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. You can always click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. Also, the WAIT WAIT Live Virtual Comedy Club with Maz Jobrani, Maeve Higgins, Joel Kim Booster, Mo Rocca and Helen Hong is coming up on March 2. Tickets and info at nprpresents.org. The website looks like nprpresents.org, which is what you get the nerd in your family for their birthday. But no, the website is nprpresents.org.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).
SAGAL: Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ADAM ALI: Hi, my name's Adam Ali. I'm calling in from Ann Arbor, Mich.
SAGAL: Adam Ali in Ann Arbor? That's very alliterative.
SAGAL: What do you do there in Ann Arbor?
ALI: I'm a child psychiatrist.
SAGAL: Wow. What made you interested in that field?
ALI: Honestly, I never thought I would go into psychiatry, let alone child psychiatry when I went to med school, but it just kind of clicked.
SAGAL: Yeah. Plus, if people like talking with puppets all day, it's one of the only ways you can do that and make a living.
ALI: Well, how's that make you feel, Peter?
SAGAL: You, sir, have a gift. You're going to do well, Adam.
ALI: I appreciate it (laughter).
SAGAL: Bill Kurtis is now 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 in two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. You ready to play?
ALI: Let's do it.
SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: The girth of this house is quite mini. To enter, I squirm, and I shinny. It's just 6 feet wide but feels spacious inside. This house is incredibly...
SAGAL: Yes, skinny.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: For only $1.3 million, you can buy the skinniest house in London. It's 6 feet wide, but it is five stories tall. Think of it, though, as just a summer home because during the winter, it's playing pro basketball for the Clippers. This house used to be just a hat shop until a fashion photographer turned it into his dream house, specifically that dream where you're in the bathroom, and the walls are slowly closing in on you.
POUNDSTONE: You couldn't gain weight in that house.
SAGAL: No, you'd be - pretty much, you know. Yeah. You'd have to leave the house and gain and lose the weight before you can come back in. The house is very small. It is a marvel of efficiency, though. It's got everything you need. It's got a patio on the roof. It's got a study. It's got a full-sized kitchen if you are Barbie. How amazing would it be to have a place where your neighbors on both sides can hear each other through your walls?
TOM BODETT: I stayed at a roadside hotel once - not anything I'm affiliated with. It was a long time ago, and the couple on one side of me was so amorous that the people on the other side of me were banging on my wall...
BODETT: ...To quiet them down.
SAGAL: What did you say?
BODETT: Oh, OK. I said, it's not me...
BODETT: ...And then go bang on the wall.
SAGAL: Did you have to translate the bangs? Like, so he'd bang into the wall. So you'd say, ugh, and you walk across the hotel room, and you bang in the other wall.
BODETT: (Laughter) Right, that's probably the basic...
SAGAL: And then, they say, what's the - and they say, leave us alone. And you have to walk back to the first wall and say, leave us alone.
BODETT: They say, leave us alone.
BODETT: All night long.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your next limerick.
KURTIS: Since technology makes a good fake, my old butcher I now will forsake. I didn't use paper but bio-meat shapers. Now I have just printed a...
SAGAL: A steak, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: You can now get a 3D-printed rib-eye steak made from actual cow cells. Finally, with this breakthrough in 3D bioprinting, the Israeli company Aleph Foods (ph) says they've created an artificial rib-eye steak. Well, it's actually just a rib with an eye stuck on it. They're working out the bugs. But they say pretty soon, they'll be able to manufacture any cut of meat you like. But it's the worst thing when you're halfway through printing your steak, and you run out of toner.
POUNDSTONE: So it's not...
BODETT: Well, this - we're getting very close to the "Star Trek" replicator here.
SAGAL: We are.
BODETT: I like it.
BODETT: As soon as they can print Earl Grey hot, you know, I'm in. I'm buying one.
SAGAL: But the only problem is you're going to have to make room for another kitchen appliance - your air fryer, your instant pot, your steak printer. And then you're going to get one, and then your pretentious friends will have, like, $60,000 brass steak printer from Italy.
BODETT: And then the kids would be - mom, we're out of cow cells.
SAGAL: I just went to the store. Have you been printing whole cows again?
ALONZO BODDEN: Didn't the folks at McDonald's just hold up a McRib and say, hello?
SAGAL: That's - pretty much. All right. Here's your last limerick.
KURTIS: In baseball, we hit over walls, and umps make some generous calls. Let's make it less fun and ease up on home runs. I'll say we should deaden the...
SAGAL: Yes, the answer is balls.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: You don't have to wake up from your nap at the baseball game anymore because MLB is making it harder to hit home runs. You know, home runs - when the ball goes far, and everybody stands up and cheers, and life feels good for a moment. Well, we're going to get less of them this upcoming season. The league is making the baseball slightly less bouncy. This is in reaction to the explosion of home runs the last few seasons, which apparently people enjoyed a little too much. Why would you do this? It's like, hey, you like weeks? Cool. Let's try them without Saturday and Sunday.
POUNDSTONE: Why are they doing it?
BODETT: Well, I...
SAGAL: They're doing this because the feeling was the game was getting too out of balance against pitchers - too many home runs, too many long balls.
POUNDSTONE: Here's an idea. Why not just make the bat inflatable?
SAGAL: I guess, yeah. To keep the players from hitting the ball too far is to give them inflatable plastic bats.
POUNDSTONE: Another thing you can do is not let them eat.
BODDEN: How is Paula not the commissioner?
SAGAL: I know. It's amazing.
SAGAL: Of course, no matter what they do, they won't fix the most boring part about baseball - people talking about baseball.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Adam do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Let's give Adam three home runs.
KURTIS: Way to go, Adam.
SAGAL: Woah. Very well done, Adam.
ALI: That is very generous. Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)
SAGAL: Thank you so much, Adam.
ALI: Thank you, guys.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED ARTIST'S "TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.