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. Also check out WAIT WAIT on Instagram, which, thanks to our intern Emma, is frankly better than the radio show at this point. What are you doing here?
Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
PETE FREEMAN: Hi there. This is Pete Freeman from Malverne, N.Y.
SAGAL: Hey, Pete. How are you?
FREEMAN: I'm doing great.
SAGAL: Now, where in New York are you from? I don't - I didn't catch the name of the town.
FREEMAN: Malverne on Long Island, right outside of New York City.
SAGAL: You're on Long Island.
FREEMAN: Oh, yeah.
SAGAL: What do you do there?
FREEMAN: I am a retired music teacher and arts administrator, and I'm currently a trombonist and the president of the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra.
SAGAL: The famed Massapequa Philharmonic.
SAGAL: Yeah, that's, like, famed all over western Long Island.
SAGAL: Well, Pete, welcome to the show. 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. You ready to play?
FREEMAN: Absolutely. Thank you.
SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: To learn which grape comes from which vine, 10,000 a month sounds real fine. I'm submitting a tape and then make my escape just to learn what I can about...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The Murphy-Goode Winery in Sonoma is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some lucky person to earn $10,000 a month, free room and board and as much wine as they can drink. Now, if that sounds too good to be true, it is. You should know Murphy-Goode is English for Manischewitz.
HELEN HONG: (Laughter) I saw this - like, this job posting. And I was like, holy crap. But I think I - by the time I saw it, I was already, like, the 10,000th applicant for this job.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah. The company - the winery has apparently been doing this for the publicity they get. That's great. But they also say that the applicant has to, quote, "be able to lift up to 50 pounds." So clearly, you will be spending some time helping to hide the bodies.
SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.
KURTIS: From eating and staying inside, there's some poundage I'm trying to hide. My hair has gone shaggy, so pants can be baggy. My jeans have some legs that are...
SAGAL: Yes, wide.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: According to The Wall Street Journal, the fashion world is embracing wide-legged jeans. This is great news for all of us who have gained a few pounds over the winter, but also those of us who carry our weight in our shins.
Now, you might be saying, all right, skinny jeans are out. What's the big deal? But these are not just sort of like comfortable-cut jeans. These jeans are so big they turn your legs into, like, kneeless rectangles. These jeans are so wide, it's like your legs are confined to a denim oxygen tent.
HONG: Yeah. It can't just be the wide leg. It also has to be the wide hip and the wide waist.
SAGAL: Wide everything.
All right. Here is your last limerick.
KURTIS: My carnivorous plant is a sly chap, and the tales he relates are a thigh slap. And he says, just between us, I don't come from Venus. It's lovely to chat with my...
SAGAL: Yes. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: You'll be happy to know that scientists have figured out how to communicate with a Venus flytrap plant. That's the carnivorous plant. They can exchange signals with the plant through sensitive electrodes. They can both monitor what the plant is doing and send it commands, which the plant follows. So far, it's very good at sit and stay. Actually, the scientists have proved that they can cause the plant to close its trap as if there were a fly inside, which is impressive to botanists and really annoying to the plant.
HONG: Does it say, feed me, Seymour?
SAGAL: You'd think. Although, what's interesting is that they say, why are you doing this? Why are you, like, sending signals to the Venus flytrap to make it do anything? They say it is a first step towards creating, quote, "plant robots."
HONG: I love that scientists are like, we want to make plant robots...
HONG: ...And we're going to do it with plants that eat, like...
HONG: ...Living things (laughter).
SAGAL: Yes. That's a great place to start.
HONG: Great idea.
SAGAL: Which plant should we start to give, like, independent action to? The carnivorous one.
SAGAL: Great idea. Anyway, Bill, how did Pete do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Pete whistled up a perfect score.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)
KURTIS: Congratulations, Pete.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Pete.
FREEMAN: Oh, thank you so much.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. Take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MEAN GREEN MOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE")
LEVI STUBBS: (As Audrey II, singing) I'm just a mean green mother from outer space, so get off my back and get out my face, 'cause I'm mean and green. And I am bad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.