Bluff The Listener
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 Jessi Klein, Mo Rocca and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host at BAM in Brooklyn, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you. Thank you so much. 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.
RICOLE MEINHARDT: Hi, this is Ricole from Grand Island, Nebraska.
SAGAL: Grand Island, Nebraska. I am proud to say that I have been to Grand Island, Nebraska.
SAGAL: I know, I stopped there for a hot dog once. It was quite good.
PETER GROSZ: Nebraska's landlocked and yet, you live on an island.
MEINHARDT: I do - it's a whole bunch of rivers.
SAGAL: Ricole, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Ricole's topic?
KURTIS: Second place isn't good enough.
SAGAL: Winning comes easy for some people, like the L.A. Kings...
JESSI KLEIN: Boo.
SAGAL: Yeah, we're winning you over. But others, it takes a little more effort to win. This week we had a story about someone who stopped at nothing to grasp victory. Guess the real story - you'll win scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. You ready to play?
MEINHARDT: I'm ready.
SAGAL: All right, let's do it. Let's hear our first story of implacable competition from Jessi Klein.
KLEIN: OK, 50-year-old Sally Meriwether of Benson, Idaho has always loved to bake for family, but she found herself facing more heat than usual this week after a controversial entry in a bake-off. The wholesome wife and mother of two was excited when she learned about a Betty Crocker sponsored baking contest for the first prize of $10,000. Her family desperately needed a new car and the prize would cover the station wagon they'd had their eye on.
Sally was usually confident in her chocolate chip brownies, which were famous in her small town, but started to worry when she learned how many people from across the state would be competing. She really needed that car, so she started experimenting with her recipe to make her brownies the undeniable favorites.
Well, it worked. After serving the four judges a large helping of her super sweet and salty brownies, they each started circling back for seconds, thirds and then, even fourths. Twenty minutes later, the lead judge announced that Sally was the winner of the first-place cash prize, but other contestants got suspicious when he went on to say that Sally was also being nominated for best rainbow unicorn.
KLEIN: That's when they noticed the other judges lying on the floor giggling in front of Sally's station and one judge trying to order a pizza delivery into a paper cup. Yes it turns out Sally's secret ingredient was pot and she'd whipped up a batch of extra delicious pot brownies using weed she'd bought from her son's gym teacher. The cops were called and Sally was arrested and disqualified from the competition. There is a happy ending this story however - a marijuana dispensary in Colorado heard about the contest and ordered millions of her brownies. Sally now drives an Audi convertible.
SAGAL: Woman who tries to make a pot brownie to win a baking competition. Your next story of someone who cannot stand the thought of losing comes from Peter Grosz.
GROSZ: Lauretta Cochril of Seminole, Texas, really, really, really wanted her 7-year-old daughter, Amber, to win the Permian Basin Beauty Pageant, so she did what any supportive and incredibly competitive mother would do - she spread nasty rumors about pageant favorite, Betty Anne Louhahn. First, she casually mentioned to some of the other parents that she had heard through the grapevine that Betty Ann had flown to Beverly Hills to get dimple implants.
When that smear didn't stick, she walked to the pageant registration area, pretended to be on the phone, and said very loudly so everyone could hear, no, Marsha, I didn't know Betty Ann had extra teeth inserted into her mouth so she'd have a bigger smile.
Finally, getting desperate - or at least more desperate than she had already been - she walked right up to the judges' table and claimed that Betty Ann was an alcoholic who had been in rehab since age 3. In the end, her efforts were for naught, as a third girl - 6-year-old Michelle Lucas - emerged the winner due to her adorable rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On."
SAGAL: A woman doing everything she can to spread rumors at a kid beauty pageant. And your last story of a person doing whatever it takes to win comes from Mo Rocca.
MO ROCCA: Cesar Chavez was a civil rights activist who devoted his life to gaining rights for farm workers and Latinos - but he didn't show half the commitment of Arizona congressional candidate, Scott Fistler. Fistler, running in a heavily Hispanic district after losing as a Republican in 2012, has changed his party affiliation to Democrat and legally changed his name from Scott Fistler to - you guessed it - Cesar Chavez.
ROCCA: The candidate formerly known as Scott Fistler refuses to comment on the name change - quote, "There is simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around" - he's written cryptically on his website, which does feature photos of crowds carrying signs with the name Chavez. The photos are actually of Venezuelans rallying for deceased former president, Hugo Chavez. To be fair, if you say Scott Fistler with a Hispanic accent, it sounds nothing like Cesar Chavez - but Scott Fistler just doesn't roll off the tongue.
SAGAL: All right, these are your choices then.
SAGAL: From Jessi Klein, a woman who desperately wanted to win a baking contest who made pot brownies in Idaho. From Peter Grosz, a woman so desperate for her daughter to win a beauty contest in Texas that she slandered one of the other young contestants. Or from Mo Rocca, a Republican named Scott Fistler who became a Democrat named Cesar Chavez to win in the Hispanic districts election. Which of these is the real story about somebody who's really ready to walk that extra mile?
MEINHARDT: Well, I really like choice number one but I'm going to go with Mo Rocca's story of Cesar Chavez.
SAGAL: Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone familiar with the true story.
REBEKAH SANDERS: He has legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez just to try and get more votes because his campaign is too legit to quit.
SAGAL: That was Rebekah Sanders, a political reporter for the Arizona Republic, talking about candidate Cesar Chavez.
Well done, you got it, Ricole. It was, of course, Mo's story of the candidate. You earned a point for Mo and you've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine. Well done, very much so.
MEINHARDT: Thank you.
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