Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about an expert getting something wrong, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists tell three stories about an expert getting something wrong, only one of which is true.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Mo Rocca, Amy Dickinson and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, R.I., Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Right now, it is 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.

BEN PARKER: Ben Parker from Oxford, Miss.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in the Oxford, Miss., the Oxford of the South?

PARKER: It is good. I'm (laughter) selling beer, so it's not too bad.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, selling beer in a university town is probably a pretty good gig. Am I right?

PARKER: Yeah, you got to keep the students healthy and happy.

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: Trust me, I'm an expert.

SAGAL: Experts have more expertise than nonexperts, according to experts. But this week, we read about an expert getting something wrong. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You will win our prize, Carl Kasell expertly leaving his voice on your voicemail Are you ready to play?

PARKER: Yes sir.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: When Wendy Schleicher of Ottawa, Canada, turned 50, her family and friends knew where to take her - to a place where she could ski, eat the world's best chocolates and buy a cuckoo clock, all things Wendy loves. So they chartered a jet to Switzerland, except that the pilot must've misheard. When we landed, I thought, Switzerland doesn't have elephants and rhinos, said Wendy. That's when I discovered we were in Swaziland.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Swaziland is a subtropical landlocked monarchy in Southern Africa about 11,000 miles from Switzerland. "I felt terrible about the mixup," said pilot Brad Grossman. "Lately, I've been suffering from a lot of waxy buildup so my hearing's not what it was."

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: But a plucky Wendy and her Canadian cohorts made the best of it. It would have been awfully hurtful to Swaziland to turn around and leave. So they used their snow skis to waterski along the Zambezi River. They made their own chocolate from cacao beans they picked. Wendy even dressed up as Heidi to read stories to Masai children at a bonfire. "I hadn't packed anti-malarial pills for Switzerland, but luckily since Canada has nationalized health care, I stopped in at our embassy in Mabopane." That's the capital of Swaziland.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A pilot...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Who brought his chartered jet to Swaziland instead of Switzerland. Your next story of an expert not being so expert comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Alvin Bar hit the jackpot recently when he brought a ceramic jug to "Antiques Roadshow" to be appraised. Alvin came away with shocking knowledge that his $300 ugly face jug was worth $50,000. The grotesque-style pottery which looks like a cross between a gargoyle and Nick Nolte's mugshot, was described by the show's appraiser as bizarre and wonderful and about 100 years old. After the jug was appraised, Alvin Bar, its owner, reacted like he went to bed with Phyllis Diller and woke up with Beyonce.

(LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: He immediately freaked out and hid the valuable jug behind his couch. When the "Antiques Roadshow" episode featuring this jug aired on TV how, however, a viewer recognized it as the high school art project made by her friend, Betsy...

(LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: ...In the 1970s in Bend, Ore. Sure enough, the original artist, Betsy, verified that she had made it in ceramics class. So it's not 100 years old, and it's not worth $50,000. It's as old as your mom's Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album and is worth a little more than $300. The "Antiques Roadshow" expert admitted his mistake, and the owner took the jug out from behind his couch. He said, "I hated it when it was worth $50,000. Who wants that lying around their house? Now it's on my table, and I love it again."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: "Antiques Roadshow..."

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Mistakes a high school art project for a valuable antique. Your last story of a guru stepping in doo-doo comes from Peter Grosz.

PETER GROSZ: Dr. Vincent Benjamin of Palm Springs, Calif., is one of America's leading experts in the Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian book containing dozens of creative sexual poses with names like the eagle, the bridge and bandolier. But the Kama Sutra isn't just sexy "Twister." It can be a way for couples to rekindle the dormant flames of their marriage, which is why this week Dr. Benjamin sold out the symposium he hosts at the Sheridan in Indio, Calif., entitled More Bang for Your Buck, Spicing Up Your Love Life for Only $50.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: The four-hour session ended with Dr. Benjamin introducing the couples in attendance to a new position that he created called the screaming lotus. Now, the exact configuration of the bodies in this position is a little tricky to describe on NPR. But suffice to say, it involves significant balancing, rotating and lifting and as it turns out intense muscle pulling and ligament tearing...

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: ...Because unless you're a Cirque du Soleil performer and your partner is a professional weightlifter, you're probably eased into the screaming lotus.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: All the couples who tried it didn't even get past the first step and found it a little light on the lotus and a little heavy on the screaming.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: "You wouldn't tell first-time mountain climbers to scale Mount Everest," said Dr. Benjamin. "I should've given these couples appropriate warm-up exercises." The couples are threatening to sue the doctor for what is being called the first case of sexual malpractice.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So these are your choices. Somewhere somebody who was supposed to know something got it wrong. Was it from Mo, a pilot who brought his passengers to Swaziland, not Switzerland; from Amy, an "Antiques Roadshow" appraiser who mistook a high school art project for a valuable antique; or from Peter Grosz, a sexpert who gave his students a little homework that was too hard, let's say. Which of these is the real person who misled somebody?

PARKER: I would say the screaming lotus feels right, but I'll go with the Antiques Roadshow.

SAGAL: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You might think the screaming lotus feels right, but not the people who tried it. So your choice then is Amy and her story of the mistake on "Antiques Roadshow." Well, to bring you the correct answer we talked to someone intimately involved with this story.

BETSY SEWELL: I made this pot in high school. I was just having fun, and it was appraised for a lot of money.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That was Betsy Sewell, the woman who made this pot in high school back in the '70s and saw it on "Antiques Roadshow" being mistaken for a valuable antique. Congratulations, Ben, you got it right. Amy was telling the truth. You knew that. You've won Carl's voice on your voicemail. And Amy gets a point. Congratulations. Thank you so much for playing.

PARKER: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIGGEST MISTAKE")

THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) But I think I've just made the biggest mistake of my life...

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