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Limericks

Carl reads three news-related limericks: the King of the Ant Farm; a plane where children aren't allowed to cry or fly; and China mandates family reunions.

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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 you can click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There, you can find out about attending our weekly live shows at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago. And check out this week's Sandwich Monday entry on our blog. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

TRACY FREEMAN: Hi.

SAGAL: Hi.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Hi, who's this?

FREEMAN: This is Tracy, calling from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

SAGAL: Stillwater, Oklahoma.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SAGAL: Where there are some refugees here, apparently.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: What do you do there in Stillwater?

FREEMAN: I am a mom and a part time church receptionist.

SAGAL: Oh wow. So how many kids do you have?

FREEMAN: I have three little girls, and they are 9, 7, and 5.

SAGAL: Okay. You had snow days, I assume, right, this week?

FREEMAN: Yes, yes.

SAGAL: Did you do okay with the kids all stuck in the...

FREEMAN: We had three snow days of school.

SAGAL: Oh my gosh. Did you do all right stuck there in the house with your kids?

FREEMAN: Well, everybody is still alive, so that's good.

SAGAL: That's a plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ALONZO BODEN: That's good.

SAGAL: Well welcome to the show, Tracy. Carl Kasell 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 on two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Ready to play?

FREEMAN: I am.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

CARL KASELL, Host:

My bug colony has but a scant charm. I'll keep them in glass where they can't harm. Now, I watch them dig and lay eggs and grow big. In my room, I have set up an?

FREEMAN: Ant farm?

SAGAL: An ant farm, exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: This week, thousands, millions of ants paused in their endless labors to take in the news that Milton M. Levine, inventor of the ant farm, had died at the age of 97. Levine came up with the idea of the ant farm when reminiscing about his days at his uncle's farm in Pennsylvania, where he was encased in plastic and forced to tunnel for other's amusement.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MO ROCCA: An ant farm is real? I always thought it was like a flea circus, like made up.

SAGAL: No, no, no. In fact, if you get an ant farm - I never did, but I knew this. It's plastic, it's a box and you fill it with sand. It's thin, so you can see the sand. And then it says go out and get and get some ants and put them in it.

ROCCA: Does the government subsidize it?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Like way too much?

SAGAL: Funny, you get an ant farm, you can get 400 million dollar from the government by not raising ants.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, very good, here is your next limerick.

KASELL: On trips, I got mad and have blown up at kids who have got sick and thrown up. But now I can fly without hearing them cry on this flight that is only for?

FREEMAN: Grownups.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: You seem excited.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

FREEMAN: Yes, hook me up.

SAGAL: By that concept.

BODEN: She's rushing to the airport right now.

SAGAL: Oh my gosh. She has been stuck in a house all week with children.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This week, we read about the greatest innovation to hit the airline industry since airplanes: adult-only flights.

FREEMAN: That is genius.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: If passenger surveys are to believed, there is a crying baby in every row on every flight, so several major airlines are banning kids and creating quiet cabins. If this is successful, we look forward to bans on people who hog the armrests, seat kickers, people who talk to you even though you're wearing headphones.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Crying babies are a problem, especially on a red-eye when you're flying overnight. I mean I don't want to sound insensitive, but can't you put like the baby in the overhead?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I mean, they're small.

ROCCA: I wouldn't have the baby sliding all around. You could secure it in the overhead.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Soundproof.

ROCCA: If you soundproof it.

SAGAL: So at the end of the flight, they're going please be careful opening the overhead compartments, your children may have shifted during flight.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, very good, here is your last limerick.

KASELL: In China, we must show forbearance, honor elders lest we might go errant. If we don't go home, a lawyer might phone and force us to visit our?

FREEMAN: Parents.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: If you've been feeling guilty about not visiting your parents, be grateful that you don't live in China. This week, Chinese authorities announced a new rule that would make neglecting your parents a crime. Anyone found in violation of the law could be sued by their parents.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The move has been largely applauded in China and is expected to pass, paving the way to similar legislation in Southern Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

BODEN: I'm just tying to combine the idea of the, you know, have to visit your parents law with the no-children allowed on airlines law.

SAGAL: That's true. You have to walk.

BODEN: And I think the family unit's got a problem.

ROCCA: That's true.

SAGAL: Carl, how did Tracy do on our quiz?

KASELL: Tracy had three correct answers, Peter. So Tracy, you win our prize.

SAGAL: All right.

FREEMAN: Yay.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you for playing, Tracy, congratulations.

FREEMAN: Thank you. Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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