I’m on NPR’s “Ask Me Another” quiz show!
If you missed it, a recent-life-long dream came true when I became the first non-North American phone (Skype) competitor on the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another. Listen here, and find the transcript below:
OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Our next contestant is on the line. Hi, you’re on ASK ME ANOTHER.
MARC NAIMARK: Hi, Ophira. It’s Marc Naimark, calling from Paris.
EISENBERG: Paris – you’re in France?
NAIMARK: I am, where it’s…
EISENBERG: Awesome, nice.
NAIMARK: …Late at night.
EISENBERG: Thanks, Marc, for calling in. Where are you originally from?
NAIMARK: I’m originally from Michigan.
EISENBERG: And now you make your home in Paris. Are you a Francophile?
NAIMARK: Living here kind of makes you not much of a Francophile.
EISENBERG: That’s right. That is correct. So I know that along the way, you’ve been involved in various political committees and community boards. Are you working in some aspect of that in Paris?
NAIMARK: I am. I’m on the community board of my neighborhood here in Belleville in Eastern Paris. I deal with things like streets and public art project and things like that.
EISENBERG: OK, nice. So this is perfect game for you ’cause you probably know a little something about bureaucracy.
NAIMARK: Oh, God.
EISENBERG: ‘Cause your game is called Bureaucracy In Action ’cause every federal intern dreams of having a job title that is super long so they can be impressive. So we’ve invented a game to celebrate those wonderful bureaucratic titles. So in this challenge, I’m going to give you a job title within the federal government of the United States, and you have to tell me whether it’s real or fake. That’s it.
NAIMARK: Oh, my God. OK, go ahead.
EISENBERG: All right, here we go – acting associate administrator for the administration for the Maritime Administration.
NAIMARK: (Laughter) Oh, my God. I’ll say that could be real.
EISENBERG: It is real.
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: I was just noticing the acronym for that title is AAAAMA.
EISENBERG: Director of the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service’s National Data Buoy Center.
NAIMARK: Oh, my God, that has to be true.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) You’re right.
EISENBERG: Data buoy kind of sounds like, I don’t know, Aquaman’s sidekick – brainy sidekick…
NAIMARK: Data Boy.
COULTON: Data Buoy.
EISENBERG: …Data Buoy. Now, why did you say that is for-sure real – because that is just how – you know that they are that crazy?
NAIMARK: They are that crazy. And all the elements actually made sense independently, and then you just kind of put them together. It’s kind of like German, you know?
NAIMARK: You put the different bits that kind of make sense together, and it makes a new word.
EISENBERG: Makes a new job – yes, exactly.
NAIMARK: Makes a new job in this case, yeah.
EISENBERG: Assistant administrator for Civil Rights Of Unaccompanied Minors, Federal Aviation Administration.
NAIMARK: Could there be a comma in there somewhere?
EISENBERG: Wow, you…
NAIMARK: You know, like before…
EISENBERG: Yeah, you know what’s going on here. I’ll tell you where that comma is.
EISENBERG: You kind of got a little “Wheel Of Fortune” on me there for a second. Assistant administrator for Civil Rights Of Unaccompanied Minors comma Federal Aviation Administration.
NAIMARK: OK, with the comma, I’m saying that that’s a real job title.
EISENBERG: No, I’m sorry.
EISENBERG: That is fake, yeah. Nobody cares about unaccompanied minors.
COULTON: I don’t think they have any civil rights.
EISENBERG: Right. Their parents don’t care. Nobody cares.
COULTON: No, no.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that one is fake. Try this one – division chief comma…
EISENBERG: …Division Of Wild Horses comma Burros comma And Prairie Dogs comma Bureau of Land Management comma Department Of The Interior.
NAIMARK: I’m sorry. All of these sound really plausible. I’m going to go for yes for that one, too.
EISENBERG: That’s hilarious. No, I’m sorry. That one is fake.
EISENBERG: There is a division – to be fair, there’s a division chief for The Division Of Wild Horses And Burros, but no prairie dogs – yeah.
NAIMARK: Oh, I missed the prairie dogs. Sorry.
EISENBERG: This is your last question.
NAIMARK: Oh, God.
EISENBERG: United States chief technology officer.
NAIMARK: That’s it – United States chief technology officer?
NAIMARK: He would be, like, the tech czar or something like that, right?
EISENBERG: Yeah, the guy who controls Tron.
NAIMARK: Controls Tron or healthcare.gov. If there’s not one, there should be.
EISENBERG: I like that as an answer.
NAIMARK: So I’m going to say yes.
EISENBERG: Yes, that one is real.
EISENBERG: Marc, you did it. We are going to send, all the way to France, probably with huge amounts of customs forms, a limited edition ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik’s Cube for you. Congratulations.
NAIMARK: A dream come true.
EISENBERG: A bientot, Marc.
NAIMARK: A bientot.