Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Luke Burbank, Faith Salie and Negin Farsad. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ELIZABETH JONES: Hi, this is Elizabeth Jones from Ocean City, Md.
SAGAL: Oh, where is Ocean City exactly? I have a guess.
JONES: It's on the hump side on the ocean.
SAGAL: Well, you're on the right show.
SAGAL: Elizabeth, 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. Bill, what is Elizabeth's topic?
KURTIS: Will you marry me?
SAGAL: Getting engaged is the happiest moment in a couple's life, a final celebration of love and romance because the bitter life sentence we call marriage sets in.
SAGAL: This week, we heard about a proposal unlike any before. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who is telling the truth, you'll win Carl Kasell's hand in marriage.
SAGAL: The stakes are high this time. Ready to play?
JONES: Yes, I am.
SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Negin Farsad.
NEGIN FARSAD: Leslie Tarpot, a Topeka, Kan., native, may be the first person to ever pop the question in a confessional. It all started innocently 20 years ago with her going to Sunday mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Topeka to hear Father Stevens deliver his sermons. She found herself daydreaming about Stevens' message, how he made transubstantiation sound so sultry and seductive but, like, in a God-fearing way.
Things started getting a bit more serious for her when she started going to Saturday mass as well. Two days in a row of watching Father Stevens fill out his cassock and wave the censer and she found herself thinking not so much of the kingdom of God as the hotness of him. She started going to confessional once a week and then every day. Not having many new sins to confess, they would chat about her life, their mutual interests and fun stuff like the pope's latest encyclical.
After two full decades of chaste conversation, she said screw it. If God is love, he has to be down with this. So she went to confessional one day and laid bare her dirty, dirty soul by asking Father Stevens to marry her right through the screen. And, of course, as it turns out, Father Stevens had felt affection for her and many other unmentionable things for many years. He said, yes. He amicably left the church.
He's now a tax accountant for the city of Topeka and is enjoying connubial bliss for the first time in his life. Asked about his new life, he said, it turns out, it's much more fun to sin yourself than just hear about it second-hand.
SAGAL: A woman pops the question in the confessional to a priest and gets a positive answer. Your next story of a couple taking the plunge comes from Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: A marriage proposal is such a dramatic moment that it really ought to be captured on film. Luckily, when Brandon Thompson got down on one knee for his girlfriend Leandria Keith, all the romance was recorded on the body cam of one of the police officers who was arresting him. Cops in Muskogee, Okla. came to Thompson's mother's house with six felony warrants and spied him hiding behind a grill the family had fired up to celebrate his birthday.
Thompson approached the officers congenially with hands up. And the officers gently cuffed them behind his back. In the police video, it's clear why he wants to marry Leandria. While Thompson is being cuffed, she thoughtfully comes out of the garage with a fresh cigarette that she lights for him and puts between his lips. His equally devoted mother then takes it out of his mouth so her son can request that she fetch the engagement ring.
Upon hearing this, officer Lincoln Anderson, a cop with a heart of gold, offers to move Thompson's hand cuffs to his front so he can hold his bae's hand. With the cigarette back in his mouth, Thompson manages to say, I love you. Will you be my wife, please? As the bride-to-be later told reporters, I knew I was going to say yes. Like, I love him a lot.
We go through our ups and downs. I guess it's, like, unconditional love, you know?
SAGAL: A proposal captured on a cop's bodycam during an arrest. The last story of someone giving up the single life comes from Luke Burbank.
LUKE BURBANK: There are two things in this world Graham Ryfschneider of Portland, Ore. loves, his girlfriend Brooke and his DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter drone with 4K camera and Wi-Fi. And so when Ryfschneider recently decided it was time to pop the question, it seemed only fitting that he would bring together his two favorite things, his lady friend and his flying robot.
The idea, as The Oregonian newspaper later described it, was to fly the engagement ring in on the drone as the two stood on the picturesque St. Johns Bridge. The hitch in the plan was that Ryfschneider needed someone else to pilot the drone so the proposal could be a surprise. Enter Graham's friend Kurt, whose drone skills could only be described as, quote, "limited."
BURBANK: When the moment of truth came, the drone dropped out of the sky like a stone, clipping Graham's head, and this being Portland, shearing off his man bun...
BURBANK: ...Before tumbling another hundred feet into the Willamette River below still attached to the ring. Once her terror subsided, Brooke did accept Graham's proposal. And while the ring is likely gone forever, she told The Oregonian she considers that a small price to pay to never have to look at the man bun again.
SAGAL: All right. Here are your three choices. One of these was a real unusual proposal. Was it, from Negin Farsad, a woman who proposed to a priest in confession, from Faith Salie, a man who proposed to his girlfriend while being arrested and got it all recorded on a cop's bodycam or, from Luke Burbank, a man who attempted to propose to his girlfriend on a bridge in Portland via a drone and it all went terribly wrong?
Which of these is the real story of someone leaving the single life behind?
JONES: Oh, they all sound great. I'm going to have to go with C.
SAGAL: You're going to have to go with C, which is Luke's story of the man bun being chopped off by the rogue...
SAGAL: ...Drone, which was supposed to deliver the engagement ring to the bridge over the Willamette in Portland.
SAGAL: That's fine. So that's your choice is Luke's story. Well, we - actually, we're so excited. We spoke to someone who is involved in this real proposal.
LINCOLN ANDERSON: Police officers have helped stage proposing and stuff like that but never one after you've arrested a guy for six felony warrants.
SAGAL: That was Officer Lincoln Anderson of the Muskogee Police Department, who was on the scene arresting the groom-to-be as he proposed to his girlfriend. I'm sorry, Elizabeth, you didn't win. You did earn a point for Luke, though, and I know he appreciates it. Thank you so much for playing.
JONES: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF BILLY IDOL SONG, "WHITE WEDDING PART 1")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.