Unhappy Holiday | Connecticut Public Radio

Unhappy Holiday

Dec 21, 2018

Unleash your inner Grinch in this word game where cheerful icons of the holiday season are mashed up with things that are not happy.

Heard on Adam Lambert And Tony Hawk: A California Christmas

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER coming to you from San Diego. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. Today's show is themed a California Christmas. And before the break, we met our contestants, Angela and Sophie. Their next game is about holiday bummers. Here are some examples of holiday bummers - being alone, being with family.


EISENBERG: Let's check in with our contestants. Angela, what's your favorite California holiday tradition?

ANGELA ESTES: Probably pretending like it's cold and getting all bundled up and going out (laughter).


EISENBERG: I get it. I get it. Sophie, what's your favorite California tradition?

SOPHIE WASSERMAN: I mean, I think...

EISENBERG: Holiday tradition?

WASSERMAN: ...Along those same lines, it's really fun to look at weather in other places and kind of laugh (laughter).


EISENBERG: OK, perfect (laughter).


EISENBERG: So basically, both your holiday traditions are (laughter) meteorology-related.


EISENBERG: This is a word game called Unhappy Holiday. We're mashing up cheerful icons of the holiday season with things that are not happy.


EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: For example, if we said, your aunt wasn't sure what to get you, so here's a plastic rectangle loaded with money. It only works at one store, so it's going to be very difficult to spend. You would answer, gift card-uous (ph), combining gift card and arduous.

ESTES: Whoa.


EISENBERG: I know - easy, right?


EISENBERG: The points are double. As a hint, the holiday term will always come first, and the depressing thing will always come second, just like in real life.


EISENBERG: OK, here we go. Don't eat this spicy holiday treat and house-building material, or you won't be able to sleep on this brutal overnight flight.



WASSERMAN: Gingerbread-eye?



EISENBERG: Gingerbread, red-eye - gingerbread-eye. It's also my Starbucks order.


COULTON: Deck the halls with this picturesque red-berried vegetation that is also a parasite trying to implant itself in your skin and gorge on your blood.


COULTON: Angela?

ESTES: Holleech?

COULTON: Holleech. That's right - holly and leech.




EISENBERG: Yeah. Hey, there's the personification of winter weather, referenced in Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song." But he's having trouble nipping at your nose due to his severely diminished bone density.


WASSERMAN: Jack Frost-eoporosis (ph)?


COULTON: Whee (ph).

EISENBERG: Sophie, that is correct.


COULTON: That's a fun one. That's a fun one.

EISENBERG: (Singing) Happy holidays, doo, do-doo, do-doo (ph).

COULTON: (Laughter) This shiny ball hanging from the tree is causing everything in the universe to gradually decline into death and disorder.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).


COULTON: Angela?

ESTES: Ornam-entropy (ph)?

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah.


COULTON: That's right. Ornament and entropy.

EISENBERG: I love it when stuff like that just pops into your head, right? Just pops in. This is your last clue. Marshmallows and hot chocolate have an unhealthy relationship, just like you and your psychologically unstable partner who relies on you too much.


ESTES: Cocoa-dependent (ph).


EISENBERG: Yep. That is right.


EISENBERG: All right. Two great games, and it looks like, Angela, you are going to our final round.

(CHEERING) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.