BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: 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 Roxanne Roberts, Maz Jobrani and Alonzo Bodden. Here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
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're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
GAVIN LLOYD: My name's Gavin Lloyd. I'm from Hood River, Ore.
SAGAL: Hey, Hood River, Ore., beautiful out there. I'm sure you do something somewhat earthy-crunchy.
LLOYD: I brew craft beer for a living.
SAGAL: I knew it.
SAGAL: I had - I had brewer, artisanal weaver on my list.
SAGAL: Somebody once told me that if you want to be a brewer, you have to really love cleaning pots. Is that true?
LLOYD: Cleaning pots...
LLOYD: Yes, I love cleaning pots.
SAGAL: There you are.
MAZ JOBRANI: (Laughter) You could've been a dishwasher.
SAGAL: It's true - blew that. It's nice to have you with us, Gavin. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Gavin's topic?
KURTIS: I need a hero.
SAGAL: We all know the classic heroes - your Abraham Lincoln, your Captain Kirk, the actual gyro, the traditional Greek sandwich. But once in a while, an unlikely hero emerges and inspires someone. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories of an unlikely hero in the news. Pick that true story, you'll win our prize - Carl Kasell's voice in your voice mail. Are you ready to play?
LLOYD: I can't wait.
SAGAL: All right, let's hear first from Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: In the 90s, while everyone was watching Agassi and Becker, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf, Timmy's focus was on the sidelines. His hero - the ball boy. Timmy Dutch of Carlsbad, Calif., somehow knew he wasn't going to grow to be a great tennis player. All his life he loved the game, but he just wasn't a great player. Timmy was small and quick, and the ball boys were, too. They were in on the action and vital to the game, right where he wanted to be. Timmy practiced. When he was a little kid, if his mom dropped anything, Timmy raced to pick it up.
BODDEN: It sort of became a game between he and his mom. She'd drop things on purpose to see how quick he could grab them. Growing up, Timmy volunteered at local tennis tournaments, making it as far as the preliminary rounds of a pro tournament in nearby Indian Wells, Calif. And even catching a 110-mile-an-hour Pete Sampras serve in the groin was not enough to quash his love of the ball boy art.
BODDEN: Timmy's all grown up now and an employee at Nike, and he finally got the chance to honor his heroes. Last week, Nike unveiled the Air BBoy, a tennis sneaker Tim designed just for ball boys. Smooth and understated, with an air sole for quickness and comfort, it was designed for the quick sprints a ball boy requires. And of course, it was going to be classic tennis white, the only color professional tennis shoes should be. Turns out, not many shared Timmy's ball boy dream as the shoe was a colossal failure, and Timmy was moved back to the sock division.
SAGAL: A boy who grows up idolizing ball boys at tennis tournaments had the chance to express his admiration and fails. Your next story of an unexpected hero comes from Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Billionaire businessman in Dallas, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is loud mouthed, opinionated, egotistical, arrogant, jerk, regularly getting fined by the NBA or offending the sensitivities of some politically-correct group. But gosh, he's a happy jerk. When asked about his life, Cuban told Rolling Stone last year that it was, well, perfect. Quote, "it's effin' amazing and off the charts," end quote, which has caused Buddhist monk Linh Pham (ph) to re-examine his entire belief structure. Quote, "Mark Cuban is the happiest person I know," said the Dallas-based holy man. "He has inner peace and a billion dollars."
ROBERTS: So Pham is throwing off the orange robes and starting from scratch, using the book of Mark as his Bible. Quote, "I'm trying to get as much as I can as fast as I can." Pham has already signed a deal for a reality show where he'll work as a locker room attendant for the Mavericks and, if he's lucky, finally meet his hero.
SAGAL: A Buddhist monk...
SAGAL: ...Strays from the Buddhist path to follow Mark Cuban, billionaire guy in Texas. Your last story of an underappreciated hero comes from Maz Jobrani.
JOBRANI: Television can be harmful for kids, especially if they're watching commercials for personal injury lawyers. If you don't believe that, then talk to L'erin Dobra, a nurse from Prairieville, La., who had to throw a personal injury lawyer-themed birthday party for her 2-year-old son Grayson. Grayson, it seems, is obsessed with Morris Bart, the local ambulance chaser whose commercials feature flashing lights and music. Whatever the reason, Mr. Bart has become a hero to little Grayson, who has given up on his obsession with Mickey Mouse to fall in love with a man whose TV spots end with the words one call, that's all.
JOBRANI: Ms. Dobra explains he used to watch ABC and color videos and he used to love those, but now he wants to watch Morris Bart commercials. The family even bought a cake with an edible photo frosting displaying Mr. Bart in a suit. Later, Grayson unwrapped a gift to reveal a cardboard cutout of the lawyer. Ms. Dobra said he was kind of shocked.
JOBRANI: Mr. Bart was not able to attend the party, but he sent an autographed photo and a Morris Bart keychain for 2-year-old kid...
JOBRANI: ...Who doesn't have a car. The good news is that the baby is learning new words and phrases like attorney at law, I'll sue you and habeas corpus.
JOBRANI: The bad news is that he'll probably grow up to be a lawyer.
SAGAL: All right.
SAGAL: Three stories of three people who took inspiration from unlikely sources. Was it from Alonzo Bodden, a Nike employee who always admired ball boys, from Roxanne Roberts, a Buddhist monk in Texas who decided that instead of Buddha he should model his life after Mark Cuban, or from Maz Jobrani, a 2-year-old who got a birthday party celebrating his hero, a personal injury lawyer? Which of these is the real story from the week's news?
LLOYD: I think Grayson's going to be a lawyer.
SAGAL: You really do? You think that - you think it's the 2-year-old in Maz Jobrani's story?
LLOYD: Yes, I really do.
SAGAL: With a name like Grayson, you're probably right, whether Maz is telling the truth or not. But if that's your choice, we'll go with that. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone familiar with the true story.
GEORGE MORRIS: People suggested that if the attorney had attended the birthday party, he would've taken 43 percent of the presents.
SAGAL: That was George Morris, a reporter for The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, telling us about little Grayson's birthday party celebrating the personal injury lawyer. Congratulations, Gavin. You got it right.
SAGAL: You earned a point from Maz. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting in your voice mail. Well done, congratulations.
LLOYD: Thank you very much, Peter.
SAGAL: Thank you and I'll look for your beer next time I'm in Oregon.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER HERO")
UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) We don't need another hero.
TINA TURNER: (Singing) We don't need another hero.
UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) We don't need another way home.
TURNER: (Singing) All we want is life beyond - thunderdome.
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