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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 are playing this week with Alonzo Bodden, Mo Rocca and Helen Hong. And here, again, is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Segal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: 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.

REBECCA GORNEY: Hi. This is Rebecca. I'm calling from Delmar, a suburb outside of Albany, N.Y.

SAGAL: Oh, the capital region, as they say up there. What do you do there?

GORNEY: I work for the state. I work in the Department of Environmental Conservation.

SAGAL: Environmental conservation. Are things changing in New York state? I understand there's sort of a political transformation going on. Is that the case?

GORNEY: Not as far as I'm aware.


SAGAL: Well, Rebecca, it's great to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Rebecca's topic?

KURTIS: Give a hoot. Don't pollute, or I'll cut you.


SAGAL: According to the latest data, the Earth will be uninhabitable in about 25 years. But that hasn't stopped people from trying to make things better. This week, we read about a surprising effort to heal the planet. Pick the real one, you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAIT voice of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to play?


SAGAL: First, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.

ALONZO BODDEN: We've all heard stories of soccer hooligans drinking, fighting and rioting before the game, at the game, after the game, on their way to the game, on their way home from the game. The game is just a brief intermission from their rioting.


BODDEN: Well, now, to prove they're not bad people, just overly passionate, hooligans have come together to clean the streets around their arenas. The day after a match and the accompanying riot, soccer fans are coming down to pick up litter, beer cans, broken bottles, you name it. According to Eurosport magazine (ph), they've even become competitive at it. Arthur Simeon (ph), a huge Barcelona and Messi fan, says, yeah, sometimes, we get out of control. But if we play Saturday, we're out here cleaning Sunday. We weigh our recyclables and compare amounts to other clubs around Europe to see who cleans up best. I just want to know we've outcleaned Portugal and Ronaldo.

Danny O'Brien (ph), a Watford fan says, yeah, it's a giggle to get out here and see what we've done the day after a win. The cleanup's got people who don't even know football hoping we win. Makes the neighborhood nicer. Who knows? Maybe it'll catch on, even in the States. We've seen how you Yanks are after a championship. I guess it doesn't even take a championship. The Raiders may not play proper football, but those fans are proper hooligans.


SAGAL: Football hooligans in Europe doing their part...


SAGAL: ...To clean up both before and after their riots. Your next story of someone working to be environmentally conscious comes from Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: Drug dealers have a lot to worry about - getting raided by the cops, of course, getting murdered by ruthless drug cartels, sure, sure. But also, climate change is real, you guys. Saving the environment has become such a concern for cocaine dealers in Birmingham, England, that they've stopped selling the white powder in Ziploc baggies and have started using reusable pods.


HONG: The practice, though woke, is confusing their customers who, frankly, just want to get high. (Imitating British accent) I was given a gram of cocaine in this plastic pod thing, and my dealer said they were not serving up in plastic Ziploc bags or wraps anymore, one confused coke fiend told metro.uk.


HONG: (Imitating British accent) He said I could bring it back if I wanted to, and he would refill it and that it would be better for the environment.

Biodegradable paper straws for snorting are sold separately.


SAGAL: Cocaine dealers in Great Britain getting with the environment...


SAGAL: ...By using reusable containers for their coke. Your last story of a surprising attempt to make the world a better place comes from Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: Marilyn Hill (ph) is a flight attendant. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and she works for Sun Country Airlines. And on Sun Country Airlines, they serve bananas a lot, and Marilyn really hates touching banana peels. And so she wears gloves so that she doesn't have to touch them. But Sun Country has a small budget for gloves. And so, sometimes, she's ended up having to handle the slimy banana peels, and she gets upset because they're also a huge environmental hazard, the - just banana peels everywhere. And so she was so frustrated, she started making a Bloody Mary on the plane, and she cut her hand. She was very upset about it.

And then she just impulsively took one of the banana peels and wrapped it around her hand. And, magically, it, like, healed the wound in her hand. And what's more - she was the flight attendant on the flight, the regular flight from Cincinnati to Macau. And when she got to Macau, she usually has jet lag. But she found that the potassium from the banana peel filtered into her system, and she no longer had jet lag. So she discovered these amazing medical properties of banana peels. And so she sold it to Merck, this...


ROCCA: And Merck paid her huge amounts of money. And with that money, she has now upped the budget for Sun Country's gloves. So no flight attendant ever needs to touch a banana peel again.


SAGAL: OK. I think I've grasped this. These are your choices.


SAGAL: From Alonzo Bodden, soccer hooligans doing their part to clean up the grounds where they have rioted or might riot; from Helen Hong, cocaine dealers in Great Britain deciding to use reusable pods instead of environmentally wasteful plastic baggies; and from Mo Rocca...


SAGAL: ...A tale as old as time...


SAGAL: ...In which a flight attendant discovers that banana peels can be used for their health benefits, thereby preventing them from being disposed as waste.

ROCCA: Exactly.

SAGAL: Thank you.


GORNEY: Well...

SAGAL: So...

GORNEY: None of these are...


SAGAL: None of these are super compelling.


GORNEY: I'm going to go with Alonzo and the soccer hooligans.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Alonzo and the soccer hooligans...


SAGAL: But these hooligans are running around and cleaning up the places where they riot because that's how they are. Well, we spoke to somebody who knew something about the real story.

JAMES RODGER: One of the users in Birmingham went to a dealer. And it was actually the dealer who said that it would be better for the environment if he could return this and refill it.

SAGAL: I'm sure you thought that was still Helen talking because of the...


SAGAL: ...Amazingly accurate accent she did. But, in fact, it was Helen's story that was true. That was James Rodger, head of trends at Birmingham Live, talking to us about the environmentally woke cocaine dealers of that town.


SAGAL: So I'm sorry you were fooled by Alonzo's very, very nice story. But you have earned a point, at least, for him. So thank you...

BODDEN: Thank you.

SAGAL: ...So much for playing.


GORNEY: OK. Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF J.J. CALE SONG, "COCAINE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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