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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. And if you want more WAIT WAIT... in your week, head to @waitwait on Twitter and @waitwaitnpr on Instagram. Or just write us a letter.

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

MICHAELA VITCH: Hi. This is Michaela Vitch (ph) from Fargo, N.D.

SAGAL: Fargo - now, I often say, oh, I've been there. I have never been to anywhere in North Dakota - one of the only states I've never been to. So tell me why Fargo is wonderful, and I should visit as soon as possible.

VITCH: I wish I could tell you, but I don't know what to say.

(LAUGHTER)

VITCH: You know, it hasn't been below 50 degrees yet this winter, so that's a plus.

SAGAL: Well, there you go. That's...

HELEN HONG: Wow.

SAGAL: Everybody knows Fargo, known for their balmy weather. Well, welcome to the show. Chioke I'Anson 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. Ready to play?

VITCH: Yes.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first limerick.

CHIOKE I'ANSON: Bitcoin's up really high, so I last heard. What's my wedding date? Oh, I'll go ask her. Shoot. Don't tell me I switched. I could be oh so rich if I'd only remembered my...

VITCH: Can you read it again?

SAGAL: He can.

I'ANSON: Bitcoin's up really high, so I last heard. What's my wedding date? Oh, I'll go ask her. Shoot. Don't tell me I switched. I could be oh so rich if I'd only remembered my...

VITCH: Password.

SAGAL: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: According to The New York Times...

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: ...Would-be multibillionaire Bitcoin investors are unable to claim their money because they forgot their account passwords. I actually feel bad for - no. No, it's passed.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: There's one guy - this is true - who has $220 million worth of Bitcoin. But he has stored them digitally in a special hard drive, and he has forgotten the password to the hard drive. And this thing gives you 12 chances to guess the password before it erases the contents permanently.

HONG: Wow.

SAGAL: And he has used up 10 of those 12 guesses.

JOSH GONDELMAN: I've been doing comedy a long time, and I think I'm pretty good at it, but I'm nowhere near as funny as the guy who invented the hard drive that erases $220 million if you guess your password wrong. That's the funniest guy who's ever lived - or woman.

SAGAL: I know. Well, of course, it didn't mean it to happen that way. He decided - because - you know, because the thing about Bitcoin is anybody who has the password to the wallet has it. It's - in that sense, it's almost like a gold bar - something if you own it, you have it. So the only way that you can keep it secure is to absolutely hide your password. And some people - they have forgotten them, and there is no way to recover them.

HONG: Did he try his dog's birthday? Because that's...

SAGAL: Well, the real problem is, like, he's - he needs to call up his mother and ask what her maiden name is.

MO ROCCA: Her maiden name is - exactly.

SAGAL: Exactly. But he's known her for too long. And he's forgotten. It's too awkward.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, weird to ask now.

SAGAL: Yeah. I know. All right. Here is your next limerick.

I'ANSON: When I'm stuck in my car, I'm seraphic. I feel free to let language get graphic. So I'm looking on ways for some deep red delays because I miss being stuck in bad...

VITCH: Traffic.

SAGAL: Yes, traffic.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Honey, I'm still home. Cooped-up Americans are going outside or driving around every morning to relive their commutes and spice up our work-from-home lives. People miss commuting. They're going out and doing it, even though it's pointless. Some nostalgic New Yorkers are even opting to just, you know, sit in urine once a week.

According to The Wall Street Journal, people are using all kinds of methods to recapture their old commute. Some are packing their lunches to make sure their food has that just-crushed-on-the-bus taste. This is true. One man even takes drives in the middle of rush hour in order to seek out traffic jams. One person in the article said, I really miss traffic because it was a great time to catch up on podcasts. Now he has to hire two people just to laugh at their own jokes for an hour every day.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Michaela, is their traffic in North Dakota?

VITCH: I think I experienced it once.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, wow. What was it like?

VITCH: Frustrating.

ROCCA: Did you - was it like now you want more?

VITCH: Kind of, yeah. It was kind of a rush.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Michaela, you described traffic the way everyone I know who's seen a ghost described seeing a ghost.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Like, I think once.

ROCCA: But I love that she called it a rush. Wow.

SAGAL: Yeah, Michaela...

GONDELMAN: It's the opposite of rush.

SAGAL: Michaela, what do you think the traffic wanted?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Here is your last limerick.

I'ANSON: The volcanoes erupt. Some step back far. They might run fast or rival a track star. But here in Pompeii, some just opted to stay and consumed one last meal at the...

VITCH: I have no idea.

SAGAL: That's OK. You've already won. I'll just give it to you. It's snack bar.

VITCH: Oh.

SAGAL: Archaeologists have discovered a perfectly preserved Roman thermopolium - or fast food stand - frozen in time in the ash-covered city of Pompeii. It was surrounded when they uncovered it by this huge line of bodies because on the day of the eruption, the stand had just introduced its new spicy chicken sandwich.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's so weird, this thing. It's really - it's ancient, of course. But it's also really familiar - looks like a snack bar. You can imagine ancient Romans lining up the counters saying, yeah, I'll have a number IX and a lark's tongue Blizzard, please. There was even a perfectly preserved customer right in the middle of asking an employee for the code to the hole in the ground out back.

ROCCA: I'm guessing the most popular item was a Mars bar.

SAGAL: Very good.

ROCCA: It wasn't funny, but it was smart.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah. Chioke, how did Michaela do on our quiz?

I'ANSON: She got 2 out of 3, so she is a winner.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE EFFECT)

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Michaela, for playing. And good Luck to you.

VITCH: Yeah, definitely.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

VITCH: Thanks. bye.

GONDELMAN: I bet she's as excited as that time she was in traffic.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "POMPEII")

BASTILLE: (Singing) Ay, ay, oh, ay, oh, ay, ay, oh, ay, oh, ay, ay, oh, ay, oh, ay, ay, oh, ay, oh. Ay, ay, oh, ay, oh, ay, ay, oh... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.