Buffer The Consequences It's going down at Ask Me Another! Don't crumble or stumble under the pressure, because in this game contestants have to think of words that end in "-umble." So let's get ready to...

Buffer The Consequences

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: From NPR and WNYC, live from the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina, it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Our VIP happens to think Durham is the greatest city in the world.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And I have to tell you, I am falling in love with this town. Strangers on the street actually smiled at me...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Because, I guess, they were happy?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: The coffee's good, seems affordable. Hipsters don't seem as annoying here.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm told Durham's official religion is trivia.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's like a chiller Brooklyn, but with barbecue. It is the dream.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And our VIP is a Durham local. You know him from his band, The Mountain Goats. You've probably seen him at Watts Grocery. And he's the author of the new novel "Wolf In White Van." It's John Darnielle.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now let's get ready to rumble with our first two contestants, Keith Hayes and Susie Hansley.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Both of you, when you gave us your contestant's quiz, both of you wrote very funny limericks.

KEITH HAYES: Thank you.

EISENBERG: So we thought, knowing that you're good with words, good with rhymes, we thought we'd ask you - task you to give us a little cheer, your cheer for Team Susie tonight and Team Keith. Go ahead, Keith.

HAYES: OK. I just have to preface - I'm from Alabama.

EISENBERG: OK.

HAYES: Originally - OK.

EISENBERG: Sure, OK (laughter).

HAYES: So here's my cheer.

EISENBERG: Is that a disclaimer or a preference?

HAYES: Well, you know (laughter), take it as you will.

EISENBERG: OK.

HAYES: My cheer is (singing) he's a good old boy from Tuscaloosa, and if he don't win he'll be the first loser.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, Susie.

SUSIE HANSLEY: I'm a big fan of Bugs Bunny, so I'm going for a tried and a true, which is - (cheering) firecracker, firecracker, sis, boom, bah, Susie, Susie, rah, rah, rah.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I like the energy. You guys are going to be perfect in this game that is called Buffer the Consequences. You don't have to be a sports fan to recognize announcer Michael Buffer's famous catchphrase, let's get ready to rumble.

HAYES: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah? All right.

HANSLEY: (Humming).

HAYES: That's like sportsball, right?

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's like - yeah, sportsball, exactly. Yeah. Well, we're doing an homage to that phrase, so you don't have to know anything about sports. You just have to give us answers and all of your answers will end in the letters M B L E. So, go ahead, really open up those lungs.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: To help me out with this game is our one-man house band, Jonathan Coulton.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Hello.

EISENBERG: And the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. You guys ready?

HAYES: Oh, yeah.

HANSLEY: Yes.

EISENBERG: All right. Should we open up the newspaper and play that game that combines cartoons and a word scramble?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to jumble.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I like the way you said it, too.

HAYES: Thank you. Thank you.

EISENBERG: That was good.

COULTON: That's commitment. That's commitment.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HAYES: I feel like I was channeling something that I didn't know I had.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) An inner-Keith came out?

HAYES: Yeah, yeah. It was a new personality.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Should we take this chocolate chip cookie and smash it up into little pieces?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to crumble.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I like the idea of boxers just throwing cookies at each other.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It would be more fun to watch.

EISENBERG: Yeah, and you'd totally want ringside seats. Just sit there with your mouth open. Should we start to shake or quiver slightly because we are little nervous?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to tremble.

EISENBERG: Yeah, and he's trembling. There's an act-out.

COULTON: Keith, now I feel like you're overselling it a little.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: I've been waiting my whole life for this moment.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Should we act like Homer Simpson's best friend, the town drunk of Springfield?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to Barney Rumble? Grumble? I can't remember.

COULTON: I'm sorry. That is incorrect. Susie, do you know the answer?

EISENBERG: I know he has a last name.

HANSLEY: I know he has a last name. Can I make one up (laughter)?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HANSLEY: Get ready to stumble. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

HANSLEY: Well, if he's drunk.

COULTON: It would be funny if his name was Barney Stumble, but that is not - that is not his name. His name - you were very close, Keith. The answer is Barney Gumble.

HAYES: Yeah. My daughter is really sad with me right now.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Is that related to what just happened or for other reasons?

HAYES: Simpsons freak. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Should we put this complicated IKEA bookcase together?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to assemble.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

COULTON: Should we make someone feel less important or proud of themselves?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Keith.

HAYES: Get ready to humble?

COULTON: Yes. That is right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Are you auditioning for something?

EISENBERG: That's amazing. All right.

HAYES: I'm a sustainer.

EISENBERG: You're a sustainer.

(LAUGHTER)

HANSLEY: Truthfully, I sustain more, but...

EISENBERG: That is actually a humble brag in its own little way.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: I've never won a trip.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You've never won a trip. All right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Keith, we can't work out all of your dreams right now.

HAYES: That's next on the list.

EISENBERG: That's next. Good to know. I'm really up here to get a trip.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Should we make a preliminary introduction to this formal document?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Susie.

HANSLEY: Get ready to preamble.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This is your last clue. Should we talk really softly, almost unintelligibly, and, perhaps, inspire a whole style of indie moviemaking?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Susie.

HANSLEY: Shall we get ready to mumble?

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Laughter) Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG, BYLINE: They both had some amazing line-reading. But, Keith, get ready to move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

HAYES: Yay. First winner.

(APPLAUSE)

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