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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-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924, or click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There, you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows August 29 and 30 at Wolf Trap near Washington, D.C., September 12 in Newark, N.J. and July 18 - that's this upcoming Thursday - at the Blossom Music Center just outside of Cleveland in Cuyahoga National Park.

Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SARAH BARMIZAL: Hi. This is Sarah Barmizal from Mountain View, Calif.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah, Mountain View. That's in Silicon Valley. I know it. What do you do there?

BARMIZAL: I'm a second-grade teacher, and I also work for a murder mystery theater troupe.



SAGAL: You work for a murder mystery theater troupe?

BARMIZAL: Yeah, that's - you heard that right.

SAGAL: OK, so what exactly is that?

BARMIZAL: So I mean, it's gotten pretty popular recently. It's, like, you know, people hire us, and we come, and one of our actors dies, and then everyone has to figure out who did it.

SAGAL: And is it always the same person, or do you sometimes get to be the murderer?

BARMIZAL: Well, I'm dying tomorrow.


SAGAL: Oh, do you - oh, you rotate the corpse as well.

BARMIZAL: We do, yeah. We're very equitable in the company.

SAGAL: I understand.


SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Sarah. Bill Kurtis...

BARMIZAL: Thank you.

SAGAL: ...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 in two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. You ready to play?

BARMIZAL: I was born ready.




SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: We're blue-ribbon, but we're not stand-offy (ph). Our $2 cans just say, quaff me. Hard seltzer, hard cider, we cast our web wider. Yes, Pabst is now brewing hard...





SAGAL: Your favorite crappy beer will soon be your favorite crappy coffee.


SAGAL: Pabst Blue Ribbon is releasing hard coffee, a drink that captures the spirit of PBR and the taste of mud.


SAGAL: According to a press release, the beverage clocks in at 5% alcohol and is made with arabica and robusta coffee beans and, quote, "rich, creamy American milk," unquote. So unwind by the pool with the drink of the summer and feel your energy come back, or at least feel the rich, creamy American milk come back.


SAGAL: It's the best option for anyone looking to party for five minutes, barf and then stare at the ceiling all night.


SAGAL: All right, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: In the one place where I can get cool, there's more germs than a rabid dog's drool. The outlook is grim, so I'd rather not swim. We've been warned to stay out of the...

BARMIZAL: Oh, no - pool.

SAGAL: Pool, yes.



SAGAL: Who could have guessed that public pools, the brothy soup in which we soak our children...


SAGAL: ...Could be spreading disease? The CDC, which, of course, stands for children's diarrhea cops...


SAGAL: ...Says there's an increasing number of illnesses that can be traced back to a parasite that seems to be flourishing in public pools. Pools, refreshing place to relax in the summer heat and the answer to the question, hey, how'd you get pinkeye?


SAGAL: Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: In Tennessee, scientists chortle. In a parallel world, we're immortal. In the good upside down, we're erasing all frowns. We're hard at work building a...


SAGAL: Yes, portal.


KURTIS: How'd you get that? That was really good.


KURTIS: Really good.

SAGAL: Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are trying to open a portal to a parallel universe. It's kind of complicated, but they're blasting these tiny subatomic particles at a surface. And depending on what happens, they may get a glimpse of a parallel universe which has mirror images of the matter in ours, except there, all the little particles have little goatees.


SAGAL: Scientists have attempted to build a door to an alternate universe for years but have only now figured it out. It's push, not pull.


POUNDSTONE: Are there really scientists working on that?

SAGAL: There really are, Paula.

POUNDSTONE: For-real scientists.

SAGAL: For-real scientists.

POUNDSTONE: You study all those years, and then that's what you're doing - you're trying to find a portal to a parallel universe. It's not even science, for God's sake.

SAGAL: Are you kidding? It's high-energy physics. It's amazingly interesting science.

POUNDSTONE: There is no parallel universe.

SAGAL: How do you know?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: How do you know?

JORDAN CARLOS: How do you know that?

ROBERTS: Exactly.

CARLOS: How do you know?

SAGAL: Come on. Get Tiera back on the phone and talk some sense into this woman.



POUNDSTONE: OK, so there's another place where someone is doing this right now.


POUNDSTONE: So you know, I have three (ph) cats, and I sift litter boxes four times a day. And the good news about what I've just learned is that, sometimes, it feels so lonely.


POUNDSTONE: And now, when I'm sifting, I'll think to myself, at least I'm not the only one.


SAGAL: Wait a minute; you just said you had three cats.


SAGAL: I'm sorry, yes.

POUNDSTONE: Thirteen cats.

ROBERTS: Did you - you lost one?

SAGAL: You lost a few. You used to have 16.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, I used to have 16. Well, that - you know, they don't live forever...


POUNDSTONE: ...In this universe.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Sarah do?

KURTIS: Sarah did three straight in our universe.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Sarah.


SAGAL: Bye-bye, Sarah.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.