Bluff The Listener
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
SAGAL: 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 the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
NICK BERGMAN: Hi, Peter.
SAGAL: Hey, who's this?
BERGMAN: This is Nick from Farmington Hills, Mich., by way of Los Angeles.
SAGAL: I see. Now, wait a minute. Where are you now, LA or Farmington Hills?
BERGMAN: Oh, that's a whole different story.
SAGAL: Is someone chasing you?
SAGAL: If they are, you just gave them a clue.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Nick. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Nick's topic?
BILL KURTIS: I would've got away with it if it weren't for me.
SAGAL: You know when you're trying to get away with something but then you get busted 'cause maybe, you know, your eye twitches or because Michael Cohen decides to cooperate?
SAGAL: This week, we read a story about someone getting busted for a surprising reason. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll get the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
BERGMAN: I am.
SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: When a gorilla at the Tallinn Zoo in Estonia died earlier this summer, the zoo didn't just lose a beloved primate. They lost their mascot. For almost two decades, Lyudia (ph) was the 6-foot star of the rundown zoo, attracting thousands of visitors. She could sign hundreds of words and loved to catch bananas from the kids who'd wave at her. She could even break dance. So when she dearly departed, management feared the zoo would also die from lack of attendance. There was only one thing to do - keep Lyudia's demise a secret and stuff zookeeper Merick Cep (ph) into a gorilla suit.
SALIE: Cep threw himself into his role wholeheartedly. From opening to closing time for the past month, he played Lyudia, even going so far as to pretend to pick nits out of the hair of his colleagues who came to feed him - or her. But the jig was up when 6-year-old Andras Pavlov (ph) attended the zoo with his camp last week and threw a banana to the ape man he thought was Lyudia. The gorilla moonwalked away from it. Another kid threw her banana. They all had bananas in their lunch that day. And soon the gorilla was scampering all over the cage wildly dodging bananas until, little Andras says, the gorilla kept showing us her middle finger.
SALIE: I didn't know what that meant, so I did it back to her. And then my teacher started yelling at me. The next thing I saw was Lyudia taking off her head. And we all started screaming.
SALIE: Turns out that the, quote, unquote, "gorilla" was allergic to bananas. Cep was treated by zoo doctors in the cage for anaphylactic shock. The children were treated for emotional shock.
SAGAL: A gorilla - a fake gorilla gets busted when it turns out he was allergic to bananas. Your next story of someone getting busted comes from Adam Burke.
ADAM BURKE: Both God and the devil, they say, are in the details, especially when it comes to the world of the scam artist. So when Colombian-born swindler Anthony Gignac decided to start hoodwinking wealthy corporations and individuals by posing as Saudi Crown Prince Khalid Bin Al-Saud, he made sure he was pretty thorough. Federal investigators say that 47-year-old Gignac was able to bilk investors out of more than $8 million between 2015 and 2017 by paying attention to little details like faking diplomatic license plates and making sure his credit card said things like, his royal highness, prince and sultan.
But it seems the ersatz emir had a brain fart of royal proportions when it came to duping what would prove to be his final would-be victim, Jeffrey Soffer. According to a federal indictment, Soffer, quote, "became increasingly wary of Gignac when the fake sheik, quote, "happily wolfed down bacon and pork products during meals."
BURKE: According to a former FBI agent who participated in the bureau's celebrated Abscam sting operation in the late '70s, quote, "rule No. 1 in pretending to be phony royalty from an Islamic country - you always decline the swine."
SAGAL: A fake sheikh being busted by his love of bacon. Your last story of the truth coming out at last comes from Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Runner, world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 800-meter track event, David Rashida (ph) spent the Fourth of July at a youth track and field event and barbecue in Ames, Iowa - or at least the crowd of 3,000 athletes, fans, carnivores and revelers thought he did. The Kenyan acted as the official starter of the 800-meter race at the Iowa event. He graciously signed autographs, displayed his medals, shook hands with fans and gave a brilliant and inspirational speech to the young athletes, which included such memorable quotes as, believe in yourself, and you can be whoever you want to be.
POUNDSTONE: When a fan ignored Mr. Rashida's polite request to refrain from taking photographs, however, the scene turned ugly fast. Rashida angrily waded through the crowd, grabbed the phone, threw it and began to run. A pregnant, off-duty officer, B.J. Nebesky (ph), gave chase of about 200 meters, gained on Rashida's 50-meter lead and caught him.
POUNDSTONE: That was their first clue.
POUNDSTONE: They'd been had. This guy ate barbecue faster than he ran.
POUNDSTONE: We paid this guy $2,000 to appear here, and he probably cost us another $2,000 in the side of beef and keg of beer he consumed, lamented event producer Blake Zingerman (ph). I did notice he had a kind of belly on him, but I assumed he put that weight on while he was here. I'll tell you what - we've got Norma Rae coming on Labor Day, and I'm going to want to check over her papers carefully.
SAGAL: All right. These are your stories of someone trying to fool somebody and failing - from Faith Salie, a fake gorilla in a zoo over in Estonia getting caught when it turns out he was allergic to bananas; from Adam Burke, a fake Saudi royal who gave the game away because he kept ordering bacon; and Paula Poundstone told you about a man who pretended to be an Olympic champion runner who was caught - well, when he was caught. Which of these is the real story of someone who gave the game away?
BERGMAN: You know, I'd really love Faith's story to be true. Honestly, I'd love to see that. But I think I'm going to go with Paula.
SAGAL: You're going to go...
BERGMAN: I think Paula.
SAGAL: ...With Paula's story about the group that hired an Olympic runner and discovered they had been had when they just chased him, and he couldn't run very fast.
SAGAL: All right. You're going to choose that one. Well, we spoke to somebody who was covering the real story.
JAY WEAVER: One of the things that gave him away was that he kept ordering bacon, or even pork...
SAGAL: I'm sorry. That was Jay Weaver. He's a reporter for The Miami Herald talking about the prince that wasn't. I'm sorry, Nick, but Adam Burke had the real answer. You didn't win, but you did earn a point for Paula.
POUNDSTONE: All right, thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BACON FAT")
DOUG SAHM: (Singing) Say, man, we're glad to see you back. We've got a new dance they call bacon fat. It goes...
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