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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, For more WAIT WAIT in your week, follow us on Twitter at @waitwait and on Instagram at @waitwaitnpr. There, you can really be part of the WAIT WAIT fam. Our cool intern, Emma, is not letting me say the whole word. I have to say fam.

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

SHEREEN SARICK: Hi. It's Shereen Sarick from Aspen, Colo.

SAGAL: Hey, Shereen. How are you?

SARICK: Fantastic. How are you, Peter?

SAGAL: I'm well, although I don't get to live in Aspen, which now makes me feel sad because I've been to Aspen, and it's pretty spectacular.

SARICK: Yes, I agree.

SAGAL: Now, what do you do there in that beautiful mountain town?

SARICK: Well, I try and do as much fun as I can on the mountain.

SAGAL: Of course.

SARICK: But I'm also a substitute teacher at Aspen High School.

SAGAL: Oh, wow.

SARICK: I work at the Aspen Thrift Shop. And I'm a rabbi.

SAGAL: Oh, my God.


SAGAL: That's a triple threat. I have to ask - so you're a rabbi, as well as a teacher? I've never heard of a part-time rabbi.

SARICK: Yes, I'm a freelance rabbi.

SAGAL: Wow. That's amazing. I can imagine being in Aspen that you've seen some pretty spectacular weddings and bar mitzvahs in your day.

SARICK: Yes, I have.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Well, Shereen, welcome to our show. Now 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?

SARICK: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: Absolutely. Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: Though I hate dirty clothes, here's my quandary. When chore time is here, my mind's wandery (ph). So I'm finding a coach who might change my approach. He will help me enjoy doing...

SARICK: Laundry.

SAGAL: Yes, laundry.


SAGAL: Patric Richardson...


SAGAL: ...Is out to make you love doing laundry. He says other household chores like cooking are elevated to beloved hobbies. So why not laundry? Not realizing there are several actual answers to that rhetorical question. Mr. Richardson is trying to spread his love of sorting and folding through a new show on Discovery called "The Laundry Guy" and a new book, the title of which is like a triangle, a weird circle with two dots in it, wavy lines and another triangle.


SAGAL: He says laundry can be a meditation. It can give you a sense of accomplishment, and it can tell you something about yourself, like if I'm doing this, I must be out of underwear.

MO ROCCA: Those hieroglyphs, though, I'll tell you. I mean, it's - because I can never tell if it's Celsius or Fahrenheit.

FARSAD: And I can never understand if it's telling me to use hot water or not use hot water or to use an iron or not use an iron.

ROCCA: Exactly. Exactly.

FARSAD: It's like telling you the same and the opposite at the same time.

ROCCA: We need a Rosetta Stone for it.

SAGAL: Richardson knows most people don't enjoy doing laundry but still hopes he can turn the Tide. If people approach their dirty clothes with Cheer, we'd all have something to Gain in that Fab new era. So it's worth the Wisk.


ROCCA: You know, Peter, that whole run gave me a real bounce.

DICKINSON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: As I'm taking a stroll 'round the block, the old COVID-19 gets a shock. In a simple footrace, it just gives up the chase 'cause it can't match the pace of my...


SAGAL: Walk. Yes, walk.


SAGAL: No matter what your body type, it turns out that fast walkers are much more resistant to COVID than slow walkers. That's especially true if you're currently walking through South Dakota. Get out of there as fast as you can. There's a limit, though. Competitive race walkers' benefits are offset by increased risk of death by humiliation. Now, even though researchers are pretty sure this benefit exists - is they don't get COVID, they don't die as often of COVID if you walk fast. They're not sure why it exists. The postulate it's the cardiovascular health of fast walkers, but I postulate it's because COVID is just out of shape, so it can't catch the fast ones.

ROCCA: I'm a fast walker. I've always held out hope for the Olympics thinking I could still make the race walking squad..

SAGAL: Sure.

ROCCA: Yeah.

SAGAL: OK, Shereen, here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Our amusement parks have a new theme. Keep your sounds inside. Don't let off steam. Just keep those sounds bottled as rides go full throttle. New safety rules say you can't...

SARICK: Scream.

SAGAL: Yes, scream.


SAGAL: Under California's new COVID-friendly amusement park rules, screaming on roller coasters is now discouraged. Instead, use that time to think or maybe quietly say to yourself, this park has succeeded. I am amused. It makes sense.


SAGAL: When you scream, of course, spit flies out, spewing germs into the air. So singing, shouting and screaming are all discouraged at the newly opened parks. This explains the huge slump in ice cream sales. I can't scream. You can't scream. How will they know what we all want?

ROCCA: So we should just make do with the existential screaming that's inside all of us?

SAGAL: Exactly. Just scream. Scream from the inside. Scream from the inside. But the problem is, if you can't scream, how will people enjoy the quintessential theme park experience arguing with your exhausted family about where to eat dinner? I don't care if they have the characters at that restaurant, Madison. It's an hour wait. And I'm so hungry that if I see that mouse, I will kill and eat it.


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

KURTIS: Shereen did wonderfully. She got them all right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Shereen.


SARICK: Thanks for the fun.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.



JENNIFER LOPEZ: (Singing) Let's get loud. Let's get loud. Turn the music up. Let's do it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.