Marc Naimark's writing and interviews _____________________________________________________

I’m on NPR’s “Ask Me Another” quiz show!

Posted in Uncategorized by marcnaimark on 2015/02/20

npr-ask-me-another-podcastIf 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:


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.



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.


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 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.


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