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 are playing this week with Hari Kondabolu, Luke Burbank and Negin Farsad. And here again is your host at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody.
SAGAL: Thank you so much, everyone. 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.
LAURA BERNSTEIN: Hi. I'm so excited.
SAGAL: So excited to have you.
SAGAL: Hi. Who is this?
BERNSTEIN: This is Laura calling from Raleigh, N.C.
SAGAL: Oh, how are things in Raleigh?
BERNSTEIN: They're great.
SAGAL: I know Raleigh. What do you do there?
BERNSTEIN: I actually teach art - visual art.
SAGAL: Oh, you do? That's cool.
BERNSTEIN: I'm an art teacher.
SAGAL: Yeah, and how are...
SAGAL: So are you a North Carolinian by birth?
BERNSTEIN: I am. I'm actually from a very small town called Lake Waccamaw.
SAGAL: Lake Waccamaw?
SAGAL: What is there to do - what is there to do in Lake Waccamaw?
BERNSTEIN: Not much, but...
BERNSTEIN: It is a lovely place to visit - boating, fishing.
SAGAL: Boating, fishing and fleeing are the main...
BERNSTEIN: Yes, and leaving as fast as I could (unintelligible).
SAGAL: Yeah, absolutely.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Laura. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Laura's topic?
KURTIS: Holy chips.
SAGAL: Chips - you know, Fritos, Funyuns. A vending machine favorite made news this week - and not because Chester Cheetah admitted to groping a female staffer.
SAGAL: Our panelists...
SAGAL: Our panelists are going to tell you about a snack food headline. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
BERNSTEIN: I sure am.
SAGAL: Let's hear first then from Negin Farsad.
NEGIN FARSAD: The Mayor of Stockholm, Sweden - Karin Bjornsdotter Wanngard - got herself into the Swedish version of a birther controversy. It all started when Mayor Wanngard had a regular press conference, where I'm assuming they discuss, like, fjords, pickled herring and how awesome it is to have health insurance or whatever.
FARSAD: But just before that press conference, Mayor Karin Bjornsdotter Wanngard had a snack of corn nuts. And having bitten a little too hard into a corn nut, she chipped a tooth. She decided to go forward with the press conference anyway, but as she spoke, a small trickle of blood emerged from the side of her mouth. The Stockholm press corps - which is basically, like, a couple of guys named Jorgen...
FARSAD: ...Listened patiently and said nothing. A blogger, however, posted a photo of the minorly bloody mayor, and he saw the sign, and it opened up his eyes - thank you...
FARSAD: ...To the realization that the blood meant she was actually a vampire who had just snacked on a, you know, some delicious human blood. A small but really annoying undeader (ph) movement erupted on the Internet, with vampire theories about her press conferences always being at night and how there's no proof that she was even born within the last 150 years.
FARSAD: And they also drudged up an Instagram photo where she had emphatically sided with Team Edward in the "Twilight" movies.
FARSAD: So that was pretty damning. The undeaders got annoying enough that the mayor had another press conference scheduled during the one hour of daylight Stockholm gets this time of year. And she revealed the offending bag of corn nuts and admitted that her teeth are more brittle than they used to be because she does age and that she should have snacked on Swedish meatballs like a normal Swedish person.
SAGAL: A mayor...
SAGAL: ...From Sweden causes rumors that she's a vampire because she breaks a tooth on a corn nut. Your next story of a snack attack in the news comes from Hari Kondabolu.
HARI KONDABOLU: A 60-year-old electrician in Perth, Australia, was found by a tribunal to have been justifiably fired for, quote, "deliberately trying to hide his whereabouts and deceive his employer." Tom Colella had been using his foil chip bags to create a Faraday cage around his PDA, blocking electromagnetic fields and rendering its GPS capability useless, thus preventing his employer and colleagues from knowing his location.
KONDABOLU: Mr. Colella was using bags from the popular Australian puffed cheese snacks, Twisties. He had ruled out Pringles because of the size of the container, lack of metal foil and for fear the constant popping sound would draw unwanted attention. Apparently once you pop, you cannot stop.
KONDABOLU: A commissioner at the tribunal, Bernie Riordan said, quote, "Mr. Colella appears to have been deliberately mischievous in acting in this manner." This statement was likely made in an Australian accent, which may or may not have made the word mischievous even funnier in that sentence.
KONDABOLU: Mr. Colella has since found new work driving for Uber, a company known for its honesty and integrity.
SAGAL: All right.
SAGAL: An Australian fellow uses his chip bag to defeat the tracking on his GPS so he can skip work. And your last story of chips making headlines comes from Seattle's own Luke Burbank.
LUKE BURBANK: With one of the most valuable art collections in the world, the Louvre in Paris has all kinds of high-tech security. But last week, it was something decidedly low-tech that thwarted a would-be burglary, a bag of potato chips - Brett's chevre and pimento-flavored chips to be precise. Here's what happened. At around 3 a.m. local time, security guard Jean-Luc Aulon was just returning from his two-hour wine-and-cheese break...
BURBANK: ...Mandated by French labor laws.
BURBANK: Understandably drowsy, he started to doze off. That is when a tremendous crunching sound rang out from a nearby hallway, waking Aulon. When I came around the corner, I saw two men trying to load the Code of Hammurabi into a backpack, Aulon told French newspaper Le Figaro.
They disabled the motion-detecting lasers and the cameras. But apparently, they didn't notice the potato chips all over the floor, presumably left by a group of unruly seventh-graders who'd visited the museum earlier that day. The would-be burglars were arrested. Aulon was lauded as a hero and given the rest of the year off.
BURBANK: Meanwhile, the effectiveness of this snack-based security has the Louvre expanding the idea to some of its most treasured possessions. Guards are dusting the area in front of the Mona Lisa with the powder from bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos each night and surrounding the Venus de Milo with a perimeter of Funyuns, or, as the French call them, Les Funyuns.
SAGAL: All right, let me summarize them.
SAGAL: You choices - chips played a role in a news story we found from somewhere in the world this week. Was it, from Negin Farsad, how a broken tooth on a corn nut caused rumors that a mayor in Sweden was in fact a vampire; how, from Hari Kondabolu, an Australian guy used a chip bag to hide his device so he couldn't be found when he went off to play golf and got in trouble; or, from Luke Burbank, an art theft in the Louvre Museum foiled by some chips left on the floor in the perpetrator's way? Which is the one that really showed up in the news this week?
BERNSTEIN: Let's - I'm going to go with No. 1 because Twitter and the Internet are a strange place.
SAGAL: So you're going to go with Negin's story of how a broken tooth on a single corn nut caused persistent rumors...
BERNSTEIN: Yes, 'cause...
SAGAL: ...That a Swedish mayor was a vampire?
BERNSTEIN: Yes, I hope nothing else happened at the Louvre.
SAGAL: All right, that's your choice. Well, we spoke to someone familiar with the real story.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
COLIN DWYER, BYLINE: An electrician was hiding his company-mandated GPS in a bag of crunchy corn snacks.
SAGAL: Yeah. That was NPR's own Colin Dwyer talking about the the homemade Faraday cage - that's an electrical cover - of the man in Australia. So I'm afraid that you were fooled by Negin's...
FARSAD: But, like...
SAGAL: ...As you say, very convincing social media-type story.
FARSAD: It was so convincing, though. I have to agree with you...
FARSAD: ...About what I said.
BERNSTEIN: You had great delivery...
SAGAL: She did.
BERNSTEIN: Great delivery.
SAGAL: So Negin wins a point. And thank you so much for playing.
SAGAL: Good luck with the weekend.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you so much for having me.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "POTATO CHIPS")
SLIM GAILLARD: Potato chips, how my mouth just drips. Potato chips, how my mouth just drips. Crunch, crunch - I don't want no lunch. All I want is potato chips.
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