Listener Limerick Challenge Carl reads three news-related limericks about our ancient ancestors and their innovations.
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Listener Limerick Challenge

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Listener Limerick Challenge

Listener Limerick Challenge

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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 1-888-8924. Or you can send an email to waitwait at NPR.org. You can also go to our website at waitwait.npr.org, where you can find out about attending our weekly live shows in Chicago and find information about our upcoming show in San Francisco at the Opera House on July 14th. Tickets on sale this Monday. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

PAUL DERRY: Hi.

SAGAL: Hi, who's this?

DERRY: This is Paul from Kailua, Hawaii.

SAGAL: Kailua, where's Kailua, in which island?

DERRY: There's three of them but I love in the one that's on Oahu.

SAGAL: Oahu, wow. Are you from there or were you lucky enough to end up in Hawaii.

DERRY: I was a New Yorker.

SAGAL: You were a New Yorker.

DERRY: And moved out here with my girlfriend and everything I owned in January of '81.

SAGAL: Really? And how have you been enjoying it?

DERRY: I love it.

SAGAL: Wow.

TOM BODETT: Let me guess, about 82 degrees, western winds, 15 miles an hour today?

DERRY: Were it not for showers.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: He's miserable.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah.

DERRY: Somebody's got to do it.

SAGAL: Your sadness comes down the line, sir. Paul, welcome to the show. Carl Kasell is going to read you three 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. Now, we've been talking about high tech this hour, but now we're going to leave that aside and go into the past. All of your limericks are about the science of archeology. So here's your first archeological limerick.

CARL KASELL, Host:

Baghdad's jars rattle round rather clattery. No, they not an old, inhumane cattery. Through them signore volt gets a posthumous jolt. When they're filled, they're a lightly charged?

DERRY: Battery.

SAGAL: Battery, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The Baghdad battery, one of the great mysteries of archeology. It's a 2,000-year-old jar with a copper-wrapped iron rod inside. Theoretically, if you put fluid in it, it could hold a charge. Did the ancients invent the battery? Some scientists think it's all nonsense. Others think it was brought to ancient Iraq by a time traveler. Others believe that the jar points toward the meaning of an artifact found nearby, also unexplained, the mummified remains of an enormous rabbit beating a bass drum.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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

KASELL: Down in pyramid lanes, balls would roll. Old Egyptians had great wrist control. Did they know about pins or how to count wins? We just know that they loved to?

DERRY: Bowl.

SAGAL: Right, bowl.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Apparently, after the ancient Egyptians invented beer, they came up with an appropriate activity to pursue while drinking it.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bowling. According to an Italian archeologist, "we first discovered a room with a very well built limestone floor. Then we noticed a lane and two stone balls." The game played by the Egyptians is not exactly the same as the game played today, but the discovery does explain why one pharaoh's consort is depicted in a bas relief sculpture wearing a nylon shirt with the name Cleo embroidered on the front.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, you have one more limerick. Let's hear it.

KASELL: The Stonehenge slabs amplify waves. Ancient beats would make folks misbehave. The pulsating dance would whip up a trance and the parties just might be called?

DERRY: Raves.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Stonehenge, long been one of the mysteries of the world. Was it a religious site, an ancient observatory? Well, according to Rupert Till of Huddersfield University in England, it was dance party central.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Because the huge stone slabs reflect sound perfectly, Till believes that ancient Britons gathered at Stonehenge to listen to repetitive trancelike music, dance all night, waving their glow-gourds about.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It also explains why so many prehistoric accounts refer to ancient druids doing the walk of shame across the moors the next morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Scientists also believe they've traced the origins of the popular rave party drug ecstasy back to Stonehenge. Back then, of course, it was called tolerable misery.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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

KASELL: Paul got them all right, Peter. Three correct answers, so he wins our prize.

SAGAL: Well done.

DERRY: All right, all right.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

DERRY: I can go get the (inaudible).

SAGAL: Absolutely. You're done. Knock it off, you got nothing left to do. Your life is now officially perfect. Congratulations and well done.

DERRY: Well thank you very much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

DERRY: Aloha.

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