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 Mo Rocca, Kyrie O'Connor, and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thanks everybody. Now, it's time to play the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the listener game. To play our games call 1-888-Wait-Wait. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.
JON WILCOX: Hey Peter, this is Jon Wilcox from Neenah, Wisconsin.
TOM: Hey, where is that exactly?
WILCOX: I don't know.
SAGAL: You don't know where you are?
WILCOX: No, I do. It's in between Appleton and Oshkosh.
SAGAL: Oh. So if you're heading from Appleton to Oshkosh, as so many of us do, just stop.
SAGAL: Halfway there and you'll...
WILCOX: If you blink you might miss it, but it's there, trust me.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Jon. You're going to play the game in which you must tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Jon's topic?
KASELL: Baby, I was born this way.
SAGAL: We all have something about ourselves we don't like, except for Carl. The rest of us, though, have to deal with it. Well this week we learned about an individual who's making the most of a less than desired trait. Guess that true story and you'll win Carl's voice on your voicemail. Ready to play?
WILCOX: I'm ready.
SAGAL: First, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: Bill "Fingers" Allenton was born with six fingers on his right hand. Once taunted as a freak, he's now winning texting competitions.
BODDEN: According to the Cedar Rapids Post Dispatch, Bill was teased by other kids to the point he spent all of his time hiding his hand in his pocket. He'd wear a baseball glove to class, and he became more and more introverted. Finally, he reached a point where he didn't really talk to his friends, he only texted.
Then Bill discovered competitive texting. He realized an extra finger meant extra speed, and there were no rules against it. Soon, he was winning local and state competitions on his way to competing at the national level. Bill is now in negotiations to do an iPhone commercial.
BODDEN: Hey kids, how cool is that?
SAGAL: Six fingers lead to success in the world of competitive texting. Your next story of turning a negative into a positive comes from Kyrie O'Connor.
KYRIE O'CONNOR: Top NBA draft pick Anthony Davis is probably a fairly attractive young man. But no one will ever know, because his faced is topped by one giant black, crawling unibrow. It looks for all the world like two wooly bear caterpillars kissing.
O'CONNOR: It's led to slogans such as "Fear the Brow," and, of course, "Raise the Brow," enough to make you brow down before him.
O'CONNOR: Now, a normal person might either deal with the unibrow or retreat into a life of fasting and prayer. But Davis and family have decided to trademark the brow so no one else can make money off of it. The ghost of Frida Kahlo has let it be known that she's on her way back.
O'CONNOR: And she's gunning for you, Anthony.
SAGAL: An NBA prospect, trademarking his unibrow as his symbol. Your last story of turning a problem into profit comes from Mo Rocca.
MO ROCCA: Albert Kada of Minneapolis is a mild mannered guy, who by his own admission, never got much attention. But in the last decade, Mr. Kada, who goes by Al for short, has gotten reactions he never expected. Quote, "When you call up the cable company to complain and identify yourself as Al Kada, you get one of two reactions."
ROCCA: "Silence or a scream. What you don't get is ignored." And Al Kada has turned that to his advantage. Quote, "I used to never be able to get a restaurant reservation on Saturday nights. Now when I say it's Al Kada, there's no argument."
ROCCA: "They'll even give me a four-top when it's just me and my wife." Even a panicked response is good. When Al Kada called Pet Smart to ask about boarding his tabby cat before going on vacation, Homeland Security showed up at his home ten minutes later. Quote, "Pet Smart was so embarrassed they gave us a free week's rental for little Mullah Omar."
SAGAL: All righty then. Here are your choices. From Alonzo Bodden: a young man with six fingers becoming a competitive texting champion. From Kyrie O'Connor: An NBA prospect patenting his own unibrow, so he can make money off of the marketing thereof. Or from Mo Rocca: a guy named Al Kada using that to get all kind of respect he wouldn't otherwise get. Which of these is the real story of a disadvantage turned to an advantage?
WILCOX: Wow, this is a tough one.
SAGAL: It is.
WILCOX: I'm going to take a shot and I hope for this man's sake this isn't the one, but I'm going to go with the unibrow.
SAGAL: You're going to go with the unibrow, Kyrie's story.
SAGAL: Of Anthony Davis' unibrow. The audience likes it. Let's see if reality does. We spoke to someone who was close to the real story.
JASON SCHLAFER: Anthony and his family registered trademarks in his unibrow related to a couple of phases.
SCHLAFER: "Fear the Brow" and "Outs the Brow."
SAGAL: That was Jason Schlafer. He's the senior associate athletic director at the University of Kentucky where Anthony plays. Congratulations, you got it right. Well done.
WILCOX: Thank you.
SAGAL: You earned a point for Kyrie O'Connor. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine or voicemail. Thank you so much for playing today.
WILCOX: Thank you, appreciate it.
SAGAL: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.