OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
All right. Next we're going to play a version of our favorite game - This, That or the Other. This one is celebrating National Parks and Japanese monsters. But first, let's check in with our contestants. David Pickett, now you got into the Boston Symphony Orchestra choir on a double dog dare? Is that correct?
DAVID PICKETT: Yeah, definitely. I had a co-worker that became aware of a cattle call that the BSO was holding. And he was saying that, you know, we should go do this. And I said, OK, fine, let's do it. And I wound up getting a call back and I wound up getting in and wound up singing with them for eight seasons.
JONATHAN COULTON: How about your pal?
PICKETT: Yeah. It's still kind of a sore point.
COULTON: Oh, geez.
PICKETT: Whenever we get together he makes a point of pointing out that I got in and he did not, you know, it's just - he can't let it go.
COULTON: It's hard to have success, David. Believe me, I understand how difficult it is.
EISENBERG: Well, you know, it's lonely at the top. Remember that.
COULTON: That's right.
EISENBERG: Mary Bucklin, you interned at "America's Test Kitchen." So what's one of the best tests you witnessed?
MARY BUCKLIN: That was another job where you got to eat everything at the end. So I remember we were - they were testing a beef tenderloin recipe and that was the best day.
EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.
EISENBERG: You were like, I need one more little bit of the one.
BUCKLIN: You're like, I - this one isn't quite right. I think we got to do it again.
EISENBERG: OK. So it's time for This, That or the Other. Contestants, I'm going to give you a word and you have to tell me which of three categories it belongs to. And today's categories are dog breeds, national parks or Japanese kaiju monsters. Those are, of course, the ones who destroy cities. So we're going to alternate back and forth, no need to buzz in. Mary, you won the last game so if you win this you'll go straight to the final round. And, David, you need to win this or we're going to hang up on you.
COULTON: That's very sad. Click.
EISENBERG: David, we'll start with you - Akita.
PICKETT: Akita is a dog.
EISENBERG: Yes, it is. It's a dog that was bred for large game hunting. All right, Mary - El Morro.
BUCKLIN: National Park?
EISENBERG: That is a national park.
EISENBERG: Yeah. There's a monster in that park named Morro.
EISENBERG: No, I'm just kidding.
COULTON: They named the park after the monster?
EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.
COULTON: Happens a lot.
EISENBERG: David - Ghidorah.
PICKETT: That's a Japanese monster.
EISENBERG: That is a Japanese monster. Do you know this monster?
PICKETT: No, but it sure sounds like one.
EISENBERG: Yeah. It's a three-headed serpent or dragon. They love going on walks. Mary - Borzoi.
BUCKLIN: Dog breed.
EISENBERG: It is a dog breed. It looks like a greyhound but with Motley Crue hair, for lovers of Motley Crue.
PICKETT: Was very popular in the '80s.
COULTON: Yeah, it's a little dated. This dog looks a little dated.
EISENBERG: David - Basenji.
PICKETT: A Basenji is a dog.
EISENBERG: It is. And you know what's famous about a Basenji?
PICKETT: Yeah, it doesn't bark, I think.
EISENBERG: It doesn't bark.
COULTON: Do they make another sound instead of barking or they just don't...
PICKETT: They make this weird whimper. My neighbor used to have one. They just kind of make that kind of odd whimpering sound that sometimes dogs make.
EISENBERG: They were bred to drive monkeys and small cats up trees.
ART CHUNG: Sure, with their weird barkless...
CHUNG: With their weird - yeah, exactly, just with their eyes.
CHUNG: Mary - Hedorah.
BUCKLIN: Japanese monster.
EISENBERG: You are correct. Yeah, it's a smog monster. It's named for the Japanese word for sludge, slime, vomit, chemical ooze.
COULTON: They just have one word for all those things?
EISENBERG: Yeah. They think we're crazy. Those Americans have so many words for Hedorah.
EISENBERG: All right. These are your last clues. David - Cuyahoga.
PICKETT: Cuyahoga National Parks.
EISENBERG: Yeah. Have you been there?
PICKETT: No, but I'm familiar with it.
EISENBERG: Mary, here's your last one - Aniakchak.
BUCKLIN: National park?
EISENBERG: Yes. It's a national park. It's in Alaska. It's the least visited national park, which, you know, does it exist if no one goes? (Laughter) I don't know. But you are correct, that's all that matters. Let's go to our puzzle guru Art Chung. How did our contestants do?
CHUNG: They got them all right, so we're going to a quick tiebreaker. Hands on your buzzers. Your clue is Gojira.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
BUCKLIN: Japanese monster.
CHUNG: That is correct. Well done. That was how you say Godzilla in Japan. Congratulations, Mary, you've won both games and you're headed to the final round.
EISENBERG: So coming up, we'll find out who will face off against Mary in our final round at the end of the show. And Jonathan Coulton will perform a word game hidden inside of a music parody that will make you sing, can you eel the love tonight? I'm Ophira Eisenberg and you're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
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