Bluff The Listener Our panelists read three stories about unusual endangered species, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists read three stories about unusual endangered species, only one of which is true.

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 Helen Hong, Faith Salie and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

DAVID SMITH: Hi. This is David Smith from Belmont, Mass.

SAGAL: Belmont, Mass. - it just so happens...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...That I spent a good chunk of my youth in Belmont because that's where my grandparents lived.

SMITH: It's a lovely town.

SAGAL: It's a great town. I used to - how long have you lived there?

SMITH: Oh, about five years now.

SAGAL: Five years - well, let me tell you, it used to be even better.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, David. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is David's topic?

KURTIS: I'm the last of my species.

SAGAL: We all know the classic endangered species - the whooping cranes, the panda bears, the likable New York Times columnists.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This week, we heard about someone trying to save another group with dwindling numbers. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to do this?

SMITH: Yep.

SAGAL: All right. Your first story comes from Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: There a shocking trend happening in Korean parenting that not everyone is happy about. It seems the Korean tiger mom is dying out.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: Apparently influenced by Western culture and their own traumatic childhood experiences, there's a new breed of kinder, gentler Korean mom. And it's unsettling.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: These new moms are far less biting, cutting and emotionally abusive than traditional Korean moms. Said one trend-following Korean mom who requested anonymity for this story because she didn't want her own Korean mom to hear about it...

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: ...A B-plus is just as good as an A - adding shockingly, as long as she tries her best. Some moms have expressed acceptance of careers other than doctor or lawyer.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: One Korean daughter even reported that when she brought home a non-Korean boyfriend, her mother did not fall to her knees and start beating her chest.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: Now a church group in Incheon is fighting against the trend, holding Korean mom workshops. The workshops include how to get your child to finish their plate while also calling them fat...

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: ...Facial expressions which means an A-minus is actually an F and daily drills for comparing your child to other children who are more obedient.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Saving the endangered Korean tiger mom. Your next story of a dying breed comes from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: If you were a kid in the '60s or '70s, you witnessed the delightful mischief of mimes whether you wanted to or not.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Mimes on the street, the legendary Marcel Marceau on "The Tonight Show" and "Mister Rogers" - mimes have been unfairly mocked. But these days, mimes are not only underappreciated. They're almost extinct. Millennials and Gen Zs who've grown up with CGI and TikTok and Lizzo really aren't impressed with people who put themselves in invisible boxes.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Last week, 47 mimes from around the world wordlessly gathered in Zurich to make themselves heard...

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: ...Or seen. These mime activists - mime-tivists (ph), if you will - tried to call attention to their art. American students Hunter Groten (ph) and Lexie Stein (ph) saw them. I thought it was some lame flash mob, said Hunter.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: But they weren't even singing.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: I don't think it's sensitive to people who really are mute.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Lexi agreed. As a woman, she added, the visual imagery of glass boxes triggers some really emotionally claustrophobic feelings.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: We don't need glass ceilings conjured by smirking men with super white faces right now.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: A movement to save the mimes. Your last story of a species in peril comes from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Remember when Annette Bening and Warren Beatty named their baby Nigel, and it became the most popular baby name of 2003? No, you don't...

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Because they named their baby Benjamin, and everyone else did too, including yours truly. Nobody names their baby Nigel - literally nobody. When innkeeper Nigel Smith (ph) of Worcestershire, U.K., learned that no babies were named Nigel in the year 2016, he decided to take action. He sent a calling-all-Nigels emergency plea around the globe and convened a meeting of Nigels in an English pub. With 435 Nigels in attendance, it is thought to be the world's largest gathering of Nigels.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Awards were given for the furthest traveled - Texas - howdy, Nigel - the youngest - seven months - the oldest. And they even agreed to a collective noun for Nigels - a niggle of Nigels.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Careful with that.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Mr. Smith said, in the year I was born, 1963, there were over 5,000 Nigels born. It was peak Nigel. We will resurge. There will be a lot more Nigels next year than this year. I'd definitely put money on that. And we've just taken away a little bit of that stigma and reaffirmed what a fantastic name Nigel is once you've grown into it. It takes a little while. Poindexters, that's your cue.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Somebody somewhere is trying to save a group of people who might be dying out. Is it, from Helen Hong, Korean tiger moms? From Faith Salie, mimes? Or, from Tom Bodett, people named Nigel?

SMITH: I think a gathering of Nigels is probably the most British thing I've ever heard of.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A gathering of Nigels, yes. OK. You're choosing, then, Tom's story about the gathering of Nigels. Well, to bring you the real story, we spoke to one of these endangered people.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NIGEL STEVENS: Last week, on September 28, a pub in Bretforton, England, hosted a Nigel night, which gathered 435 Nigels.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That was Nigel Stevens (ph), otherwise known as Texas Nigel. He traveled from Denver, Colo...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...To attend Nigel Night. By the way, it occurs to me that if, in fact, Faith's story had been the true one, we would have played you the real person...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We would have heard silence.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But that wasn't the case. What really happened was that you were right. Tom was telling the truth. You picked it. He gets a point. You win our prize. Congratulations.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

SMITH: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL")

XTC: (Singing) We're only making plans for Nigel. We only want what's best for him.

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