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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, playing this week with Peter Grosz, Helen Hong and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, Peter Sagal.


Thank you so much.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. 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.

EMILY: Hi. My name's Emily (ph). And I'm calling from New York, N.Y.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in New York?


EMILY: Well, the city never sleeps.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

EMILY: I'm in my first year at NYU Law School.

SAGAL: Oh. How are you...


SAGAL: Oh, that's great. How are you enjoying the city?

EMILY: Oh, I'm liking it but not as good as Boston.

SAGAL: There you are.


HELEN HONG: Whoa. Them's fighting words.

EMILY: (Laughter).


SAGAL: The thing that you're encountering that you've never seen before that's a little scary is the letter R.


SAGAL: It's all right. It won't hurt you. Emily, it's nice 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 Emily's topic?

KURTIS: You don't have to do this.

GROSZ: So the phrase you don't have to do this shows up on a lot of places, weirdly not when Joe Biden told somebody he wanted to run for president again.


SAGAL: Our panelists are going to tell you about the phrase being used that we saw in a pretty unusual circumstance in the news this week. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You will win our prize, the voice of the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

EMILY: Yes. Let's go.

SAGAL: Let's go. First, let's hear from Mr. Adam Felber.

ADAM FELBER: In an evening that will go down in the already legendary history of Sunshine State crime, Brian Frank (ph) of Ocklawaha, Fla., last Wednesday went through a series of mishaps already being called the most Florida night in state history. It all started at around 9 p.m. when Mr. Frank, already inebriated and shirtless, set off some high-potency fireworks, blew off his left pinky and set his girlfriend's house on fire.


FELBER: He then retrieved the pinky, put it in a small baggie and made the unfortunate decision to drive himself to the hospital. Twenty minutes later, Mr. Frank drove off the road into the swamp where he promptly encountered an alligator. And although he escaped, his remaining clothing did not. And so Mr. Frank arrived naked at the Circle K convenience store, which he then robbed for basic medical supplies, a roll of paper towels, a six pack of beer, a can of Red Bull and some beef jerky. Mr. Frank fashioned himself a crude loin cloth out of the paper towels and fled. Approximately 30 minutes later, having finished four beers, Mr. Frank commandeered a riding lawnmower and resumed his journey.


FELBER: It was there riding 10 miles per hour northbound on the southbound side of Interstate 75 that he was pulled over by officer Julie Larson whom he led on a foot chase on the medium and then into the woods. And when finally cornered by backup officers, Mr. Frank, bloodied and sweating, wearing only scraps of paper towels, raised two hands over his head, one holding the two remaining beers, the other holding his severed pinky and shouted at the arresting officers, you don't have to do this.


SAGAL: The most Florida man ever to Florida says you don't have to do this to the cops who finally cornered him. Your next story of someone who did have to say you don't have to do this comes from Helen Hong.

HONG: A new dieting app is causing unusually strong responses to its gentle nudging approach. The app, which is questionably named You Don't Have To Do This, senses when crumbs, dairy products or bacon grease touches the phone's keypad.


HONG: It then gently voices an encouraging/discouraging phrase. Carol, is that a doughnut?


HONG: You don't have to do this.


HONG: Other phrases dropped by the shade-filled voice include, hey, Jeff, I believe in you. But you know what doesn't? - that double cheeseburger.


HONG: And also, Tracy, we're on your side. But if you put that pizza in your mouth, it will be on both your sides.


HONG: The passive-aggressive commentary has been prompting enraged responses from offended dieters. The app's creators are considering retooling the system after more than 20 users demanded the company replace their phones after they were thrown across the room in a rage.


SAGAL: You Don't Have To Do This, the dieting app - your next story of the phrase you don't have to do this having to appear in the news comes from Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Quick - what would you do if you were attacked by a bear? You don't have time to think. Do you run? Do you throw a stick at it? Do you jangle your keys in his general direction? Or do you do something more, shall we say, unconventional? Brandon Lattie, a 27-year-old man from Prince George, British Columbia, is safe and sound after he and a friend had a harrowing encounter with a black bear at the Ferguson Lake Nature Preserve. They immediately ran away. But the bear gave chase. And when they split up the bear ignored his friend and was right on top of Lattie, who presumably smells more like food.


GROSZ: I almost got stuck in a swampy area, Lattie told the website BC Local News. And the bear was on my back. I jumped into the water with no game plan. But he sure came up with a game plan when the bear caught up with him and was holding him under the water. Lattie, scared that he was going to die, was able to get his head above water for just a moment. Then he turned to the bear, looked him square in the eye and said, you don't have to do this.


GROSZ: Now, while they do keep records for most home runs, touchdowns, and shortest time as White House communications director, no one has definitively determined the stupidest thing ever said to a bear. But this has got to be in the top 10. Miraculously, though, the bear backed off. Maybe it was Battie's (ph) dramatic scolding. Or maybe it was the fact that a woman showed up just at that moment with her dog who barked and scared the bear off. But honestly, I feel bad for the bear. Which is a more embarrassing story to tell your buddies - I was about to eat this guy, and a dog scared me off, or I was about to eat this guy, but then he looked me in the eyes and told me I didn't have to do it, and that really made me think?


GROSZ: All right, Emily.


SAGAL: These are your choices. The phrase you don't have to do this showed up in the news this week. Was it from Adam Felber, what the most Florida man ever to go on a Florida man caper said to the police when they got him?


SAGAL: Audience likes that. Was it from Helen Hong, a diet app...


SAGAL: ...Called You Don't Have To Do This, which tries to shame people into not eating and just makes them mad or from Peter Grosz, a guy who being attacked by a bear, looked the bear in the eye and said, you don't have to do this...


SAGAL: ...And it may or may not have actually worked? Which of these is the real story from the week's news?

EMILY: While I really like the Florida - I'm sorry - Flahda (ph) answer...

SAGAL: Flahda.


EMILY: ...I'm going to have to go with the bear.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the bear. You like Peter's story about the guy...

EMILY: I like Peter (laughter).


SAGAL: The guy who fended off the bear with Talmudic reasoning.


SAGAL: All right. Well, to bring you the real answer, we spoke to someone very central to the real story.


BRANDON LATTIE: The bear was holding me underwater...


LATTIE: (Unintelligible). I don't know why I said it. But I said, you don't have to do this.

SAGAL: That was Brandon Lattie, the man himself talking about how he told a bear, which you may not have been able to hear was holding him underwater. He sort of put his head out of the water and said, you don't have to do this to the bear. And he survived. You got it right. Peter was telling the truth.


SAGAL: He gets a point. You win our prize, anybody you like in the show on your voicemail saying, leave a message for Emily, but you don't have to do this.


EMILY: So exciting.

SAGAL: Well, that is exciting. Congratulations, Emily.


EMILY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye, Emily.


THE WHO: (Singing) Baby, don't you do it. Don't do it. Don't you break my heart. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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