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. We're playing this week with Mo Rocca, Faith Salie and Roxanne Roberts. 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'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.
SKYLAR WOLFE: Hi. This is Skylar Wolfe from Scotch Plains, N.J.
SAGAL: Scotch Plains, N.J.?
WOLFE: That's it. That's right.
SAGAL: I grew up here near there. Is the Scotchwood Diner still there?
WOLFE: It is still there, and it is still cooking out pretty good food.
SAGAL: I'm so glad to hear it. I used to go there after the performances of my high school musical in nearby Berkeley Heights. I'm so pleased. How are things in Scotch Plains?
WOLFE: They are great. Pretty quiet, I would say. It's a pretty mundane town these days. But it's very nice, very calm. And...
SAGAL: Oh, it was rocking 30 years ago, let me tell you.
MO ROCCA: And then you left.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
WOLFE: And then - and it all went downhill from there.
SAGAL: Apparently. I'm sorry. Well, it is nice to have you with us, Skylar. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Skylar's topic?
KURTIS: Justice shall be mine.
SAGAL: Like Batman, all of us must sometimes take the law into our own hands. Also like Batman, Ben Affleck would be a terrible choice to play us.
SAGAL: Anyway, this week we read a story about someone getting vigilante justice. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
WOLFE: I am.
SAGAL: Well, that's great then. Let's hear first from Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: 8.7 million people ride the Tokyo subway every day. And for almost 50 years, Japanese straphangers have allowed themselves to be cramped into subway cars by white-gloved officials who are called oshia (ph), which translates to pushing person. This means there are multitudes of bodies pressed against each other. And it also means if you're a disgusting creep, it's an excellent way to get your grope on. But now some female commuters who are tired of being manhandled are fighting back. They're pushing back, in fact. A group of young women at Tokyo's Shinjuku Station have started disguising themselves in oshia uniforms, complete with bell-crowned caps and gloves. They call themselves Pushy Riot.
SALIE: While pretending to shove riders, they randomly spank male passengers and squeeze their ticket packages.
SALIE: Pushy Riot has created such a swell of controversy - is it female empowerment or criminal aggression? - that even the fashion world is taking note. The famous OPI nail polish company has just released two new colors. One is Chi Chi Pusha (ph), chi chi being a Japanese word for father as well as slang for breasts. The other is called Karmakaze (ph). Matt Boteen (ph), a spokesperson for OPI, says these shades are for the modern girl who's both white-gloved and hands on.
SAGAL: The Pushy Riot gang, wreaking vengeance on handsy Japanese commuters in Tokyo. Your next story of private policing comes from Mo Rocca.
ROCCA: Vienna, Austria, is a conservative city not known for its raucous nightlife. But each December, the complaints against the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir get louder. Make no mistake, we love our choir, says one anonymous resident, but this seasonal caroling is out of control. After 8 p.m., the only night I want is a silent night. But the choir sings outdoors until 9 p.m. and the city council has repeatedly affirmed their right to do so, which is why court records reveal a citizens' group went rogue and sought the assistance of notorious Austrian gangster Vienna Fingers (ph). Fingers began a harassment campaign against the choir that most outlandishly involved pelting the boys with Vienna sausages.
ROCCA: One boy was accosted by a masked man who threatened to pound him into wienerschnitzel.
ROCCA: Still another boy was ordered to, quote, "stop singing and waltz his lederhosen home or he'd be dancing, all right, at the bottom of the blue Danube." It's such an absurd situation, says one mother. Who would ever believe this? Right now, my boy is under his bed, Hiden (ph).
SAGAL: The notorious...
SAGAL: ...Austrian gangster Vienna Fingers...
ROCCA: He's a mob boss.
SAGAL: ...Takes on the Vienna Boys' Chorus. Your last story of citizens on patrol comes from Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Let's say your town has a speeding problem. What to do? Beg police to issue tickets? Install speed bumps? Or you could just pull out your hairdryer. The residents of Hopeman, Scotland, fed up with reckless drivers roaring down the main street, have taken to wearing fluorescent vests and holding up hairdryers to mimic speed radar guns.
ROBERTS: The faux police include local politicians, villagers and even school children pointing their Conair Pro Stylers or Remington Turbo 2800s at unsuspecting leadfoots. Local police are on board. Quote, "this aligns with one of our divisional priorities, which is to reduce traffic accidents," they said in a statement. There's no word on whether driving under the speed limit will get you a complementary blow dry.
SAGAL: All right, here are your three stories of people taking justice perhaps into their own hands. From Faith Salie, Pushy Riot, a gang of women trying to stop the groping of Japanese commuters. From Mo Rocca, the campaign against untoward singing by the Vienna Boys' Choir by Vienna Fingers, who throws Vienna sausages at them. And lastly, from Roxanne Roberts, a story of some people in Scotland who, to stop speeders through their town, have been standing and pointing hairdryers at them. Which of these is the real story of taking justice into their own hands?
WOLFE: So I'm going to lean on some personal experience of how we used to prank our friends in high school and go with Roxanne's story.
SAGAL: About the hairdryers. You used to do that in high school?
SAGAL: Well, that's your choice. Well, we spoke to someone familiar with the real story to bring us the truth.
ERIC GRUNDHAUSER: They're just putting on a reflective vest and holding up a hairdryer to scare speeding drivers into slowing down.
SAGAL: That was Eric Grundhauser. He's a staff writer for Atlas Obscura. He was talking about the hairdryer fake radar guns in Scotland. Congratulations, you got it right. They're just as delinquent as you were.
SAGAL: You earned a point for Roxanne. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Well done, sir. Congratulations.
WOLFE: Thank you so much.
(SOUNDBITE OF DON BYRON SONG, "SHOTGUN")
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