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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-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 upcoming show in Atlanta, Ga., on February 25. Also check out our "How To Do Everything" podcast. This week, Mike and Ian teach you how to get back at the thieves that steal packages off your porch.


SAGAL: And yes, it is exactly what you think.


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

JESSICA AKEY: Hi, this is Jess Akey calling from Colchester, Vt.

SAGAL: Well, if you're from Vermont, you must know Tom Bodett because there's, like, six people who live there. Right?

AKEY: (Laughter).


AKEY: No, but I did not Google Deflategate.

SAGAL: I see. OK, good for you.

BODETT: You did composting, right?

AKEY: Yes.

SAGAL: Are you a...


SAGAL: Are you a...

Welcome to the show, Jessica. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you will be a winner. Are you ready to play?

AKEY: Yes.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: My downgrade seats me near the passed gas. It's the flip of a premium fast pass. There's business and first, but my ticket's the worst. It's budget economy last...

AKEY: Class?

KURTIS: Class, you are right.


SAGAL: Yes, last class. The major airlines are struggling to compete with budget fliers like Southwest and Spirit Air. But instead of offering more amenities or comfort, they're making things worse.


SAGAL: American Airlines announced they will now offer last class. It's the opposite of first class. These aren't the seats across from the bathroom. They are the seats in the bathroom.


BODETT: That's crazy. That'd be like a motel, you know, advertising that, you know, you don't get the fancy extras and all that. And you save money because you don't need all that stuff. Who would do that?


SAGAL: I can't imagine.

BURKE: Literally, all we're going to do is leave a light on. That's...


SAGAL: That's it. It is sad to think of all the people who go to the motel you advertise, Tom, and just lie there under a single bulb hanging from nowhere.


SAGAL: All right, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: My word bank will help me converse. I use it for bad and for worse. Your lowered IQ might say dang it or poo, but I plumb our tongue's depths when I...

AKEY: Curse?



KURTIS: Boy, are you good.


SAGAL: You are good. An article in the latest Language Science Journal says people who curse are just more freaking articulate than other people.


SAGAL: The authors say knowing more curse words means you have a larger vocabulary. Researchers asked participants to shout as many obscenities as they could in 60 seconds. And then they were asked to name as many animals as they could in 60 seconds. And the best swearers were able to name the most animals, right? If you think about it, there's a lot of crossover, like, you know, jackass.


BODETT: I think they're drawing a wrong conclusion. I remember when I left an English program - of course it was a state university, but still, it was an English program - and I hitchhiked out West when I was 20 years old. And I started logging and planting trees and doing all that stuff. I would hide my education with these guys by talking tough.

SAGAL: You think articulate people learn more swear words to hide the fact that they're articulate.

BODETT: Right, so they don't get beaten up by actual tough people.


BURKE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Self-defense.

BURKE: So all the people screaming at baseball matches are actually Ph.D...

SAGAL: Exactly.


BURKE: ...Candidates.

SAGAL: It is a challenge. If I asked you - you have 60 seconds. Come up with as many swears as you can. How long would you last? I'd probably be done with my collection in about 10 seconds.

BURKE: I would just recite the last conversation I had with a Scotsman.


SAGAL: Jess, here is your last limerick.


KURTIS: Furry sheets will not make me upset at those nights of deep sleep that I get. The snuffles and grunts do not wake me up once. I'm sharing my bed with my...

AKEY: Pet?

KURTIS: Pet it is. Pet it is.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.


SAGAL: If you pet it is - very good.


SAGAL: If you find yourself snuggling into bed at night with your pet, don't feel lonely and ashamed. Feel lonely, ashamed and healthy.


SAGAL: Sleep scientists at the Mayo Clinic said this week that pets help people sleep better, but not all pets are equal in bed - I guess, just like people.


BODETT: It's true.

SAGAL: Dogs are great. They have a consistent sleep pattern that matches humans. Cats are terrible.


SAGAL: Well, they are terrible in general, but they're terrible for this as well.


SAGAL: They're selfish, fickle, and they leave you feeling exhausted, judged and rejected.


SAGAL: They're like the animal version of Tinder.


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

KURTIS: Jessie did really well tonight. She got them all right, 3-0.

SAGAL: Well done. Congratulations, Jessica.

AKEY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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