Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about someone finding something surprising in a retail chain store, only one of which is true.
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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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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is a WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Maz Jobrani, Adam Felber and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, everybody.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. 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.

MARY GUNZER: Hi, this is Mary Gunzer from Durango, Colo.

SAGAL: Hey, how are you, Mary?

GUNZER: I'm doing great.

SAGAL: Now, Durango is so beautiful out there in the Southwest corner of the state. It is awesome. What do you...

GUNZER: It's amazing. I love it so much.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

GUNZER: Oh, I go to Fort Lewis College out here.

SAGAL: And what are you studying?

GUNZER: I am an interdisciplinary studies major.

SAGAL: An interdisciplinary studies major.


ADAM FELBER: Super nonspecific.

SAGAL: That means you just never go to class, right? Mary, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Mary's topic?

KURTIS: Bed, Bath Beyond... and Beyond.


SAGAL: We tend to think there are no surprises in chain stores - that's why you go to them. Well, this week, we came across a story of someone finally finding something surprising in a chain store. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Guess the real story and you'll win our prize - Carl Kassel's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?


SAGAL: Great. First, let's hear from Adam Felber.

FELBER: Shopper Michael Rizzo left the Park City, Utah, IKEA store thrilled with the sturdy and attractive loveseat he'd found. But after getting it home and meticulously following the clear, efficient pictographic instructions, Rizzo noticed that the piece was unmistakably crafted to resemble a human hand with one large middle finger extended. And across the back, scrawled in Swedish, the words I quit. Quote "I should've known something was up," posted Rizzo on his Instagram feed because the piece in the showroom was called a Torvaldi, but the name of the instructions was Farcugan (ph)...


FELBER: ...Which I think when pronounced correctly needs no translation. By last week, Internet hipsters were flocking to IKEAs worldwide buying Torvaldis by the dozen in the hopes of getting one of the some-400 farcugans that the disgruntled employee managed to get into the supply chain. As for Rizzo, he's keeping his farcugan, quote, "not only is it a great piece, but it's really comfortable. Even when they're enraged, those Swedes sure can craft working a loveseat.


SAGAL: An assemble-it-yourself resignation letter found at IKEA and maybe in many others. Your next story of a chain going off the chain comes from Paula Poundstone.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: The Wal-Mart in Chicopee, Mass., is live-tweeting their meat department. And by that, we mean a flock of carrion-eating birds have been chowing down at their meat display counter. One customer who discovered the birds - possibly small vultures hopping from package to package, drilling their beaks down through the plastic wrap to the red meat inside, complained to an employee. The customer claimed they made it seem like it was a normal thing. As an employee removed the top shelf of meat, the startled birds flew away. And then the birds came right back, says another customer. A Wal-Mart spokesman said they hired a professional who removed 17 birds from the store. But let's face it, Wal-Marts are big. There could be more birds in there that nobody knows about. It's a giant store. They could have a pack of wild dogs over in house wares or a conspiracy of lemurs in the automotive section. Wal-Marts are huge; they have their own school districts. These meat-eating birds could just be escapees from an in-store aviary that Wal-Mart management doesn't yet know about. A Wal-Mart spokesperson says the company has put additional safeguards in place to try to prevent a similar situation in the future, but did not elaborate on what those measures are. We can only speculate that it is a large pride of feral cats.

SAGAL: A Wal-Mart in Massachusetts where the meat section was haunted by vulture-like birds. Your last story of a chain store surprise comes from Maz Jobrani.

MAZ JOBRANI: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz might not like immigrants, but the customers at a Staples office supply store in Chino, Calif., can't stop raving about one. That's because Nicaraguan immigrant Jose Mendoza, who works at the store, has also started to treat customers in need of medical attention. Mr. Mendoza, who was a doctor in his native country, has yet to pass the medical board exams in the United States. However, when a recent customer cut a gash in her knee by knocking into a glass desk, Mr. Mendoza - or El Doctor as he's come to be known - quickly helped stop the bleeding by using a stapler to staple her knee shut. Once management found out about El Doctor's skills, they agreed to let him set up shop at the store, even using some of the office furniture as a waiting area. On a given day, he'll see 10 to 20 patients in aisle nine, said George Stewart, the store manager. He's got all he needs. You've got broken bones? He's got masking tape. You got scars? He's got white-out - ear infection? Paperclips, although I'm not sure how that one works. When we reached El Doctor by phone, he said in my country I was in the military, so I was a general. But I was also a doctor, so I was a general practitioner. I come to America, the board exams take a long time, so I get a job at Staples because it's close to my house and I get free office supplies. El Doctor is the perfect solution for those who can't afford health insurance or find themselves opposed to the Affordable Care Act. You come in, you by some ink, maybe a ream of paper, maybe some Post-Its, and I check your prostate.


JOBRANI: It's a win-win and you leave clean. We have Purell.


SAGAL: All right. So here's the thing, Mary, you could have walked into an IKEA from Adam Felber and found a rather remarkable yet comfortable resignation letter in the form of a piece of furniture from a disgruntled IKEA worker. From Paula Poundstone, you could've walked into a Wal-Mart and found flocks of carrion-eating birds enjoying themselves in the meat department, or from Maz Jobrani you could've walked into a Staples and found El Doctor, the general practitioner, healing people with staples and white-out. Which of these is the real story of a surprise in a chain store?

GUNZER: I believe it is the birds enjoying themselves to the meat at Wal-Mart.

SAGAL: Really? OK, Mary, you chose Paula's story. To hear the correct answer, we spoke with someone intimately involved with that real story.

RHONDA KITCHEN: There was probably better than a dozen birds all over that meat counter. This was really crazy. I mean, they were going at that meat. They were eating. It was insane.

SAGAL: That was Rhonda Kitchen. She was an eyewitness of the Wal-Mart bird incident in Massachusetts. Congratulations, Mary, you got it right.

GUNZER: Thanks.

SAGAL: You earned a point for Paula Poundstone just because you told the truth. You've won our prize - Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Thank you so much for playing with us today.

GUNZER: Thanks so much, Peter. Have a wonderful day.

SAGAL: Thank you, Mary, bye-bye.


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