Stuff By The Ocean

Jan 20, 2017
Originally published on March 6, 2017 9:04 am

Grab some sunscreen and a time machine! Jonathan Coulton takes us all the way back to the summer of 2016 with a parody of "Cake By The Ocean," where each clue is about something you'd find--you guessed it--by the ocean.

Heard on Eugene Mirman: Burger On A Sesame Seed Pun

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next two contestants will battle it out in a music parody game performed by Jonathan Coulton. Let's meet them. First up, Gabriela Lomba, you are a junior studying comparative literature and education from Puerto Rico. Now, you walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage alone?

GABRIELA LOMBA: Yeah. But, like, it wasn't supposed to be alone (laughter).

O. EISENBERG: How long is this trail?

LOMBA: About, like, 500 kilometers.

O. EISENBERG: Five hundred kilometers.

LOMBA: Sorry, miles.

O. EISENBERG: Five hundred miles.

LOMBA: Yeah.

O. EISENBERG: So how long are you supposed to take to do it?

LOMBA: Depending on how fast you are, but I did it in about, like, a month.

O. EISENBERG: A month.

LOMBA: Yeah.

O. EISENBERG: Alone.

LOMBA: Yeah, I was doing it with my sister. But she got injured, so we had to part our ways.

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

LOMBA: And, yeah.

O. EISENBERG: And when you came out at the very end, were you a different person?

LOMBA: I was very thin 'cause I lost a lot of weight. And I - when my sister came to pick me up, I was in a park laying down. I kind of looked like I was dead.

(LAUGHTER)

LOMBA: She came over and she was like, what happened to you? And I was like, I'm fine. This is just me now.

(LAUGHTER)

LOMBA: She's like, OK, we're going to go get food. You look horrible.

O. EISENBERG: (Laughter) I like that. This is just me now.

(LAUGHTER)

O. EISENBERG: Your opponent is Jai Nimgaonkar. You're a sophomore studying computer science from Princeton, N.J. Now, Jay, you aren't just a programmer. You're part of the Humtones, the oldest a cappella group at Haverford. Jonathan you were...

JONATHAN COULTON: I was also involved in the a cappella community in college.

(LAUGHTER)

O. EISENBERG: And also you used to work as a...

COULTON: I also used to write software for a living, yeah.

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Maybe there's a connection between a cappella and software.

O. EISENBERG: I don't know.

JAI NIMGAONKAR: And maybe beards?

O. EISENBERG: And maybe beards.

COULTON: And you also have a beard. Wait a minute.

O. EISENBERG: Jai, do you hope to also get rid of the programming and become a rock god at some point?

NIMGAONKAR: Actually...

COULTON: You should definitely do it. It always works.

(LAUGHTER)

O. EISENBERG: So remember, the first of you that wins two of our games will move on to our final exam at the end of the show. Let's go to your first game. Jonathan Coulton, take it away.

COULTON: So we rewrote "Cake By The Ocean" by Joe Jonas' band - it could dunce or don'ts or dince (ph). It doesn't have a vowel in it, so I don't know how it's pronounced. I should tell you ahead of time, this is a young person's song. It is too high for me.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's going to be a lot of fun. Now it is about other things that you might find by the ocean. So buzz in to answer. Tell us what thing we're talking about. The winner will be one step closer to moving onto the final round at the end of the show. Are you ready? OK, here it comes - too high for me. (Singing) Oh, no. See you hopping like you're on a stove top.

You're so sizzling, girl, why those feet hot? Wear this plastic footwear. Don't you tiptoe, tiptoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jai.

NIMGAONKAR: Sand by the ocean?

COULTON: Oh, no, that is not what we are looking for. Gabriela, do you know?

LOMBA: Flip flops?

COULTON: Flip flops is the answer.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: It was the plastic footwear that was the key. Here we go. (Singing) Sunbathe in a fun two-piece, sunbathe in a fun two-piece. Named after an atoll where they tested atomic bombs, oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: (Laughter) Gabriela, you're looking at me like I'm crazy.

LOMBA: The last part threw me off but bikini (laughter)?

COULTON: Bikini is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: They named the bathing suit after this place, the Bikini Atoll.

O. EISENBERG: What a beautiful creation story.

COULTON: It's true...

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: ...I was reading Wikipedia this morning.

O. EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: (Singing) I'm a beach-made citadel. I'm a beach-made citadel. But I'm water and silica, one wave's going to knock me down.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gabriela.

LOMBA: Sandcastle?

COULTON: A sandcastle, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

O. EISENBERG: I'm philosophically against sandcastles.

COULTON: Why is that?

O. EISENBERG: Because it's like the world telling you, guess what? Anything that you build and spend time on is meaningless.

(LAUGHTER)

O. EISENBERG: It just goes away.

COULTON: I suppose that's one way to look at it.

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: It's also a fun thing to do with your family.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: No?

O. EISENBERG: We like staring at each other disappointed.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. All right, here's the part that's too high.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing) Talk to me, baby. Your only comfort after the plane crash, whoa. You lost your mind and went nearly crazy. Call me Wilson, my face is a hand print.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gabriela.

LOMBA: Volleyball.

COULTON: Volleyball, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

O. EISENBERG: I think that worked out great.

COULTON: I got through it. I got through it.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing) Float for me, baby, 'cause if you're drowning, I'll come running, whoa. Some CPR will start up your breathing. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, keep on hoping you won't die in the ocean.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gabriela.

LOMBA: The lifeguard (laughter).

COULTON: The lifeguard, yes, or a lifeguard was fine as well but, yes.

O. EISENBERG: I like that they're just hoping you won't die in the ocean. That's a...

COULTON: They're hoping. I mean, you know...

O. EISENBERG: That's a good lifeguard.

COULTON: You can't promise anything. (Singing) So tough, watch the Exxon Valdez leaking black stuff.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

O. EISENBERG: Jai, I believe in you.

NIMGAONKAR: Oil tankers.

(LAUGHTER)

ART CHUNG: I mean, true.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah, I mean, it's...

CHUNG: Yeah, we'll give it to you.

COULTON: Yeah, sure, I think that's appropriate. Yes.

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: We were going for oil spill, but I think you get the gist so that's fine.

O. EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: (Singing) Write to me, baby. And let me know you're stuck on an island, whoa. A cork will keep it safe, dry and floating. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, a Nicholas Sparks book and a song by The Police.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jai.

NIMGAONKAR: Message in a bottle.

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Art Chung, how did they do?

CHUNG: I had no idea there were so many things near the ocean. But congratulations, Gabriela, you're one step closer to the Final Round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.