Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Sat July 5, 2014
Bluff The Listener
Originally published on Sat July 5, 2014 10:08 am
BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELLME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you. This week - thank you. You guys. This week, we're lost in nostalgia as we just sit and relive our own achievements. For example, some of our more interesting games and interviews.
KURTIS: I once saved an entire village by wrestling wild rhino with my bare hands on the grassy velt of Tanzania.
SAGAL: It's not a contest, Bill.
SAGAL: Here's one of our Bluff the Listener games from March of 2014. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories of heroes standing up for what they believe in. But as you know, most of them are lying.
TIM NEEDLES: Hey, how are you doing. I'm Tim Needles from Sound Beach, New York.
SAGAL: You said you're needles?
NEEDLES: I'm Tim Needles, yes.
SAGAL: Oh, Tim Needles, it's your name. It's not a creepy nickname.
SAGAL: I was worried for a second.
BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: Are you a tattoo artist?
NEEDLES: No, that would be great. I am an artist but not tattoos yet.
SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Tim. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Tim's topic?
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Profiles in Courage.
SAGAL: Change starts with an individual - one man or woman brave enough to stand up for what they believe in. Think Rosa Parks and the bus boycott, Jared the Subway Guy's fight against his own pants.
SAGAL: This week, we read a story about someone standing alone to fight the good fight no matter the odds. Guess this real story, and you will win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. You ready to play?
NEEDLES: Yes, I am.
SAGAL: All right, let's hear first from Mr. Bobcat Goldthwait.
GOLDTHWAIT: Arthur Gruntfest(ph) was fired from his job at the Donner Poultry Farm in Ashville, North Carolina, after repeatedly complaining about the treatment of the chickens. After reaching out to authorities and feeling that they turned a deaf ear to his clucking, he valiantly launched his own one-man protest against the slaughterhouse's poor conditions by dressing up in a rooster costume and standing outside the factory's gates every day for two weeks. Then things got bad.
Unbeknownst to him, the suit was covered with actual Rhode Island red rooster feathers and was infested with chicken lice larva. Due to his excess sweating, larva clusters from the wet feathers soon embedded in his armpits and nether regions, and Gruntfest suffered a major chicken lice infestation. At first I thought it was just a heat rash, said Gruntfest from his St. Stephen's Hospital bed where he is suffering from a bird flu virus common among chickens.
GOLDTHWAIT: I don't know if I feel worse from the illness or the fact that I've been wearing the very thing I was trying to save. But on the plus side, all this media attention has magnified the genocide going on at the plant, but the hospital keeps trying to serve me chicken soup.
SAGAL: A man in a chicken suit pays the ultimate chicken price for his bravery. Your next story of a brave stand comes from Amy Dickinson.
AMY DICKINSON: Mahatma Gandhi walked 240 miles to protest the salt tax in India, and Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison protesting Apartheid. And then there's Kevin Walters, the 21-year-old man who spent over 10 minutes chained to the doors of a highway rest stop this week to protest its demolition.
The rest stop is an unimpressive cinder block building, but Walters would like to enshrine it because of something that happened before he was even born. In 1993, his parents pulled into the highway oasis along the Illinois toll road after a Phil Collins concert.
DICKINSON: Something really was in the air in that night, oh, lord. One thing led to another, he said, and he was conceived. No word yet on whether any of his siblings will protest the closing of the Parsippany, New Jersey, Wawa where his parents stopped after a Third Eye Blind concert in 1997.
SAGAL: A man chaining himself to a highway rest stop in Illinois because that's where he was conceived. Your lasts story of someone taking it to the man comes from Brian Babylon.
BRIAN BABYLON: For most people, eating lunch at work is the best part of the day. But for Candace Norcott(ph) in Stamford, Connecticut, it became the fight for her life. One by one, her formerly meat-loving, snack-eating co-workers have gone vegan and becoming self-righteous monsters.
BABYLON: I thought it was a joke, said Norcott, but then someone threw away my leftover barbecue in a biohazard trash can. Then she received a memo from her HR director saying that the office had voted to go meat-free. Any meat stored in the fridge will be tossed over fears that meat fumes will infiltrate her co-workers' veggies and hummus plates.
BABYLON: Norcott asked a fashion designer friend to create a pants suit made of smoked meat.
BABYLON: Something business casual Lady Gaga would be proud of.
BABYLON: The next Monday, she showed up in a beef jerky jacket and smoked ham cummerbund for extra flare. I'll give them fumes. Suddenly her co-workers started hanging around her cubicle like a pack of drooling, hungry wolves.
BABYLON: I knew I had won them over when my jerky jacket went missing from my office. I found the director of HR and the VP of sales in the handicapped stall together eating it like a pack of zombies from "The Walking Dead."
BABYLON: The meat ban was revoked the next week. Flax seed is now a contraband substance.
SAGAL: All right, Tim, these are your stories of a lonely hero doing what they can. From Bobcat, a guy dressing as a chicken and ending up with a case of chicken lice to protect chicken conditions. From Amy Dickinson, the story of a man who briefly handcuffed himself to a highway rest stop to prevent its demolition because it was so special to him. And from Brian Babylon, somebody who wore a meat suit to the office to protect the rampant veganism...
BABYLON: Smoked meat.
SAGAL: Smoked meats, excuse me, Brian. Which of these is the real story of a courageous stand for what one believes in?
NEEDLES: Well, I'm always a fan of the highway rest stop. I'm going to go with number two.
SAGAL: You're going to go - you like highway rest stops?
NEEDLES: I enjoy the highway rest stops.
SAGAL: All right. So your choice then is Amy's story. Well, we actually spoke to this lonely hero.
KEVIN WALTERS: Twenty-one years ago, my parents were at a Phil Collins concert. One thing led to another. They ended up at the oasis, and I was conceived there.
SAGAL: That was protestor Kevin Walters talking about the night he was conceived at a rest stop outside Chicago, Illinois. Congratulations, Tim, you got it right.
SAGAL: You earned a point for Amy, and you have won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Well done, Tim.
NEEDLES: Thank you.
SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing with us today, and take care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.