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Bluff The Listener

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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 Joel Kim Booster, Tom Papa and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, a man who makes his mask wear a mask to be extra-safe, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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 any of our games on the air.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

STEVE ROSS: Hey, how are you doing?

SAGAL: I'm doing great. How are you?

ROSS: I'm well, thanks - Steve Ross (ph).

SAGAL: Hey Steve. Where are you calling from?

ROSS: Fort Collins, Colo.

SAGAL: Foat (ph) - wait a minute, Foat Collins.

ROSS: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: (Laughter) You don't sound like you're from there.

ROSS: I'm definitely a Boston guy.

SAGAL: Ah, that's what I thought I heard.

TOM PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: How'd you get from...

ROSS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Boston to Fort Collins? Did they find out what you did?

PAPA: (Laughter).

ROSS: My daughter moved out here for grad school, then got married out here and had a baby, so we didn't want to be 2,000 miles away.

SAGAL: Oh, sure. That's great. And what do you - as a Boston guy, what do you think of the mountains?

ROSS: Wicked cool.

SAGAL: Wicked cool.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Steve, it's great 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 Steve's topic?

KURTIS: The wilderness gone wild.

SAGAL: We've all been trapped inside for so long, we forget that our windows aren't just screens playing videos of trees and streets. This week, our panelists are going to tell you about a new outdoor attraction that's waiting for you as soon as you feel safe to go out of your house. Pick the real one, and you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

ROSS: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: All right. Let's do it. First, let's hear from Joel Kim Booster.

JOEL KIM BOOSTER: For years, dog owners have enjoyed the freedom and revelry that comes with taking their dogs to the dog park. But what about cat owners? Well, if you live in the small Lake Michigan-bordering town of Dunshill (ph), Mich., you could find yourself at the newest cat attraction - the Dunshill Community Cat Beach. It was created this spring after Dunshill's selectmen gave in after years of lobbying by one citizen, Linda Ridgway (ph), who says she doesn't identify as a cat lady but prefers female cat lover.

Now cats and their owners can enjoy a quarter-mile stretch of Lake Michigan beach with all the amenities a cat might want - trees to climb, permanently installed boxes to climb into and fake vases to knock over - and, of course, a cat wading pool. Unfortunately, opening day did not go as planned. Four missing cats, dozens of cat scratch injuries and countless angry, wet cats later, the experiment seemed to be a failure.

But Ridgway was not deterred. Sitting with her cat, Phineas (ph), enjoying the lake shore from inside his carrier, she admitted, it's been an adjustment, speaking of her feline companion. He's never been much of an outdoor cat before this, and he definitely hates the water. But he seems to be getting used to it. Phineas could only add a few low, guttural mewls.

SAGAL: A cat beach - perhaps the first ever - in Michigan. Your next story of the great outdoors comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: The owners of Waterworld had a problem - the state of South Carolina allowed people to go outside but not in the attractions of their waterpark outside of Charleston. Since the park is only open from May through September, the loss of revenue would have likely bankrupt the family-owned business.

But then John Fortas (ph) had an epiphany. What if he replaced the water with hand sanitizer? With a go-ahead from the State Department of Health, the attractions are open thanks to an antibacterial mix of surplus sanitizer and distilled water, reports the Associated Press. The lazy river is now full and lazier than ever because of the viscous nature of the mixture causes it to flow slower. The slip and slide, on the other hand, is now a thrill ride shooting small children down a 45-degree incline like bottle rockets.

Fortas said business is booming because it's the only place moms feel safe to bring their kids, and he may keep the new format. Quote, "kids still pee in the pool, but no one worries about germs anymore."

SAGAL: A waterpark that got back into business by filling all its rides with hand sanitizer. Your last story of the outer limits comes from Tom Papa.

PAPA: Looking for fun this summer? Well, look no further than the newest park on the Oregon coast that will give you a whale of a time - the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Why is the park name the exploding whale? Because this is where in 1970, the state of Oregon decided to blow a 45-foot, eight-ton whale to smithereens. This is big-time fun. The whale had washed ashore near Florence, Ore. It was big, it was smelly, and it had to be removed.

And being this was a time when the country was making terrible decisions, Oregon apparently didn't want to be left out. Rather than haul it out to sea or dissect the whale, state officials decided it would be better to stuff it full of dynamite, blow it up and let the seagulls, crabs and hungry teenagers feed on the smaller bits. As one reporter stated, who doesn't like bite-sized blubber?

KURTIS: (Laughter).

PAPA: What could possibly go wrong? Well, the whale was literally blown to bits, causing tiny chunks to rain down on spectators like a ticker tape parade through a tuna factory. It was gross, it was dumb, and it was somewhat ineffective. But 50 years later, when residents were asked what they should name the park along Rhododendron Drive, this escapade provided one obvious answer - Exploding Whale Memorial Park.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, then. Here are your choices. You're making travel plans, OK? You want to take a little break. And so where can you go? Can you go to a cat beach on the shores of Lake Michigan in Michigan? That's from Joel Kim Booster. From Roxanne Roberts, can you go to a waterpark in South Carolina that has replaced the water with hand sanitizer for extra-special safety? Or, from Tom Papa, can you go to Exploding Whale Memorial Park in Oregon and contemplate the ocean and the memory of an exploding whale? Which of these is the real destination?

ROSS: Well, I really want it to be No. 2 because I think all the mouthfuls of sanitizer the kids could get, we could find out if that internal thing actually works.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's a good point.

ROSS: I'll go with sanitizer because I hope to heck they didn't blow up a whale.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. You're going to go with the hand sanitizer...

ROSS: We wouldn't even do that in Boston.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You're going to go with a hand sanitizer-filled waterpark. All right. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we actually spoke to the mayor of the town where this attraction is located.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE HENRY: It was not my list of the top three that I voted for, but Exploding Whale Memorial Park - that's a great name.

(SOUNDBITE OF GAME OVER SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: That was Joe Henry, the mayor of Florence, Ore., where you can now visit the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. I'm sorry, Steve, but it turns out Tom had the real answer. You did not win. You did earn a point for Roxanne, and believe me, she is grateful. Steve, thank you so much for playing.

ROSS: That was wicked pissa (ph).

(SOUNDBITE OF KIRK DOUGLAS' "A WHALE OF A TALE FROM 20,000 LEAGES UNDER THE SEA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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