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 Adam Burke, Aida Rodriguez and Maz Jobrani. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you very much, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you so much, everybody. Hey, we want to remind you that you can also hear our show as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. That's right - finally, we get to the bottom of who murdered Maz Jobrani.
SAGAL: Oh, I'm sorry - spoiler.
SAGAL: Right now, though, 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
SEAN GALLIMORE: Hey, Peter. How're you doing?
SAGAL: I'm doing fine. Who's this?
SAGAL: Sean - where are you calling from, Sean?
GALLIMORE: Sumter, S.C.
SAGAL: Sumter, S.C. OK. What do you do there?
GALLIMORE: Yup. I'm a trucker.
SAGAL: Oh, you are. We sometimes hear from truckers that they like public radio because it gives them company on the road. Is that the case with you?
GALLIMORE: It is. I like your show. And when Car Talk was on...
GALLIMORE: ...That really gave me a good chuckle when I needed it.
GALLIMORE: So thank you.
SAGAL: That's why we're here. That's...
SAGAL: That's two hours a week. What do you do to pass the rest of the time?
GALLIMORE: Oh, well, interesting you should ask. I happen to be the most interesting person I personally know.
SAGAL: So you don't mind all that time alone in the cab because you've got you with you.
SAGAL: Well, Sean, welcome to the show. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Sean's topic?
KURTIS: Get out of the way, grandma.
SAGAL: Ah, the commute - the thing you don't like to do that gets you to the place you don't want to be. This week, we read about someone trying to improve your commute for you. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize - the voice of the WAIT WAIT-er of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play, Sean?
SAGAL: OK. Here we go. First, let's hear from Adam Burke.
ADAM BURKE: Strap hangers of the world know the pains of public transportation, particularly in summertime when it is quite literally the pits. Across the globe, commuters are crushed into densely packed compartments face-to-face with a stranger's underarm that's been insufficiently perfumed.
BURKE: Now a Tacoma-based consulting firm think they've solved the issue and are currently conducting tests on the subway network in Seoul, South Korea. It's a very simple concept, explains lead engineer Sarah Chen (ph). No one wants to cause a scene by calling someone out for their scent, so our solution is both effective and, more importantly, anonymous. Each strap and handle on a train car is equipped with a special mechanism which, when activated by a subtle twist and pull motion, dispenses a pleasant fragrant mist which deodorizes the area immediately around the olfactorily affected passenger.
BURKE: While attempts have been made to alleviate train stench in the past, this is the first to be passenger-operated. Our original design had the spray aimed directly at the problem area, explained Chen.
BURKE: But height differences meant some people were getting deodorized right in the face.
BURKE: The pilot program is going well. We're calling it Axilla, says Chen - partially because that's the scientific name for armpits but mainly because Axilla sounds like a giant lizard made of body spray.
SAGAL: Deodorant spritzers installed at armpit height that can be activated by anyone who needs to on the trains. Your next story of a commute improved comes from Aida Rodriguez.
AIDA RODRIGUEZ: There's a new way to get to work in New York, and it is taking the city by the walls. It's a new startup called PRKR - that's parkour with no vowels.
RODRIGUEZ: Parkour, of course, is the new sport of leaping from place to place in the urban environment like acrobatics without a circus tent or a net underneath you. PRKR provides you with your very own parkour coach, who will show up at your home at a designated time and help you jump, spin, climb and somersault your way to work. It's backed entirely by out-of-work former circus performers.
RODRIGUEZ: Because is there any other kind of former circus performers?
RODRIGUEZ: Owner Bigsby Daniels (ph) says, quote, "People complain that the sidewalks in Midtown are too crowded, and they are. But the walls are like an express lane."
RODRIGUEZ: All of a sudden, my boring commute was an exciting life-and-death adventure, said PRKR client Leslie Danson (ph) from her hospital bed.
RODRIGUEZ: As soon as my clavicle heals, I'm going to upgrade to the Spider-Man rooftop jumps package.
SAGAL: Commuting by parkour in New York City. Your last story of a commute in good repute comes from Maz Jobrani.
MAZ JOBRANI: If you live in a big city, you've certainly seen rental electric scooters zipping hipsters around town, being left haphazardly on sidewalks and annoying the hell out of you. Well, in an effort to improve the local commute experience, a Swedish company called Cangoroo is introducing an alternative ridesharing option. Cangoroo, spelt with a C, is a pogo stick-sharing company.
JOBRANI: Yes, pogo stick. Since tech companies are always looking for new, innovative ways to do business no matter how stupid it sounds...
JOBRANI: Cangoroo has decided that bouncing from your lunch meeting to your personal trainer to your dinner date is what we all need in our lives. CEO and co-founder Adam Mikkelsen states, (imitating Swedish accent) we've been following the micro-mobility market and seeing the demand. We also are making a statement and contributing to something beyond taking you from point A to Point B - emphasizing the sustainability and fitness aspect of the pogo sticks. Like most trends, this one will probably catch on for a little while until someone bounces off a pogo stick onto the sidewalk and into the hospital. Anyone who's seen this movie before knows that Cangoroo can go wrong.
SAGAL: All right, Sean. Let me review your choices for you.
SAGAL: One of these stories of a way to make your commute more interesting, if not quicker, is true. From Adam Burke, installing spray deodorant dispensers in subways - that you can spritz them right in the offending armpit - from Aida, commuting by parkour in New York City and from Maz, rental pogo sticks - just like those scooters but bouncier. Which of these is the real story of a new transportation option?
GALLIMORE: Well, I like the first one where you get to spritz the person in the armpit.
SAGAL: OK. So your choice is Adam's story of the little devices that allow you to spritz offending people right in their armpit, hopefully without their knowledge, on smelly subway cars.
SAGAL: All right. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to the person who is actually in charge of this way of improving your commute.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
ADAM MIKKELSEN: Of course, we're not that delusional that we believe that pogo sticks are (unintelligible).
SAGAL: That was Adam Mikkelsen. He is the founder and CEO of Cangoroo, the company behind the pogo stick-share program. And before we go further, we just have to admit Maz nailed his accent.
JOBRANI: Come on.
SAGAL: Nailed it.
JOBRANI: Come on.
BURKE: His voice...
SAGAL: I thought it was you again, Maz.
SAGAL: So anyway, as we have no doubt figured out, Sean, because you realized this - that in fact, Adam was lying. It was Maz who had the unbelievable true story of the rent-a-pogo sticks. I'm sorry you did not win. However, you've earned a point for Adam for, I think, his lovely idea...
SAGAL: ...Of dealing with the problem of subways in the summer. Thank you so much for listening, Sean. Thank you so much for calling and playing.
GALLIMORE: Thanks, Peter.
SAGAL: Take care.
KURTIS: Thanks, Sean.
(SOUNDBITE OF RED GARLAND'S "BILLIE'S BOUNCE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.