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Bluff The Listener

BILL KURTIS, HOST:

From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, Luke Burbank and Iliza Schlesinger. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you so much. It is 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.

JAMES STOCKBERG: Hi, this is James.

SAGAL: Hey, James, where are you calling from?

STOCKBERG: Houston, Texas.

SAGAL: Houston, Texas, where we have been in June so we'll never go back in June.

STOCKBERG: Yeah, no, that's a terrible idea.

SAGAL: How are things now? It is starting to cool down a bit?

STOCKBERG: My car read 95 today on the way home, so...

SAGAL: That's nothing.

STOCKBERG: Yeah, it's getting cooler.

LUKE BURBANK: You should not drive that fast, bro.

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Welcome to show, James. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is the topic?

KURTIS: Being an anchorman ain't easy, but it sure beats working.

SAGAL: Offices have their ways of bringing us down, paper cuts, annoying interns, cubicle fires, but this week, we read about a workplace actually trying to improve the lives of employees in a creative way. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth and you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play, sir?

STOCKBERG: I am quite ready.

SAGAL: First let's hear from Luke Burbank.

BURBANK: We've all been there before, sitting at our desk, feeling overwhelmed, maybe even a little emotional, trying to hide our tears behind a Ziggy word of the day calendar. But instead of hiding those tears, Japanese women in the workplace can now have them gently wiped away by a hot dude they've rented. That's right, for the low, low price of $65 U.S., a ikemeso danshi delivery service will send a guy, armed with a bag full of Nicholas Sparks movies, to get your female workforce crying in unison, apparently as a way of boosting morale. The owners of the service, who've clearly never been in a room full of hysterically crying women, say the service also helps with efficiency in the workplace. The danshis come in five flavors - intellectual type, hot older guy type, dentist type, thug type and little brother type, which is gross.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A service that sends hot guys to wipe away your tears after a good mass cry in Japan. Your next story of a little office helper comes from Iliza Schlesinger.

ILIZA SCHLESINGER: A recent Gallup poll revealed that a whopping 45 percent of American employees earning over $70,000 a year said the feeling they experience least in the workplace is comfort. Alexis Archer (ph) of Portland, Ore., set out to solve this problem, and that's when Grandma To Go was born. For around $60 an hour, Grandma To Go can send a variety of archetypes of grandparent to your office for the quintessential grandmanial (ph) experience. Services include hugs, covering your office furniture in plastic, cooking any comfort foods to distributing weird grandma candy like those puffy orange Circus Peanuts. Grandma types include sassy Southern grandma - in both racist and non - standard Jewish, and for those of you who were closer to the grandpa, they have Santa Claus-esque, Vietnam vet grandpa, who saw some crap and doesn't do much talking, and big Tex. No matter your business, Grandma To Go will come to your office and put a smile on your face or wipe that damn smile off your face or I'll wipe it off for you. They also have alcoholic grandpa.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Grandma or grandpa rental service.

SCHLESINGER: Yeah.

SAGAL: Your last story of an unexpected workplace service comes from Tom Burdett.

TOM BODETT: Doing business in a global economy can be hard on the people doing it - time-zone hopping, language barriers, JFK airport - and there is nothing more difficult for the traveling professional to endure than the laws, customs and business practices of Russia and other former Soviet states. One custom, in particular, that of consuming massive amounts of vodka to mark the closing of a deal, the failure to close a deal or because why not, has inspired Bankleshin (ph), a German-based home furnishing exporter to take proactive measures. After three of its advanced sales team were hospitalized in Moscow with alcohol poisoning and another disappeared in Kiev for several days, returning tattooed and clutching a small dog, Bankleshin HR manager Jan Butner (ph) initiated a program that would train their traveling reps to drink like a Russian. Russian drinkers can metabolize alcohol at an alarming rate, said Herr Butner. Without the proper conditioning, you'll die trying to keep up. Lessons include vodka tonic, hold the tonic, binge-hinging, a biceped (ph) exercise, and they've gone so far as to bring in consultants from far away Sigma Nu fraternity at Ohio State University. Trainee Frau Luana Stovel (ph), when asked to comment on the program, said you have the nicest buns.

SAGAL: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Let's say you're trying to compete in today's fast-paced, cutthroat business world. Which of these services is actually available to you?

STOCKBERG: Oh, man.

SAGAL: In Japan, a service that will send hot guys to make your female staffers cry and then wipe away their tears in presumably a cathartic and cleansing experience, from Iliza, rent a grandmother so you can have somebody to come and comfort you or boss you around, depending on what you need, or, from Tom Bodett, a service that helps your employees train to binge drink like they do in Russia. Which of these is the real story of a help in today's business world?

STOCKBERG: Oh, I really want it to be C, but I think A sounds just strange enough to be true.

SAGAL: So you're going to go with Luke's very strange story...

STOCKBERG: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Of the Japanese service that provides hot men to help you cry. Well, to bring you the truth, we spoke to a journalist who had covered this real story.

CORINN PURRTILL: In Japan, now, it's possible to hire a man who will come to your workplace or wherever else you ask him to come and wipe away your tears while you cry.

SAGAL: That was Corinn Purrtill, a reporter for Quartz, who covered the story of the Japanese hot guys who come to your office and wipe away your tears. So you got it right.

STOCKBERG: That is absolutely insane.

SAGAL: I think so.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You earned a point for Luke Burbank. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting in your voicemail. Well done, sir.

STOCKBERG: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.