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. You can check out our WAIT WAIT... Instagram, which is, frankly, way better than the show at this point. I mean, really.
Hi, you're on WAIT\ WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
HEIDI VOIGHT: Hi.
SAGAL: Hi. Who's this?
VOIGHT: This is Heidi Voight (ph). I'm from Marquette, Mich..
SAGAL: Hi, Heidi.
VOIGHT: I'm the head swim and dive coach for the men and women of Northern Michigan University.
SAGAL: Somehow, you knew what I was going to ask. That's very exciting, the swim and dive coach.
VOIGHT: I know. My sons and I listen to your show all the time. We love it.
SAGAL: That's great. I've always wondered about this - you're the dive coach, right?
VOIGHT: Swimming and diving.
SAGAL: So, I mean, I understand swimming. How do people get into competitive diving? How does that happen?
VOIGHT: A lot of the times, it's hurt gymnasts.
SAGAL: Hurt gymnasts? Really?
VOIGHT: Yep, converted gymnasts. You just have to teach them to land on their head instead of their feet.
SAGAL: So the dive coaches are, like, hanging around at the gym competitions waiting for someone to be dragged out in a stretcher going, here's my card. Call me.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Heidi. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with that 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 big winner. Are you ready to play?
VOIGHT: I am.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: Opposable digits aren't dumb, they show just how far we have come. Evolution demands to enhance both my hands, and that's why I've attached one more...
KURTIS: Thumb it is.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: Who's got two thumbs and wants another one? Not this guy.
JESSI KLEIN: (Laughter).
SAGAL: A new robotic thumb developed at the University College London will let you hitchhike twice as far. It attaches to your hand next to your pinky, the other side from your existing thumb, and it promises to help people do difficult things more dexterously, like master the guitar, palm a basketball, intimidate rivals with a confusingly full handshake. It's very creepy. It's mechanical, and you control it with a sensor in your shoe under your big toe. So to make - grasp whatever.
KLEIN: Guys, I'm going to say it. Are you sure?
SAGAL: All right. Here is your next limerick.
KURTIS: Back in coach, my bride's dad is upset because our wedding has put him in debt. Something old, something new, but no deal on JetBlue. For our wedding he's rented a...
VOIGHT: A jet?
SAGAL: A jet, yes.
KURTIS: Jet it is.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: In order to get around COVID restrictions on large gatherings, a couple in India had their wedding on a plane this week. It's sort of the upstairs version of international waters. The 161 guests get all the hassle and air sickness of a destination wedding without the destination. The ceremony was beautiful. The confetti dropped with the oxygen masks. The pilot officiated. Hello, dearly beloved, from the cockpit, we are gathered here today. The only problem was the bride had to wait for the drink cart to go by before she could walk down the aisle.
HELEN HONG: God. And this was just to get around COVID restrictions?
SAGAL: Right. The idea is, like, they've banned large gatherings, but these people wanted to have all their friends at their wedding. And one exception to large gatherings is people are allowed to fly on a plane.
HONG: Isn't it amazing how weddings bring out people's best selves?
SAGAL: All right. We've got one more limerick for you. Here we go.
KURTIS: Six feet deep, what an effort we gave. Some good time we were able to shave. And my shovel still flies with our eyes on the prize for how quickly we're digging a...
SAGAL: Grave, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: The annual grave digging competition was last week in Siberia...
CRISTELA ALONZO: What?
SAGAL: ...Where the winning team shaved 14 minutes off the previous record. But I don't need to tell you that. I know you all watched it. The two-man team finished their grave in just 38 minutes, and it was a huge upset, meaning it was hugely upsetting to watch teams of men dig graves as fast as they could next to a Siberian crematorium. The annual competition, which is intended to, quote, "attract younger generations to careers in the funeral industry," doesn't do that.
KLEIN: They should have that next to the hot dog eating contest.
SAGAL: Really should.
KLEIN: I feel like they would help each other out.
SAGAL: That'd be so weird if, like, Joey Chestnut is shoving all these hot dogs in his mouth. And he looks to his left, and somebody's digging a grave as fast as they can.
KLEIN: Peter, I appreciate how close to top of mind the name Joey Chestnut was for you.
SAGAL: Everybody has their enthusiasms, Jessi.
KLEIN: God bless. God bless.
SAGAL: I don't know what sports you follow.
KLEIN: Well, here's the thing, I knew exactly who you were talking about, so game meets game.
ALONZO: My question is, how do you practice? How do you train?
HONG: Somebody's mama's backyard is really messed up right now.
KLEIN: Guys, I'm having the urge to try it one more time just to see if it works. Here it goes. Are you sure?
SAGAL: Bill, how did Heidi do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Heidi did perfect. Very good score, and it was hard.
VOIGHT: Thank you. Thank you so much.
ALONZO: You dove in there.
SAGAL: You did. Bye-bye.
SAGAL: Bye, Heidi.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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