Stone Cold Steve Austin, Texas

Sep 27, 2019
Originally published on September 27, 2019 1:34 pm

Contestants combine their celebrity expertise and geography skills with this star-studded, state capitals mash up game.

Heard on Matthew McConaughey: Commerce And Vanity.

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Our next game is called Stone Cold Steve Austin, Texas. And it's a stunner. It'll take three minutes and 16 seconds to play. I'm told pro wrestling fans will understand those references.


EISENBERG: Let's meet our contestants. First up, Christine Walen - you're a statistical research report editor, which is a long ways from your very first job in Chicago - hand-making pinatas.

CHRISTINE WALEN: That's right.

EISENBERG: Sounds like a huge amount of work.

WALEN: Well, I only did a small part of it. So I would get the mold of the pinata, and I would put on the rough, flat paper.


WALEN: And I would give it to somebody else who would put on the nice, pretty paper.

EISENBERG: Was it at a factory?

WALEN: Sort of.



EISENBERG: Was it a legal situation?


WALEN: I'm not going to say yes.


WALEN: Maybe. Maybe.


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


EISENBERG: Your opponent is Wendi Aarons. You're a freelance humor writer.


EISENBERG: What are you working on right now?

AARONS: I'm working on a book. And I'm also just writing freelance humor pieces.

EISENBERG: Yeah. What's your book about?

AARONS: It's about being old.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Awesome. Do you have a title for it yet?

AARONS: "I'm Wearing Tunics Now."

EISENBERG: "I'm Wearing Tunics Now."


EISENBERG: Fantastic.


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


EISENBERG: Remember, Wendi and Christine, whoever has more points after two games will go on to our Final Round. Let's go to your first game. So some people think Austin is named for Stephen F. Austin, who brought hundreds of families to this area and is known as the Father of Texas. But we chose to believe it's named after pro wrestling legend Stone Cold Steve Austin.


EISENBERG: So in this word game, you're going to mash up celebrity names with state capitals.

JONATHAN COULTON: So if I said the Country music Hall of Famer who sang "Two More Bottles Of Wine" might want to grab a third bottle as she travels across Pennsylvania, you would answer Emmylou Harrisburg.

EISENBERG: Remember, the celebrity name will always come first in the mashup, and the state capital will come second. This soul music pioneer is known for singing "Georgia On My Mind," but sometimes he was thinking about West Virginia.



AARONS: Oh, well, Ray Charleston.

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yes, perfect.


EISENBERG: Racecar drivers are always making scary left turns, which may be why this Indiana capital is so into the author of "The Left Hand Of Darkness." OK.


EISENBERG: Here's a hint. She also wrote the "Earthsea" series.


EISENBERG: All right. You know what? Can anyone out here do this mashup?


EISENBERG: Yes, Ursula K. Le Guindianapolis (ph)...


EISENBERG: ...Is the full thing. Well done. Le Guin was the first writer to ever win both science fiction's most prestigious awards, the Hugo and the Nebula, for two different novels. So shame on you.

AARONS: I feel NPR-shamed.


COULTON: So she's pretty famous and successful and, I don't know, feel like you should have heard of her. Truth hurts. This "Juice" singer's hometown of Detroit thinks she's good as hell, but she's even more beloved in Washington state.



AARONS: Lizzo Olympia.

COULTON: Lizzolympia (ph) - that's right.


EISENBERG: Nevada embraced a groundbreaking book on environmentalism to keep their verdant capital from turning into a silent spring.


EISENBERG: Christine.

WALEN: Rachel Carson City.

EISENBERG: That is right. Congratulations. Yes.


EISENBERG: Of course, you know she was an American biologist who wrote about pollution. And she wrote "Silent Spring" in 1962.

COULTON: Not as famous as Ursula K. Le Guin.


EISENBERG: This is your last clue.

COULTON: Music City, USA - sure, but this Tennessee capital identifies more with the humorous poetry of a prolific 20th-century writer who could have loved this town had he not loved Baltimore.



AARONS: Ogden Nashville.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.


EISENBERG: Great game. And Wendi is in the lead.


EISENBERG: If your mind is as pliable as a Springfield, Ill., then, oh, Boise, Idaho - you sound like a trivia Boston, Mass., and should apply to be a contestant on our show. Go to Coming up, Matthew McConaughey is back to play another game. Did you know he was voted most handsome in high school? We're going to ask him what the heck happened.


EISENBERG: I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

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