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Bluff The Listener

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Bobcat Goldthwait, Roxanne Roberts, and Brian Babylon. And here again is your host, at U.S. Cellular Center Asheville in North Carolina, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl. Thank you all. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listeners game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

ED GOODMAN: Hi, I'm Ed Goodman from Pompano Beach, Florida.

SAGAL: Hey, Ed, what do you do there in Florida?

GOODMAN: I'm a pilot.

SAGAL: Are you? Do you, like, fly for the big airlines? What do you do?

GOODMAN: No, I'm a corporate pilot, and I work for a fractional provider. So I fly a lot of executives around and stuff.

SAGAL: Oh, I see. So this is like the thing where you can buy a fraction of an airplane.

GOODMAN: Yeah, I had you in mind.




SAGAL: Yeah, the wings, you want the part that flies.

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah, you want the solid part.

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

KASELL: Get your nose out of that book.

SAGAL: Books, they're great for reading or for making a little stand for your iPad but not necessarily for imitating. This week our panelists are going to read you three stories of people getting into trouble copying something they read in a book. Guess the real-life literary disaster, and you will win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?


SAGAL: First, let's hear from Bobcat Goldthwait.

GOLDTHWAIT: It's been two years since the last Harry Potter movie was released and well over four since the last novel was published, but that hasn't slowed down the rash of Harry Potter-inspired injuries in the U.K. It seems that whenever the wildly popular J.K. Rowling books are discovered by a new generation, Britain's ERs become packed with Potter-related injuries such as burns from jumping into fireplaces to teleport, groin splinters from broomsticks, along with bone fractures from leaping from roofs attempting to play Quidditch.

In the past two years, over 14 children have been treated for concussions after running into the seventh and eighth pillar at the train stations.


GOLDTHWAIT: In an attempt to catch the last express train to Hogwarts. Rowling recently made light of the rash of injuries by saying: I don't know what all the fuss is about. Let's face it, none of these kids are going to cure cancer.



SAGAL: Kids imitating the Harry Potter books, much to their dismay and sometimes injury. Next up, let's hear from Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: In "Eat, Pray, Love," Elizabeth Gilbert quits her job to travel the world, eat great food and sleep with Javier Bardem.


BABYLON: She serves as inspiration for millions of women and a few men all over the world, including bored insurance adjuster Nicole Buchanan from St. Louis, Missouri. Last year, Buchanan's friend Pamela Grier(ph) gave her the book to read. Said Grier: I didn't think she would take it so seriously. Nicole took it very seriously. She got divorced, quit her job, cashed in her 401(k) and bought a one-way ticket to Leeds, England, where Travelocity was offering a deal.


BABYLON: Seven months later, Nicole found herself back in the States in bankruptcy court. It turns out she ate, prayed and loved herself $120,000 into debt. Quote, "I gained 50 pounds, had three terrible relationships and got an STD from a guy who said he was a monk."


BABYLON: "I should have just stuck with 'Game of Thrones.'"



SAGAL: A woman tries to live out "Eat, Pray, Love" and finds herself in deep trouble. Your last story of someone that should have closed that book before they got into trouble comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: It's all sexy fun and games until the London Fire Brigade shows up. Since 2010, officials have responded to more than 1,300 calls from people in compromising positions, many inspired by a certain erotic bestseller, E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey."


ROBERTS: Quote, "The number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said Third Office Dave Brown in a press release. The brigade rescued one man who got, let's just say, entangled in a toaster, another who had an intimate encounter with a vacuum cleaner. The mishaps cost taxpayers nearly $580,000, not to mention seriously killing the mood of hundreds of ill-fated romantic evenings.


ROBERTS: Quote, "I'm sure most people will be 50 shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them," said Brown.


SAGAL: All right, here are your choices. Somebody somewhere got into trouble by reading a book, something we never recommend. Is it from Bobcat Goldthwait, kids all over the world getting into trouble as they try to live out the Harry Potter books? From Brian Babylon, a woman who tried to eat, pray and love her own way to happiness but ended up not getting anywhere close. Or from Roxanne Roberts, couples trying to live the "Fifty Shades of Grey" way and getting stuck and having to be rescued? Which of these is the real story of a literary danger?

GOODMAN: Well, I'm thinking it's number three.

SAGAL: Number three, that would be Roxanne's story about "Fifty Shades of Grey"?


GOODMAN: That's the one.

SAGAL: All right, then. Now to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone involved in this real story.

MARK HAZELTON: If you're going to use handcuffs or anything else involving locks, keep the keys very, very close.


SAGAL: That was Mark Hazelton of the London Fire Brigade, reminding fans of "Fifty Shades of Grey" to always know where their handcuff keys are.


SAGAL: Congratulations, you got it right.


SAGAL: You earned a point for Roxanne Roberts. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine, voicemail, whatever you have. Thank you so much for playing with us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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