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A Classic Summer Bluff The Listener

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here again is your host, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody.


SAGAL: Today is our Summer Solstice Celebration. We'll be dancing naked at midnight, enacting ancient fertility rites and sacrificing goats to ensure a fruitful growing season.


KASELL: Yes. Yes. And while we do that, you'll be listening to some interesting segments from recent shows. For example, this Bluff the Listener game from June of 2008.


CHRIS OLSON: Hi, this is Chris Olson from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

SAGAL: Hey, Chris, how are things in Green Bay?


SAGAL: I bet. Are you still mourning the loss of Brett Favre?

OLSON: Actually, I'm not a big football fan.

SAGAL: What?

OLSON: Yeah, exactly. You know, you tell people that here, it's like you're coming out of the closet or something.


OLSON: Oh you don't like football? You need to meet my friend Steve.


OLSON: He doesn't like football either.


SAGAL: But they're becoming more tolerant of you people, I understand. So that's great. That's great.

OLSON: I hope so.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Chris. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Chris' topic?

KASELL: It's summertime and the living is easy, but I want things to be easier, dagnabbit.

SAGAL: Finally, it's summer, and like most Americans, we are looking forward to putting in a lot of effort in order to do as little as possible. This week, we read about a new innovation that will make our leisure time even more leisurely. Our panelists will tell you about three such great leaps forward. Of course only one of them is real. Pick that real one, you will win our prize. Ready to play?


SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Roy Blount, Jr.

ROY BLOUNT JR.: You've heard of power naps. Now Leisure Systems Inc has introduced the Power Hammock. A retractable brace stabilizes the hammock. Three percent of summertime injuries are hammock-related.


JR.: While you climb into and until you're sure you're ready to dangle. With fingertip controls, you can set yourself a rocking at various speeds, with or without musical accompaniment. And you can mist yourself with a cooling spray or with refreshing natural aromas. And you can raise a net around yourself in case of bugs. Concept flaws forced withdrawal of the solar powered model. Alas, you can't run anything on shade.


JR.: But the standard two-cycle motor is more fuel efficient than most weed whackers, and quieter too.

SAGAL: The Power Hammock from Roy.


SAGAL: Your next story of making the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer even lazier, hazier and crazier comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Summer is so annoying. What with the mosquitoes, heat stroke, the New York Yankees. But of course, no summertime activity is more bothersome than having to hold an ice cream cone and slowly twist it while licking up those pesky drips. I mean, could ice cream be a little more trouble? Now, the world's laziest licker has invented the battery powered ice cream cone.


DICKINSON: A gadget rotates the cone while the consumer merely has to stick out his tongue.


DICKINSON: While the ice cream passes by. The good news is that it only costs $10. And the company that developed the cone says they're launching a new product for the fall: fast acting baked beans.


SAGAL: Your last story of a way to slow down even further this summer comes from Charlie Pierce.

CHARLIE PIERCE: The officials at the Cherokee County Fair in Oklahoma will be experimenting this July with a product guaranteed to gladden the hearts of weary parents and their dry cleaners: nonstick cotton candy. Thanks to DARPA, the United States Department of Defense's top secret laboratory that usually deals with alien technologies captured from fallen spaceships, a non-sticky sweetener made for desert c-rations called Heatrex 5 will be used in the manufacture of some of the cotton candy at this year's fair.

"I hope we can maintain the essential integrity of cotton candy while simultaneously making it neater," said fair spokesman Randy Voss. One longtime fairgoer is skeptical. "If cotton candy doesn't stick to your face, doesn't that just make it a bowl of sugar on a stick?" She said.


SAGAL: All right, let's review your choices. Presumably, this summer you could enjoy the effort-saving benefits of one of these things.

Either from Roy Blount, Jr.: a power hammock that rocks you at the speed you select. From Amy Dickinson, a self-turning ice cream cone which rotates the ice cream in front of your tongue. Or from Charlie Pierce: nonstick cotton candy, saving you those sticky moments. Which of these is the real story of a laborsaving innovation for the summer?

OLSON: They all sound pretty plausible, actually. But I think I'm going to go with the power hammock.

SAGAL: The power hammock. All right, well your story then is Roy's of the power hammock. Well, we're so proud we were able to speak to the inventor of this device.

RICK HARTMAN: Cone-shaped plastic toy that spins your ice cream automatically.


HARTMAN: It saves you all of that hard work of having to turn the ice cream cone manually.

SAGAL: That was Rick Hartman, professional toy designer, talking about his latest innovation, the motorized ice cream cone holder.



SAGAL: I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry for my children who will want one, yet not get one.


SAGAL: Chris, I'm sorry, because in fact, as you now know, Amy had the correct answer, the true story. You did, however, pick Roy's, meaning you don't win our prize, but you do earn a point for Roy for simply fooling you.

PIERCE: By the way, Roy, if you don't patent that idea, I'm going to on Monday.

DICKINSON: Really, it's good.

SAGAL: That's a great one.


SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Chris.

OLSON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

OLSON: Bye now.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.