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Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first, it's the game we 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. You can always click the Contact Us link on our website at waitwait.npr.org. You can check out the WAIT WAIT quiz for your smart speaker. It's out every Wednesday with me and Bill in your home asking you questions. It's sort of like having people over. Remember that?

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

MATT BURNES: Hi. This is Matt from Cincinnati.

SAGAL: Oh, great. What do you do there in Cincinnati?

BURNES: I'm a volleyball coach just across the river at Northern Kentucky University.

SAGAL: Oh, that's cool. I've always wondered something about women's volleyball.


SAGAL: After every point, they'll gather together in, like, a little huddle.


SAGAL: And then they go out to play again.


SAGAL: What is going on? What are they doing?

BURNES: They're usually cheering. They're just pumping each other up because volleyball is all about being hype. But they're also talking about their blocking scheme for the next play. But it's just all about celebrating and scheming.

SAGAL: Really, celebrating and scheming?


SAGAL: Those are, like, two of my favorite hobbies. So I should be a...

BURNES: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Volleyball player. Matt, 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?

BURNES: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Let's do it. Here's your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: In 1912, northern Atlantic, some iceberg was blamed for the panic. But there was more malice in flares borealis. The Northern Lights sank the...

BURNES: Titanic.



SAGAL: New research suggests...


SAGAL: ...That the sinking of the Titanic may have been triggered by the Northern Lights. Specifically, they're suggesting that a geomagnetic storm may have interfered with the ship's navigation equipment, not that the captain was looking up saying, ooh, pretty and steering right into the iceberg.

Now, scientists are looking into the claim. It's important remember that lights are air, and icebergs are ice. So it's probably the iceberg's fault. Still, props to the iceberg's new PR guy getting this story out there.

ALONZO BODDEN: I didn't know they had that sophisticated a navigation system that the Northern Lights would affect it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: Or are they just saying that the guy who's up in the tower looking was blinded by these colored lights and didn't say turn left?

DULCE SLOAN: Listen; they thought it was unthinkable, so they were probably not on their guard. They were probably like, we're an unsinkable boat. Let's go have some mimosas and some country-fried steaks. And then an iceberg showed up because it's - like, I understand aurora borealis is very beautiful. It's very pretty.


SLOAN: But you still needed somebody being like - at the starboard bow going, ooh, ice. Ooh ice.

SAGAL: I'm just thinking, Dulce, if they had you on the bow keeping watch, they'd be alive today.

SLOAN: No, thank you.

SAGAL: Here, Matt, is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Part boar and part swine and real big, they will ruin your crops when they dig. They are fertile year-round and real mean, pound for pound. It's a super breed of feral...

BURNES: I want to say feral pigs.

SAGAL: Yes, feral pigs.


SAGAL: There are over 9 million feral pigs now in the United States. And the Department of Agriculture has announced plans to curb this rising infestation. It shouldn't be hard. Just start with the ones who built their homes out of straw, then take care of the ones with the stick houses, and worry about the brickhouse pigs last.

SLOAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Turns out...

BODDEN: Actually, I read about this. These pigs are huge.

SAGAL: They're enormous.

BODDEN: Right? They're huge. And they're mean.

SAGAL: And they're aggressive.

BODDEN: Yeah. They're not easy to kill. They're like the worst of both - right? - the worst of a wild boar...

SLOAN: And the worst...

BODDEN: ...And the worst of pigs that are bred to be huge. And...

SLOAN: Like hogs.

BODDEN: ...They don't know what to do with them.

SAGAL: Exactly. And apparently, some of these - as you say - these domestic hogs which have escaped and have been bred to be very large so they have more meat have been breeding with wild boars, which are naturally aggressive. And they have resulted in what scientists are calling, quote, "super-pigs."

SLOAN: Why aren't we eating them? That's how you solve - listen; people have been quarantined. We're looking for new meat. We're all bored with the meat we've been eating. No one wants to eat more chicken - super pigs. Like, think of how amazing that bacon got to - super bacon.

SAGAL: Super bacon.

SLOAN: People love bacon.

BODDEN: I just thinking it's a little too much work to catch the super bacon.

SAGAL: Well, Matt, we have one last limerick for you. Here we go.

KURTIS: Part Costanza and part Stanley Tucci, our pal Peter bought pants that seem hoochie because he, quote, "works hard" pulling weeds in the yard. He's got pre-grass-stained jeans made by...

BURNES: Gucci.



KURTIS: Nailed it.

SAGAL: Gucci - good job. This week, Gucci unveiled their new pair of $1,200 jeans with premade grass stains. It's either a bold, new direction in fashion or the designer had a long weekend doing yard work and forgot he was supposed to design new jeans by Monday morning.

JOEL KIM BOOSTER: This is infuriating to me because I had to get my grass stains growing up, like, through blood, sweat and tears, crying as I mowed the lawn for the umpteenth time. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to play PlayStation. This is so - like, what is it with rich people? All of their fads go back to wanting to look poor.

SAGAL: It's very strange.

BOOSTER: That is, like, the richer you are, the poorer you want to look. It is so weird.

SAGAL: It is...

BODDEN: Because if you're very rich, poor looks fun. Poor is not fun. But if you're rich, you're like, oh, that looks like fun. Look at him actually working on the lawn.

SLOAN: If we're doing grass-stained jeans, is Gucci also making pizza-stained T-shirts?

BODDEN: I think you want to keep that idea to yourself until you patent it, or they're just going to be all over it.

SLOAN: Dammit.


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

KURTIS: Impressive - Matt got them all right. 3-0, Matt - good going.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Matt.


BURNES: Thank you.

SAGAL: Hey. Thanks so much for playing, Matt.

BURNES: Thanks for having me.

SAGAL: Take care.


DONNA SUMMER: (Singing) She works hard for the money, so hard for the money. She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.