Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell us three stories of hard times for the rich ... 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 tell us three stories of hard times for the rich ... only one of which is true.

CARL KASELL, Host:

From NPR and Chicago Public Radio, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, Kyrie O'Connor and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host at the Brown Theatre at the Wortham Center in Houston, Texas, Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you so much. Thanks everybody.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you all. 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!.

M: Hi, this is Amy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

SAGAL: Hey, Lancaster, that's Amish country, is it not?

M: It is. It is.

SAGAL: I'm assuming you're not Amish because you're on the phone and listening to the radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Yeah, although rumor has it that they do have phones, but they're in the barn.

SAGAL: Oh, really?

KASELL: Yeah.

SAGAL: You think they're sneaking out to the barn to call into quiz shows?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Yeah.

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

KASELL: It's not easy having green.

SAGAL: It's great to be rich, but the rich have their crosses to bear. And it's even worse for them because their crosses are made of solid gold and they're heavier. Our panelists are going to read you three stories about hardships for the rich, only one of which is true. Pick the real story, and you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine. Ready to play?

M: Yup.

SAGAL: First, let's hear from Tom Bodett.

M: The rich aren't like you and me, declared Fitzgerald. And one might add, they don't like you and me, either. They don't want us dropping by their secured houses, bumping into us at airports, or it seems, even mingling data with our kind online.

A new wave of exclusive social networking sites are being billed as safe havens for the affluent to flirt, swap fencing club advice, and find new pals without dealing with the Facebook/MySpace hoi polloi.

How's it working out? Well, it seems you and me can lie about how much money we have and join right in the fun. Asmallworld.net, one of the leading snob sites, feels a whole lot smaller to many of its users since you and me figured out how to cross the velvet cyber rope.

O: In the real world, we are each discerning about who we make friends with. There is no reason why, when we come online, we should have to socialize with truck drivers from hick parts of the U.S.A.

SAGAL: The rich members of social networking sites for rich people getting upset because of all the not-rich people who are showing up. Your next story of how money can't buy everything comes from Kyrie O'Connor.

M: Lady Genevieve Memsheit(ph) loved the unspoiled village of Prinsa(ph), tucked in a valley in the Dolomites. So Lady Genevieve bought a villa on a hill overlooking the village, which is known for its goat cheese.

It was lovely for a year or so, until several of Lady Gen's rich friends also built estates nearby. Then they all hired the goat herders as groundskeepers, personal assistants and chauffeurs. The village got boutiques. The villagers were ecstatic. We like the Starbucks and the Burberrys. We hated the goats, said one. But Lady Genevieve is devastated. It's ruined, I say, all this beastly bettering of oneself is so unseemly.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A rich lady ruins a village because she bought property there. Your last story of trouble for the rich comes from Paula Poundstone.

M: Often forgotten during economic tough times are the feelings of the rich. The constant focus of the media and politicians on the woes of the low income and impoverished can be emotionally devastating to the haves. The effects of the depression among the upper classes is pulling test scores down at exclusive private schools, and gated communities are feeling more isolated than they originally intended to be.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: My father happens to make a lot of money, says teenage heiress Asia Wingate. But, like, I'm still an American, aren't I? My friends in France and Switzerland certainly think so.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Fortunately, for the downtrodden rich, there are some resources - like psychologist Renee McCraw(ph), who facilitates surprisingly effective support groups where clients play Monopoly and Life with $1,000 less starting money than the rules require.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Many of the affluent are suffering terribly emotionally from not suffering at all monetarily, says McCraw. Fortunately, their houses are big, so they can be apart fairly easily - and the summer homes help.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Let's review your choices. From Tom Bodett, you heard the story about members of social networking sites exclusively for the rich are getting upset because poor people are sneaking in. From Kyrie O'Connor, the story of a very miserable wealthy lady who is upset that the beautiful little village didn't stay the same after she bought her villa there. Or from Paula Poundstone, the story of a new, terrible problem for the rich: depression for being wealthy in poor times. Which of these is the real story of how even the most affluent still have problems?

M: Well, I think they all kind of sound possible, but I'm going to go with Kyrie's.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Kyrie's story...

M: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...about the lady who bought the villa in the beautiful village and it got ruined because all of her friends bought in, too, and now no one will herd the goats that she loved so much.

M: Yeah.

SAGAL: All right, your story is Kyrie's. Well, we actually have somebody who is affected by this problem to bring you the real story.

M: Asmallworld is the only true online networking community of well-connected people linked together through the desire to live a lavish lifestyle.

SAGAL: That was a young woman named Eva Marin. She is a member of asmallworld.net, which is one of the sites, which is being infiltrated by us poor people.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So I'm so sorry, as you have no doubt figured out, the real story was from Tom. You didn't win, but you did earn a point for Kyrie for her remarkable and sad story...

M: Thank you.

SAGAL: ...of the ruined village in the Dolomites.

M: You're welcome.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

M: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

M: Bye.

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