Bluff The Listener | WGLT

Bluff The Listener

Aug 10, 2019
Originally published on August 10, 2019 11:39 am
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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 Hari Kondabolu, Helen Hong and Alonzo Bodden. And here, again, is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you, everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: 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 are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JORDAN ROGERS: Hi, Peter. It's Jordan Rogers from Atlanta.

SAGAL: Hey, Jordan. How are you?

ROGERS: I am doing great. How are y'all?

SAGAL: We are not as happy as you are, but frankly...

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: I'm just very excited to be on the show.

SAGAL: Well, that's - we're very excited to have you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, it's great to have you with us, Jordan. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Jordan's topic?

KURTIS: Hedgehogs in the news.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Our panelists are going to tell you three stories of hedgehogs in the news. Pick the one we really saw on the news this week. You'll win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

ROGERS: I'm ready.

SAGAL: First let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.

ALONZO BODDEN: In the Jiang (ph) province of China, men have begun using sleeping hedgehogs as hair pieces.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Jimmy Gong (ph), the inventor of the process, says, quote, "For some reason, we have a huge population of hedgehogs. I notice they sleep all day, and women find them cute and irresistible, even petting them while they sleep. It occurred to me that it's exactly how a man would want a woman to see him...

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: ...Cute, irresistible and occasionally pet-able.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Fine. But how do you get the hedgehog to stick to your head? Well, I adapted a removable adhesive that can be applied to the hedgehog's feet. It works, as long as you're not too loud and avoid sudden movements or get too near anything a hedgehog likes to eat.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Gong does not recommend wearing a hedgehog to your office or the electronics factory and, of course, does not advise a hedgehog hairpiece to dog owners. But, he says, it's perfect for a quiet afternoon date, stressing the afternoon part. Quote, "you don't want to be out after dark because hedgehogs are nocturnal, and they tend to wake up hungry."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A Chinese man comes up with the idea...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Of using hedgehogs for hair pieces. Your next story of hedgehog hullabaloo comes from Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: It's awkward to have to call the cops when your neighbors are being too loud. It's particularly awkward when you're calling because your neighbors are having loud sex. But as many neighborhoods in Germany have been finding out all summer, it's the most awkward when your loud, sex-having neighbors turn out to be hedgehogs.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: The German version of 911 has been inundated with calls of disturbing nighttime noises which turn out to be freaky, shameless, exhibitionist hedgehogs.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: It's such a common occurrence that the hashtag #igelsex, or hedgehog sex, has been trending on social media. Hedgehogs are capable of making a range of sounds, from a quiet snuffling, to hissing, snarling, purring, whistling, clicking and even loud screaming, which is what sometimes gets them mistaken for excited humans.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: According to a veterinary expert, hedgehogs snarl loudly during the hours-long mating ritual...

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: ...Which is known in German as igelkarussell, or hedgehog carousel.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: Because urban hedgehog populations have been declining, animal experts advise everyone to leave them to their lovemaking. They've also discovered that flashlights will scare the animals and often breaks up the coupling, but quiet observation will not disturb them.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: You pervs.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The hedgehog carousels...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...And the noise thereof, distressing people in Germany. Your last story of hedgehogs above the fold comes from Hari Kondabolu.

HARI KONDABOLU: When Samuel Terry (ph) won a $100,000 college scholarship via a writing contest in New Zealand, his parents were both shocked and elated because he had never shown any interest in creative writing and because he is 10.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: However, shortly after the winners were announced, young Samuel was busted for plagiarism. What the award committee called a brilliant satire about what happens when our morality is usurped by our scientific advancements and the temptations of power was actually just the plot of the early-'90s Sega Genesis video game "Sonic The Hedgehog."

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: He had found a copy of the video game and the accompanying manual in the family attic and decided it was time to write it all down.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: Even more shocking, the award committee missed some very telling clues, such as the story's mentioning of quote, "controllers," and, quote, "player one and player two."

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: Professor Dina Johnson (ph) thought this, quote, "represented our need to balance the divine spirit that controls us with the free will that each of us has as players in the game of life."

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: Samuel claims he didn't know the story had to be original, and the rules of the contest never said you could not plagiarize.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDABOLU: The contest organizers admit this is true because they just assumed nobody would do that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So one of these stories...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Is one we read about a hedgehog or two in the news this week. Was it from Alonzo Bodden, hedgehogs being used as toupees by men in China, from Helen Hong, hedgehog sex parties keeping people up in Germany, or from Hari Kondabolu, the story of a guy who won a hundred-thousand-dollar scholarship just by retelling the story of Sonic The Hedgehog?

ROGERS: I am going to go with the sexy German hedgehogs.

SAGAL: The sexy German hedgehogs.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I think as just a general rule of thumb, always go with the sexy German hedgehogs.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, we spoke to an actual hedgehog expert to bring you the truth.

HUGH WARWICK: The hedgehog carousel is a crucial component of the hedgehog's mating ritual.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That was Hugh Warwick, spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and author of the book "The Hedgehog's Dilemma,"...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Talking about the mating hedgehogs. And by the way, if you want to get your partner in the mood, just talk about hedgehog carousels with a British accent.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Congratulations, Jordan. You've got it right. You won our prize.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You've earned a point for Helen and, of course, like I said, you've won our prize, the voice of anyone you may choose on your voicemail. Congratulations. I hope this lived up to your expectations.

ROGERS: It was everything and more.

SAGAL: Thank you, Jordan.

HONG: Aw.

SAGAL: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Take care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.