Bluff The Listener

Nov 17, 2018
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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz.


KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tara Clancy, Mo Rocca and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts...


KURTIS: ...In Orlando, Fla., Peter Sagal.


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

CAMERON GILL: Hey. This is Cameron Gill from South Carolina.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in South Carolina?

GILL: We're actually under a freeze warning right now, believe it or not.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. You need to get down here to Florida.


SAGAL: What do you do there?

GILL: I am a landscaper by day, and I have a 2-year-old daughter, and I play men's roller derby.

SAGAL: You do what?


GILL: I play men's roller derby.

SAGAL: I didn't - first of all, I didn't know there was men's roller derby, but...

GILL: So you should be more informed.

SAGAL: You're right, obviously.


SAGAL: I'm not keeping up with the news. I apologize. So what is the appeal, out of all sports? What drew you to men's roller derby?

GILL: I like to hit people.


SAGAL: I guess I'm both glad you found an outlet, and I'm glad you're on the phone.


SAGAL: It's nice to have you with us, Cameron. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What is the topic, Bill?

KURTIS: "Little Red Riding Hood" Was a Lie.

SAGAL: We learn so much from our fairy tales. Like Goldilocks taught us, you can totally get away with breaking and entering if you're a white chick.



SAGAL: This week, though, we learned that something a fairy tale taught us was not true. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAIT-er of your choice doing your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

GILL: Let's do it.

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

FELBER: A new study from the University of Granada has finally cleared the name of a much-maligned historical figure. I'm talking, of course, about Pinocchio. It turns out that when you lie, your nose doesn't grow. It shrinks. According to lead scientist Dr. Emilio Gomez Milan, a new thermal imaging test for deceit is 10 percent more effective than a conventional polygraph, and what it shows is that when you lie, your forehead heats up by 2.7 degrees as you dream up your story. But, at the same time, the anxiety caused by the lie makes the temperature of the tip of your nose drop by about 2.2 degrees, which confirms my longstanding suspicion that dogs are full of crap.


FELBER: In any case, the upshot of this is that, when you lie, your cooled-down nose contracts and actually get smaller, not bigger - a fact which not only exonerates Pinocchio but also calls into question the veracity of many Hollywood actresses, Michael Jackson and several girls I went to high school with.


SAGAL: Deviated septum indeed, Stacy (ph). Dr. Gomez says that his new thermographic test may prove useful at police stations, airports and, of course, the Oval Office because...


FELBER: ...He says, to paraphrase The Eagles, (singing) I thought by now you would suppose that there ain't no way to hide your lying nose.


SAGAL: It turns out "Pinocchio" was wrong. It turns out your nose shrinks when you lie - not grows. Your next story of a fairy tale just, well, being a fairy tale comes from Tara Clancy.

TARA CLANCY: A recent American study aimed at discovering whether certain demographics were more trusting than others has yielded surprising results. Not just men but specifically bearded men were by far the most likely to allow a stranger to enter their homes. We can't explain it, but I like to call it the "Three Little Pigs" effect in reverse, says head researcher Philip Rosenstein (ph). Turns out you can accurately predict someone's likelihood to let you in simply by the hair of their chinny chin chin.


CLANCY: Actors playing political canvassers were dispatched to the doors of hundreds of homes to invite themselves in and observe the response. Men with bearded chins were three times as likely than any other group to grant admission. In fact, data indicates that the bushier the beard, the more welcoming its wearer.


CLANCY: Rosenstein now hopes his fairy tale phenomenon will spawn an interest in conducting further research. Quote, "If the funding can be secured, I'd like to do a second study where we can control for building materials."


CLANCY: "Unfortunately, we don't know how many of these bearded men live in brick homes, let alone, you know, houses of sticks or straw."


SAGAL: Despite what "The Three Little Pigs" might tell you, it's the men with hair on their chinny chin chin that will, in fact, let you in.

FELBER: Very plausible.

SAGAL: Your last story of a folktale being fake news comes from Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: Ever since Hans Christian Andersen told the story of "The Princess And The Pea," the pea has been maligned as a source of sleeplessness - until now. Introducing Tempur-Pedic's Peas and Quiet mattress.


ROCCA: Encased in a quilted cotton, each Peas and Quiet - it only comes in princess size - is filled with 2,000 cans of peas mashed by hand.


ROCCA: Mashed peas are a natural cooling material, maintaining a temperature of about 67 degrees. With a near-perfect density, the Peas and Quiet has been hailed as a kind of vitamin-rich memory foam.


ROCCA: The mattress should be rotated every six weeks and comes with a 75-year warranty - roughly the lifespan of a can of peas.


ROCCA: Quote, "I've never slept better," says early adopter Josie Sandler (ph) of Pinellas County.


ROCCA: "I'm telling all my friends to give peas a chance."


SAGAL: All right. Here are your choices.

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: So we found out that something we thought was true from a fairy tale isn't true. Was it, from Adam Felber, that your nose actually shrinks when you lie, contra "Pinocchio?" From Tara Clancy, men with hair on their chinny chin chins actually do let people in, unlike what we heard from "The Three Little Pigs." Or, from Mo Rocca, giving the lie to the story of "The Princess And The Pea," it turns out that canned, crushed peas are wonderful to sleep on - a vitamin-rich memory foam. Which of these is the real story of a fairy tale debunked?

GILL: Well, I have a beard, and I'm not very nice.


GILL: And Adam's song was lovely, so I'm going to go with Adam.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Adam's story...


SAGAL: ...About noses actually shrinking a little when you tell a lie, unlike Pinocchio's, which grew. All right. Well, we spoke to someone familiar with the story to bring you the correct answer.


DON KRAPOHL: If I were trying to detect a lie from the real Pinocchio, I would not use a thermal camera.


KRAPOHL: I would actually just use a tape measurer.

SAGAL: That was Don Krapohl (ph), a former CIA polygraph examiner, talking about Pinocchio and the effect of shrinking noses. Congratulations. You got it right.


SAGAL: You've earned a point for Adam Felber.

FELBER: Thank you.

SAGAL: You've won our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Congratulations.

GILL: Thank you so much.


SAGAL: Thank you so much.


JAMES AND BOBBY PURIFY: (Singing) Pull the string, and I'll wink at you. I'm your puppet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.