This, That, Or The Other: Lion, Witch Or Wardrobe

Apr 3, 2020
Originally published on April 3, 2020 6:54 pm

Stay F. Homekins hosts (and real-life married couple!) Paul F. Tompkins and Janie Haddad Tompkins go head-to-head in a guessing game where every answer is either a big cat, a famous witch or an Ikea wardrobe.

Heard on Debra Messing & Paul F Tompkins: Show Yourself Some Grace.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right. Guess what, Janie, Paul.

PAUL F TOMPKINS: Yes?

EISENBERG: You're going to play one of our favorite games, called This, That, Or The Other. We're going to give you the name of a thing. You're going to tell us which of three categories it belongs to. Jonathan Coulton, what are our categories?

JONATHAN COULTON: Today's categories are lion, witch or wardrobe. So basically, each thing is either a species of big cat, a fictional witch or an Ikea wardrobe.

JANIE HADDAD TOMPKINS: Got it.

EISENBERG: Janie, this one's for you.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: OK.

EISENBERG: Elphaba.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Well, I have to say just my gut tells me Ikea wardrobe.

EISENBERG: I'm sorry. That is incorrect. It's the Wicked Witch of the West in "Wicked."

HADDAD TOMPKINS: But she shops at Ikea.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, Paul, here's yours. Jubatus - big cat, witch or wardrobe?

(LAUGHTER)

TOMPKINS: I think that's a big cat.

COULTON: You are right. It is a big cat.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Wow.

COULTON: I have no idea how you guessed that, but it is a big cat.

EISENBERG: It's a cat who celebrates Passover.

TOMPKINS: I knew it wasn't an Ikea item because it didn't sound Scandinavian enough. And I felt it was too soon for another witch, so I took a gamble.

COULTON: (Laughter) That's - you played the meta game, and you won.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's a scientific name for the cheetah, which is very fast but also doesn't need to drink water except for every three to four days. Because here's the thing; they get their hydration from the blood of their prey.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Oh.

TOMPKINS: That's like me with wine.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: Janie.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Yes.

EISENBERG: Tyssedal.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: I don't know. I'm going to go with cat.

EISENBERG: Probably. But what I also know...

TOMPKINS: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...Is that it is the name of an Ikea wardrobe.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: It is?

EISENBERG: Its doors are fully mirrored, and each of its shelves holds about 15 pairs of folded pants.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Oh.

EISENBERG: You'd need one right now because you're not putting on pants, so you need them all folded somewhere.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Yeah.

EISENBERG: It's a good idea.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: And you need the mirror to remind yourself that things are going south fast.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Paul, this one's for you.

TOMPKINS: All right.

COULTON: Songesand.

TOMPKINS: I mean, Ikea is calling to me, but I'm going to say witch.

COULTON: I'm sorry. It is an Ikea wardrobe.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: (Laughter) I feel like...

COULTON: Janie knew it.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Well, you did the - an accent and everything.

COULTON: I did it with a - it was the other A sound...

EISENBERG: He knew it.

COULTON: ...At the end.

TOMPKINS: I thought it might've been the accent of the land where the witch came from.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Janie.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Yes.

EISENBERG: Manul.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: It's got to be a cat.

EISENBERG: Sure is a cat. It's the Pallas' cat, a small wildcat with a comically puffy coat of hair. Its full scientific name translates to ugly-eared wildcat.

TOMPKINS: (Laughter).

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Interesting.

TOMPKINS: Cat can't catch a break.

COULTON: That's cruel. Scientists can be very cruel.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Yeah, but he has a cute puff of hair, and they didn't even include that in the name.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, Paul. Here's yours.

TOMPKINS: All right.

COULTON: Broom-Hilda.

TOMPKINS: Oh, come on.

COULTON: (Laughter).

TOMPKINS: This is a witch all the way. Who didn't love this cartoon strip if they had it in their local newspaper? Broom-Hilda...

COULTON: Yeah.

TOMPKINS: She was a comical witch who was just trying to live her life.

EISENBERG: Yeah. She was looking for love - right? - in all the wrong cauldrons.

COULTON: She was like Cathy but a witch.

TOMPKINS: It was not like a sort of workplace strip like "The Wizard Of Id."

COULTON: The first workplace comedy (laughter).

TOMPKINS: That's right - "The Wizard Of Id."

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: OK. Great job, Paul. You won the first game.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: Congratulations.

TOMPKINS: That sounds hollow.

HADDAD TOMPKINS: I do feel Broom-Hilda was a bit of a softball, but I'm not going to...

TOMPKINS: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: After the break, we're going to play another game with Paul F. Tompkins and Janie Haddad Tompkins. Plus, we'll call up "Will & Grace's" Debra Messing and find out how her social distancing is going. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.