This That Or The Other

Feb 17, 2017
Originally published on February 17, 2017 12:18 pm

In this week's edition of This That or the Other, poetry meets mystery meets...alt rock. Are these the titles of poems by Robert Frost, Nancy Drew books, or the name of alternative rock bands?

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Coming up, we'll play a round of This That Or The Other about my three former jobs, detective, poet and alt rocker.

EISENBERG: But first, let's check in with our contestants. Brianna, you also work at a doggy daycare?

BRIANNA RIVERA: I do.

EISENBERG: Oh, that sounds like a good job.

RIVERA: It is.

EISENBERG: Yeah?

RIVERA: There's nothing like going to hang out with a whole bunch of dogs after a long day at school.

EISENBERG: So are - do people kind of overly pamper their pets in this city?

RIVERA: Definitely.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

RIVERA: Recently just had a lady come in with two of her dogs who said they get anxious when they hear barking. So...

(LAUGHTER)

RIVERA: ...There's that.

EISENBERG: That's a rough road for a dog.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: (Laughter) OK, awesome. Nathan, you actually have your own personal theme song that a band wrote for you?

NATHAN NAIMARK: Yeah.

EISENBERG: How did that happen?

NAIMARK: It was a contest. So it was a promotion for their album, which came out a couple years ago. It's a band called Tally Hall, which, unfortunately, doesn't exist anymore. Yeah. But they wrote this song. And now it just follows me around.

EISENBERG: How does it go?

NAIMARK: It essentially goes, (singing) Nathan, Nathan Naimark. And from there, it kind of sounds like the "Flintstones" theme song.

JULIAN VELARD: Sounds a lot like the...

(APPLAUSE)

VELARD: I was going to say it sounds a lot like the "Flintstones" theme.

NAIMARK: It gets stuck in your head real easily.

EISENBERG: Sounds a lot like the "Flintstones" theme song or is the "Flintstones" theme song?

NAIMARK: I will not comment...

EISENBERG: OK.

NAIMARK: ...On their artistry.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. So it's time to play This That or the Other. I'm going to give you a title. And you are going to tell me which of three categories it belongs to. And today's categories are titles of poems written by Robert Frost, titles of books featuring teen detective Nancy Drew and names of alternative-rock bands. No need to buzz in. We're going to alternate back and forth.

Nathan, you won the last game. You win this - you'll go to the final round. Brianna, you need to win this, or you'll be locked in the bottom of a boat and forced to tap dance in Morse code to escape just like Nancy Drew did in book number 16, "The Clue Of The Tapping Heels."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Remember, Robert Frost poem, Nancy Drew book or alt-rock band. Brianna, we'll start with you. "The Elusive Heiress."

RIVERA: Nancy Drew?

EISENBERG: That is Nancy Drew. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: No such thing anymore. It's like the only one that does not have a reality show is "The Elusive Heiress." Nathan, "The Death Of The Hired Man."

NAIMARK: I'm going to say Nancy Drew.

EISENBERG: Sounds like a Nancy Drew book. But it is not. Brianna, can you steal?

RIVERA: Is it Robert Frost?

EISENBERG: It is Robert Frost. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It's about a farming couple arguing whether to rehire an aging man who worked for them for years. And guess what happens while they're trying to decide? He dies.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Brianna, "The Silken Tent."

RIVERA: Is that a Robert Frost?

EISENBERG: It is a Robert Frost poem.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's about a tent that's dry clean only.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Nathan, "The Door In The Dark" (laughter).

NAIMARK: I'll go alternative band.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) I wish the alternative bands were that creative.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "The Door In The Dark" would be the best name for, like, a...

VELARD: It'd be great.

EISENBERG: For like...

VELARD: Like gothy (ph), emo.

EISENBERG: Yeah. A gothy, emo...

VELARD: Like a kind of Cure rip-off band.

EISENBERG: Yep.

RIVERA: (Laughter).

VELARD: Door in the Dark.

EISENBERG: Door in the Dark.

VELARD: Totally. I'd go to that show.

EISENBERG: I wish. I'm sorry, Nathan, that is incorrect. Can you steal, Brianna?

RIVERA: Nancy Drew?

EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry. No, it's a Robert Frost poem about hitting your head on a door in the dark.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: He ran out of material.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Brianna, The Railway Children.

RIVERA: I hope that's an alternative-rock band (laughter).

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's an alt-rock band. Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Right - 'cause you can see their album cover. And they're, like, on the wrong side of the tracks and stuff. Yeah, totally. They're British alt-rock.

VELARD: Never heard of them. Never.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Nathan, "The Thirteenth Pearl."

NAIMARK: Nancy Drew.

EISENBERG: Yes, it is a Nancy Drew book.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nancy travels to Japan to find a lost pearl necklace. In Japan, the book was translated to "The Unlucky Oyster."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: These are your last clues. Brianna, "The Black Cottage."

RIVERA: Robert Frost?

EISENBERG: It is a Robert Frost. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And, Nathan, "The Whispering Statue."

NAIMARK: Nancy Drew.

EISENBERG: Sure is Nancy Drew. Yeah.

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

ART CHUNG: Well done, Brianna. You tied it up by winning that round.

EISENBERG: Wow.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: All right. We're tied one game apiece, so it's time for a quick game three. I'm going to give you a category, and you'll go back and forth, naming things that fall into that category. The first contestant to mess up either by giving a wrong answer, repeating an answer or taking too long will be eliminated. You're going have to buzz in to answer first. Here's your category. Name the 10 letters in Scrabble that are worth more than 3 points each.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHUNG: Nathan, you go first.

NAIMARK: X.

CHUNG: X is 8 points. Correct.

RIVERA: Z?

CHUNG: Brianna, Z is correct - 10 points. Nathan?

NAIMARK: Q.

CHUNG: Q - also 10 points. Brianna.

RIVERA: U?

CHUNG: No, I'm sorry. U is only worth 1 point. The remaining letters were F, H, J, K, V, W and Y. Brianna, I'm sorry. We have to say goodbye to you. Nathan, congratulations. You're moving on to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Coming up, we'll find out who will face off against Nathan in our final round at the end of the show. And we'll talk to comedian Roy Wood Jr. about his prank-phone-calling past. And we'll ask him if his refrigerator is running. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and you're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.