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 and leave a message at 1-888-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. You can click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. And there you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows on the road in Dayton, Ohio, on September 28, in Minneapolis, Minn., October 19th and 20th. Also, you might want to check out Paula Poundstone's podcast, Live From The Poundstone Institute. This week - why science tells you to talk to strangers. Science disagrees with your parents on this one. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ANTHONY SHAW: Hey, how's it going?
SAGAL: Not too bad...
SHAW: Anthony (ph) calling from Fayetteville, N.C.
SAGAL: And what do you do there in Fayetteville?
SHAW: Well actually, I was EVAC'd here. I normally live in St. Mary's, Ga.
SAGAL: And what do you do when you're back home in St. Mary's?
SHAW: So I'm in the Navy. And I'm a missile technician, so I work on the nuclear missiles that we have on the submarines.
SAGAL: No kidding.
BILL KURTIS: Wow.
AMY DICKINSON: Woah.
SAGAL: You are a technician on a nuclear submarine.
SHAW: Yes, it's a - it probably sounds a lot cooler than it is. But it's not that great.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Well what do you do on it? What do you - like, dust the missiles or something?
SHAW: That's funny because most of the time we do the - we do spring cleaning a lot.
SAGAL: Spring cleaning - well, you don't want to destroy the world with a dirty missile, so...
SAGAL: ...I'm glad to hear it, I guess. Well, welcome to the show Anthony. Bill Kurtis is going to read for 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 will be a winner. You ready to play?
SHAW: All right. Let's do it.
SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.
KURTIS: No longing sour features have stirred, but from dating we won't be deterred. This new app will cloak us in ultra-soft focus. On here, all of the pictures are...
SHAW: Out of focus?
KURTIS: Well it's close.
SAGAL: It's close.
KURTIS: But it's...
SAGAL: It's a word that means out of focus that rhymes with deterred and stirred. Any guesses?
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: If you are tired of those appearance-obsessed dating apps like Tindle (ph) or Bumber (ph), try the Taffy app. So the way it works is Taffy users need to exchange at least 10 messages before it will unblur the photo. An then it's oh, God, re-bur (ph). Re-bur.
SAGAL: Blur - sorry.
SAGAL: I'm a "Hamilton" fan. I got distracted. Let's see if we can make this work a little better in the next limerick. Here we go.
KURTIS: The maze I am in is a tight snare. Each way this rat turns, walls are right there. Of lab coats I dream and wake up with a scream, it's no wonder I'm having a...
SAGAL: The rhymes are with tight snare. The rhymes are right there...
KURTIS: When one of those missiles goes off by accident.
SAGAL: That would be a...
SHAW: A nightmare.
SAGAL: A nightmare, yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: According to a new study, rats - we now know - have nightmares.
SAGAL: The study, published this week in the American journal of throwing away your grant money...
SAGAL: ...Found rats who were sprayed with bursts of air while doing a maze had nightmares about the experience later. Rats who were not sprayed while doing the maze had typical anxiety dreams like showing up at the rat maze naked.
SAGAL: So this study shows that rats are worse than we thought. Not only are they eating our garbage and covered in plague. They're just waiting for the perfect moment to sneak into the kitchen and say, oh, dude, I've got to tell you about this dream I had last night.
SAGAL: Anthony, here is your last limerick.
KURTIS: Good dirt needs more work than just wonder prayer, most lazy farmers just blunder there. Bad soil that's forgotten will not eat up cotton. I'll test it by planting my...
SAGAL: It's not...
SAGAL: You know What? Yes.
POUNDSTONE: It is Build-A-Bear, yes.
SAGAL: It's Build-A-Bear.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
POUNDSTONE: Oh, my gosh. That's a great answer.
SAGAL: It's actually underwear - what the hell? Farmers in Tennessee...
SAGAL: You've served our country well. We can forgive this.
DICKINSON: Yeah man.
SAGAL: Farmers in Tennessee have come up with a sexy new way to test the soil in their pastures. They bury their underwear in the ground. Unlike you, the farmers are not burying their underwear because they didn't realize how old the sushi was, and now it's too late, and they can't go home like that.
SAGAL: No, the farmers are looking at microbes in the soil that, when healthy, eat cotton. It's organic, right? After a month underground, the farmers then dig up the underwear. And if it's filled with holes - it's rotted away - that means the soil is great and ready for planting. If the underwear is still in one piece, your soil is dead and your livelihood is ruined. But hey, at least you have something to wear.
DICKINSON: Wait a minute. Couldn't they plant like a piece of cotton? Why do you have to plant your underwear?
SAGAL: We wondered about this. We did. But ours is not to reason why. Ours is merely to make a limerick about it.
SAGAL: How did Anthony do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Listen, we know that for three months, you're going to be teased by the entire crew. So we're going to give you the biggest sendoff cheer you've ever heard for the Navy. How about - let's hear it.
KURTIS: You're always a winner in our book.
SHAW: Thank you very much.
SAGAL: Thank you, Anthony. Take care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.