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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 Adam Felber, Faith Salie and Jordan Carlos. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


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.

DIDY WAKS: Hi, my name is Didy Waks.

SAGAL: Hey, Didy. How are you?

WAKS: I'm good, can't complain.

SAGAL: Where are you calling from?

WAKS: I'm calling from Clinton, N.Y.

SAGAL: Clinton, N.Y., OK. You are the first person I've ever talked to named Didy. You are not the first person I ever heard of named Diddy. Do you have any relation to P. Diddy?

WAKS: No, though I get asked a lot.

SAGAL: I bet you do.

WAKS: I don't know why.

SAGAL: Now is Didy your actual name, or is it a nickname?

WAKS: It's a nickname.

SAGAL: It's a nickname.

WAKS: Thanks for guessing. Yeah, it's a Hebrew name. I'm Jewish.


WAKS: Yes.

SAGAL: Well...


WAKS: Come on. You have to come up with a joke for that.


ADAM FELBER: All right. Give us a minute here.

CARLOS: My name is Jordan. It's a Hebrew name. I'm black.


SAGAL: My name's Peter, which is a Christian saint. And I am Jewish. So somebody was confused.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Didy.

WAKS: Thank you.

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

KURTIS: The world's most supportive boyfriend.

SAGAL: That's a title that nearly, well, several men are up for every year. Our panelists are going to tell you about one of the contenders for world's best boyfriend. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize, the Wait Waiter of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

WAKS: I am.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Jordan Carlos.

CARLOS: Linguistics professor Bradley Basil (ph) was shocked when he received the following text from his girlfriend by mistake - You're right. I need to leave Bradley and come back to you. I see now that Bradley has basically been a mistress, or whatever the male equivalent of a mistress is. Now most of us at this point would have flown off the handle, learning that our girlfriend of nearly three years was secretly married, but not Bradley. Sure, he was a jilted boyfriend. But first, he was a linguistics professor. What was the male equivalent of a mistress? A sidepiece, extra guac, backdoor man? He had to know.

Bradley obsessively searched for a term, and even consulted his peers at the University. After a week of heavy research, Basil confronted his girlfriend Dawn with all his findings - A, that sadly, there literally is no male equivalent of the word mistress. B, gender is a construct. And C, the closest we have in English to that word is definitely understudly (ph).


SAGAL: All right, a British man finding out that he is the male equivalent of a mistress to his girlfriend, who turns out to be married, decides to find out what the appropriate term is for that position. Your next story of a supportive significant other comes from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: Men will go to great lengths to impress a woman. A man who happens to be a pilot knows just what to do. He invites a lady to experience his cockpit.


SALIE: And that's exactly what a Russian pilot for the airline InAero (ph) did recently. He welcomed his girlfriend into his cabin during a commercial flight over Siberia with passengers aboard. But he didn't stop there. He let this Slavic beauty named Anna actually fly the plane because he wanted to be the best boyfriend while at the same time being the worst pilot because everyone on board could have died. And he made a video of it. In the video, which Ana posted on Instagram because she is in her 20s...


SALIE: ...And then deleted because she could get arrested, you can hear the pilot giving his special friend explicit instructions to make the encounter pleasurable for both of them. He says as she steers, back to the right. Now to the left. And turn it back. Ana is wearing a fluffy, pink sweater and has fluffy, pink lips and points to the navigation display and asks poutily (ph), why can't I get there? The unseen pilot answers, well, I have no idea why you can't get there. But the real, non-flirty answer is probably because she has zero flight qualifications.


SALIE: A spokesperson for the airline offered a perfectly inscrutable Russian take on the incident, stating there are doubts these materials are actually linked to the activities of our airline in the field of passenger transportation.


SAGAL: A Russian pilot who so loved his girlfriend he let her fly the plane. Your last story of a bueno boyfriend-o comes from Adam Felber.

FELBER: At the age of 17, Yoshiki Oshima (ph) of Osaka fell madly in love with a girl named Haruko (ph), and she with him. The only problem was that Haruko was a violin prodigy and the granddaughter of a famous violinist. And grandma Suzuko (ph) had one demand of her protege, no men ever. Quote, "they're foolish and distracting," she told her granddaughter truthfully. Worse, grandma Suzuko lived on the family compound. But they had love. And grandma Suzuko had bad eyesight. The first time she came across the young couple together, Yoshiki pretended to be a plumber fixing the kitchen sink. And the ruse worked perfectly.

And so began a 15-year dance in which Haruko became a renowned first violinist for Tokyo's equally renowned NHK Symphony Orchestra. And Yoshiki, in a variety of disguises, kept the old lady in the dark by pretending to be various characters, including a delivery boy, a roofer, a butler, a maid, an accountant, a dishwasher repairman, and on one notably compromised occasion when grandma Suzuko walked in, a massage therapist.


FELBER: In 2015, the couple married in secret. And Yoshiki kept Haruko secret maintaining the household and a closet full of disguises and fake mustaches and whatnot until last week, when, in an interview marking her 90th birthday, grandma Suzuko was asked about her famously single granddaughter. And she stunned the nation saying, quote, "oh, she's been happily married for years. They think I don't know. But he sure keeps the house in great shape."


SAGAL: So these are your choices - from Jordan Carlos, a British academic who, in response to finding out that he was a piece on the side, tried to find a better term for piece on the side, from Faith Salie, a Russian pilot who allowed his own girlfriend to fly a plane filled with passengers, or from Adam Felber, a Japanese man so devoted to his girlfriend that he pretended to be a wide variety of helping occupations just to have access to her home. Which of these is the real story of a devoted male lover?

WAKS: I think it's number two.

SAGAL: You're going - that number two...


SAGAL: ...The audience likes it. That would be Faith's story of the Russian pilot who let his girlfriend take the controls.

WAKS: Yeah, I think so.

SAGAL: You're going to choose that story. All right. Well, we spoke to someone who is familiar with the real story.


PATRICK SMITH: A Russian airline pilot...


SMITH: ...Allowed his girlfriend to sit in the pilot seat and temporarily take the controls of the aircraft in flight.

SAGAL: That was Patrick Smith of Ask the Pilot and author of "Cockpit Confidential" talking about the pilot who let his girlfriend drive. And by the way, Patrick thinks you should not do that. Congratulations. You got it right. Faith was telling the truth.


SAGAL: Funny how that goes. You've won a point for her. You've also earned our prize, the voice of anyone you may like saying whatever berakah (ph) you choose on your voicemail.

WAKS: I'm going to take you up on that offer. Thank you.

SAGAL: Absolutely. Thank you so much. Take care, Didy. Bye-bye.


RAMONES: (Singing) Hey, little girl, I want to be your boyfriend. **** Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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