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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 Karen Chee, Peter Grosz and Hari Kondabolu. And here again is your host, filling in for Peter Sagal, Maz Jobrani.



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 air.

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


JOBRANI: Hi, there. Who is this?

REEDY: (Laughter) My name's Cynthia Reedy (ph), and I'm talking to you from Norway, Maine.

JOBRANI: Whoa. There's a Norway in Maine?

REEDY: There is. We're right next to Paris.



JOBRANI: You're confusing me.

KAREN CHEE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Are you guys good skiers and blond or no?

REEDY: Oh, we love skiing, absolutely. It's fantastic out here.

JOBRANI: Well, Cynthia, that's great.

REEDY: Thank you.

JOBRANI: It's nice to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What's the topic, Bill?

KURTIS: What are you in for?


JOBRANI: There are serious crimes, then there are the types of crimes Peter Sagal committed that got me this guest hosting gig.


JOBRANI: Our panelists are going to tell you about someone else who went afoul of the law in an unusual way this week. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to play?

REEDY: You betcha.

JOBRANI: OK. First up, it's Peter Grosz.

PETER GROSZ: Well, it was Mother's Day this weekend, and Evan Roth (ph) of Louisville, Ky., missed his mother, Diane (ph). It was the second year in a row that the pandemic prevented her from driving down from Covington for their Mother's Day tradition, going to her favorite restaurant Buddy's for Mother's Day brunch and their famous bottomless Buddy Marys, a big Gulp-sized Bloody Mary free for all moms on Mother's Day. Their slogan, give her a Mother's Day she'll never remember.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

GROSZ: When my mom couldn't show up, Evan admitted to local station WLKY, I got depressed and maybe made some bad decisions. Well, that's only if you'd call putting on a wig and dress, going to Buddy's pretending to be a 70-year-old woman sitting at the bar and drinking four Buddy Marys in 30 minutes a, quote, "bad decision." I thought something was off when she - I mean, he first arrived, said bartender Lisa Fingerelli (ph). But then he got hammered. His wig fell off. And I saw it was a bald dude under there.

When his poor man's Mrs. Doubtfire ruse was unmasked, or rather unwigged, Evan grew frightened and erratic, like a bird that accidentally flies inside and then drinks four giant Bloody Marys. He slammed into a bunch of tables, knocked over some waiters, stood up on a table and screamed, I'm my own mommy.

CHEE: (Laughter).

GROSZ: He was forced to pay the $5,000 in damages he caused and sentenced to six months of prison for disorderly conduct, in other words, a Mother's Day he wishes he didn't remember.


JOBRANI: All right, the guy who dressed as his mom for free booze on Mother's Day from Peter Grosz. Your next story of someone in the slammer comes from Karen Chee.

CHEE: Dr. Amanda Lang (ph) used to be known for her excellent bedside manner and her sharp diagnostic instincts. But from now on, she'll be known as the doctor who got arrested after totally freaking out more than 20 of her patients for a joke. With patient after patient, Dr. Lang would look at their CT scan, do a well-rehearsed double take, gasp dramatically and then quietly murmur, oh, my God, you have a third kidney.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

CHEE: This obviously would send the patients into a panic. A third kidney? Then Dr. Lang would laugh and reveal that this was actually just a prank. Perhaps most confusingly, she broke the truth to them by exclaiming April Fools. This was weird because it was May. After complaints from 20 patients - who, for the record, had a total of 40 kidneys, not 60...


CHEE: ...Hospital officials called for her arrest for malpractice. Or in their words, quote, "It's not malpractice, exactly. Honestly, we don't even know what this is, but you shouldn't do it. Don't tell people they have a third kidney."

JOBRANI: All right, the three-kidney doctor from Karen Chee. Your last story of an arresting arrest comes from Hari Kondabolu.

KONDABOLU: Takashi Miyagawa, a 39-year-old man in Osaka, Japan, was arrested for a scheme in which he fooled 35 different women into thinking they were in a monogamous relationship with him, so he could receive 35 different birthday gifts. The plan, clearly designed when he was 6 years old...

GROSZ: (Laughter).

KONDABOLU: ...Involved telling each woman a different date of birth. It's not clear if he himself ever gave his girlfriends any birthday gifts. But if he did, it appears likely that they were Target gift cards. Miyagawa's plan, however, would soon unravel, to the surprise of absolutely no one.


KONDABOLU: The women found each other, banded together and reported him to the police for defrauding them of 100,000 yen worth of combined birthday presents. It's unclear how everything went awry, but some initial guesses include his ID with correct birthday being discovered, his cellphone perhaps revealing 35 different copy-and-pasted text messages that read, hey, baby, you up? Or maybe he called one of his girlfriends the wrong name. It appears Mr. Miyagawa got his just desserts, and it wasn't birthday cake.


JOBRANI: Nice. So, Cynthia, you've got, from Peter Grosz, the guy who dressed as his mom to get free booze on Mother's Day. From Karen Chee, you've got the doctor who told patients they have three kidneys. And from Hari Kondabolu, you have the 35 birthday gift guy. Which one is real?

REEDY: You know, those are all really fun. I think I'm going to go with the birthday boy.

JOBRANI: All right. All right. I like that - right to it. To find out the correct answer, we spoke with a journalist covering the real story.

TARA MAHADEVAN: He conned at least 35 women so that he would always be receiving gifts.


JOBRANI: You got it. That was Tara Mahadevan, a news writer for Complex, talking about the man with 35 birthdays. Congratulations, Cynthia. You got it right.

REEDY: Thanks. Thank you all very much.

CHEE: Yay.


JOBRANI: Thank you. You earned a point for Hari.

KURTIS: Bye, Cynthia.

JOBRANI: And you've won our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail.

REEDY: Thanks, Maz.

JOBRANI: Thank you for playing today.

REEDY: Thanks a lot. Bye.

JOBRANI: Goodbye.


SWIZZ BEATZ: (Rapping) Every day is your birthday. Now hit the floor. Hit the floor. I said hit the floor. Every day is your birthday. Now hit the floor. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.