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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, waitwait.npr.org. And if you want more WAIT WAIT in your week, check out the Wait Wait Quiz for your smart speaker. It's out every Wednesday with me and Bill asking you questions, all in the comfort of your home. It's just like human contact - at least, as far as we remember.

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

ALEC WIDGE: Hey, Peter. It's Alec Widge from Minneapolis, Minn.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Minneapolis, one of my favorite places?

WIDGE: It is absolutely wonderful. There is sometimes sunshine. There are sparkling lakes. Everybody is in their garden. We are actually practicing physical distancing.

SAGAL: Well, you're Minnesotans. Minnesotans traditionally are very good at, like, staying away from each other.

WIDGE: Yeah. People say that this whole 6 feet thing - that's kind of a little too close for their comfort.


SAGAL: Normally, yes. Well, welcome to the show, Alec. 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 in two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: Though reptilian coolness offends, at my parties, a core group attends. We find it a bliss to just gossip and hiss. Yes, we snakes have a few long-term...

WIDGE: Friends.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...Friends...


SAGAL: ...Very good.

KURTIS: Yes, indeed.

SAGAL: Scientists put a bunch of snakes in a room. And when the researchers weren't too busy screaming, they noticed snakes would continue to gravitate to the same other snakes, suggesting they preferred some snakes' company over others.

ALISON LEIBY: And they can be friends now because they could never hug anyway, so they're not missing anything.


SAGAL: Many of them seemed to bond over how bad they felt about causing original sin, while the females formed friendships by sharing their old skin. You should totally wear this. I'm not using it anymore.


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

KURTIS: For hybrids, the business is boomin' (ph), though some mythic creatures bring doom in. There's the harpy and Sphinx, and for current hijinks, there's a mouse that is 4%...

WIDGE: Human.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.




SAGAL: Using an advanced stem cell transfer, scientists created a mouse that has 4% human cells. You're part human. Congratulations, mouse. Now you can get coronavirus.


TOM BODETT: But we all know how this movie ends, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: It starts off - you know, they're partly human mice, and we use them for experiments. And then finally, they become sentient, and they rebel. And they get, like, Willard (ph) to lead them on its revenge rampage through our lives. I just am saying I'm not very comfortable with this.


SAGAL: All right, Alec. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: You dumped me once you've had your fun, hon. But you and I are not quite done, son. Rub these bulbs on your eye, and you'll learn how I cry. I have sent you a truckload of...

WIDGE: Onions.

SAGAL: Onions...





SAGAL: A woman in China...


SAGAL: ...Got revenge on her ex-boyfriend by sending him one ton of onions in the hopes, she said, he would cry as much as he had made her cry. Bad news for the boyfriend, worse news for the nearby food shelter, which will be serving onion surprise for the next decade.


LEIBY: Couldn't she just send him a copy of "Field Of Dreams" to make him cry the way most men do?


LEIBY: Onions feel like a lot of work.

SAGAL: I know, really. I want you to chop these. No, chop them finer.

MAZ JOBRANI: Now saute them. Are you crying yet?


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

KURTIS: Alec is impressive, scoring three times right.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Alec. Thank you so much, Alec.

WIDGE: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SALT-N-PEPA SONG, "PUSH IT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.