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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, and here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. It is fall.


SAGAL: And while the days are becoming shorter - thank you, Bill. It's fall. And while the days are becoming shorter, this show is still an hour long. And that means we have to fill the time with more great moments from our recent past.

KURTIS: Like this Bluff the Listener game from earlier this year. Helen Hong was our guest host that week, with panelists Paula Poundstone, Adam Felber and Hari Kondabolu.


HELEN HONG: Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to play our game on air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

KELLY JOYCE: Hi, there. How are you? My name is Kelly, and I'm calling from Tewksbury, Mass.

HONG: Tewksbury, Mass.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Isn't that - was Anne Sullivan from Tewksbury, or...

JOYCE: No. Actually, she and her brother lived at the Tewksbury state hospital. They were orphaned.

POUNDSTONE: Hey, this is a comedy show.


HONG: All right, Kelly.

POUNDSTONE: I don't think we need to go bumming people out, Kelly.


POUNDSTONE: Couldn't you just say, yeah, she had a flower shop there?


HONG: It's nice to have you with us, Kelly. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What are we talking about today, Bill?

KURTIS: I forgot my toothbrush.

HONG: We've all forgotten things while traveling. While on two trips in a row traveling with this very show, Peter Sagal accidentally brought two left running shoes. That's not a setup to a joke or anything. It's just a true fact we're choosing to expose while he's on vacation.


HONG: This week, we read about someone leaving something surprising behind. Guess the panelist who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAIT... voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

JOYCE: I am ready.

HONG: Awesome. First up, it's Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: The annual Thank You For Your Service parade, presented by Disneyland in partnership with the USO, for service members and their families at Camp Pendleton in San Diego is quite a production. There are a dozen incomparable floats and an exquisite sound system.

This year, however, someone whose head must still be rolling forgot the Mickey Mouse costume. Thinking quickly, parade director Rini Masiero (ph) instructed veteran cast member Paul Matlock (ph) to perform, as scheduled, the voice of parade grand marshal Mickey Mouse as if he were there but in hiding.

(Imitating Mickey Mouse) Welcome, service members and families...


POUNDSTONE: ...(Imitating Mickey Mouse) To our Where the Heck is Mickey parade. Mickey's voice boomed to a confused crowd of parade watchers down Main Street in Camp Pendleton. (Imitating Mickey Mouse) This year, I'm camouflaged.


POUNDSTONE: (Imitating Mickey Mouse) Right, Minnie? Even Minnie looked confused, despite having facial features that are set in an immovable broad smile.


POUNDSTONE: He kind of freaked my kids out, complained corpsman John Sedich (ph). I mean, saying stuff like, don't bother looking for me; you won't see me unless I want you to see me.


POUNDSTONE: We like a Mickey we can see.


HONG: The story of a Disney parade missing its Mickey from Paula Poundstone. Your next story of someone forgetting something comes from Adam Felber.

ADAM FELBER: Could happen to anyone. You take a cool trip, whip out your GoPro to record your experience for posterity, and you discover you've left your memory card at home. OK. Now imagine it's worse because you are in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime spacewalk at the International Space Station when you realize what's happened. OK, and now imagine your colossal cock-up is streaming live to all the denizens of the Earth below you.

Well, if you're a certain American astronaut last week, you don't have to imagine anymore. In fact, the ensuing dialogue we all got to listen to between the astronaut and Mission Control sounded a lot like your grandmother getting computer customer service from Mission Control. Let me read you an actual sample.

(Imitating radio static) Hey, Houston. I got to ask you a question about the GoPro really quick. Over. (Imitating radio static) Go ahead. Over. (Imitating radio static) OK, I'm pushing the button and getting a, no SD card. That means - do I need that to record? And, if it's recording, is there supposed to be a red light on? (Imitating radio static) This is Houston. I'm told that if the card is in, it should have a red light if it's recording. (Imitating radio static) And, Houston, if it says, no SD, what does that mean? Over. (Imitating radio static) We think it means no card. Over. (Imitating radio static) [Expletive].


FELBER: OK, OK. That last line wasn't broadcast, but the other stuff did happen. And on the bright side, thanks to this foul-up, the 7.5 billion of us down below never had to say cheese and then try it all over again because that one guy blinked.


HONG: An astronaut forgetting his memory card from Adam Felber.


HONG: Your last story of someone leaving with less than they thought comes from Hari Kondabolu.

HARI KONDABOLU: A mother in suburban Chicago breathes a huge sigh of relief this week as she was reunited with her 8-year-old son Kevin, who was accidentally left at home alone as the family went on vacation to Paris.


KONDABOLU: Apparently, no one had noticed the boy was missing on their drive to the airport and through airport security...


KONDABOLU: ...And while boarding the plane.

POUNDSTONE: I don't think this one's true.


FELBER: No, no, no, no, no. I saw this somewhere.


KONDABOLU: Only once when they were in flight did the mother sense that a cherished family member may not have been present. She then shrieked, Kevin.


KONDABOLU: She would rush home where she, along with police, found the boy unharmed physically, though he may deal with abandonment issues for years to come.


KONDABOLU: In addition to the boy, the police also found two career criminals...


KONDABOLU: ...Who appeared to have suffered great bodily damage...


KONDABOLU: ...While attempting to rob the house.


KONDABOLU: One man had been shot in the groin with the BB gun and had his hand severely burned by a hot doorknob. The other man had a nail and pieces of glass Christmas ornaments lodged in his foot. Both men also miraculously survived being hit in the head with a paint can that was apparently swung from a rope at high speeds, something which would normally crush a human skull in seconds.


KONDABOLU: Child Protective Services...


KONDABOLU: Child Protective Services say they will not remove the child from the family since they believe it to be only a one-time occurrence, and certainly not something that could happen again the next year.


HONG: OK, Kelly. You've got Hari's story about a family in Chicago that left their son at home, Adam's story about an astronaut and Paula's story about a missing Mickey Mouse. Which one is real?

JOYCE: Well, I think I would have to go with the astronaut.

HONG: The astronaut, which is Adam's story.


POUNDSTONE: It's ridiculous.


HONG: Well, to find out the correct answer, take a listen to this.


DREW FEUSTEL: Houston, I got a question about the GoPro real quick. I see a, no SD. Do I need that to record?

HONG: That was astronaut Drew Feustel asking Houston about the SD card needed to record with his camera. Congratulations, Kelly. You got it right.


JOYCE: Thank you so much.

HONG: You earned a point for Adam, and you've won our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Thank you for playing with us today.

JOYCE: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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