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Bluff The Listener


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Laci Mosley, Helen Hong and Adam Felber. And here again is your host - who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? - Peter Sagal, that's who.



Thank you, Bill, I think. 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 are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

KELLY COX: Hi. This is Kelly Cox. I'm calling from Sioux City, Iowa - Wells Blue Bunny capital, Sue Bee honey.

SAGAL: Sue Bee honey - Sue Bee honey. That's great. So what do you do there besides promote the good city of Sioux City?

COX: I am a lead chef at a senior living facility.

SAGAL: Now, I'm going to ask you because there are cliches - we have indulged in them - about senior citizens' food, about, you know, getting their Jell-O at 4:45.

COX: Right.

SAGAL: Can you tell me that this is not true and that they, in fact, have discerning palates who demand the best of you as their chef?

COX: Well, our senior living facility is kind of high-end, so I do cook things better than Jell-O.

SAGAL: Have you - I'm very - actually, I'm kind of curious about this. Have you ever tried something and felt like, oh, they're going to love this, and, like, go like, no, what is this?

COX: Yeah. I did a tapu shut (ph). It was like a French cooking technique. And you put the fish in waxed paper. And then they're like, so what do we do with this? How do we open it? What is this?

ADAM FELBER: A lot of good seniors ate a lot of wax paper that night.


SAGAL: All right, Kelly, it is great to have you on our show. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Kelly's topic?

KURTIS: Get me out of here.

SAGAL: Today's Bluff game is on a theme that's going to be difficult for anyone in this world this year to emphasize with, but try to stay with me. We're going to hear about what it's like being stuck somewhere, unable to get out. Our panelists are going to tell you about a story we saw of somebody desperate to escape this week in the news. Pick the one who's telling the true story - you'll win our prize - the voice of your choice and your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

COX: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. Let's hear first then from Laci Mosley.

LACI MOSLEY: Wesley Conover (ph), a 36-year-old self-proclaimed hipster dad, found himself in a troubling ordeal when he violated Disney's ride protocol by entering a restricted area on the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ride April 16, 2021. In an attempt to impress his children on their bi-yearly visitation, the 36-year-old father of two climbed into the pirates' brig prison cell only to find himself trapped there. His cries for help were so convincing, he was mistaken as a new exciting feature on the ride and became an instant hit.

Molly and Steven Nolan (ph), a couple from Kentucky exclaimed, we love the updated pirated look. We'd never seen a pirate in Birkenstocks and a T-shirt for The National. But his beard was really pirate-y (ph), and the way he yelled help seemed so real. Wesley was such a hit, he remained trapped on the ride for two days before parents alerted park authorities when they saw a glimpse of a hipster Jack Sparrow crying on the ride. Disney declined to comment, but an unnamed source did reveal that the company is currently brainstorming ways to incorporate trapped single fathers into their ride experience after the success of Wesley's ordeal.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A man climbs into the cell in the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ride at Disney World and gets stuck there and gets then mistaken for a real animatronic pirate. Your next story of someone who shall be released comes from Adam Felber.

FELBER: Vladislav Ivanov is finally a free man. But for the past three months, he has been held on an island against his will without a phone, trapped on a Chinese reality TV show. See - he was working as a translator when the offer came in. Would Vlad like to be a contestant on a show that would ultimately put together a K-pop-style boy band? Vlad was bored, so he agreed but soon regretted the decision. And then he found out that if he walked off the show, he'd face a hefty fine that he couldn't afford. And so Vlad set about trying to be voted off the show. He did lame raps as his fellow competitors pranced and crooned. He begged viewers not to vote for him. Don't love me, he said. Please don't make me go to the finals. I'm tired.

Chinese viewers loved him. He became an Internet sensation with legions of fans who just wanted more of sad Vlad. And so for three months, episode after episode, his fans voted him forward, prolonging Vladislav's misery and captivity. It became an international incident, with Russian bloggers begging the Chinese to stop voting for him. It's not funny anymore. Let Vlad go home. Naturally, he made it to the finals, on which he ate a lemon and frowned at the camera and asked to go home.

Finally, he got his wish and found himself mobbed by fans at the airport as he headed back to Vladivostok. He now has a huge Internet following, forever to be known as the man who, when life gave him lemons, he ate a lemon.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A man finally escapes from the Chinese reality TV show on which he is trapped, trying to not be put in a boy band. Your last story of somebody who's got to get out of this place if it's the last thing they ever do comes from Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: A solo adventurist wrapped himself in a world of trouble this past weekend when he zipped himself into a tight-fitting mummy sleeping bag and couldn't get out. Outdoor enthusiast Cale Chipps (ph) - that's Cale with a C and Chipps with two P's, thank you - was camping alone in Colorado when he settled for the night in his very snug, brand-name-knockoff sleeping bag. After struggling with the sputtering zipper for a few minutes, it violently zipped all the way up, breaking the zipper handle on its way. The bag was so tight I couldn't move my arms at all, exclaims Mr. Chipps. That's the last time I buy anything from Scatagonia (ph). It's nothing like Patagonia.

After hours of pulling, pushing and even biting at his constraints, Mr. Chipps managed to caterpillar-shimmy his way to his backpack to extract a jar of peanut butter. Using his jaw, teeth and muscles he never knew he had in his tongue, he finally succeeded in opening the jar of Skippy and smearing peanut butter near the seams of the zippered bag. It took half a day of lying absolutely still. But, eventually, a family of chipmunks took the bait. The toothy little rascals chewed up the peanut butter, it seems, just enough to allow Mr. Chipps to tear his way to freedom. With reverence and gratitude, Mr. Chipps reports he'll never sing the Alvin, Simon, Theodore song the same way ever again.


SAGAL: All right. Here are your choices, Kelly. From Laci, you heard about a man who got stuck in the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ride, specifically the jail cell when he climbed up in it to impress his kids. From Adam Felber, a poor Russian guy who got stuck on a Chinese TV show where they were creating the next big boy's band - and he desperately tried to get out of that. Or from Helen Hong, a man who got stuck in his mummy sleeping bag in the wilds of Colorado only to be rescued by some ravenous chipmunks. Which is the real story of a desperate escape in the week's news?

COX: I think it's the second one, Peter.

SAGAL: All right. So you've chosen Adam's story of the poor Russian guy who got trapped in a Chinese reality TV show. Well, to bring you the real story, we spoke to the reporter who brought this to our attention.

TEO ARMUS: Even as he begged them to vote him off, they kept keeping him on the show, passing him on to the next round.

SAGAL: That was Teo Armus. He's a reporter for The Washington Post who wrote about the poor Russian guy stuck on the Chinese reality show. Congratulations, Kelly. You got it right. You've won our prize. And you've won a point for Adam. Thank you so much for playing.

COX: Thank you. It's been great.

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Kelly. Take care.

COX: Bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


THE ANIMALS: (Singing) We got to get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.