't win because Colin won't trade him North Carolina Avenue and Pacific Avenue for Park Place.
Colin, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the real world. He says the money's too big.
SAGAL: All right, here are your stories of a 10-year landmark. From Roxanne Roberts, the 10th anniversary of the TV show "The Apprentice" being celebrated by having former contestants actually fire people in real life. From Tom Bodett, a mailman who after 10 years of wearing only shorts gave in to the needs of winter and put on long pants. Or from Paula, two brothers reaching the 10-year anniversary of the start of a single game of Monopoly. Which of these is the real story of a 10-year anniversary in the news?
PASSEY: Well no disrespect to Tom or Paula, but I don't know if you guys heard the same stories that I did. I'm going to go with Roxanne.
SAGAL: OK, your choice is Roxanne's story. Well, to bring you the real answer, we spoke to the person celebrating this 10-year anniversary.
KENNY MARTIN: Pants are just, to me, very uncomfortable. They fall down. They pinch. They chafe. They've got their little punchline around here. It's like how cold is it? Oh, Kenny's wearing pants.
SAGAL: That was Kenny Martin, the mail carrier who just donned long pants for the first time in 10 years.
SAGAL: You followed your heart, and I cannot fault you for that. But sadly Roxanne was not telling the truth. So you didn't win, but you did earn a point for Roxanne. You did that for her.
ROBERTS: Thank you, Will.
SAGAL: By choosing her story and making, if I know her, very happy.
PASSEY: Well, you're welcome.
SAGAL: Will, thank you so much for playing.
PASSEY: Thank you.