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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 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 Chicago and our upcoming show at the Johnny Mercer theater in Savannah, Ga., on February 7th. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

NATALIE HINKLE: Hi. My name is Natalie Hinkle. And I'm calling from San Antonio.

SAGAL: Oh, how are things in San Antonio?

HINKLE: They're pretty good. I just moved here a few months ago. So I'm still getting used to things.

SAGAL: Where'd you move from?

HINKLE: I moved from Nashville. And before that, it was Phoenix. And before that, it was LA. And before that, it was San Francisco.

MAEVE HIGGINS: She's on the run.

SAGAL: I was about to say, are you...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Are you a fugitive?

(LAUGHTER)

HINKLE: I am not.

SAGAL: No.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: I am not.

SAGAL: You're not.

HINKLE: I'm a scientist. I'm a planetary astrophysicist.

SAGAL: No.

HIGGINS: Woo.

SAGAL: Really?

HIGGINS: Cool.

SAGAL: How very cool.

HINKLE: Thank you.

SAGAL: You don't know how cool this is. What is your specialty?

HINKLE: My specialty is connecting stars and planets. Right now we can't measure or observe the interiors of planets outside of our solar system, which are called exoplanets. So what I do is measure elements inside of stars and then make models of the interior structures of their orbiting exoplanets.

ADAM FELBER: That's what I do.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Natalie, welcome to the show.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: 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'll be a winner. You ready to play?

HINKLE: I am.

SAGAL: Here is the first limerick. And I think you'll find this interesting.

BILL KURTIS: My rings make a really nice pattern, take...

FELBER: (Laughter).

KURTIS: ...Them off and I feel like a slatern (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: I'm losing my rings and that loss really stings.

HINKLE: (Laughter).

KURTIS: Times are tough for this old planet.

HINKLE: Saturn.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes. This week, NASA announced that Saturn is rapidly losing its rings. And you know what that means. Saturn is finally single. Get ready, heavenly bodies, somebody is interested in a new Big Bang.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Saturn's rings, as you know, are made from water and ice. And the planet's gravitational pull is slowly pulling them apart, causing the rings to erode and eventually vanish. Saturn has always been known for its daring sense of style. But you know how it goes. The second you turn 4.5 billion years...

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Things just don't fit the way you're used to.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Instead of rings in a few millennia, Saturn will be known for its sensible slacks.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, Natalie. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Here's a tube that can easily hold the humungous TV we just sold. A giant flat case would take up too much space. Like a poster, our screen can be...

HINKLE: Folded.

SAGAL: Not - well, you've got the idea. You want a word that sound like that but rhymes with hold and sold.

HINKLE: Oh, rolled.

SAGAL: Rolled - yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: You know how...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...When you're done watching a show, you always wish you could just take your TV down and roll it up and store it in a corner or lean it against the wall of a closet, so it gets in the way of all your coats? Now you can.

FELBER: Yay.

SAGAL: LG says that their new roll-up televisions will be available sometime next year. You turn on the TV. And eight days later, when you've realized you've done nothing but binge Netflix, you press a button. And it rolls up into its box, like a movie screen. That'll work just like a garage door, where with just the push of a button, the whole system breaks. And your dad has to fix the damn thing himself.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Here's your last limerick.

KURTIS: New York has more ninjas than dump trucks. And all those who would stop us are dumb clucks. Why would you complain about two sticks and a chain? So we'll keep on fighting with...

HINKLE: Nunchucks.

SAGAL: Nunchucks.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

KURTIS: Yes.

SAGAL: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Good news...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Junior-high boys and middle-aged dorks - for the first time in more than 40 years, nunchucks are legal again in New York. The ruling is being hailed as a win for self-defense advocates and also 12-year-old boys who like to whisper, you just met your worst nightmare.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They're very effective for self-defense because a potential mugger will stop attacking just to watch you swing them around until you hit yourself in the face.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: Natalie did perfect. Good luck.

HINKLE: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Thank you, Natalie. Bye-bye.

(APPLAUSE)

HIGGINS: Bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.