Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists tell three stories about surprising trends that emerged this year, 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 his week with Paula Poundstone, Maz Jobrani, and Faith Salie. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



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!

ADRIENNE VOSS: Hi, this is Adrienne from Anchorage, Alaska.

KASELL: Hey, how are things in Anchorage?

VOSS: Great.

SAGAL: Yeah, we've been through there. It's a beautiful place. It's kind of cold now, I'm betting.

VOSS: Yes.

SAGAL: Cold and dark.

FAITH SALIE: Adrienne, are you surrounded by tons of men? Because that's the rumor about Alaska.


VOSS: I have a burly husband.

SAGAL: Oh well there, that's all one needs.


SAGAL: Adrienne, thank you so much for joining us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Adrienne's topic?

KASELL: That's So 2013.

SAGAL: It's time for WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! annual list of top trends. It's like Vogue magazine except in our version two of the things you hear are lies. Our panelists are going to tell you about three surprising new trends that emerged in the year 2013. Guess the real story, you'll win Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine or voice mail. First - ready to play?

VOSS: Absolutely.

SAGAL: OK, first let's hear from Paula Poundstone.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: The healthy heart benefits of pet ownership are well known, yet many people who rent are not allowed to have pets, and many others simply can't afford the cost or the time. Enter the bedbug. That's right, keeping bedbugs as pets is a growing and popular trend. Some say it's a sad statement on the level of loneliness and isolation among Americans, and others, like bedbug lover Rhonda Matson(ph), say if you look at them really close up, they're kind of cute.

Like many, Matson came to love bedbugs the hard way. Our apartment building had an infestation. It was awful. I had bites all over, and it took the pest control service several visits to reduce the population. Once we were down to just a few, though, it wasn't gross anymore.

I got to thinking I had a dog once who kept running away, and it made me feel awful, but here are some creatures that seem to love me so much they've been nuked three times, and I still can't rid of them.


POUNDSTONE: SmartPet Incorporated(ph) has jumped on the bandwagon with a popular line of bedbug care supplies, including containers made with magnified glass so when owners come home exhausted from a long day of work they can see their pet bedbug's smiling face up close.


POUNDSTONE: The containers come with clip-on backdrops with a variety of scenes and images. There's a lovely shot of the Grand Canyon for the adventurous bedbug the iconic Nastassja Kinski with a snake is a favorite, perhaps because of all that skin and the nature.

Still, many go in for the simple photo of the New York City hotel bed to make their pet feel right at home.


SAGAL: 2013 was the year in which people started keeping bedbugs as pets. Your next story of what got hot during this last year comes from Maz Jobrani.

MAZ JOBRANI: First there was MySpace, then came Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine. It seems every day there's a new social website for kids to keep up with. How is a teen to manage it all? Easy, by multitasking. Vilimandar Patel(ph), a Web designer in Silicon Valley, has come up with the latest website, FootFoot(ph), which allows kids to social media with their feet while they're using their hands to text, Instagram or tweet on another phone.

My daughter was confused. Dad, she said, should I close my Twitter account now that I spent most of my time on Vine? What about Instagram? It's too much to do. And so I developed FootFoot, which allows my little angel to update all of her sites with her feet while she's using her hands to text or maybe even eat her dinner for once.


JOBRANI: The one drawback is that there has been an increase of foot cramps in kids age 10 to 15 recently. Patel was quoted as saying if your feet aren't enough, I'm working on a new site that allows you to update your status with other body parts. I'm calling it FaceButt(ph).



SAGAL: Let me just say, Maz, that I know now from long experience that there's nothing our listeners appreciate more, and write in to let us know how much they appreciate, than your ethnic accents.

JOBRANI: Thank you.


JOBRANI: Thank you.

SAGAL: I'm anticipating a wave of real enthusiasm for that.

JOBRANI: I toned the accent down intentionally. I'm actually married to an Indian woman, so if...

SAGAL: That's not going to help any of us, Maz.


SAGAL: But Maz' tale of how 2013 became the year in which all the teenagers started using FootFoot, which allowed them to do one social media thing with their feet while another with their hands. Your last story of something that's the new black, at least in 2013, comes from Faith Salie.

SALIE: If you want to capture one of the strangest trends of 2013, then say cheese. Now we're not talking selfies, we're talking baby names. reports that an estimated 72 American newborns were named Cheese this year. That's a 450-percent increase in the number of Cheese babies.


SALIE: So move over, Aiden and Olivia, Madison and Jackson, you're just not cheesy enough. Other names making the list this year were 36 newborns named Phone and 70 little rascals named Butterbean. Those babies are luckier than the 34 Freaks in 1995 and three kids born in 2010 named Poopy.


SALIE: BabyCenter, which offers parents-to-be background on potential baby names, helpfully provides the following about the name Cheese. Quote, origin of Cheese is cheese. Meaning of Cheese is cheese. Not to be outpaced in the trendsetting department, celebrity watchers are betting that Jay-Z and Beyonce will legally change their daughter's name to Blue Cheese Ivy.



SAGAL: All right. In 2013, one of these things happened. Was it, from Paula, people started to keep bedbugs as pets; from Maz Jobrani, the rise of FootFoot, an app that allows you to do social media with your feet; or from Faith Salie, people started naming their babies Cheese in larger and larger numbers? Which of these is the real trend story from 2013?

VOSS: I'm going to go with Faith. I work in a middle school, and I have seen and heard some unusual names.

SAGAL: Really?

VOSS: Yes.

SAGAL: Any Cheeses yet?

VOSS: No, I haven't.


VOSS: But I could totally see this happening.

SAGAL: OK, you chose Faith's story, the one about the name of Cheese being given to babies. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone familiar with the real story.

DAN AMIRA: A few dozen people this year in their survey named their baby Cheese.

VOSS: Oh my gosh.


SAGAL: Well done. That Dan Amira, senior editor for New York Magazine. He wrote the very disapproving post about this trend of Cheese becoming a popular, or more popular, baby name. Congratulations, Adrienne. You got it right. You earned a point.

VOSS: Awesome.

SAGAL: You earned a point for Cheese Salie.

SALIE: Thank you, Adrienne.


VOSS: You're welcome.

SAGAL: And Carl Kasell will of course record the greeting on your home voicemail.

VOSS: Awesome.

SAGAL: Isn't it, though? Thank you so much for playing with us today.

VOSS: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye-.


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