Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Dec 6, 2019

WARNING! This game is tougher than it appears. Contestants match the product to the warning label.

Heard on Paula Cole: Where Have All The Puzzles Gone?

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: 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.

(CHEERING)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hello, everybody. Welcome. Welcome.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Yay. We have an amazing show for you. We have four brilliant contestants waiting to play our nerdy games. They're currently backstage making gingerbread apartments with gingerbread roommates who never buy gingerbread toilet paper.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And soon they'll be up here, and one of them will be our big winner. And our special guest is Paula Cole.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: It's going to be exciting. Paula Cole is an incredible singer-songwriter, so prolific. And if you were around during the '90s, of course, you know her hits "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want To Wait." And "I Don't Want To Wait" was, of course, the theme to "Dawson's Creek" - '90s teen drama that people loved. You know, the song "I Don't Want To Wait" is actually about Paula Cole's grandparents' very difficult marriage. But when TV execs heard it, they said, wow, what a sad story. Let's play that over footage of super sexed-up 27-year-old teenagers...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Who are hanging out by a creek for some reason. I don't know. But also, can we agree that that show overglorified creeks?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: They're not that great.

COULTON: Yeah. Creeks are not so fantastic.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

COULTON: Let's go hang out at the creek.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: You might say to your friends.

EISENBERG: No.

COULTON: You'd be like, no, thank you.

EISENBERG: Right. Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Right. And what do you find near a creek? You find, like, old Hustler magazines, empty beer bottles, extra-large mosquitoes.

COULTON: Right.

EISENBERG: Boring.

COULTON: Boring.

EISENBERG: There was that one time we found a dead body, but other than that...

COULTON: Right. You don't want to tell that story...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: ...All the way through?

EISENBERG: We don't have a phone to take a photo of this, so who cares?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Doesn't exist.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Right. Literally, pics or it didn't happen.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Problem solved.

EISENBERG: You're like, we're just going to tell someone about this?

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: They won't believe us.

COULTON: They won't believe it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We've got a game in our show about the '80s. We've got a game about phone calls. We've got a game about bad movies. So really, three games about the '80s.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You know, because we're so into rebooting things right now - you know, we have new ideas. There's new ideas, right?

COULTON: Sure we do. Plenty of new ideas.

EISENBERG: I think there's plenty of new ideas. But yeah, we love reboots. I guess we're just so into nostalgia. And we were talking about some reboots, you know, that I would like to see, some ideas for some '80s reboots that would be more relevant to now. So here's some ideas - "The Golden Girls" prequel.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah. Where they're all young and sexy. What's going to happen? Plus, a "Joker"-style origin story about a young immigrant woman titled "Sofia."

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "Murder, She Wrote," but she does all the murders, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We all suspected that the whole time anyways. "Gremlins," but everyone gets mad at the family because they bought a brand-new gremlin from a store instead of rescuing one from a gremlin shelter.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: "Cheers," but Sam owns a medical marijuana dispensary...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...With float therapy pods upstairs. "Who's The Boss?" - but it's about Uber drivers trying to contact their employer.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And "Three's Company," but now called Throuples Welcome.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. Let's play some games, everybody.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Our first two contestants will play a game about product warnings. Warning - ASK ME ANOTHER was made in a facility that also processes tree nuts. Let's meet our contestants. First up, Radhika Nataraj, you're a high school English teacher and like to think of yourself as the Weird Al of education. Why is that?

RADHIKA NATARAJ: I find that if I don't make a joke every now and then where the kids stare at me - at least that way their eyes are open. So I try to, like, make up different songs and raps and things. And they're not always successful, but at least it gets the kids to not want to die. So...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

NATARAJ: ...There's that.

EISENBERG: So you sort of shock them?

NATARAJ: I just shock them, and I throw in an ad lib every now and then. So they'll be reading Julius Caesar. You know, the fault, dear Brutus, is in our stars. Twinkle, twinkle.

(LAUGHTER)

NATARAJ: And then they're like, what was that?

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

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Dan Fleishaker. You work in marketing. And sometimes, you get choice freebies from your clients, who are, I guess, trying to let you try a little bit of the product.

DAN FLEISHAKER: Sure. Yeah.

EISENBERG: OK, I get what you're talking about because you wouldn't believe the tote bags I have. I mean, crazy.

FLEISHAKER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: What's something that you've received for free that you're like, this is kind of amazing.

FLEISHAKER: We got some cool red-light therapy machines.

EISENBERG: Red-light therapy?

FLEISHAKER: Yeah, very trendy.

EISENBERG: What is it for?

FLEISHAKER: It's good for the skin, good for your, like, muscle recovery. Very, very therapeutic, very, very on trend - very expensive, also.

EISENBERG: What have you used it for?

FLEISHAKER: We used it at a party that we had as mood lighting in our office...

(LAUGHTER)

FLEISHAKER: ...Which is true.

EISENBERG: Everyone at the party left, and they were like, my skin is better.

FLEISHAKER: Yeah.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Radhika and Dan, whoever has more points after two games will move on to our final round. This trivia game is called Don't Say We Didn't Warn You. We're going to give you a real warning found on the packaging of a product. You're going to ring in and identify the product. Here we go. Do not insert into the ear canal.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dan.

FLEISHAKER: Q-tips.

EISENBERG: Yeah, Q-tips.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That's right. I don't know what else they're for.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: What do you do with them?

COULTON: It's the biggest open secret in the world.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, doctors will tell you that you're not supposed to put anything in your ear canal. (Vocalizing).

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Do not blow on the edge connector or touch with your fingers.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dan.

FLEISHAKER: A Nintendo game.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. A Nintendo 64 cartridge. That's right.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Bag is hot. Pick up bag from top.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dan.

FLEISHAKER: Popcorn.

EISENBERG: I'm going to need you to be a little bit more...

FLEISHAKER: Microwave popcorn.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Microwave popcorn. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This toy's packaging warns, direct contact can cause product to stick to hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Not intended for use as earplugs.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It comes in a plastic egg.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dan.

FLEISHAKER: A plastic egg. I was thinking, like, the chocolate egg, but that can't possibly be right.

COULTON: You should not put that in your ear, either.

(LAUGHTER)

FLEISHAKER: No.

EISENBERG: If anything you take from the show is don't put stuff in your ears.

FLEISHAKER: I don't know.

COULTON: OK. I'm going to go to Radhika. Do you know the answer, Radhika?

NATARAJ: Is it Silly Putty?

COULTON: It is Silly Putty.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: A non-Newtonian fluid.

COULTON: That's correct. Yeah.

EISENBERG: That's right. If thrown, it bounces like a solid. But if left to sit, it flows like a liquid. All right. This is your last clue. Please, do not eat raw.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dan.

FLEISHAKER: Play-Doh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I honestly had no idea there was a cooked version.

(LAUGHTER)

FLEISHAKER: There's not.

EISENBERG: OK.

FLEISHAKER: There's not.

EISENBERG: Sorry, that is incorrect. Radhika, can you steal?

NATARAJ: Is cookie dough some sort of product?

EISENBERG: Yeah...

NATARAJ: Cookie dough?

EISENBERG: ...That's it. Yes.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I say, if you are buying food in a tube, you can have whatever you want, however you want. All right. Great game. Dan is in the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.