Limericks

Nov 4, 2017
Originally published on November 4, 2017 8:07 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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-WAITWAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924 - or click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

VERONICA ALLEN: Hi, this is Veronica calling from Burlington, N.C.

SAGAL: Oh, I've never been there.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: What do you do there?

ALLEN: I'm a high school teacher.

SAGAL: Oh, really? What do you teach in high school?

ALLEN: Orchestra.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. Well, my daughter is in her high school orchestra, so I thank you for doing that important work. How...

ALLEN: I apologize for all of the "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" you probably had to listen to.

SAGAL: Early on. She's graduated from that, so it's OK now. That's fine.

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO BODDEN: Do you think any of them want a gig on a plane?

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, Veronica, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis is now going to read for you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. Your job - fill in that last word or phrase correctly on just two of the limericks, and you'll be a winner. You ready to play?

ALLEN: Yes, I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: As the carry-ons come single file, I get jostled but just sit and smile. I won't do the limbo to get to the window. I'm selfless and sit by the...

ALLEN: Aisle.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This is an amazing study. It determined that people who prefer to sit by the window on an airplane tend to be more selfish. It makes sense. When's the last time you saw Mother Teresa in a window seat, right?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The researchers say, quote, "passengers who favor the window seat like to be in control, tend to take an every-man-for-themselves attitude and are easily irritable."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: On the other hand, people on the aisle don't want to bother anyone when they get up to use the bathroom. That's my tribe. We're nice.

HELEN HONG: Me too.

SAGAL: Yeah, absolutely.

FAITH SALIE: Oh, no. I didn't think I was nice. I just thought I had to pee a lot.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: If I do have to pee, and I do have those - that weird person in the middle who's like, no, you can climb over me, I'm like, oh.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: I'm farting in your face. Look out.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: I'm alarmed by this study because it is those very people who sit by the window who are going to help us get out the exit row if there's an accident.

SAGAL: While they - we will - I'm a big exit row fan. In fact, you know, they ask you. They say are you willing to help in the case of an emergency? And for a long time, I would say, I am looking forward to it.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And it turns out that's not a good thing to say.

HONG: What?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: My texting thumbs must be on fire. The word count just couldn't be higher. When my phrases are long, my mendacity's strong. I write a lot because I'm a...

ALLEN: Writer.

SAGAL: Yes - no.

SALIE: No.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It rhymes with fire. It rhymes with higher.

KURTIS: Higher.

SAGAL: The word mendacity is in there.

ALLEN: Because I'm a...

SAGAL: You don't know it?

ALLEN: No.

SAGAL: It's liar. According to a study by Cornell University, you can tell if someone is lying if they tend to write longer text messages. So if you ask a woman out, and she says, cool, sounds fun, it means she means it. She probably wants to go. If she says oh, you know, I'd love to share a meal with the head of NPR News, but I'm washing my hair tonight...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Then she's probably lying. The study found liars also tend to use more self-oriented words, like I'm and me, noncommital words - maybe, probably. This makes it easy to translate lies to see what's happening. If you text somebody late at night, you up? And you get back me, up? Maybe. Probably. Definitely not.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I am asleep. They're probably lying.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: OK. Veronica, here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: This year's leaves only turn by degrees. And now Instagram's feeling the squeeze, but these oaks still amaze with their autumnal blaze. People flock to see these colorful...

ALLEN: Oh, trees.

SAGAL: Trees. Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

KURTIS: Trees. Yes, indeed.

SAGAL: Because of an incredibly sinister, complex, decades-long hoax by the Chinese, this fall has been unusually warm. And that means trees...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Don't turn your back on those guys.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And that means trees are not changing color the way they should be, which means that the few that are changing have become what The Wall Street Journal calls tree celebrities. People are flocking to these trees to get their seasonal Instagram photos. People who can't get to one of them are actually using Photoshop to fake their foliage picture for the fall season.

SALIE: What?

HONG: No.

SAGAL: Well, if you don't have access to folia changing yourself, you can just, you know, watch it on the Tree MZ channel.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Veronica do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, she got two out of three.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

KURTIS: That's a winner, Veronica.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well done, Veronica. Thank you so much for playing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG YELLOW TAXI")

JONI MITCHELL: (Singing) They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum. And they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see them. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.