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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 Mo Rocca, Faith Salie and Luke Burbank. And here again is your host from the beautiful Sagal Closet Auditorium and Theater, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. 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.

NICOLE KRAFT: Hi. This is Nicole Kraft, calling from Columbus, Ohio.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Columbus, that capital city?

KRAFT: Things are pretty good in Columbus.

SAGAL: I'm glad to hear it. What do you do there when you're allowed to go do it?

KRAFT: (Laughter) Well, I'm actually still allowed to go do it. I'm a professor of communication at the Ohio State University, and we've been teaching remotely for the last five weeks.

SAGAL: And how did you find teaching remotely as opposed to teaching - I guess face to face?

KRAFT: Well, it beats not teaching at all. And we tried to make it worth their while. We brought in really prominent guest speakers that would come in and Zoom into our classes.

MO ROCCA: You didn't ask any of us.

LUKE BURBANK: Yeah, exactly.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: I've got nothing to do.

SAGAL: Geez.

KRAFT: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, it's really nice to have you with us, Nicole. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what's Nicole's topic?

KURTIS: Underwear saves the day.

SAGAL: Underwear is a hero according to a survey of a thousand pairs of jeans. This week, we heard a story of undergarments helping out in a new way. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAIT-er of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

KRAFT: I am ready.

SAGAL: All right, Nicole. Here we go. First, let's hear from Mo Rocca.

ROCCA: The workers were under a tight deadline. Minnesota's Reardon Summer Camp (ph) was about to begin, but the pool's construction wasn't complete. To work round the clock, the laborers needed coffee, but they were out of coffee filters. Foreman Glen Hershey (ph) had an idea. After debriefing his co-workers, he debriefed. That's right - he used his underwear as a coffee filter. Here's how it works. Drop a nice pile of coffee grounds into the seat of the underpants. As the pile begins steaming...

FAITH SALIE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: ...Watch as the deep-brown goodness seeps through into a waiting cup. Now, while this process will stain your underpants a deep brown, you can wear them afterward. That's what Glen Hershey did - proudly. Quote, "As the parents began dropping the kids off at the pool, we all high-fived each other, and I felt so warm inside. Me - I'm never buying coffee filters again.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Glen Hershey, foreman on a construction project, tells us...

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...In great detail about using his underwear for a coffee filter. Your next story of someone delegating to delicates comes from Faith Salie.

SALIE: There are a lot of benefits to having enough cleavage to fill a large brassiere. I mean, I guess - I would not know. But just ask Betsy Ross. Yes, that's her real name, and she lives in Visalia, Calif., in 2020 and not Philadelphia in 1776. She and her family recently went to a local park to play pickleball, which is a paddle sport. Betsy discovered some smashed duck nests and one lone slightly cracked egg. She called the local animal shelter, who told her they don't take eggs.

But you know who does take eggs? Betsy Ross's bra. Betsy nestled that egg in her bosom. I carried it in my bra for 35 days and slept with it there as well, she says. I'm a plus-sized girl, so it just kind of fit right in between my breasts. She learned the egg needed warmth and humidity, so she decided to just keep the egg where it was. My boobs sweat in heat, she explains. So all she had to do was rotate the egg four to five times a day and hand it to her husband when she showered, who presumably stood there feeling both nervous and left out.

Betsy's bra proved to be an excellent substitute for a duck's rear because the duckling hatched. After spending such intimate time together, the wee fowl obviously didn't want to say goodbye to Betsy and her soft, lacy nest. She says, he would follow me, and when I left without him, my husband complained that he would sit and cry. They finally sent her waddling boob baby to a rescue farm. And I think we all know that if ducks could talk, this one would quack, thanks. Thanks for the mammaries.

BURBANK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Betsy Ross of Visalia, Calif., hatching a duck egg in her bra. Your last story of underwear that went there comes from Luke Burbank.

BURBANK: Lynn and Pham Demort (ph), a retired couple from Ypsilanti, Mich., thought they were setting out for a relaxing day of canoeing on Lake Erie last week when things started to go awry. First, a strong wind blew them further out into the lake than they'd intended, at which point they also realized the canoe, which had been sitting in their garage for years, actually had a crack in it and was taking on water. To their relief, they limped the boat to Mouse Island, a tiny speck of land 10 miles off-shore.

Unfortunately, the island had no cell phone reception. Fortunately, it was once inhabited by a family of bootleggers, the Maguires (ph), who were hiding out from the law. Their cabin had mostly collapsed. But in the debris, the Demorts were able to find over 30 pairs of old-fashioned knickers, which had somehow been preserved, and then tied them together like a kite, which is where old and new technologies collided - literally.

The kite managed to get tangled up in a drone that was flying overhead, and then the annoyed owner of the drone came by the island to retrieve it. And there, they found the very cold, very tired but unhurt Demorts. Thank God thong underwear hadn't been invented back then, a shivering Lynn Demort told a local paper when they reached shore, or we would have never been found alive.

SAGAL: All right. Here are your choices, Nicole. From Mo Rocca, a charming, lovely and, I would say, even inspiring story of underwear used as a coffee filter. From Faith, a woman who hatched a duck egg by carrying it around in her bra for a month. And from Luke, how the Demorts of Michigan saved themselves with some antique underwear they found on an island. Which of these is the real story of underwear saving the day?

KRAFT: My husband's from Philadelphia, so I'm going to have to take the one that says the - that has Betsy Ross in it. So I'll go with number two.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Betsy Ross. That, of course, is Faith's story of the woman who nurtured a baby duck in her own bra. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we actually spoke to the person who was saved by underwear.


BETSY ROSS: I actually had it in my bra for 33 days. I figured boob sweat - why not put it in there?


SAGAL: That was Betsy Ross, the duck egg savior herself. Congratulations, Nicole. You got it right. You earned a point for Faith. You've won our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Congratulations, Nicole.

KRAFT: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Aw. Thank you so much for calling in and playing our game.


MARIAH CAREY: (Singing) You'll always be a part of me. I'm part of you indefinitely. Boy, don't you know you can't escape me? Ooh, darling, 'cause you'll always be my baby. And we'll linger on... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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