The Loose Caboose
RAY: Imagine, if you will, a long freight train. It's pulled into the train yard and all the workers get out to go to the bathroom. They get back in and the engineer opens the throttle and the train starts to pull away from the yard, when they realize the caboose has a problem. The brake is frozen on one of the wheels of the caboose. The wheel is being dragged and there's sparks and smoke.
RAY: And someone standing there says, "Stop the train." So, they manage to signal to the engineer to stop the train. They can't fix it, so they just cut the caboose loose. They remove it and they give him the go ahead. He gives it the throttle. The train doesn't move. He gives it more throttle. It doesn't move.
What's happening is the train isn't moving, but his wheels are spinning. The cars aren't moving. There's nothing wrong with any of the remaining cars and there's nothing wrong with the engine, but there is something wrong with the engineer.
TOM: Wow. This is good.
RAY: The question is, what's wrong?
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[ Car Talk Puzzler ]