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Limericks

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Or you can click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. Also, check out the Wait Wait Quiz for our smart speaker. Bill and I ask you questions from the comfort of your own home. Just think of us as house guests that never have to use the bathroom.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ANDREW PESTER: Hi, this is Andrew calling from Charlotte, N.C.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Charlotte?

PESTER: You know, all things considered, I think we're doing pretty well.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

PESTER: I am a professional musician. I am specifically a professional church musician. I play organ, piano, harpsichord. I compose, and I direct choirs.

SAGAL: All right. I have a question for you...

PESTER: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Because I'm going to admit something. I have decided to, like, spend my pandemic recently trying to learn the piano. How - speaking to a professional musician, how do you get your left hand to do something entirely different than your right hand at the same time?

PESTER: One hand at a time, and then add them together. And if you think that's fun, try doing it with the organ, where you get to use your feet at the same time.

SAGAL: Woah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Andrew, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you will be a winner. You ready to play?

PESTER: I sure am.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: With my Oreos, I am a dunker. When the world goes dark, we both shall hunker. When the space rocks assault, we'll be safe in our vault as my cookies stay safe in my...

PESTER: Bunker.

SAGAL: Yes, bunker.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After the apocalypse comes, we may be reduced to eating each other, but at least we'll have dessert. The company that makes Oreos has announced the creation of the Oreo vault, a secure storage facility on an Arctic island. The vault is bombproof, weatherproof and hopefully college roommate-proof.

It was built near the very real and very serious global seed vault. That's intended to help regrow crops following an extinction-level event, which is nice. But vegetables do not have a cream filling. So the Nabisco company say they built the vault in response to the news of an asteroid that has a 0.41% chance of colliding with Earth.

ADAM BURKE: Surely that Oreo vault should only open once we finished everything in the vegetable vault.

SAGAL: Exactly.

FAITH SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You don't get to go into the Oreo vault until you finish the vegetable vault. Oh, mom. No.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SALIE: I hope there's a milk vault nearby.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Exactly. Andrew, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Every fall, we turn into a bumpkin. For one flavor, we act like we're drunken. For seasonal spice, we will pay a high price. We pay extra for foods labeled...

PESTER: Pumpkin.

SAGAL: Yes...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Fall is in the air, so it's time to put on a scarf, jump in some leaves and pay a 175% premium for food flavored like the world's hardest vegetable. According to a new study, pumpkin-flavored products are priced way higher than their boring, unseasonal counterparts. A box of pumpkin cookies at Whole Foods, for example, costs almost twice the amount as their chocolate cookies because everybody knows that if you eat nutmeg and cinnamon together at any other time of year, you die.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Can I ask a scientific question about the pumpkin?

SAGAL: You may, Adam.

BURKE: If you carved a design into this - a pumpkin seed, would it grow into a jack o' lantern? And wouldn't that be easier? Wouldn't that save us all a lot of time?

SAGAL: You're a stranger to our customs...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Are you not, Mr. Burke?

ALONZO BODDEN: Well, you know what's great? You know what's great about the pumpkin? Like, they charge more for anything made from pumpkin, but when you're making a jack o' lantern, you take everything inside the pumpkin...

BURKE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: ...Throw all of that away...

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: ...Just throw that away.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: And somebody said, wait a minute...

SAGAL: Wait a minute.

BODDEN: We can get some cash for that.

BURKE: It's almost like, you know they have lamps, right?

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Buy a lamp.

SAGAL: All right. Very good. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: When they bring me new tankmates, I greet them. This old grouper is happy to meet them. But soon my new friends will face the same end. I get peckish, and then I just...

PESTER: Eat them.

SAGAL: Eat them.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: The staff at an aquarium in Finland threw a birthday party this week to cheer up Mikko the grouper, who had been showing signs of loneliness because Mikko has eaten every other fish they put in his tank to keep him company.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now Mikko is, of course, lonely. But come on, Mikko. What did those other fish that used to be your friends all have in common? That's right - you having eaten them. Maybe you're the problem here, OK?

SALIE: (Laughter) He told them they had to swim with the fishes.

SAGAL: Exactly.

BODDEN: (Laughter) Couldn't they just throw in a fish bigger than Mikko?

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Did that ever occur to anyone?

SAGAL: For his party - they threw him a party - the staff brushed his scales, which they had to do carefully because - this is true - the last time they brushed him, he ate the brush.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: This is some grouper. And then they gave him, like, a salmon cake, which raises the question, why are we enabling Mikko?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You don't throw a cannibal a birthday party and give him a people cake.

Bill, how did Andrew do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Andrew got every handful of pumpkin muck we threw at him.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

KURTIS: He got them all right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Andrew.

PESTER: Thank you all so much.

SAGAL: Take care.

PESTER: You too.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT")

SAM COOKE: (Singing) Another Saturday night, and I ain't got nobody. I got some money 'cause I just got paid. Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to. I'm in an awful way. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.