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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 this week with Peter Grosz, Roxanne Roberts and Brian Babylon. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you so much. 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're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

JUSTIN MCKINNEY: Hi, this is Justin from Marshall, Minnesota.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Marshall?

MCKINNEY: Actually, for January, pretty darned good.

SAGAL: Right, meaning you're not, like, dying every time you go outside.

MCKINNEY: Not buried under six feet of snow.


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

KASELL: I'd tell you the topic, but it's too much work.


MCKINNEY: All right.

SAGAL: We Americans used to be innovators then we got lazy. So now we're reduced to being innovative in our laziness. This week, our panelists are going to tell you stories about how something that made things easy now makes them even easier. Guess the true story; you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or your voicemail. First up, let's hear from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Remote controls used to be so easy but now, well, they're work. Too many different remotes, too many buttons to figure out, it's exhausting. So, just in time for the Super Bowl: the remote control sofa.


ROBERTS: The founders of Couch Potato Inc, motto: we move so you don't have to.


ROBERTS: Created a computerized command center with just give big buttons: on, off, channels, food and beer.


ROBERTS: The $999 couch is pre-programmed to ESPN, ESPN2 and the Playboy Channel.


ROBERTS: The food button sends a custom prepaid order to local pizza or takeout joints, and there is a built-in cooler in the sofa's arms. But if you run out, the beer button sends an order to a local vendor who guarantees home delivery in 45 minutes or less.

Creator Jeff Turk told the Wall Street Journal he came up with the idea after he couldn't set up his new $1,700 smart TV. Quote, "I like my remotes and my women uncomplicated."


SAGAL: A remote control couch makes couch surfing that much easier.


SAGAL: Your next story of something that was a cheat becoming even cheatier comes from Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: Back in the day, if you had to read "Hamlet," you didn't read "Hamlet," you read the Cliff Note versions of "Hamlet." But even then, that was a pain. You still had to read the Cliff Notes. But that was then. The new series Cliff Note Films offers the students a fun new way to maintain their low test scores while watching cartoons.


BABYLON: The first four animated videos take on Hamlet, Julius Cesar and two other Shakespeare plays. In addition to being brief and colorful, the language has been improved. Now, Romeo kisses Juliet on the balcony and says, "OMG, like that was so hot, let's totes get married."


SAGAL: Cliff Notes Films, even less effort that Cliff Notes. And your last story of the latest thing in sloth comes from Peter Grosz.

PETER GROSZ: Driving can be dangerous, other cars zooming past you, hazardous road conditions, maybe inclement weather, all make it almost impossible to focus on your primary responsibility behind the wheel: scarfing down your hamburger and French fries.


GROSZ: That's why a local What A Burger franchise in Seminole, Texas came up with the What A Burger What A Bag. You simply go to the drive-thru, order your food and it's delivered to you in a plastic bag you strap onto your face.


GROSZ: Voila, you're not free to cruise around town in safety and style.


GROSZ: Franchise owner Carter Downing celebrates the new convenience. "We knew it was handy for people to skip coming inside the restaurant," says Downing, "but I thought, man, wouldn't it be great if they didn't have to use their hands while they were eating while they were driving."


GROSZ: Not surprisingly, the What A Bag has caught on and people have even started wearing them outside of their cars.


GROSZ: "It frees up my hands to do lots of other stuff," said Seminole resident Lewis Moxley, "like working on the computer or getting more ketchup or tucking in my kids at night. You can do anything with this bag on your face."



SAGAL: All right. Here are the choices: one of these things is out there to make your life even easier than it is now, and I know your life is easy.


SAGAL: From Roxanne Roberts: a remote-control-couch with a button for food on it. From Brian Babylon, Cliff Notes Films, like cliff notes you don't have to learn to read to use. And from Peter Grosz: the What A Burger What A Bag.

MCKINNEY: Well, as much as I like the idea of a remote control couch and it sounds perfect for a man cave, I think I'm actually going to have to go with the Cliff Notes.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the Cliff Notes, Brian's story of Cliff Notes Films animated versions of the Shakespeare classics...

MCKINNEY: Yeah, I just, I'm going to have to go with that one.

SAGAL: All right. That's your choice. Well, we actually have a sample of it for you, right here.


SAGAL: That was a clip, of course, from Cliff Notes Films.


SAGAL: So you were right, Brian had the real story. Congratulations, you earned a point for Brian and you have won our game. Carl Kasell will do his voice, abbreviated as you wish on your voicemail.

MCKINNEY: All right, that's fantastic.

SAGAL: Isn't it, though?

MCKINNEY: Yes, it is.

SAGAL: Well done.

MCKINNEY: All right, thanks.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


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

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