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 click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. And if you want more Wait Wait in your week, follow us on Instagram at @waitwaitnpr and on Twitter at @waitwait. And check out our new weekly bonus podcast Letter From The Editors, where we bring you all the jokes we couldn't fit onto the radio show. Find it every Wednesday, wherever you get your podcasts.
Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
DAN: Hi, this is Dan in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
SAGAL: Hey, Dan. How are things in Cedar Rapids? I love that place.
DAN: Well, it's a great city. We've got a pandemic, a derecho and all sorts of fun happening here.
MAEVE HIGGINS: (Laughter).
SAGAL: What do you do there?
DAN: I am a Japanese teacher in a high school here in Cedar Rapids.
SAGAL: Oh, wow.
SAGAL: I'm very impressed. I was in Japan for the first time last year, and I found out that Japanese is a very hard language for someone who'd never spoke it to understand.
DAN: Well, yeah, I went over to Japan in 1989. I didn't know anything and over time picked it up and came back here and started teaching it.
SAGAL: That's a pretty good gig.
DAN: Yeah, I enjoy it.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Dan. 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 just two of the limericks, you will be a winner. Ready to play?
DAN: Yeah, I'm ready. Let's go.
SAGAL: All right, here's your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: For its quality, parents will vouch. It is fun for a homebound young grouch. As a sleeper or fort, you can rest or cavort. It's a foldable, moldable...
SAGAL: Yes, couch.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: According to BuzzFeed News, the nation's parents are ready to cut you and then climb over your lifeless body to get a nugget couch, the hottest thing in pandemic furniture. Basically the nugget is half futon, half toy. It's a couch that comes apart into big, foam blocks that can be easily built into a fort or a tumbling zone. So when your kids are stuck at home for weeks, you can yell at them. If you don't start jumping on the couch right now, you won't be allowed on it. And to make things worse for those frustrated moms who want one is the 16,000-member Facebook group Nuggets After Dark, who said, a couch made of versatile, differently shaped foam blocks with easy-to-wash covers? Sounds useful. Freaky grown-ups haven't been this into a thing for kids since spanking.
ALONZO BODDEN: Well, that just got weird now, didn't it?
BODDEN: That just took a turn away from NPR.
SAGAL: I didn't create the Facebook group. I'm just saying.
BODDEN: Well, you wrote the joke.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your next limerick, he said, changing the topic.
KURTIS: When our foods are too bland, we are schleppers. Let's get spicy, and we'll be high steppers. The foods that we eat should have high Scoville heat. We'll live longer when we eat more...
DAN: I'm going to go with peppers.
SAGAL: Yes, peppers.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Forget about the COVID vaccine. The real medical breakthrough announced this week - eating chili peppers will help you live longer. The American Heart Association says eating chili peppers consistently lowers your risk of dying by, quote, "any cause by 25%." That's right. Any cause. Car crash? Not today. I'm enjoying a jalapeno popper. Murder can't kill me. I just had nachos. Chili peppers apparently have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They lower the chance of cardiovascular disease and cancer. And they're a fun way to cry at a restaurant.
JOANNA HAUSMANN: So it reduces your risk of death by making you feel like you're dying.
SAGAL: Sort of, yes. Or at least making you welcoming death, which helps, I guess.
SAGAL: Here is your last limerick.
KURTIS: When tourists are gone for a spell, we hermit crabs do rather well. Now I have outgrown my small, scavenged home. So please, could you send me a big...
SAGAL: Shell, yes. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)
SAGAL: Thanks in part to a lack of tourists on the beaches, Thailand's hermit crab population has skyrocketed to the point that they're facing a shell shortage. It might be that these crabs are just too picky. Sorry, I was really looking for a two-bedroom shell. Now, to solve the problem, park officials in Thailand are asking the public for shell donations. They're hoping people throughout the world will send conical shells of various sizes to help home displaced crabs, one per shell. Failing that, they're asking for several large pots filled with hot water that many crabs can fit in at once.
HIGGINS: You know who they need? They need that woman. I don't know her name, but, you know, she sells seashells by the seashore.
SAGAL: Yes, finally.
HAUSMANN: Where is she?
HIGGINS: Where is she?
SAGAL: She'd make a killing.
BODDEN: She can finally cash in.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Dan do on our quiz?
KURTIS: I wish I could say it in Japanese, Dan, but it would be the same. You're a winner.
DAN: Thank you so much.
DAN: Got them all right.
SAGAL: Very well done. Thanks so much for playing, Dan, and take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.