True Fact Or Fictitious

Feb 17, 2017
Originally published on March 6, 2017 9:00 am

Guest musician Julian Velard sings about old wives tales in this parody of Stevie Wonder's classic song, "Superstition." Can you guess which tales are true and false before the contestants do?

Heard on Roy Wood Jr.: Puzzle Banger After Banger

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Guest musician Julian Velard is about to lead a game about some old wives' tales. It turns out many of them are not true, like this one. Did you know that if you swallow chewing gum, it does not stay in your stomach for seven years? Yes, but you will become the president's press secretary.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Let's meet our next two contestants. First up, Janet Wong on buzzer number one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You coordinate your company's employee-volunteer program.

JANET WONG: Yes, that's right.

EISENBERG: Nice. Welcome.

WONG: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Logan Stafman on buzzer number two.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You're working on a Ph.D. in computer science.

LOGAN STAFMAN: Yep.

EISENBERG: Welcome. All right. Remember, Janet and Logan, the first of you who wins two of our games will move on to the final round at the end of the show. Let's get to your first game. Janet, are you superstitious?

WONG: I wouldn't say I'm superstitious, but I do a lot - I have a lot of habits...

EISENBERG: OK.

WONG: ...And routines really.

EISENBERG: OCD, got it.

(LAUGHTER)

WONG: I think my near and dear ones know I get up and eat the same thing every morning, follow the - you know, a cup of coffee, a little bit of milk...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

WONG: ...Bread, peanut butter. I put my pants on, you know, same leg first.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

WONG: Those kinds of things, but it's just normal to me. It's just normal.

EISENBERG: It's the routine that works, isn't it?

WONG: Correct, yes, works for me.

EISENBERG: Yeah. I don't like things that aren't perfect.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Logan, are you superstitious?

STAFMAN: I wouldn't really say I'm superstitious, but I definitely, when I'm going places, think anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So I always leave really early.

EISENBERG: That's pessimistic (laughter).

STAFMAN: Yeah. So I always leave early, you know, worried I might get pulled over or in an accident or something so - I've never gotten pulled over or in an accident.

EISENBERG: OK - because you worry about it, so that makes sure it won't happen. That's another form of - anyway's, we're fine, we're all fine. Guess what. You get to play a music parody game called True Fact Or Fictitious. And Julian Velard is here to take it away.

JULIAN VELARD: We took Stevie Wonder's song "Superstition," which is already hard to sing, and made it even harder to sing and harder to play by changing the lyrics. I'll be singing about famous old wives' tales. Buzz in and tell me whether the old wives' tale is true or false. Be careful because if you guess incorrectly, your opponent will automatically score the point. The winner will be one step closer to moving onto the final round at the end of the show. Here we go.

VELARD: (Singing) True, fact or fictitious - eat your chicken soup. Yummy and nutritious, fights colds by the scoop.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Janet.

WONG: Well, I think it's talking about how when you're sick you should drink chicken soup, and I believe that's true.

EISENBERG: That's - it is true, yes indeed.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That's right. Any warm liquid helps fight a cold by improving the movement of mucus through the nose, and it helps prevent dehydration. So chicken soup does help you with a cold but does nothing for your soul.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: (Singing) I am so hungover, got severe brain fog, I will feel much better with hair of the dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Logan.

STAFMAN: I think that's false.

EISENBERG: It is false. That's right. Hair of the dog...

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Right, the rationale is when you're hungover the next day, you drink and you'll feel better.

STAFMAN: Doesn't really sound right.

EISENBERG: Yeah, doesn't sound like it would work, but a lot of people claim that that absolutely works, and they're wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: (Singing) How will I get this gum out of my silky hair? I won't panic Peanut butter is the way.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Logan.

STAFMAN: I think that's true.

EISENBERG: Peanut butter will get gum out of your hair. That is correct. Yes, it will.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The question is how to get peanut butter out of your hair - scissors.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: (Singing) Don't want to be forgetful, brain needs to stay sharp (ph), got to eat more fish, like salmon, cod and carp.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Logan.

STAFMAN: Is that one true also?

EISENBERG: It is true. Fish is brain food. That is confirmed.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It actually keeps you smart, but the mercury makes you crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue.

VELARD: (Singing) Lying on the beach, feel a jellyfish sting, ask my buddy, can you pee on me today?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Logan.

STAFMAN: I want to live in a world where it's true, so I'm going to say true.

VELARD: You really want to live in that world.

STAFMAN: Well...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I am sorry. Peeing on a jellyfish sting is false, which I know makes my history in life a little problematic.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But no, urine can actually increase pain by aggravating the stinger and releasing more venom.

ART CHUNG: Ouch.

EISENBERG: So are you wondering what you should do the next time you get stung by a jellyfish?

STAFMAN: Sure.

EISENBERG: Yeah, of course you are. Most varieties of jellyfish stings can be treated by using a credit card to scrape off the stinger. So first, you have to apply for a credit card.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: As soon as you get a jellyfish sting, get online. I actually was told by lifeguard or, like, whoever is working by a beach once to put meat tenderizer on a jellyfish sting. Guess what. Turns out, also false. I have been, like, pranked through jellyfish stings half my life.

CHUNG: Have you suffered many jellyfish stings?

EISENBERG: Three.

CHUNG: That's a lot.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

CHUNG: Do they - are they attracted to you unnaturally, or...

EISENBERG: I am a lily-white woman from Canada. They take me down.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: They both did great. Logan, congratulations. You are one step closer to the final round.

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