Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, and you're playing this week with Helen Hong, Luke Burbank and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
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 in the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ANDREW WEISSMANN: Hi. This is Andrew Weissmann from Melville, N.Y.
SAGAL: Melville, N.Y. - where is that?
ADAM FELBER: Long Island.
SAGAL: What do you do there for fun?
WEISSMANN: I hang out with my family, and we actually crack up watching a lot of YouTube videos.
SAGAL: You know, I thank you for telling the truth.
SAGAL: Because - no, seriously...
SAGAL: I ask that question - I ask that question of everybody. And they all go, oh, I like to go hiking, or I build things in my workshop. They're all lying. They're all watching YouTube videos like the rest of us.
SAGAL: I appreciate that, Andrew. Anyway, welcome to our show. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Andrew's topic?
KURTIS: Revenge is a dish best served cold.
SAGAL: Vengeance is one of our inalienable rights, like life, liberty or endless breadsticks. This week, we read an unusual-but-satisfying story of revenge. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the real story, you'll win our prize - the voice of Carl Kasell threatening your enemies on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
WEISSMANN: I am ready.
SAGAL: Let's do it then. First, let's hear from Luke Burbank.
LUKE BURBANK: All Steve Newman (ph) of St. Cloud, Minn., wanted was his six-inch sweet onion, chicken teriyaki sandwich - easy on the teriyaki sauce. Citing a pre-marinated chicken situation, the Subway restaurant he frequented was forced to decline this special order request. Newman was not pleased and took to the store's Facebook page, describing the sandwich as teri-yucky (ph).
BURBANK: Things escalated with the store's owner, and Steve was banned for life. Now, the story could have ended there, but, of course, it didn't, and this week a district judge in Minnesota had to get involved. Judge Piper Newman (ph) - no relation - ruled that Steve Newman did not violate Subway's trademark when he rented the empty space right next to the sandwich shop and started selling his own sub sandwiches which look exactly like Subway sandwiches, use the same ingredients and even have the same names.
The judge agreed with Newman's claim that his store is, in fact, an art installation offering a post-modern and slightly less teriyaki-drenched commentary on American dietary habits. Subway plans to appeal, but for Newman, the victory may be pyhrric, as he's only sold eight sandwiches so far, with most of the customers still choosing to go to the real Subway, where they have napkins and also a working bathroom. Even so, Newman appears undaunted, calling his revenge plot a win for real sandwich artists all over the world.
SAGAL: A guy takes his vengeance on Subway...
SAGAL: ...By opening up an art installation that looks a lot like a Subway next to the Subway. Your next story of retribution comes from Adam Felber.
FELBER: In Chicago, you can take on city hall and maybe even organized crime if you can tell them apart, but if you're smart, you'll avoid crossing the real civic power here in town - the squirrels. That's the lesson Alderman Howard Brookins learned the hard way. Last month, in a series of city council speeches the Chicago Tribune described as fiery, Brookins tried to blow the lid off the out-of-control squirrel menace, whom he claimed were blowing the lid off of all the new trash cans or at least eating holes through them. They had to be stopped, he ranted, before it's too late. Sadly nobody in City Hall heard him, but outside City Hall, in the trees, a furry contingent heard him loud and clear. Brookins was going to be a tough nut to crack, but they were just the nutcrackers to do it.
FELBER: On a clear morning two weeks ago, Brookins was out on a bike ride in the park when suddenly a squirrel leapt out of nowhere and into the spokes of his bicycle, sending him flying through the air, knocking him unconscious, breaking his nose, fracturing his skull, knocking out a few teeth and effectively removing him from his job while he recovers. The furry vigilante was not so lucky and soon passed away from his injuries, though presumably his family is made for life. From his hospital bed, Brookins remained clear-eyed about the threat. Quote, "I can think of no other reason for this squirrel's actions than that it was like a suicide bomber getting revenge."
FELBER: As of yet, no squirrel organization has claimed credit for the hit.
FELBER: But experts suggest La Cosa Nut-stra (ph).
SAGAL: A story about an alderman here in Chicago felled by a suicidal squirrel. Your last story of someone getting sweet revenge comes from Helen Hong.
HELEN HONG: Eighth grade Phoenix junior high teacher Ms. Massey (ph) had a reputation for being the strictest teacher in the county. It was apparent to many that she didn't actually enjoy being around school children and took it out on them any chance she got. When Ms. Massey heard student Tommy Dawson (ph) calling her Ms. Masochisty (ph) behind her back, it was two weeks' detention and a three-page essay on manners. Tommy, of course, complained to his entire extended family over Thanksgiving dinner. And when he pointed out mean Ms. Masochisty to them on the school website, Tommy's weird Uncle Mark took a look and shouted out, I know her. She's not mean. Weird Uncle Mark recognized Ms. Masochisty from his Naughty Star Wars cosplay group.
HONG: She was the first one to compliment my Chewbacca the Nookie costume.
HONG: Tommy's mom was not happy. Not only was Ms. Masochisty unfairly punishing her little Tommy, she was encouraging weird Uncle Mark. So she hatched a plan for revenge. She sent Ms. Masochisty a fake invitation to an exclusive Naughty Star Wars cosplay party. Then with a simple mass email, she moved the time and location of that month's PTA meeting the same venue. Suffice it to say, the parents and teachers of Phoenix Junior High were shocked when in walked the galactic bounty hunter Booba Fett (ph).
HONG: Ms. Massey has sued the school district, saying the prank caused irreparable harm to her reputation, but members of the PTA say they appreciated it. Quote, "it was the most exciting PTA meeting anyone can remember, and a record number of eighth grade boys are signing up for her class in pre-calculus."
SAGAL: All right. You just heard three stories of revenge. Was the real one from Luke - his story of a man who did not like the way his Subway sandwich came, so created an entire installation of a Subway sandwich shop to take away their business - from Adam Felber - a Chicago alderman who warred against the squirrels until the squirrels got him back - or from Helen Hong - the story of how a cruel teacher was pranked into wearing her sexy Booba Fett costume to a PTA meeting?
WEISSMANN: Well, I've been conferring a little bit, and I think the squirrel story has got to be the one.
SAGAL: You've been conferring?
WEISSMANN: I have my wife and my daughter kind of listening in with me.
BURBANK: Are your wife and daughters' names Google and Bing?
WEISSMANN: No, it's Robin (ph) and Sarah (ph).
BURBANK: All right.
SAGAL: Well, you guys all believe that it was Adam's story of the squirrel taking out the alderman. Well, we spoke to someone familiar with the true story.
TINA SFONDELES: The squirrel did not make it. The squirrel's tail is seen sticking out of the front spoke.
SAGAL: That was Tina Sfondeles - she's a political reporter here at the Chicago Sun-Times - talking about Alderman Howard Brookins, Jr.'s, recent brush with a vengeful squirrel. You were correct. You and your family were correct. You got it right.
WEISSMANN: Thank you. Thank you.
SAGAL: You've earned a point for Adam.
FELBER: Thank you.
SAGAL: You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Well, done, sir.
WEISSMANN: Thank you very much.
SAGAL: Thank you for playing. We really appreciate it.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SWEET REVENGE")
JOHN PRINE: (Singing) Sweet revenge, sweet revenge will prevail without fail.
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