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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, and here is your host, a man who's tearing apart his kitchen looking for that last can of SpaghettiOs, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. So this week, we're taking a cross-country journey of the mind because we're tired of staying at home. Bill, are you still in your great room?

KURTIS: No, I've retired to the billiards parlor.


KURTIS: I've still got that sledgehammer break.

SAGAL: Glad to hear it. In November of last year, just six months ago, we went to Richmond, Va., and played a Bluff game with Tom Bodett, Maeve Higgins and Luke Burbank.


SAGAL: Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MARIE COLE: This is Marie calling from Reidsville, N.C.

SAGAL: Hello, Marie. How are you?


COLE: I'm so well. How are you?

SAGAL: I don't know where Reidsville is. Where is it?

COLE: About 30 minutes west of Greensboro.

SAGAL: Greensboro, of course. What do you do there?

COLE: I work at a 4-H educational center.

SAGAL: Oh, wow, 4-H. This is the group that, like, teaches kids animal husbandry and stuff.

COLE: Yup, environmental education and team building is what I primarily do.

SAGAL: Yeah, OK. Because animal husbandry just sounds kind of creepy, so it's better.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Marie. You, of course, are going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction.

Bill, what is Marie's topic?

KURTIS: #FreeQuilty.

SAGAL: This week, we saw the hashtag #FreeQuilty appear in the social media networks, and it really started a movement. Our panelists are each going to tell you what #FreeQuilty means. Of course, only one of them is telling the truth. Pick that person, and you will win our prize - the voice of anyone you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

COLE: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Luke Burbank.

LUKE BURBANK: Mitch Love (ph), head coach of the Saskatoon Blades hockey team, held what must have been the weirdest press conference of his career this week as he officially distanced himself and the organization from the team's troubled mascot, Quilty the toilet paper roll...


BURBANK: ...Who remains in a Saskatchewan jail on charges of disorderly conduct.


BURBANK: As you all probably know, the forests surrounding Saskatoon are where most of Canada's toilet paper comes from, hence the city's nickname, the town that gets stuck under your shoe.


BURBANK: And so it seemed only fitting that the local junior hockey team would honor that tradition with Quilty, a 6-foot-3 roll of toilet paper with huge googly eyes and a somewhat unsettling smile.


BURBANK: Not surprisingly, Quilty has been a big hit on social media, with fans posting his various antics. But things got weird last week during all the Molson you can drink night...


BURBANK: ...When Quilty - or, more accurately, Fred Northam Jr. (ph), the college kid who plays Quilty - decided to see how much he could drink, which, it turns out, is a lot.


BURBANK: That led Quilty to commandeering the Zamboni, which is that thing they use to clean the ice, and leading security on a slow-speed chase around the rink for over two hours.


BURBANK: Security and fans tried to reason with Quilty that the ice was clean enough. But Northam just kept drunkenly yelling, let me do one more pass, you know, to make sure everything's clean down there.


BURBANK: The incident has been viewed millions of times online, has even generated the hashtag #FreeQuilty on Twitter. For their part, the hockey team is considering switching mascots to maybe, like, a wet wipe, or maybe even a bidet.


SAGAL: #FreeQuilty being tweeted in support of a hockey team's toilet paper roll mascot from Saskatchewan. Your next story of #FreeQuilty comes from Maeve Higgins.

MAEVE HIGGINS: Picture this. It's the middle of summer, and you're fast asleep beside your handsome husband, who's exhausted from his job as a firefighter and a human rights lawyer, and also...


HIGGINS: ...From his hobby as a swimmer, which gives him an enviable triangle-shaped torso with really fabulous shoulders and a neat little waist.


HIGGINS: And then you wake up, and you're freezing cold, so you lie there shivering. You don't forget for a second how lucky you are to be so skinny and have such a good, tired, handsome husband and such wonderful and also very thin children. But...


HIGGINS: ...Sadly, you contract pneumonia, and you die.


HIGGINS: That is the true story of Meagan Fields (ph) of Astley Village, Lancashire, in England. The hashtag #FreeQuilty has been set up in her name and in the name of every scrawny woman who gets cold at night all year round.


HIGGINS: This is actually really sad. According to the president of this quilt awareness campaign, Vegan Wives (ph)...


HIGGINS: ...Little, tiny women need quilts year-round. That's why we invented the hashtag #FreeQuilty. In fact, I'm speaking to you through a quilt right now...


HIGGINS: ...Even though it's 90 degrees outside, because I'm just so little.


HIGGINS: Every type of scientist, including astrologists...


HIGGINS: ...Are predicting that more and more women will need quilts year-round.


HIGGINS: Let's give the last word to Hunk Fields (ph). (Imitating man) In memory of my beautiful, thin wife, Meagan...


HIGGINS: ...As a fireman and a human rights lawyer, I want to say #FreeQuilty. I believe every cold, thin woman should have access to quilts all year round.


HIGGINS: In fact, I just bought my new wife, Teagan (ph), a brand-new quilt.


HIGGINS: So it's really sad.

SAGAL: It is sad.


HIGGINS: But I'm glad that he found...

KURTIS: Somebody.

HIGGINS: ...Somebody.

SAGAL: Somebody.

SAGAL: Teagan...

HIGGINS: Teagan...

SAGAL: ...His new wife.

HIGGINS: ...Yeah - his new wife. Yeah.


HIGGINS: Replacing Meagan.

BURBANK: Like Meagan with a T, yeah.

HIGGINS: Yeah, yeah. So it's...

SAGAL: Also very slight, I would imagine.

HIGGINS: She's absolutely tiny.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: #FreeQuilty, a campaign to provide poor, cold, skinny, slender women with quilts.


SAGAL: Your last story about freeing Quilty, whatever that might mean, comes from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: A cat named Quilty has been sentenced to solitary confinement for continually letting other cats out of their enclosures at his Houston shelter. Multiple warnings failed to curb the problem - weird, considering how famously compliant cats are to verbal commands.


BODETT: Quilty, with the cold-eyed stare of a serial con, was caught by staff at Friends For Life Animal Rescue, an adoption organization, jailbreaking other cats out of the senior room several times a day.


BODETT: The shelter's staff grew weary of the morning cat roundups caused by Quilty's escapades and were forced to isolate him. When word broke of this, a #FreeQuilty online campaign was launched to rescue the clever cat. Of course, Quilty had freed himself from solitary before he...


BODETT: ...Could be released but is still hoping for a forever home. Or at least, the shelter staff is.


SAGAL: So the one thing that is absolutely true is that there was a hashtag #FreeQuilty that went viral this week. The question is, what did it mean? Was it, from Luke Burbank, a campaign to free Quilty, the toilet paper roll mascot of a Saskatchewan hockey team; from Maeve, a movement to provide skinny women...


SAGAL: ...With quilts to protect their skinny selves on cold nights; or, from Tom Bodett, a campaign to free a cat that escaped more often than Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape"?


SAGAL: Which is the real story of #FreeQuilty in the news?

COLE: I followed this story closely, and I'm proud to say I know that #FreeQuilty was in reference to the cat.

SAGAL: The cat is your choice.


BODETT: The cat or quilt?

SAGAL: You speak, it seems, from knowledge, so you've chosen Tom's story. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone involved with the real campaign.


SALISE SHUTTLESWORTH: Quilty - he would open the door. All the other cats would leave, and he would go back to bed.


SAGAL: That was Salise Shuttlesworth. She's the founder and executive director of the Friends For Life shelter talking about Quilty, the cat who cannot be kept locked up. Congratulations. You were right. Tom wins a point for telling the truth.


SAGAL: You've won our prize - the voice of anyone you might choose on your voicemail.

COLE: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.


THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) I'm free to do what I want any old time.


THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) I'm free to do what I want... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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