Limericks

May 27, 2017
Originally published on May 31, 2017 11:41 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our show in Philadelphia at the beautiful Mann Center outdoors - hope it won't rain this time - June 29. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

PEG CHAFFEE: Hi, this is Peg from Newmarket, N.H.

SAGAL: Newmarket, N.H.? What do you do there in Newmarket, N.H.?

CHAFFEE: Well, I'm a behavior analyst.

SAGAL: Wait a minute, what?

CHAFFEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: What is that?

CHAFFEE: I study behavior. And I consult in schools and homes and really any place where behavior needs to be changed, which is pretty much everywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

AMY DICKINSON: Wait a minute.

SAGAL: I don't have a lot of time - I could talk to you a long time, but we don't have a lot of time. So let me just ask you...

CHAFFEE: I could talk to you a long time, too, Peter.

SAGAL: Yeah, I bet.

ADAM FELBER: Oh, wow.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, Peg, on that note...

CHAFFEE: OK.

SAGAL: ...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. Ready to play?

CHAFFEE: OK.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: Some people have teatime with cats or sip dusky sweet cocktails with bats. But our pop-up cafe finds that hygiene passe. We will serve drinks and pastries with...

CHAFFEE: Rats.

KURTIS: Rats.

SAGAL: Rats.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes, very good. The rat cafe in San Francisco is offering customers a chance to enjoy their coffee with a disease-riddled rodent who would just be as happy swimming in a sewer. A spokesperson says it's a, quote, "opportunity" to remind people that rats are acceptable as house pets and cafe guests. Either that or they are just doubling down after getting busted by the health inspector.

DICKINSON: Right.

SAGAL: Oh, no...

FELBER: That's totally right.

SAGAL: ...It's not an infestation. It's the rat cafe.

FELBER: When life gives you rats, make rat-ade (ph).

SAGAL: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The rats at the cafe are well cared for. They are provided by Rattie Ratz. That's a Bay Area nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates rats.

DICKINSON: No. Stop.

SAGAL: It's true. They're a nonprofit.

DICKINSON: Stop.

SAGAL: It's a nonprofit. It is shocking, I know, to find you cannot turn a profit by saving the lives of rats.

FELBER: What is involved...

ALONZO BODDEN: Are they in cages or do they - like, do they just run loose? Do they come to the table?

SAGAL: I have to say I don't know. But my guess is if it's similar to a cat cafe - and you've heard of those, right?

BODDEN: Yes.

SAGAL: Cat cafes where cats are wandering around, you can pet the cats. Presumably the rat cafe would work the same way.

DICKINSON: Wait a minute, back to the rehab.

FELBER: Yeah, that's my question.

DICKINSON: Like, back to that.

FELBER: What does rat rehab look like?

SAGAL: Well, first, in order to go into rehab a rat has to hit bottom.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Which is where they live.

SAGAL: I can't - I know. It's like, how does a rat know when it's hit bottom?

FELBER: Well, I'm gnawing garbage again. I'm good.

SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.

CHAFFEE: OK.

KURTIS: To the bus system I am averse. Man spreader or corpse - which is worse? Rang the bell, now we stop and I squeeze past the coffin. I'm commuting to work in a...

CHAFFEE: Hearse.

SAGAL: Yes, a hearse.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: There is only one vehicle sadder than your public bus, and that is a public bus that used to be a hearse. Hearses are being repurposed to be buses in the Russian town of Omsk. So now they've served both the dead and commuters who wish they were. There are seats - these are big vehicles. So there are seats and benches, but there are also privacy curtains and a hatch that used to be for coffins. Optimistic commuters see these additional features as, like, upgrades. Hey, this bus has a bed in it and it has a lid.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: One more limerick. Here we go.

KURTIS: No awards from the science committee. They're a jealous bunch. More is the pity. Though I've written smart books, I am judged by my looks. They don't trust me 'cause I am too...

CHAFFEE: Pretty.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Bad news, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Scientists who are attractive are not taken as seriously as the homely ones. This research was done by a Cambridge scientist named Will Skylark. He was informed by a journal, hey, we are publishing your study, which according to you means you're ugly. Interest - and the study came from evidence that physical appearance plays a role in the success of politicians and high school quarterbacks, so researchers wanted to see if the same principles applied to scientists. Also, the scientists had nothing else to do 'cause they're hideous and alone.

BODDEN: Well, you just lost that group.

SAGAL: I know. Well, I would have been a scientist, but I'm too good-looking.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's why I'm in radio.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

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

KURTIS: She did wonderfully - 3 and 0, Peg, congratulations.

SAGAL: Congratulations. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

CHAFFEE: Thanks so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WEIRD SCIENCE")

OINGO BOINGO: (Singing) From my heart and from my hand, why don't people understand my intentions? Weird. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.