Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about justice denied.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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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 Paul Provenza, Faith Salie and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host, at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Right now it is, of course, 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 Ricky Robinson from Salt Lake City.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Salt Lake?

M: Things are great, if we can beat the Lakers this weekend.

SAGAL: We - are you, yourself, playing?

M: I'm not, but it's a team effort.


SAGAL: All right. I'm sure they appreciate your support. Ricky, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what's Ricky's topic?

KASELL: Justice denied.

SAGAL: We all know justice is blind, but does she have to be such a jerk? This week, we read about someone being rebuffed in their pursuit of what they felt they deserved in a court of law. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories about people not getting what they needed. Choose the true story, you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine - or voicemail, if you prefer. Ready to play?

M: Yes, sir.

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

M: Paul Brun(ph) had it all: a wife, two kids, a house in the burbs with a big, honking SUV out front. What he no longer had was an income. And one fine day in January, while Mr. Brun was out looking for work, repo man Jason Alwine(ph) came for the SUV. That was his job. Flirting with Mrs. Brun was not.

Two weeks later, she left her husband for the repo man and took the kids. Two weeks after that, the bank foreclosed on the house and it was bought at auction for half price by - you guessed it, Mr. Alwine and the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Brun.

What do you do when somebody steals your life? You sue. Paul Brun used the last of his money to hire a lawyer and take Mr. Alwine to court. The judge was not impressed. Not only did he find no wrongdoing, but ruled the claim frivolous and ordered Mr. Brun to pay Mr. Alwine's legal fees. Justice is not served, at least not yet. Mr. Brun begins work Monday on his new job - as a repo man.



SAGAL: A repo man comes for the car and takes everything. Your next story of somebody not getting what's coming to them comes from Faith Salie.

M: Six-and-a-half-year-old Atticus Thurnstrom(ph) wants a sibling - a little brother, specifically. But if he can't have that, he'd like a dog who talks or a little sister, in that order.

But his parents won't give him what he wants, and neither will the law. The child unsuccessfully sued his parents on two counts of abuse and neglect because, he claims, they never want to play with me because they're always reading.

SAGAL: I think every kid should have a sibling, even if he told you you were adopted and made you pull his finger.

KASSEL: I guess this is the dark side of raising a precocious kid.


SAGAL: A little boy sues to get the little brother he's always wanted. Your last story of justice just not happening comes from Paul Provenza.

M: Hilarity ensues when a half black/half Swedish woman marries into a New Jersey Jewish family. And standup comedian Sunda Croonquist made a career out of it - until her in-laws sued her for libel and slander over jokes about them in her act. She ridicules us in front of everyone, said her mother-in-law. It gives me such (unintelligible). Like we don't have enough problems.

B: colorful rhetoric that reasonable minds would not take as factual. Upon hearing the decision, Croonquist's father-in-law said that judge should spend 10 minutes with my life. Let me tell you, the cat-in-heat thing? That's a fact, believe me.



SAGAL: So these are your three stories. From Tom Bodett, the story of a man who sued the repo man who repoed everything. From Faith Salie, the story of a little boy who sued his own parents to get a little brother. And from Paul Provenza, the story of a mother-in-law who sued the daughter-in-law to stop the mother-in-law jokes. Which of these is the real story in the week's news?

M: Oh, man. I really like story number two, so I'm going to go with number two.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Faith's story of the 6-and-a-half-year-old boy who sued his parents to get the little brother?

M: That's right.

SAGAL: All right, that's your choice. Well we spoke to somebody who was involved in this lawsuit.

M: One of the jokes that I use is that my mother- in-law is made of steel. She went to China, there was an earthquake. She got back to Brooklyn unscathed.

SAGAL: That was Sunda Croonquist, the L.A.-based comedian who was, in fact, sued by her mother-in-law to stop the mother-in-law jokes. Unfortunately, as you now know, it was Paul who had the true story. You didn't win our prize, but you did win a point for Faith - and probably gave a lot of interesting ideas to little boys everywhere. So I'm not sure that's a good thing. But thank you so much for playing.

M: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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