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. 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 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 or wherever you have your smart speaker. It's just like this radio show, only now we can hear you.
SAGAL: Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
MALENA KELSON: Hi. This is Malena Kelson from beautiful Skokie, Ill.
SAGAL: Skokie, Ill...
SAGAL: It is beautiful. My wife is from Skokie. I love Skokie. What do you do there?
KELSON: I'm an artisan bread baker. I have a wood-fired bread baking situation.
SAGAL: Is that what you artisan bread bakers call them - a situation?
ADAM FELBER: That was a genuinely evil laugh.
SAGAL: It really was.
SAGAL: What are you doing there in the oven?
FELBER: Are you cooking bread?
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Malena. 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 will be a winner. Ready to play?
KELSON: I am.
SAGAL: All right. Here's your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: I lay bare my cat lady confession. I can't tell if there's love or aggression. The moods on his face aren't easy to place, and I simply can't read the...
SAGAL: Yes, expression.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Most people believe that their cats don't have facial expressions - just, you know, resting hate face.
SAGAL: But it turns out that cats do have facial expressions. They're very expressive. It's just that humans can't read them the way we can with, say, dogs. For example, depending on its facial expression, a cat might be saying, I want to kill and eat you.
SAGAL: Or it might be expressing, you're not worth eating.
SAGAL: It turns out, though, that about 17% of people are really skilled at reading cat faces, understanding their moods and their needs. Those are the people the cats have agreed to let live after their uprising.
ALONZO BODDEN: They actually spent time trying to figure out cat...
SAGAL: Cat expressions.
SAGAL: Yes, Alonzo.
BODDEN: And then, if they get the expression right, does the cat tell them, oh, yeah? You're right about that one.
SAGAL: Yeah, you got it.
BODDEN: I mean...
SAGAL: Yes, says the cat. Here...
SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.
KURTIS: Though my wiper blade's sharp as a razor, for my windshield, I'm seeing a glazer. It won't be a pain to shoot beams at the rain. Here at Tesla, we're mounting a...
SAGAL: Yes, indeed.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good. Last week...
SAGAL: Tesla filed a patent to replace windshield wipers with lasers that instantly target and vaporize raindrops on the windshield. Great news- it works on blackheads, too.
SAGAL: They sound cool.
SAGAL: They do.
SAGAL: And they make sense for Tesla's interest in driverless cars because you wonder how they're going to make sure all those cars are driverless. How about pointing the vaporizing laser directly at the driver?
BODDEN: Didn't he have a big problem with throwing rocks through his...
SAGAL: Yeah, that was...
SAGAL: We missed that. That happened the week we were off. He demonstrated his new electric truck, this truck or whatever. And he said, let me show you how incredibly strong our windows are - unbreakable, he said. He turned around. He threw a rock at the truck, and it smashed the window.
AIDA RODRIGUEZ: He did it twice.
BODDEN: So right...
BODDEN: He smashed it with a good old-fashioned rock. But now he's going to bring in a modern laser.
BODDEN: And we're supposed to believe that's going to work.
FELBER: A strong enough laser would have taken out that rock.
SAGAL: It's true.
BODDEN: We were wondering if somebody at the factory who really doesn't like him...
BODDEN: ...Did that intentionally.
SAGAL: Really? Yeah.
BODDEN: Like, hey, we're going to put real glass where the bullet-proof glass is supposed to be. Watch what happens.
BODDEN: And then so imagine if the laser people get loose.
BODDEN: I'm going to skip that demo.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your last limerick.
KURTIS: Since students just know swipes and clicks, we teachers are trying new tricks. They'll stay off their phones till the birds are full-grown. To distract them, we'll make them raise...
KELSON: I have no idea. Brick.
SAGAL: They're going to raise bricks. No. You've already won, so I'll give it to you. The answer is chicks...
SAGAL: ...Make them raise chicks - chicks. Twelve schools in Indonesia are trying to cut down on screen time for their students by giving them each a baby chicken to take care of. Can you imagine being one of these teachers? Suddenly, your classroom is full of kids and bird poop. You'd be begging them to take their phones back. Oh god, please just watch a video.
FELBER: So a baby bird on your desk isn't a distraction in school.
BODDEN: Right. I mean, I think they should have these kids study cat facial expressions.
FELBER: That's a challenge.
BODDEN: That should give them something to do.
SAGAL: Yeah, that takes concentration. Bill, how did Melina do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Two out of 3 is very good for Skokie-I.
SAGAL: Congratulations. Well done, Melina.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE CHICKEN YODEL")
KERRY CHRISTENSEN: (Yodeling, imitating chicken). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.