Imaginary Tourism Pack your bags! In this game, contestants identify fictional destinations from books, movies, and TV shows.
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Imaginary Tourism

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Imaginary Tourism

Imaginary Tourism

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JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Pageant in St. Louis, it's NPR's...

(CHEERING)

COULTON: ...Hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hi. Thank you, Jonathan. Hello, everybody, so great to be back. Great to see you. Yeah, this is lovely. So, yeah, excited to talk to our contestants. We have four contestants. They're backstage right now toasting each other's ravioli...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Getting ready to come out here and play some nerdy games with us. And I love coming to St. Louis because people are nice.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: People are nice.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: People smiled at me. I went shopping. So many people working at the stores talked to me. It was exhausting, to be honest. In New York, no one talks to you in a store. No. That's over with. Here - constant. I was actually - I was shopping at my very favorite store, and a saleswoman came up to me. And she asked me - she said, did you find everything you needed today, ma'am? But I just could not register what was going on and why someone was talking to me...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...That I just went, what?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And she said, did you find everything you needed today, ma'am? And I was, like, oh, my goodness. Thank you. OK. I'm sorry. Let's see. Did I find everything? Let's - well, it's midnight, and I'm in Walgreens buying ice cream.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So no. No.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I don't think anything worked out today, did it?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We have two great special guests that perform together in a band. Matt and Kim are going to be here.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Super excited. I've got to say they are super nice, down to earth, well-adjusted. And that is not a coded way of saying their music sucks.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Because it's true. Anytime you, like, talk about someone or a band that's both nice and good at what they do, it sounds, like, surprising or suspicious. I feel like everyone has to downplay it. Billboard magazine actually called them a seemingly inexhaustible beacon of positivity.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I know, but so negative. Like, why so bitter, Billboard? Why so bitter? But I think it's a lot of pressure to actually name your band after your couple. They have to commit to, like, making that happen forever. I would never do that. If I was in a band with my husband, I would be so afraid of using our names 'cause what if things change? Like, at best, I'd call it Ophira and current husband.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So then it could be Ophira and her cute new haircut (laughter)...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...And then Ophira and Kim.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, it's going to be so much fun. Let's play some games, everybody.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Our first two contestants will play a game about the exotic places I can go on a vacation with my public radio salary - aka imaginary places.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's meet our contestants. First up, Claire Hubert. You're a senior at UCLA studying international development. Hello.

CLAIRE HUBERT: Hi.

EISENBERG: When you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Derek Larson. You're a nephrologist, which is a kidney doctor. Hi.

DEREK LARSON: I am. Happy to be here.

EISENBERG: Great. When you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Claire and Derek, whoever has more points after two games will go on to our final round.

St. Louis has plenty of things to do. You can go to a Cardinals game. You can eat Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: You can zoom down a 10-story slide at the City Museum and then throw up frozen custard.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's not frozen when it comes up. Nope.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This game is called Imaginary Tourism. Jonathan and I will pretend to be travel reporters describing fictional places from books and movies. You just need to identify the source material. Here we go. When you visit Arendelle, remember to pack long underwear because it's stuck in perpetual winter. They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but Queen Elsa built an ice castle in less than two minutes, and she did it while singing in high heels.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Claire.

HUBERT: "Frozen."

EISENBERG: "Frozen" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Grab your cardigan, hop on a trolley to the idyllic Neighborhood of Make-Believe where cats, owls and humans peacefully coexist under their puppet ruler King Friday XIII. Enjoy tours of the Museum-Go-Round and the Rocking Chair Factory.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Derek.

LARSON: What is "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"?

COULTON: That is correct. We are not on "Jeopardy!," however.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Technically you got that right, and I have to give you the point.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Are we good?

COULTON: Grab your passport and book a trip to Genovia, a small, sunny kingdom between Spain and France, for the royal debut of Princess Mia Thermopolis. She didn't find out she was royalty until she was in high school - makeover.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Claire.

HUBERT: "Princess Diaries."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I like that a movie makeover is basically, like, they fluff the hair and take off the glasses. Woah.

COULTON: I know. That's what I do. That's what I do when I go out.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's what you do.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Do you enjoy locomotives and British class divisions? Then you'll love a trip to Sodor, where the trains can talk and George Carlin is a conductor.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Claire.

HUBERT: "Thomas The Tank Engine."

EISENBERG: Yes. We'll take "Thomas the Tank Engine." The name of the show is "Shining Time Station."

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: George Carlin as a conductor...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Doing, like, the seven words you can't say on that show.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Caboose.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Boxcar (laughter).

COULTON: You can say caboose if you're talking about a caboose.

EISENBERG: That's right. But you can't say a caboose railed a boxcar.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Probably not.

EISENBERG: Plan your next Ruritanian romance in the feuding countries of Florin and Guilder. The Cliffs of Insanity are insane. The Fire Swamp is fiery. The rodents of unusual size are actually really big. Still want to go? As you wish. But be prepared to die.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Claire.

HUBERT: "The Princess Bride."

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Great first game. Claire, you are in the lead.

(CHEERING)

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