Past Food Ophira and Jonathan describe discontinued, disconcerting and sometimes disgusting fast foods. Contestants must guess if the foods are real or fake.

Past Food

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JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Whoa. Hey, everybody. Thank you. Thank you, Jonathan. Happy summer, everybody. It's beautiful, right? This right now - we're in the perfect place. This is actually real summer in Brooklyn. How's your summer?

COULTON: It's going pretty well. I mean, you know, the kids are out of school, so that's terrible.


EISENBERG: Yeah, right? Right? You've got to see their little shiny faces every morning, every evening.

COULTON: That's right. I always think it's going to be a relaxing vacation, but it's not. It's actually more work than I ever do - is when they're out of school.

EISENBERG: Right, 'cause you've got to, you know, look at them all the time, right? Yeah.

COULTON: Pay attention to them. Yeah, it's terrible.

EISENBERG: Do you play games with the kids?

COULTON: Yeah, I have to. You have to.

EISENBERG: Yeah, what do they like?

COULTON: (Laughter) They keep asking, Daddy, please play a game with me.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: I'm like, fine.

EISENBERG: You're like, I'm not your daddy.


EISENBERG: But you've also been performing, right?

COULTON: I have. Yeah. I played recently at the Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, which was...


COULTON: I know.

EISENBERG: Pretty cool.

COULTON: It was me opening for Superchunk opening for Aimee Mann, which is a weird bill, but...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: ...We made it work.

EISENBERG: That's like a musical turducken.

COULTON: Yes. Yes. yes, it is.

EISENBERG: Summer in Brooklyn I think is kind of amazing. I had also some Canadian - I have Canadian relatives. I'm from Canada. We walk amongst you undetected.


EISENBERG: And they came to visit me. And, you know, it's great. They come here, they have certain expectations. And either New York is living up to them or New York is not meeting them. That's kind of how it works. And of course this all breaks apart when you course you're on the subway. They took the subway, and they were like, what's that smell? And I was like, that is urine and rats. That is...


EISENBERG: And they're like, ha, ha, ha (ph). I'm like, no, it's urine and rats. That is the smell of - when urine and rats meet, they make the smell of an F train.


EISENBERG: So we have four brilliant contestants. They are backstage right now. They're going to be out here playing some of our nerdy games. And we have a game that is all about tourism ads. Do you have a favorite one?

COULTON: You know, I grew up in a state that is a big tourist industry - of course Connecticut.


EISENBERG: Yeah, sure.

COULTON: So we didn't have a lot...

EISENBERG: (Laughter) I'm trying to think what people would go to Connecticut for.

COULTON: (Laughter) I don't know. Insurance, I think.

EISENBERG: Yeah, right, lovely.

COULTON: We didn't have a lot of tourist ads, but I do remember they tried at some point. And the slogan was better yet Connecticut.


EISENBERG: Better yet Connecticut - Connecticut?

COULTON: I mean, it doesn't even rhyme, so that's problem one. And also, really, is it always - is Connecticut always better than anything you can think of. Or maybe are there some things that are better than Connecticut.

EISENBERG: Right. Right. Like, should we go swimming in the sewer? Better yet Connecticut.


COULTON: I have an idea. How about we go to Connecticut instead?


COULTON: That makes sense.

EISENBERG: That's the worst. Our special guest tonight is amazing - singer and actress Darlene Love. Yeah.


EISENBERG: So excited - Darlene Love, or as my ex would call her, Darlene I don't believe in labels.


EISENBERG: All right. We're going have a great time. Let's get the games going, everybody.


EISENBERG: Let's meet our contestants - first up, Liz Allen. You're a children's librarian. Hello.



ALLEN: Thank you.

EISENBERG: So when you ring in, we're going to hear this.


EISENBERG: And your opponent is Jeffrey Fastow. You just graduated college.



FASTOW: Very exciting. Hi.

EISENBERG: Very exciting.


EISENBERG: So when you ring in, we're going to hear this.


EISENBERG: All right, Liz and Jeffrey, the first of you who wins two games will move on to our final round. Let's go to our first game. This is a guessing game called Past Food. It's pretty simple. Jonathan and I will describe a discontinued fast food item. You're going to ring in and tell us if it's real or something we made up. But be careful because if you're wrong, your opponent will automatically get the point. Here we go. The Pokemon Go frappuccino - real or fake?



ALLEN: I'm going to say real.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah, that's totally real. Yeah.


EISENBERG: Yeah, that was a tie-in to the 2016 Pokemon Go craze.


EISENBERG: It was a vanilla frappuccino with raspberry syrup and freeze dried blackberries.

COULTON: Does it taste like a Charmander?


EISENBERG: It tastes like - and afterwards, you might have a case of the Squirtles.


COULTON: Pizza Hut's dinner box proposal package that included a ruby engagement ring, a limo, flowers, fireworks show and a photographer. It cost $10,010 - $10,000 for the engagement and $10 for the Pizza Hut dinner. Real or fake?


COULTON: Jeffrey.

FASTOW: That's got to be fake.

COULTON: It is actually real.


COULTON: So it was in 2012. Pizza Hut only offered 10 proposal packages. (Laughter) But they did get over 800 serious inquiries.


EISENBERG: I mean, the ruby might be fake. We don't know about the ruby. It might have just been some glass.

COULTON: I don't know why a ruby engagement ring. That seems...

EISENBERG: Yeah, was it ruby? Was it glassed in...

COULTON: Pepperoni.

EISENBERG: ...Marinara sauce? (Laughter) Yeah, pepperoni on a piece of gold.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: That might actually work. It's a pizza cut, not a princess cut. It's a pizza cut.

COULTON: Burger King's Choose the Ooze, a kid's meal including green ketchup, green dipping sauce and a green frozen drink.


COULTON: Jeffrey.


COULTON: Yes, that is real.


COULTON: KFC's popcorn turducken.


COULTON: Deep-fried balls of ground turkey stuffed with ground duck stuffed with ground chicken. Real or fake?


COULTON: Jeffrey.

FASTOW: Please tell me it's fake.

COULTON: It is fake.


COULTON: I want it to be real, but it's fake.

EISENBERG: How about this one? Taco Bell's Bell Beefer, loose taco meat on a hamburger bun - real or fake?




EISENBERG: Sorry, that is real.


EISENBERG: I know, all that meat just loose all over the place.

COULTON: Oh, man.


EISENBERG: OK. That was a great game. Liz, you won that game, so you're one step closer to the final round.


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