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We Hates Bagginses

Nov 14, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 10:43 am

Gollum, the slimy creature from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, seems to have a lot of grammar problems. He also seems to hate a lot of things--especially irregular plurals. In this game, led by host Ophira Eisenberg, all of the answers are nouns whose singular and plural forms are the same. Contestants must answer by channeling the voice of Gollum.

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Let's say hello to our first two contestants, Bruce Schwartz and Emily Skrezec. Emily, you're a middle school librarian.

EMILY SKREZEC: Yes, I am. We still exist.

EISENBERG: You still exist. I know it's a great job. So what are the kids reading these days?

SKREZEC: Anything by Rick Riordan and Veronica Roth right now.


SKREZEC: And I still say go with "Harry Potter." If you're going to start off, go with "Harry Potter."

EISENBERG: Well, you are preaching to our listeners. And Bruce, you were a high school teacher?

BRUCE SCHWARTZ: Many years ago, yes.

EISENBERG: Many years. Now, you taught speech.


EISENBERG: In your speech class, I believe you taught Rev. Al Sharpton?

SCHWARTZ: This is true.

EISENBERG: All right. So was he good at the start?

SCHWARTZ: He was. I was assigned to teach him speech, but at the time, he was already a reverend and a practiced public speaker and probably could've taught me a thing or two.

EISENBERG: But you were assigned to shape him a little bit.

SCHWARTZ: I was, yes.

EISENBERG: And then you were in awe.

SCHWARTZ: All right.

EISENBERG: OK, sure. Sounds like he was just OK and the next time I hear him speak I'm going to go, that's all Bruce's work, everybody. That's what I'm gonna say.

SCHWARTZ: You can blame me.

EISENBERG: OK. So our first game is called "We Hate Bagginses." And for the people out there that did not clap, you need to work on your geek cred because our title is a famous line by the character Golum from Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." OK, but don't worry, don't worry. All you need to know about Golum is that his grammar isn't very good.

So the answers in this game will be nouns whose singular and plural forms are the same. But since you'll be playing the role of Golum, you'll preface the answer with the statement, "We hates it," and add a grammatically incorrect Ses to the end of the noun. Confused? Don't worry. Puzzle guru John Chaneski.

JOHN CHANESKI: For example, if I asked, how do you feel about animals that produce wool, the correct answer would be, we hates sheepses.

EISENBERG: Gotta do the voice, too, right? You don't have to do the voice, but if you don't, you won't get the point. Now, ring in when you know the answer and the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Are you ready?


EISENBERG: OK. How do you feel about trousers, slacks or chinos? Bruce.

SCHWARTZ: We love pantses.

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru John Chaneski, how would you like to score that?

CHANESKI: We don't want you to like these things, OK? Try it again. Just try it again.

SCHWARTZ: We hates pantses.

EISENBERG: Oh, there we go. Do you enjoy learning about current events? Emily.

SKREZEC: We hates newsies - newses. Newsies?

EISENBERG: You do hate newses, yes, that is right. Of course. Can I get you chair to sit on or a desk or a bed for your cave? Bruce.

SCHWARTZ: We hates furniture-ses.

EISENBERG: Yes. You're more into minimalist cave decor, yes, indeed. Why are you using your bare hands to pick meat off the grill? Emily?

SKREZEC: We hates tong-ses?


SKREZEC: OK, good.

EISENBERG: Surely you must like Major League Baseball's premier season ending event? Bruce.

SCHWARTZ: We hates World Series-ses.

EISENBERG: Yes, you do. More of a Stanley Cup person-ses. This is your last clue. Maybe you're always angry because you can't see well. Can I buy you some spectacles? Emily.

SKREZEC: We hate glasses-ses?

EISENBERG: We do hate glasses-ses. That will work. Yes, indeed. John Chaneski, how did our little Golum's do?

CHANESKI: We have a tie between the precious-ses.

EISENBERG: Ooh. We hate ties-ses.

CHANESKI: We love tie-breakers-ses. Here's your tie-breaker, Bruce and Emily. Do you wear the warm weather version of pants-ses that end above the knee? Bruce.

SCHWARTZ: We hates knickers-ses.

CHANESKI: We'll take it. We hates knickers-ses. Sure.

EISENBERG: Well done, you two. What a close game. Bruce, you'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Thank you so much, Emily. Have you ever wanted to compete on Ask Me Another, but hate putting on pants-ses? Now, you can play with us from the comfort of your own dank, evil cave. We're looking for clever puzzlers to compete over the phone.

So if you have a land line or have heard of such a thing, find one and let us know. Send us an email at askmeanother@npr.org or you can find us on Facebook or Twitter.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CALL ME MAYBE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.