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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. That's waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming show in Des Moines, Iowa January 23, right before the Iowa caucuses. And if you like our show but wish there were a short version you could play without calling us, try our weekly quiz every Wednesday on your smart speaker. Just say open the WAIT WAIT... quiz, and Bill and I will appear like magic in your room.

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

ANNE COMPANION: Hi. This is Anne Companion, and I'm calling from Hampton, Va.

SAGAL: You're Anne Companion from Hampton?

COMPANION: I sure am.

JOSH GONDELMAN: That's like an Eminem lyric.


SAGAL: And what do you do there in Hampton, Anne Companion?

COMPANION: I am a portrait photographer. I have a studio here in Hampton.

SAGAL: Really? Are people still paying professionals to do that when everybody's taking pictures of each other with iPhones?

COMPANION: Yeah, they actually are. I have a great business.

SAGAL: That's great.

PJ O'ROURKE: Yeah. We selfie-takers have found out it's not as easy to make yourself look good as it seems (laughter).

SAGAL: No, it's true.

COMPANION: That is very true.

O'ROURKE: Right.

GONDELMAN: Is that your - is that your slogan for portrait photography - right? - it's don't just trust your friend, trust a Companion.


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


SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: For this sensory video thing, I'll watch jewelers making some bling. But my passion is slipping. A guy took nail clippings and fashioned them into a...


SAGAL: Right...


SAGAL: ...A ring. Diamond rings are expensive. So a man in China made an engagement ring out of his fingernails.

GONDELMAN: You'd think there would be a middle ground.

SAGAL: Somewhere.


SAGAL: Cubic zirconium exists, dude.

O'ROURKE: Cubic zirconium (laughter).

SAGAL: The next time you see a guy in the subway cutting his nails, don't say ew. Say, who's the lucky lady?


SAGAL: You're wondering how he did this. Well, what he did was he cut his fingernails for an entire year, then he turned all the clippings into a sculptable paste, creating the perfect worst ring ever.

O'ROURKE: (Laughter) Really.

SAGAL: The real question is what's worse - this ring or the ring in the movie that kills you eight days after you see it?

O'ROURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, very good. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: My home has a grand floral spread that won't need to be watered or fed. No need to get squirmy. It's plant taxidermy. My flowers are already...


SAGAL: Yes, dead.


SAGAL: You can cultivate your brown thumb this winter. Dead plants are the hottest trend in home decor.


GONDELMAN: You know what? I've been way ahead of this trend.


SAGAL: I know. You weren't lazy and incompetent; you were a trendsetter.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, I'm - influencer, really.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. According to The Wall Street Journal, everybody wants preserved plants, otherwise known as your formerly living plants when you come back from vacation. They require no water and no care because they're dead. But because they've been injected with a kind of mummifying liquid, they still look green and alive. That's true. They're great because they're really low maintenance, all while giving you that fresh feeling of living in a plant morgue.


GONDELMAN: This sounds to me like the first act of a vegan serial killer, right? First it's houseplants, then it's trees. And then who knows?

SAGAL: Yeah.

O'ROURKE: Right. Vegan serial killer. You've got a series.


O'ROURKE: Vegan serial killer...

GONDELMAN: Netflix's least riveting murder documentary.


NEGIN FARSAD: Play it at 1.5 the speed.


SAGAL: All right, here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: He's not a good RPG shooter, nor much of a coin and ring looter. My kid is quite lame at video games, so we've hired the poor guy a...


SAGAL: A tutor, yes.


SAGAL: Parents are hiring videogame tutors...

O'ROURKE: Oh, no (laughter).

SAGAL: ...As a new effort to make your kids hate videogames. Fortnite and World Of Warcraft have become so popular they've basically become a sport. And people are so motivated to play well they're hiring tutors, sometimes for $100 an hour. Well, no, it's - just don't do that. It's just like the good old days when we had, like, a Monopoly tutor.


SAGAL: You have to pass go, damn it. How many times do I have to go over this?

GONDELMAN: No, idiot. Roll sixes.


FARSAD: (Laughter) I weep for humanity.

SAGAL: I really do. But apparently, these are like a totally great things these days. Kids get college scholarships playing e-sports.

FARSAD: Great.

SAGAL: Yeah.

O'ROURKE: (Laughter) So bodes well for the nation.

SAGAL: It really does.

GONDELMAN: I never felt more like I was born too soon.


GONDELMAN: I have the ideal body for e-sports.


SAGAL: Yes. Bill, how did Anne do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Anne's companion was victory - 3-0.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yay. Well, done, Anne.



SAGAL: Congratulations, Anne. Thanks so much for playing.

COMPANION: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you.