Bluff The Listener
Our panelists tell three stories about a date that goes horribly wrong, only one of which is true.
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Paula Poundstone, and P.J. O'Rourke. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you Carl.
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 games on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
SHANNON RYAN: (Caller) Hi, this is Shannon Ryan from Seattle, Washington.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Seattle?
RYAN: (Caller) Good, it was sunny, but it just started raining.
SAGAL: And that's it for the year I believe. I hope you enjoyed your spring.
RYAN: (Caller) It was great.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show Shannon. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Shannon's topic?
KASELL: It's been three days and he hasn't called.
SAGAL: Who are we kidding? No one would not call Carl but for everyone else in the dating world finding a good match is tough. This week we read a story about a date gone terribly wrong. Guess the true first date fiasco, you will win Carl's voice on your voicemail. Ready to play?
RYAN: (Caller) Yes, yes.
SAGAL: First, let's hear from Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: This week's cautionary tale comes from central Spain where a Friday night tryst took an abrupt turn towards worst date ever. A young couple was getting frisky on the top of a local well when the wooden cover gave way and the 21-year-old woman plunged 10 meters, about 30 feet, into the water. She's fine but you're probably thinking, way to kill the mood, huh? Then the hapless Romeo did the unthinkable - he fled the scene, although police believe he was the anonymous tipster who called emergency services.
Spanish daily ABC reports that the half naked woman was rescued by firefighters and treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. City officials quickly issued a warning to young lovebirds because there are a number of old wells near the popular outdoor drinking spot. But it's unclear if the woman's date will face charges for say, hit and run, or walk based on the old adage - alls well that ends well.
SAGAL: A girl falls down a well in Spain on what could have been a romantic evening. Your next story of two people caught in a bad romance comes from Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Cupid and their mutual interest in sea elephants brought Susan Winter and Neil Mauer together with a little help from Susan's coworker at the San Diego Public Library. Naturally, they headed to the eHarmony of the sea elephant world, Phillips Beach, sea elephant rookery, where mating season was in full swing. We both felt it right away, says Mauer, the sexual energy was amazing.
Susan looked at me and I looked at her and we were like, let's go for it. It's not like we're weird or anything, it's just sea elephants - the beach, the pounding of the surf - and honestly, I might have been a little drunk. But if we'd been with a flock of pigeons having sex or goats or something, I don't think we'd have done it. It's just there's something about sea elephants. So there on the sand, go for it they did. Until Susan happened to look up and see a highly agitated alpha-male sea elephant moving its enormous, blubbery mass across the sand towards them at a surprising and alarming speed.
At first, calling upon his extensive knowledge of sea elephant behavior, Mauer suggested they lay dormant and submissive. It worked it to a point, says Winter. The male lost interest in Neil as a threat right away, but then I realized he thought he had won me in the standoff. Neil then tried to mimic challenging sea elephant behavior, putting his elbow on his head, dropping his fist vertically over his nose to look like a male proboscis, and vocalizing and lunging. But I could see the look on that sea elephant's face.
He wanted me in his harem. Finally, I just yelled, forget about science - run to the car. The couple made their way up a rock face to Mauer's 1965 Mustang, eluding the Randy Dumbo of the sea, and once again proving the scientific theorem - the guy with the nice car gets the girl.
SAGAL: A couple avoid the amorous advances of a Randy Dumbo of the sea. Your last story of new love ending before it's begun comes from P.J. O'Rourke.
O'ROURKE: News item from the Manchester, New Hampshire Union Leader. Manchester High School students Angela Cutter and Sean LaPier (ph) had an interesting first date. I'd always liked to Sean, Angela told the paper - he was so impulsive and funny. You never knew what he'd do next. Well, senior year he finally asked me out on April Fools' Day. We were going to a party and we stopped at the 7-Eleven to get some beer. So we're in a 7-Eleven standing in front of the cash register and Sean says to me, here hold this - and he gives me a gun. I thought it was a joke. I don't know anything about guns.
I don't even know if I was holding it the right way. And the 7-Eleven clerk is waving his hands over his head in this really hilarious way. I'm laughing so hard. April Fool. And then Sean, he goes and takes all of the money out of the 7-Eleven cash register. There was only $14.46 in the 7-Eleven cash register and the gun was a cap pistol so Angela and Sean were both out of prison after 18 months. And the 7-Eleven security camera surveillance tape - Angela and Shawn played at their wedding reception just this week on April Fools' Day.
SAGAL: Aw. So here are your three stories of a date gone wrong - from Roxanne Roberts - a story of a date in Spain, which ended badly when the female half fell down a well. From Paula Pan Poundstone - a couple gets amorous on a beach only to attract the attention of a sea elephant. And from P.J. O'Rourke - the first date turned out to be an impromptu armed robbery, but the couple are happily together anyway. Which of these is the story of a real, unusual first date?
RYAN: (Caller) Well, I've been on enough bad dates that I think someone leaving you in a well is probably what happened, so I...
SAGAL: I guess I have to ask here, has that ever happened to you?
RYAN: (Caller) Not a well, but I've definitely...
SAGAL: Not a well but a...
RYAN: (caller) You know, sometimes they just run out the door.
POUNDSTONE: You know, if it makes you feel any better - birds divorce.
ROBERTS: Do you think the guy said, honey, you're in too deep?
SAGAL: No, don't hurt her. She can't help it. Stay back I tell you.
SAGAL: All right then, your choice is Roxanne's story of the unfortunate couple in Spain and the well. Well, we spoke to somebody familiar with a real bad first date.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: While they were having fun, the cover came off and the poor girl fell into the water. A little loss of dignity, but she's okay.
SAGAL: That was Allvoices reporter, Anne Sewell, in Spain talking about the young lover and the well. Congratulations, you were right - Roxanne had the right answer.
RYAN: (Caller) Yay. Thank you.
SAGAL: Your sad sense of familiarity with that kind of behavior stood you in good stead because you've earned a point for Roxanne and you've won our prize, the immortal Carl Kassel's voice on your voicemail. Well done.
RYAN: (Caller) Thank you.
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