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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, check out the WAIT WAIT quiz for your smart speaker. It's out every Wednesday with me and Bill asking you questions as if we were right there in your home with you, which, of course, we can't be. But it is pretty to think so.

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

COLE FOREST: Hey, everyone. This is Cole Forest (ph) from Towson, Md.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Towson?

FOREST: Things are going well here. How are things over there in Chicago?

SAGAL: Yeah, things over here in Chicago are probably - and this is just a guess - exactly the same as they are in Towson. No one's leaving their house. Are - do you have one of those essential jobs that lets you get out of the house?

FOREST: Actually, I am, yeah. So I work in a fast-food place, actually, Chick-fil-A.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh.

FOREST: They still have us working there.

SAGAL: And do you feel pride in being an essential worker, providing the - your local, fellow citizens with fried chicken sandwiches?

FOREST: Oh, yes, absolutely. I feel nothing but pride.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Well, welcome to the show, Cole. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. You know what to do. If you fill in that last word or phrase, correctly, on two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Ready to play?

FOREST: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: When crows count one less than our numeral, we don't hold an inquest tribuneral (ph). The flock goes airborne to squawk and to mourn 'cause we're holding a solemn crow...

FOREST: Funeral?

SAGAL: Yes, funeral, Cole.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: While not doing chores for Satan, crows carefully plan funerals for members of their flock. New research into the brain activity of the doomed birds shows that when they're confronted by a loved one's death, they immediately launch into a sequence of complex thoughts more complex than their usual - does this smell bad enough for me to eat? Crowbituaries (ph) would be really interesting.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Shrieky (ph) died doing what he loved, having sex with the corpse of a dead crow, which is another thing this article tells us that crows do to honor their dead.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CALL SOUND EFFECT)

PETER GROSZ: Wow. (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Here, Cole, is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Our opera season's begun. Our large gatherings we have to shun. Our audience can't boo because we know it's just you. We perform for a crowd of just...

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CALL SOUND EFFECT)

FOREST: Is it one?

SAGAL: Yes, it's one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

FOREST: There we go.

SAGAL: Live entertainment has taken a real hit, lately, so an opera company in Russia announced their new one-on-one program this week. And, already, thousands of people have applied for the chance to be the one person who gets to fall asleep during a private performance of "The Marriage Of Figaro."

FARSAD: (Laughter).

GROSZ: Is it the whole company, singing?

SAGAL: Yeah, the whole company's putting on the show. Well, obviously, like everybody else, they can't have an audience. But they decided they would just invite one person so they'd have at least someone to play to, which I guess is nice.

GROSZ: That's every improv show I've ever done. So I don't know why...

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Everyone should be inflicted with the same thing that I spent the first 20 years of my post-college life doing.

ADAM BURKE: I would still use the lorgnettes. I would still have the little glasses even though I was right up front.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: You know, of all the people I know, I would not have pegged Adam Burke as the person who knows the right name for opera glasses.

FARSAD: I know (laughter). The whole thing sounds like my worst nightmare.

SAGAL: Pretty much.

GROSZ: Yeah.

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

FOREST: All right.

KURTIS: While we're all stuck at home with our screens, we're expanding our range of cuisines. We are locked in our rooms, eating lots of legumes because we've learned to love dried or canned...

FOREST: Beans?

SAGAL: Yes, beans.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Lockdowns across the country are sending bean sales skyrocketing, giving everyone good nutrients and a reason to use up all the toilet paper. Like pasta and rice, beans last a long time, can be purchased in bulk. And their side effects help with social distancing.

GROSZ: My son, years ago, who's 11 now, just had a - developed a taste for red kidney beans. And it is - has - it has been his lunch at school every single day for, like, five years. And for a while, when he was really younger, he liked trains. So he loved trains and ate beans. And at some point, my wife was like, I think we're raising a hobo...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: I was gonna say...

GROSZ: ...From like, the 1930s.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: Cole got all the beans, 3-0. Good going, Cole.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Cole.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CALL SOUND EFFECT)

FOREST: Oh, thank you so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M BEAN, MR. BEAN")

ROWAN ATKINSON: (As Mr. Bean) Bean. It's me. Hello, I'm Bean, Mr. Bean. Hello, I'm Bean, Mr. Bean. Hello, I'm Bean, Mr. Bean.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Like it, like it (laughter).

ATKINSON: (As Mr. Bean) Hello, I'm Bean. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.