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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. We're playing his week with Amy Dickinson, Maz Jobrani, and Paula Poundstone. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you so much. 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.

MEGAN MILLER: Hi, I'm Megan Miller and I'm from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Oklahoma City?

MILLER: A little cold today, but a nice change.

SAGAL: Yeah, you guys were basically incinerated over the summer. Am I right?

MILLER: Yeah, something like that.

SAGAL: It's all just a giant field of ash.

MILLER: Exactly, bingo.

SAGAL: Yeah. What do you do there?

MILLER: I work for a nonprofit organization, an audiology clinic.

SAGAL: An audiology clinic?

MILLER: Uh-huh.

SAGAL: Oh that's good, you help people hear.


SAGAL: That's great. You're creating listeners for us. We appreciate that.

MILLER: Yeah, absolutely.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Megan.

MILLER: Thank you.

SAGAL: You're going to play the game in which you must tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Megan's topic?

KASELL: Peter, want to look at some slides?

SAGAL: Seasoned travelers, like Carl here, are always looking for new and better ways to see the world. This week our panelists are going to tell you about three summer vacations not to be forgotten. Guess the true vacation and you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?

MILLER: I'm ready.

SAGAL: First, let's hear from Maz Jobrani.

MAZ JOBRANI: Most people go to Expedia.com to book their vacations, maybe even Travelocity. But soon there might be a new site for adventure tourists called getkidnappedbyabedouin.com.


JOBRANI: That's right; Bedouin's in the Sinai Peninsula have been kidnapping tourists to hold them for ransom against the government of Egypt. Their demands have been to get fellow Bedouins released. However, whether the government complied or not these kidnappers have been showing their victims a good time. One tribal leader, Sheikh Admed Hashem was quoted as saying, "It isn't just kidnapping, it is a tourist safari."


JOBRANI: And the victims agree. Norma Supe, a 63-year-old nurse from California, who was kidnapped in February, told the AP, "All of this is an unforgettable memory."


JOBRANI: Supe was kidnapped with another member of her group, 66-year-old Patti Esperanza. This tourist safari was so irresistible that their guide, Hisham Zaki even volunteered to go along as a translator. As Zaki later recalled, Esperanza demanded that one of her kidnappers stop smoking. "I told her, are you joking? You are kidnapped."


JOBRANI: But the Bedouin kidnapper cooperated, throwing his cigarette out the car window. At one point, Esperanza recounted, the kidnappers stopped to prepare coffee for the women but upon learning that Esperanza does not drink coffee, they made her tea.


SAGAL: Getting kidnapped by Bedouins in the Sinai.


SAGAL: Your next story of a summer getaway comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Emily Mason got tired of leaving her tabby cat Chester behind when she went on vacation. So last summer, she and Chester traveled together to Kitty Corners, the country's first ever resort for cats and the people who can't live without them.

Kitty Corners is where the line between feline and human blurs and visitors experience life as their cats do. Rooms are furnished with giant chairs people can curl up on and human-sized carpeted climbing and scratching posts.


DICKINSON: In the grooming gallery, cats and their owners are taught to always lick their paws after scratching and mutual grooming techniques. Mason said she and Chester had a good time at the resort, chasing the light from the flashlight across the floor and getting entangled in a giant ball of yarn. She briefly hung from a curtain until her fingernails gave out.


DICKINSON: And then the two ate salmon and lapped up half and half together at the hotel bar.


DICKINSON: Then they got high on catnip and passed out in a giant drawer of sweaters.


DICKINSON: Mason said she'd definitely take her cat again, but there was only one thing she'd change. "The litter box experience, I could do without that," she said.



SAGAL: Live with your cat like a cat at the cat hotel. Your last story of a unique vacation comes from Paula Poundstone.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Electronics enthusiast Decon Hart had the vacation of a lifetime when he responded to an ad from Asian Pacific Travel Agency to travel to China and custom build his own iPad with expert electronics engineers.


POUNDSTONE: Dim Sum, the Great Wall, dragon kites, history, cultural exchanges, apps, games, games, games. It was all waiting for him. After two days of travel, Mr. Hart arrived in Shanghai, where he was greeted by a representative from the travel company and whisked away to the Foxconn electronics factory.

"I thought I was going to assemble my own iPad, but they showed me how to put small components in plastic bags, which I did for several hours."


POUNDSTONE: "During the dinner break, I tried to order the moo shu pork. I don't they understood me. I was trying to hand gesture the little, thin pancakes and a man hit me with a stick."


POUNDSTONE: "My Suri kept saying get out of here, but I wasn't able to leave for three days."


POUNDSTONE: "At least I didn't look like a tourist."



SAGAL: All right. One of these surprising and interesting vacations was enjoyed by somebody this last summer. Was it being kidnapped by Bedouins in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt? From Amy Dickinson, was it staying in a cat hotel and living like a cat? Or from Paula Poundstone, a trip to China to build your own iPad at the Foxconn electronics factory? Which of these was the real summer trip?

MILLER: I think I'm going to go with the Kitty Corner.

SAGAL: The Kitty Corner. Does that sound appealing to you?

MILLER: Not in the least, no, but...


MILLER: I think that that might be appealing to some, to a certain demographic I guess.

SAGAL: So your choice then is Amy Dickinson's story of the hotel that let's you live like a cat with your cat.

MILLER: I think so.

SAGAL: All right. To bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone who wrote about this real vacation.

SARAH TOPOL: Part of being kidnapped by the Bedouins is actually being treated like a guest, and having food and being comfortable and having beverages.

SAGAL: That was Sarah Topol. She wrote about the kidnapping of Bedouins, or by Bedouins, in an article called "Tea and Kidnapping" in the Atlantic. I'm so sorry; Megan, but indeed, Maz had the real and delightful story. And while I'm sure Amy might have just created a whole new segment in the tourist industry...


SAGAL: She was lying in her charming way.

MILLER: I'm a little relieved.

SAGAL: We're all a little relieved. You didn't win, but you earned a point for Amy, which she's very pleased about, I can tell.

DICKINSON: Thank you.

MILLER: You're welcome. Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

MILLER: Thank you.


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