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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're playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Faith Salie and Luke Burbank. And here again is your host at the Mann in Philadelphia, Pa., Peter Sagal.



Thank you, guys. Thank you all so much. 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JAMES: Hi. This is James, and I'm calling from Salem, Mass.

SAGAL: Hey, I know...


SAGAL: ...Salem exceptionally well. What do you do there?

JAMES: I have - well, I guess, technically four jobs now. So I do Uber, Lyft. I host trivia nights. And I am currently being employed by UPS.

SAGAL: So I want to ask, do you like passengers who talk to you or the passengers who don't?

JAMES: It depends on the passenger, actually.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: Well, James, it's very nice to talk to you without having to pay for the privilege.

JAMES: It's a pleasure.

SAGAL: You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What's the topic, Bill?

KURTIS: The people united will still probably be defeated.


SAGAL: A counterprotest isn't just what you do when Beto O'Rourke won't stop standing on your counter.


SAGAL: It's a way to stand up for what you believe in in the face of the people who oppose you. This week, we heard about an unusual counterprotest. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the real one, you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

JAMES: Oh, God. Yes, I'm so excited.


SAGAL: All right. Let's hear first from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: When Denmark's most motivated anti-vaxxers decided to march through the small city of Roskilde last week on their way to demonstrate in Copenhagen, they expected to meet some resistance, but they never expected what they found. Karen Sorensen (ph) organized the march along with her 7-year-old unvaccinated son, Axel (ph). A dozen other families join them waving banners and chanting my child, my choice. Young Axel proudly made up his own chant - no jabs, no scabs.

But he stopped yelling when he tripped over the body - the body of a man covered in boils - what the medical community might call bubos. The man managed to moan, get out, get out while you can. Karen grabbed Axel and led her group away from the body and noticed how quiet it was. Roskilde seemed like a ghost town - doors shuttered, the wall of a building spray painted in blood-red letters - plague inside.

The terrified anti-vaxxers ran out of town, back the way they came to get vaccinated against the bubonic plague. The mayor of Roskilde, Elizabeth Nielsen (ph), triumphantly yelled, cut. And the town's pro-vaccination denizens emerged to high-five the actors.


SAGAL: A town presents some anti-vaxxers with the bubonic plague and scares them away. Your next story of somebody who doth protest the right amount comes from Luke Burbank.

LUKE BURBANK: They say neo-Nazis are like ants. They're weird, little creatures that can really ruin a summer afternoon.


BURBANK: OK, nobody says that. I just made that up. But I think it actually has some potential. Anyway, the people of Ostritz, Germany, know what I'm talking about. Why? Because last weekend, they were faced with the problem of a bunch of neo-Nazis descending on their small town for a neo-Nazi Music Festival. The town decided to fight back against the festival. How? By starving the neo-Nazis of their primary source of food - beer.

First, the police force got permission from a local court to seize almost all of the beer in town - 7,000 liters - before it fell into the wrong stomachs. That, though, still left 200 crates of beer for sale in the local grocery store. So the people of Ostritz stood up, they went to that local grocery store and they literally bought up all of the beer left in the town themselves, so the Nazis couldn't get it. The ultimate location of that beer is unknown. It now appears to be completely missing. When asked, the townspeople burped.


BURBANK: And the plan worked. Attendance at the Nazi festival was down by over 50% this year. Peter?


SAGAL: Luke. Neo-Nazis foiled when the town bought up all the beer so that they couldn't have any. Your last story of a productive picket comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: The Lucky Moose Food Mart in Toronto, Ontario, did not get lucky when they made the decision not to allow soy milk and nut milk to abide in the section reserved for cow-produced milk. The local vegan community responded with a pro-nut milk day of rage. There were posters screaming, don't let dairy cream nuts and holster your Holstein, someone walking on two feet in a cow costume bearing a sign that simply says, how dare you.


POUNDSTONE: So at first, it was assumed the people who got off the old-timey truck with the hay on it were fellow vegans. They set up nut milking demonstrations with people in overalls sitting on stools, trying to squeeze liquid from almonds and soybeans into metal buckets. Others set up an enclosure, threw some nuts on the ground inside it and yelled, come on, kids - it's a nut milk petting zoo.


POUNDSTONE: As it became clear these were not vegans but dairy farmers, sick and tired of raising milk cows from calves only to see them put out of a job by some damn plant. Nut milk doesn't even need refrigerated, said a man who called himself old nut farmer McDonald (ph), who was actually an executive with a local dairy co-op named Andrew Ortover (ph). Just put it on a shelf in the weird food section.



SAGAL: So here are your choices. One of these was a counterprotest that was actually quite successful. Was it, from Faith Salie, how the people in a town in Europe managed to foil vaxxers by pretending they all had the bubonic plague and driving them out of town? Was it, from Luke Burbank, how a Nazi rally in Germany was foiled when all the townspeople who don't like Nazis bought up all the beer so the Nazis wouldn't have any? Or, from Paula Poundstone, how some dairy farmers turned vegan protesters' methods on their head in order to make a claim for milk? Which of these is the real story of a counterprotest this week?

JAMES: I'm going to go with Luke's story, I think.

SAGAL: You're going with Luke's story about the neo-Nazis...


SAGAL: ...Who gave up on the rally because there was no beer to be had.

JAMES: It sounds like something crazy German people might do.

SAGAL: It does sound - they are beer-oriented. Well, we spoke to somebody who actually covered the actual counterprotest. Here they are.


ALEX SAROVIC: Some citizens decided to buy up all the beer in a local supermarket and to make it more difficult (unintelligible) the people attending the neo-Nazi rock festival to get alcohol.

SAGAL: That was Alex Sarovic. He's a journalist who covered the story of the beer protest for Der Spiegel Online News in Germany. Congratulations, James - you got it right.


SAGAL: Luke was telling the truth.


SAGAL: He earns a point. You win our prize - the voice of anyone you might like on your voicemail. Congratulations.

JAMES: Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure.

SAGAL: It's been a pleasure to talk to you, and thanks so much.

POUNDSTONE: Thanks, James.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: (Singing) Who drank my beer while I was in the rear? Tell me, tell me, who drank my beer while I was in the rear? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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