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 Negin Farsad, P.J. O'Rourke and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you much. 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.
DAVID BOTERO: Hi, Peter. This is David Botero calling from Harrisburg, Pa.
SAGAL: Hey, David. How are you?
BOTERO: I'm excellent. Thank you.
SAGAL: Harrisburg - are you a Harrisburg guy? Are you from there?
BOTERO: No. I've been here 13 years. This trashy accent will tell you I'm from North Jersey.
SAGAL: I was about to say.
SAGAL: I'm from North Jersey, too, and I felt a certain frisson of familiarity and worry that I owed you money. Well, David, welcome to the show. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is David's topic?
KURTIS: The scourge of Bexhill-on-Sea.
SAGAL: Bexhill-on-Sea is a town on the southern coast of England. And until now, its biggest problem was that it was overrun with not just one, but two hyphens. This week, though, another nuisance bedeviled the community there. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one that is telling the truth, you will win our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
BOTERO: Yes, I am.
SAGAL: All right. The first story of the curse of Bexhill-on-Sea comes from Negin Farsad.
NEGIN FARSAD: In the United Kingdom, an evil paraglider is menacing the fine citizens of Bexhill-on-Sea, a town known for putting its major feature in the name of its town. Bexhill-on-Sea is meant to be very charming, but this paraglider's been flying in the face of that charm. He likes to glide low enough so that he can hurl insults at passers-by on the beach below.
FARSAD: He's called a local fisherman, a minger - whatever that means - and probably said to one woman, the cellulite on your thighs looks like an English muffin, which we just call a muffin because we're in England.
FARSAD: And he almost certainly said to a group of tourists, I wish you would Brexit from this town.
FARSAD: An investigation was launched two years ago to find the rogue paraglider and bring him to justice. But so far, the police have failed to do so, despite the fact that the airborne wanker paraglides, like, every day and that paragliding is pretty bloody slow, so it's not like they wouldn't be able to out-jog him during flight, and despite the fact that they even partnered with the Civil Aviation Authority, so there's literally two teams of officials hunting down this one aggressive paraglider. So despite all of the odds being in their favor, the two-year long investigation continues.
SAGAL: An evil paraglider terrorizing the people of Bexhill-on-Sea. Your next story of a bother in Bexhill comes from P.J. O'Rourke.
P.J. O'ROURKE: Bexhill-on-Sea - lovely little English coastal village, and has a lovely little problem. Bexhill's overrun with bexhills (ph). A bexhill, in local Sussex dialect, is a European dormouse - wee creatures resembling mice, except with furry tails, great big eyes and a soft, fluffy coat. They're the most adorable creatures you've ever seen.
But lately, perhaps due to climate change, the little darlings have been breeding like the dickens. Bexhill is infested with an estimated 900,000 bexhills. Now what dormice do is be dormant. They curl up in a sweet little ball of fur, and they go to sleep. And they're doing it everywhere in Bexhill-on-Sea. But they're just so precious that, in this nation of animal lovers, no one has the heart to disturb them. Too cute to shoot, as one local person...
O'ROURKE: ...Put it. Fortunately for the citizens of Bexhill, Brexit hasn't happened yet. The EU Commission is sending in a special team from Slovenia to deal with the problem. It's a team of Slovenian chefs because in Slovenia, the dormouse is considered a delicacy.
SAGAL: Thousands, if not millions, of dormice overrunning Bexhill, and they're too cute to shoot. And your last story of a Bexhill-on-Sea-minus comes from Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: The U.K.'s Bexhill-on-Sea was quite a quaint, little town until its exposure to the Amway company. The town has become known as Amway-on-Sea. Each Amway member is instructed to relentlessly recruit more members into the cleaning and health and beauty product-based multi-level marketing company. They offer products and product demonstrations to their potential recruits.
Tea shops, parks, churches and public bathrooms are alive with Amway recruitment. They'll actually come into a public loo, look under to spot feet and wait outside the stall to pounce on the prospect with a bathroom cleanser demonstration...
POUNDSTONE: ...Complains local resident Betty Trippany (ph). From the demonstrations alone, every surface in the town is clean. Local children's immune systems seem not to be developing as a result.
POUNDSTONE: College graduations, baby showers, birthdays and weddings are marred by gifts of nutrition bars, replacement dispenser pumps and skin exfoliators. Many recipients simply no longer have skin.
POUNDSTONE: I can't even serve a cup of tea to a customer without them whipping out an Amway multi-purpose cleaning pump spray, says waitress Mary Carter (ph). I'd make a lot more money if the whole town hadn't gone broke selling Amway.
SAGAL: All right. One of these things is tormenting the people of Bexhill-on-Sea for real. Is it, from Negin Farsad, a mysterious man who paraglides in to insult the residents and visitors; from P.J. O'Rourke, a plague of dormice who are just so adorable, no one can do anything about them; or from Paula Poundstone, the multilevel marketing of the Amway corporation? Which of these is the real story of a peril in Bexhill?
BOTERO: I think it's Negin with No. 1.
SAGAL: All right. You're going to go with - because you're a guy from Jersey...
SAGAL: ...Who's used to people shouting obscenities at strangers, you have chosen Negin's story of the terrorizing paraglider. Well, we spoke to a journalist who's been on top of this terrifying story.
SUSANNA HELLER: There is this evil paraglider who has been...
HELLER: ...Bothering people in Bexhill-on-Sea for about two years.
SAGAL: That was Susanna Heller, a reporter from INSIDER, talking about the evil paraglider who, and I'm not sure you heard her say, has been terrorizing the town for two years...
SAGAL: ...Meaning that in two years of this guy swooping down and shouting insults, no one has thought, hey, let's follow him to see where he lands.
SAGAL: Well, congratulations, David. You, in fact, picked the right answer by picking Negin's. You've earned a point for her, and you've won for yourself the voice of anyone on the show you might choose for your voicemail. Congratulations, David.
BOTERO: Bye-bye. Thanks.
FARSAD: Thank you, David.
SAGAL: Thank you so much.
POUNDSTONE: Bye, David. Thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLY AWAY")
EDGAR WINTER'S WHITE TRASH: (Singing) I start to fly. Fly away, fly away. Close my eyes and I can fly away.
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