OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Our next contestant is on the line. Hi, you're on ASK ME ANOTHER.
MAURA RUTH: Hi, this is Maura Ruth from Los Angeles, California.
EISENBERG: Hello Maura. Now, we pitted her against A.J. Jacobs - brainiac A.J. Jacobs - that was not fair, right?
RUTH: No, no, not at all.
EISENBERG: You left New York?
RUTH: I did a terrible job against him. Yeah, it made me leave New York.
EISENBERG: Where you living now?
RUTH: In West Hollywood, California.
EISENBERG: West Hollywood, nice. Well, this game is called "Worst Vacation Ever." The world is a vast and beautiful place with more sights than one person can see in a lifetime, so how do you choose which are worth the trip? Easy, you go to the Internet. And now Jonathan Coulton and I will read real reviews left by people on the website tripadvisor, people who are not happy with the famous landmarks they visited. All you have to do is tell us what landmark we're talking about.
Me and my family went here expecting to see the great and beautiful monument, but all we saw was a big mountain with four little faces in a corner. We were all very disappointed.
RUTH: Would that be in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore?
RUTH: Oh man, I'm doing so much better already.
EISENBERG: Have you been there?
RUTH: I have been, yes.
EISENBERG: And what'd you think?
RUTH: It can use some plastic surgery
EISENBERG: Plastic surgery?
RUTH: No, I'm just joking. It was magnificent.
EISENBERG: I was sad that they were all Americans.
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: It does seem weird. There's no mystery here. Only a couple of small rocks in a field and no one really knows what it was used for. It could've been used as a mystical celestial calendar, or it could've just been a prehistoric latrine.
RUTH: Oh boy, is that - my first instinct is to say Stonehenge, but rocks in a field...
COULTON: Yes, Stonehenge is correct.
EISENBERG: Here's your next one. Why do you have to pay to go inside? I don't know. It's not like they have a holographic 3D Gladiator show or something. Sure, it was nice resting on a thousand-year-old column, I guess.
RUTH: Would that be the Coliseum?
EISENBERG: Yes, indeed it would.
RUTH: I've been there.
EISENBERG: What'd you think?
RUTH: I would pay money again to go in there. It was cool.
EISENBERG: You will have to, so...
COULTON: Depends how you do in this game. Trip to Rome is on the line.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's how it goes.
RUTH: Oh, you guys have really gotten more popular since the last time I was on.
EISENBERG: I'm sorry, the line is breaking up.
COULTON: All right, here we go. Blah, blah, blah, unimpressed. Looks like it was put up by Disney six weeks ago. Clean, clinical and smaller than you think, expect to see thousands of tourists taking photos trying to hold it up.
RUTH: The Leaning Tower of Pisa?
EISENBERG: Yeah. I know, I love a complaint that it looks just like it. You did amazing, this was an unbelievable comeback for you, Maura. Congratulations.
RUTH: Thank you so much.
EISENBERG: We are going to send you a postcard from our favorite vacation spot, the Bell House.
RUTH: Sweet, I miss New York, so thank you.
EISENBERG: Thanks so much for playing.
EISENBERG: I'm talking to you, future ASK ME ANOTHER contestant. You can't make a comeback if you don't fail on our show to begin with, so why not take a shot at our contestant quiz and see if you have what it takes to join us on stage or over the phone. Just send an e-mail to askmeanother@NPR.org. Coming up, our VIP John Cameron Mitchell - he has won a Tony, he's won some Obies and a slew of other awards, but can he win the coveted ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's cube? Stay tuned, this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
EISENBERG: Support from NPR comes from NPR member stations and from TiVo, delivering cable TV, on demand and streaming content from Netflix and Hulu Plus from a single device. Learn more at TiVo.com - dBpm records with "Sukierae," the debut album from Tweedy, featuring Jeff Tweedy from "Wilco" and his son Spencer, now at Barnes & Noble and Angie's List, offering consumer reviews for more than 19 years, and providing online shopping and scheduling for local services - angieslist.com. This is NPR.
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