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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, And check out the WAIT WAIT quiz on your smart speaker. It's out every Wednesday with me and Bill asking you questions. Wait a second - you don't have a smart speaker? Who are you talking to all day?



SYDNEY BLACK: Hi, Peter. This is Sydney.

SAGAL: Hey, Sydney. How are you?

BLACK: I'm great. How are you?

SAGAL: I'm pretty well. Where are you calling from?

BLACK: Dayton, Ohio.

SAGAL: How are things in beautiful Dayton?

BLACK: They're as good as can be expected during a pandemic.

SAGAL: Yes. That is the standard answer. What do you do there?

BLACK: I am an engineer in the aerospace industry.

SAGAL: Oh, cool. So you design airplanes? Because that would be the coolest thing ever.

BLACK: Sure. Close enough.


SAGAL: Close enough for us civilians. Do you do the parts that flap when they go in the air?

BLACK: Yeah, those ones.

SAGAL: Exactly.

HELEN HONG: Don't worry, Sydney. Men are going extinct soon enough.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Sydney. 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: Nice people fare better at work. Being rude and mean isn't a perk. Evil mojo will stick to the guy who's a putz. It is bad if you're known as the...

BLACK: Jerk?

SAGAL: Yes. Jerk.

KURTIS: Very good.


SAGAL: Being a jerk at work isn't as beneficial as you may think, a shocking surprise to anyone who recently read that Elon Musk is now the third-richest person in the world. Many of us are taught the workplace is a dog-eat-dog world where coffee is for closers and quoting old movies makes you cool, but a new study shows that people who are willing to lie and manipulate and step on other people to get ahead actually don't go any farther than people who are just nice. The meaner people were also 40% less likely to be told about the pizza in the break room. When asked for comment, the chairman of the National Association of D-Bag Co-Workers said, I don't need friends. I have a boat. Do you have a boat, you dingus?

BLACK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Here, Sydney, is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Thanks to COVID, my trips I'm revamping. I'm outdoors though my legs soon start cramping. There's no poles for my tent, and the bears caught my scent. I don't know what to do when I'm...

BLACK: Camping.

SAGAL: Yes. Camping. Very good, Sydney.


SAGAL: Thanks to the pandemic, with all the restaurants and theaters closed, more and more people are giving up lavish vacations this summer, and they're trying the outdoors for the first time. One newbie from Chicago interviewed by The Wall Street Journal went backpacking in the Ozarks but didn't bring a sleeping bag because summer, she reasoned, is hot. Turns out the hot part is the sun, which goes away at night.


SAGAL: The Chicagoan reported, quote, I've never been so cold in my entire life. This is true.

HONG: This is a problem because people who never go camping are trying camping right now for the first time?

SAGAL: Yes, and they're not doing good at it.

HONG: Oh. This would totally be me.

SAGAL: Yeah, really?

HONG: I love to eat out at restaurants, and all the restaurants are closed. So I have to do takeout, and that's my version of camping.

SAGAL: There - yes. It's roughing it.

HONG: (Laughter).

JOSH GONDELMAN: My Wi-Fi was out for, like, half an hour the other day, and I was like, gosh, isn't nature great?


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

KURTIS: Hello, tower. We just had a setback. We are cruising as high as we get, Jack, but we just flew too near to some weird rocketeer. We have just passed a guy with a...

BLACK: Jetpack.

SAGAL: Jetpack, yes.


SAGAL: An American Airlines pilot coming in for a landing at LAX was startled when he saw a man flying with a jetpack outside the plane's window at 3,000 feet. Now, he told the tower all about it but not the passengers, which is a shame. You know - and if you look out the left side of the plane, you'll see the Pacific Ocean and some dingus in a jetpack.

HONG: (Laughter).

GONDELMAN: Kellee's (ph) boyfriend will go to any length to win her back.


KURTIS: It really is true (laughter).

HONG: I can't believe that we finally have jet packs. This is what we were promised that the future was going to be like.

SAGAL: Yeah. It's funny - I read some science fiction when I was a kid which was all about a nifty future with jetpacks and some which were a dystopian nightmare, and it turns out we get both. Bill, how did Sydney do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Sydney did great.


KURTIS: She got them all right. Good going, Sydney.

BLACK: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

BLACK: Thank you. So fun.

SAGAL: Bye-bye. Take care, Sydney.


JOEY SCARBURY: (Singing) Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free. Flying away on a wing and a prayer, who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.