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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-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or click the Contact Us link on our website waitwait.npr.org. And check out our new bonus podcast Letter From The Editors, where WAIT WAIT producers play you clips that got cut from the show instead of just deleting them like they should do.

Hi. You're on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MALLORY NORTON: Hi. This is Mallory Norton from Salisbury, N.C.

JOBRANI: Hi, Mallory...


JOBRANI: ...From North Carolina. What do you do out there in North Carolina?

NORTON: I am a high school band teacher.


HIGGINS: That's so cool.

JOBRANI: We got a lot of teachers that listen to the show, guys. How do you teach band over Zoom?


NORTON: Well, you don't (laughter). We're actually pretty hybrid. We see one group of kids three days a week and another group of kids the other two days.

JOBRANI: Well, bummer for you 'cause if you were teaching over Zoom, you could just mute them if they stink.

NORTON: Right (laughter).

JOBRANI: Well, welcome to the show, Mallory. Bill Kurtis 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 on two limericks, you're a winner. Here's your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: Some ham and this fruit share a twined grapple. Our pairing's a lovely, refined Snapple. And with cheese, it's a treat - this year's most beloved eat. Our favorite pizza has...

NORTON: Pineapple.

KURTIS: Yes, it is.


JOBRANI: Yes, pineapple. A surprising result in GrubHub's Year Of Food contest shows people actually love pineapple on pizza unless, of course, the ballot counting software was made by Hugo Chavez.


MO ROCCA: In which case it's piña.


JOBRANI: For years, pineapple has been ridiculed as a pizza topping. It's the cool thing not to like. The president of Iceland even threatened to ban it. But when GrubHub looked at their delivery receipts, the truth was revealed. We love pineapple on pizza. Or it could be that pineapple is the closest any of us have been to eating fruit in nine months. Pineapple pizza - why, that's basically a health smoothie.

HIGGINS: Yeah. It prevents scurvy. I mean, that's why I eat - it's, like, medicinal for me on my pizza.

JOBRANI: It's surprising there's such a universally hated thing is so popular until you remember that "Young Sheldon" exists.


JOBRANI: Here's your next limerick.

KURTIS: Our students are no longer slouchy. They will help when you are achy and ouch-y. They think it's real cool to apply to med school. They all want to be Doctor...

NORTON: Fauci.



JOBRANI: Yes, med schools are flooded with applications. And they're attributing it to Dr. Anthony Fauci being such a smoke show. They're calling it the Fauci effect, which is different than the pouchy effect, which is what happens to your middle section when you get too fat for your sweatpants and sit down.

KURTIS: Or if you (laughter) - what they're calling the ouch-y effect, which is what makes you go to the doctor in the first place.


ROCCA: I walked - true story - I went into a little store in my neighborhood selling Christmas tree ornaments. And the hottest seller were Tony Fauci Christmas ornaments. They sold out like crazy. And then the second most popular was Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And they have one that's like a tree topper. I mean, granted, it's the West Village. It's not like...


ROCCA: It's not the middle of Kansas.

ADAM BURKE: If you want to be in a position where people just ignore your advice, just be a parent. You don't have to go to med school for it. Just have a teenage child.

JOBRANI: Well, you know, speaking of ignoring advice, medical schools are welcoming the increase, catering to Fauci admirers by adding courses in how to keep a straight face when an idiot is talking.


JOBRANI: All right, Mallory, here's your last limerick.

KURTIS: U.S. scientists worked with Israelians. Now our space force is no longer flail-lian (ph). Now we get along well with both AFL and Jor-El. We've already made contact with...

NORTON: Aliens.

JOBRANI: Yes, aliens.


JOBRANI: According to the former head of Israel's space program, aliens are real. And here on Earth, they'd reveal themselves, but we're not ready. So instead, they live among us in human form as contestants on "The Bachelor."

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: They're not aliens. They're undocumented Martians.


JOBRANI: You know, the man says the aliens are part of a, quote, "galactic federation interested in studying human life and" - this is true - "conducting experiments." They have regular meetings with American and Israeli astronauts at a secret underground base on Mars and once had to convince Donald Trump not to blow their cover. Again, I'm not making any of this up. This old scientist is.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) You don't think that, like, one of their experiments is the whole pineapple on pizza, do you? Now I'm questioning everything.

JOBRANI: Bill, how did Mallory do?

KURTIS: What a teacher. She got them all right - perfect score.



BURKE: Well done, Mallory.

HIGGINS: Three out of three.

NORTON: Thank you for having me.

BURKE: Thank you, Mallory.


ELLA FITZGERALD: (Singing) Two little men in a flying saucer just didn't care to stay - no, no - crossed a crowded thoroughfare, saw the hats the women wear and quickly flew away - ooh, ooh - and quickly flew away. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.