Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell us three stories of people saying "no" in the workplace.

Bluff The Listener

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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 Tom Bodett, Amy Dickinson, and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl. Thank you so much.


SAGAL: Right now it is 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!

DAVE MARON: Glad to be here.

SAGAL: Well who is this?

MARON: Dave Maron in Tucson, Arizona.

SAGAL: Well how are things in Tucson?

MARON: Well, they're a little toasty, but the buds are happening all over town and it's cooling off. So we're going to make it through another day.

SAGAL: That what's are happening all over town?

MARON: The cactus flowers.

SAGAL: Oh, the buds.

MARON: Yeah.

SAGAL: I thought you meant something entirely different.

MARON: Yeah, not the other buds. Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MARON: They're probably happening too, but, yeah.

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

KASELL: No. No, no, no, no, no.

SAGAL: There comes a time in anybody's workplace where you just got to say no. Maybe the boss asks you to work weekends, or you get paired with that creepy IT guy in the three-legged race at the company picnic. Our panelists are going to read for you three stories of people who finally said no at their jobs, only one of which of these is true. Pick the real one, you'll win our prize. Ready to play?

MARON: You bet.

SAGAL: All right, let's do it. First, let's hear from Peter Grosz.

PETER GROSZ: Hiroyuki Kaji(ph) was sick and tired of getting the short end of the chopstick. Unknown outside his native Japan, Mr. Kaji is better known to Japanese TV audiences as the vinegar shark on the popular TV game show, "Exciting Nightly Quiz." Whenever a contestant gives an exceptionally incorrect answer, Mr. Kaji emerges from behind a curtain, dressed in a seven-foot polyester shark costume, screaming "bad answer, bad answer, I am your answer."


GROSZ: While 10 gallons of vinegar are dropped onto his head. The implication, of course, being that the contestant's response was so bad it resembles a vinegar-soaked shark.

After years of going home to his wife smelling like a pickled mako, Kaji had had enough and last week arranged with one the show's stagehands for the vinegar to instead fall onto the host, the handsome soap opera star Indo Miyama(ph). Kaji was, of course, summarily fired and is looking for work saying, quote, "I'll take any job where I don't have to dress up like a shark and get doused in vinegar."


GROSZ: He should have a lot of options.

SAGAL: The vinegar shark finally gets sick of being the vinegar shark in Japan. Your next story of somebody who's finally had enough comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: In the world of bullfighting, you've heard of the matador and the picador, now meet the I- can't-take-it-anymore-ador. Pity poor Christian Hernandez. He's only 22 and trying to make it in a tough business as a matador in Mexico. Hernandez went into the bull ring, took one look at the charging bull, threw down his red cape, turned tail and ran. He ran like a man being chased by a bull.


DICKINSON: He threw himself over the wall of the bullring, declared himself a yellow-bellied quitador and took the jeers of the angry crowd. His comment on the not quite bullfight was: I don't have the cajones. This is not my thing. Right after the match, organizers said they were suing Hernandez for breach of contract. The bull was later seen at a local bar, buying a round of drinks and watching the match on YouTube.


SAGAL: The matador suddenly decides when facing a bull he doesn't want to be fighting bulls anymore. Your last story of a worker who's not going to take it anymore comes from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Pennsylvania plastic bottle plant manager Wayne Wagenbach(ph) was a good sport when his company was bought by Vermont green products giant Seventh Generation. He played along when they mandated employee carpooling. He packed a snack when the Pringles and Ding Dongs in the vending machine were replaced with bananas and mangos. Wife Judy noticed him coming home from work earlier and earlier about the time they put the wheatgrass bar in the lobby and then dressed the softball team in hemp uniforms.

CEO: The CEO came dressed as a gopher or a woodchuck or something and sang, I kid you not, Kumbaya. I had to hold hands with a toad and a beaver or a skunk or something. When the boss handed me the talking stick, I whacked him with it. When I get out of jail, I'm going to put the truck nuts on the Hummer and park it in the hybrid only spot. I'm going to put my cigar out in a non-recyclable foam cup and slam it down on that wheatgrass bar. Kumbaya that. Kumbaya, what in the hell is that? Mr. Wagenbach is recently unemployed.


SAGAL: All right, let's review your choices. From Peter Grosz, a bit player in a Japanese game show couldn't take it anymore and had the vinegar dumped on somebody else. From Amy Dickinson, a matador decides in the midst of a match that the last thing in the world he wants to do is be in a ring with a bull. Or from Tom Bodett, a manager at a factory who just got fed up with being environmentally correct and took a whack at somebody. Which is these is the real story of somebody who just decided they weren't in the right job anymore?

MARON: Well, temperamentally I'm leaning toward the last two. But, you know, but these Japanese game shows are so out there, I'm going to go with that because it just might be true.

SAGAL: There's nothing too crazy for a Japanese game show. Well your choice then is Peter's story of the Japanese game show and the vinegar shark. All right, well we spoke to somebody familiar with the story for his opinion on it.

GARRY MARVIN: I have to say that having seen hundreds of bullfights, I have never seen anything this like. A kid getting into the ring, you know, dressed as a matador should know what he's getting into.

SAGAL: That was Garry Marvin. He's a professor at London's Roehampton University and author of "Bullfight" expressing his amazement watching the video of the matador suddenly changing his mind. A video, by the way, which you can see at our website. It's worth your time.

GROSZ: I just wish I was inside the mind of that matador because it's like he walked into the ring and was like, oh a bull, I'm sorry, I don't want to be here.

DICKINSON: Right. Right. Yeah. No.

GROSZ: No, no, no, no.

SAGAL: This means that, of course, you did not win our game because Amy had the real story. But you did earn a point for Peter in his debut in this game for his remarkable and true-sounding story of the Japanese game show. So thank you so much for playing.

MARON: All right.

GROSZ: Thank you.


MARON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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