A Dark and Stormy Night And A Very Bad Idea

The Puzzler

RAY: The question is, what was the bad idea?

TOM: The bale of hay.

RAY: Exactly. Evidently, wet hay is an awful thing because when it gets wet, it bursts into flames. The water reacts with the hay and creates gas, which is combustible. So, any hay that gets wet is dangerous. Back in the old days, farmers used to rake the hay into rows and then pile it into haystacks and leave it out in the fields while it went through this fermentation gas release process.

The hay would sit out there and, if it caught fire, the barn wouldn't burn down. And then when the hay was safe, when the temperature had cooled off enough and the gaseous emissions had lessened, it was safe then to put the hay in the barn.

TOM: How do you know so much about hay?

RAY: I worked on a farm, you know.

TOM: Yeah, for about a week.

RAY: Three days. You know what I learned about hay? Hay's heavy. Doesn't look it, but hay's really heavy. Do we have a winner?

RAY: Yeah. The winner this week is Linda Lacey from Raleigh, North Carolina, and for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Linda will get from us a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which she can get a copy of our latest CD collection. This one's about animals and cars and it's called, in the immortal words of my brother, "Doesn't Anybody Screen These Calls? Calls about Cars and Animals." Congratulations, Linda.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel