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 Tom Papa, Negin Farsad and Paula Poundstone. And here, again, is your host, wearing a ketchup-stained T-shirt that matches his gravy-stained shorts, Peter Sagal.
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PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
LINDA KREIDLER: Hi, Peter.
SAGAL: Hi, who's this?
KREIDLER: This is Linda Kreidler in Cincinnati, Ohio.
SAGAL: The beautiful Queen City. What do you do there?
KREIDLER: I am a landscape designer.
SAGAL: Oh, that's cool. Do you...
KREIDLER: Yeah, it's wonderful. That's what I'm doing in quarantine.
SAGAL: Yeah. Have you decided to plant vegetables in case the food supply runs out?
KREIDLER: You bet. I wasn't going to do any vegetables or food in the garden this year, and that plan changed.
SAGAL: I bet it did. Well, welcome to the show, Linda. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what's Linda's topic?
KURTIS: Only The Fanciest Of Fancy Pants Will Do.
SAGAL: All of us can agree the most important thing right now is making sure rich people are OK. Fortunately, we heard a story this week about a high-end business finding a way to make it work in the corona era. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's not lying, and you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?
KREIDLER: Yes, I am.
SAGAL: First, let's hear from Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Virus or no virus, the genteel class has children that must be amused and kept tidy. But how, pray tell, to keep them virus-free? Au pair Amy Francisco has created Babies Best Bubble to meet that need. Her sought-after roster of au pairs care for the children of the 1% within a large plastic bubble. The children love it. What kid wouldn't love rolling their adult companion across the living room? It's like a beach ball, but there are extensions for the caregivers' arms ending in very flexible gloves, says Francisco. So the caregiver can help dress the children, prepare cold snacks and help with online education.
Creative children of the wealthy have even set up bowling competitions within their gated communities, with each household using furniture lamps and stacks of china to roll their au pair crashing into and posting videos to authenticate their scores. I watched some videos on the Internet to figure out how to roll myself, effectively, in the bubble, says au pair Julie Ferrell, a kind-faced woman with traces of a gash still healing on her forehead. It's not easy. I rolled down some stairs once, and the child I was caring for used acrylic paints on the living room wall while I figured out how to roll back up.
NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).
SAGAL: Big plastic bubbles so au pairs can still care for the children of the wealthy. Your next story of a luxurious innovation comes from Tom Papa.
TOM PAPA: Is your wife upset that your luxury cruise has been canceled? Is she staring at you from across the room and wishing she could throw you off a gangplank? Then take her down to the bottom of the sea, that is. For discerning guests with very deep pockets, Platinum Select submarines are offering exclusive getaways to the only place on Earth that is virus-free - miles below the surface of the ocean in a luxury submarine. Platinum Select is the brainchild of retired Captain Paul Haskell. I realize we could recreate the entire cruise experience. We even have an all-you-can-eat buffet. The only difference is that on your way to ours, your ears might pop. These refurbished Russian subs have been retrofitted with all the high-end amenities normally found on luxury cruise ships - multiple dining rooms, private suites and even those cool phones next to the toilet. Underwater excursions start at $10,000 a day and hold up to 12 passengers at a time. Submarine adventure packages include as close as we can get to Venice, around the Bahamas and nearby the Horn of Africa.
SAGAL: Luxury cruises that are safe because they're under water Your last story of the wealthy overcoming terrific odds comes from Negin Farsad.
FARSAD: Restaurants in Virginia will soon be allowed to reopen but only at 50% capacity. Northern Virginia restaurant The Inn at Little Washington is up to the challenge. This Michelin-starred restaurant wants to make pandemic dining an affair to remember by seating mannequins at unoccupied tables. Restaurant owner Patrick O'Connell said when they needed to reduce the restaurant occupancy by half, they still wanted the restaurant to look busy and, quote, "the solution seemed obvious. Fill it with interestingly dressed dummies." And they're not just dressed in the boring attire of 2020. No, no. These mannequins are dressed in the fineries of the 1940s, evoking a simpler time when the country was merely war-ravaged and not virus-ravaged.
And don't think the mannequins will be ignored. Oh, no. Wait staff is instructed to engage in one-sided, not-at-all-humiliating conversations with the humanoid plastic objects, whom they will also be serving with martinis and wine or Shirley Temples for mannequins who are off the sauce. O'Connell went on to say, quote, "we're all craving to gather and see other people right now. They don't all necessarily need to be real people." The Little Inn will be open at the end of the month and operating under their new plan until there's a vaccine or at least until the mannequins become self-aware and take over.
SAGAL: All right. So let's say you're a wealthy person. Somebody has come up with a way to make your life just a little bit easier. Is it from Paula Poundstone? You can still have your au pair looking after your kids. They'll just wear a big plastic bubble. From Tom Papa? You can still take your cruise, but it will be in a submarine complete with buffet? Or from Negin Farsad? You can still eat at a fancy restaurant. You'll just be sharing the place with very classy-looking mannequins. Which of these is the real story in the week's news?
KREIDLER: OK. I've got to say number three with the mannequins.
SAGAL: You've got to say number three with the mannequins at the Inn of Little Washington.
KREIDLER: Yes, that's the truth.
SAGAL: All right. That's your choice. That's Negin's story. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone familiar with the true story.
ANN LIMPERT: Your dining room can only be 50% full, so he is filling it with mannequins dressed in 1940s costumes.
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SAGAL: That was Ann Limpert. She was the food editor at Washington (ph) magazine. And before everybody writes in, she was talking about The Inn at Little Washington, which has three Michelin stars. They'll let you know that if you screw it up. Congratulations, Linda. You got it right. You earned a point for Negin. You've won our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Thank you so much for playing with us today.
FARSAD: Thank you, Linda.
POUNDSTONE: Thanks, Linda.
KREIDLER: Well, thank you. And I love your show. Thank you so much.
SAGAL: Oh, thank you so much, Linda. I really appreciate you calling. Bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.