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Limericks

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 1-888-924-89244 or click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming show in Newark, New Jersey December 4. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL Me.

BECCA CLAYTON: Hi. This is Becca calling from Irvine, California.

SAGAL: Oh, what do you do in Irvine?

CLAYTON: I am an MSA student in costume design.

SAGAL: Oh, yes, at the very fine theater department at University of California, Irvine. And do you look forward to a career - in what?

CLAYTON: Hopefully getting jobs working on live theater.

SAGAL: Oh, that would be awesome.

O'ROURKE: Well, radio costumes are particularly easy.

AMY DICKINSON: Very easy.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Becca. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you, right now, 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 big winner. Are you ready to go?

CLAYTON: Absolutely.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: Barbie's image we've tried to reload. But some feminists' heads might explode. A computer jobs fine if she gets to design, but just don't expect her to...

CLAYTON: Code.

SAGAL: Yes, very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: So...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...This was a big online thing this week. Mattel is bringing Barbie boldly into the 19th century with a new series of books called "I Can Be" in which Barbie has a series of real jobs other than her usual occupation, which is trying not to topple over.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And in one of these books, she is a computer programmer, but apparently not a very good one because she explains - and this is the controversy - she says, quote, "I'm only creating the design ideas. I'll need Steven or Brian's help to turn it into a real game," unquote.

DICKINSON: Oh, geeze.

CLAYTON: Awe.

SAGAL: So you have to understand people, this is not serious. It's just a scheme by Mattel to sell their male computer programmer action figures Brian and Steven, which are just relabeled Jabba the Hutt action figures.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: We stopped it with tanks that were Sherman-y, then reformed it with lectures quite sermon-y. Now since the World Cup, its low stock has gone up. The most popular country is...

CLAYTON: Germany.

SAGAL: Yes. Germany.

KURTIS: Germany. Becca.

SAGAL: Very good.

O'ROURKE: She's got it. These are tough limericks.

SAGAL: If someone asked you to guess what you think the most popular country in the world is, you would naturally say, well, Germany because if you didn't, you would risk an invasion.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But it's true. According to the nation's brand index, Germany has knocked the U.S.A. off the top spot of most popular country. Analysts credit this with their World Cup victory this year and the fact that, obviously, everyone is still terrified of Germany.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Very good. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: With cooties I must come to terms, or kissing will just make me squirm. Bacteria slip across our locked lips. It's a giant tsunami of...

CLAYTON: Germs.

SAGAL: Germs, yes.

KURTIS: Germs it is. Very good.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: A new study from the University of Amsterdam has discovered that a single 10-second kiss transfers 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another. If you're in the habit of kissing lots of different people, your mouth will contain bits and pieces of different people's mouths like a beautiful patchwork quilt of herpes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Which is technically a virus, but OK. Also, interestingly, if you're in a committed relationship - this is also true - and you kiss the same person over and over, your bacteria gets integrated and you have the same stuff in your bodies. Now that is going to be tough to sort out, though, when you break up.

(LAUGHTER)

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Yeah. You got to sign a prenup for that.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: I'd like my bacteria back.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That syphilis was a present from my ex, and I want it back. Bill, how did Becca do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, she may never kiss again, but Becca was perfect. Very good job, Becca.

CLAYTON: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you, Becca. Good luck with that theater career.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KISS FROM A ROSE")

SEAL: (Singing) Baby, if I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray. Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah. And now that your rose is in bloom. A light hits the gloom on the gray. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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