Old Roommates

May 08, 1999

RAY: We're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and the new Puzzler.

TOM: I can hardly wait.

RAY: Now I stole this from somebody, I think.

TOM: It's unnecessary. You stole all of them.

RAY: No, no, oh! No, nay, nay!

TOM: Nay, nay?

RAY: No, some of them I actually conjured up.

TOM: Oh, that's true. And some were even given to you.

RAY: Some of them actually happened.

TOM: Some were given to you.

RAY: Some were given, so I didn't....but I stole this from somebody that stole it from somebody else--some magazine. And I'm just going to re-purpose it.

TOM: Ah. OK. Go ahead.

RAY: Several months ago, I was at Logan Airport here in Boston. I go to smell the jet fuel, I don't really fly anyplace. And while I was there, I happened to see in the crowd an old college chum, and I can't remember his name. And as I'm struggling to find his name, he disappears into the crowd.

TOM: Wow! I like it already!

RAY: Gee, I would like to get reacquainted with him. I mean, after all, he was my roommate for three years, and I'm sure he'd be interested in getting back the 200 bucks I owe him. But all I can remember is that he lived in the Midwest someplace. So, I run to one of the monitors hanging from the ceiling, and I see there are, like, 11 flights going to various destinations in the Midwest, you know, likeā€¦

TOM: Worcester...

RAY: Like St. Louis...

TOM: Springfield...

RAY: Muncie, Indiana, Racine, Wisconsin, et cetera, et cetera. Because I can't remember his name--it's hopeless, I think. So, I have to think of a way to find him. And in a minute's time, I come up with a plan, and in two minutes, I find him!

TOM: Great!

RAY: How did I...how did I do it?

Answer: 

RAY: How did I do it? Well, I will confess: there were obfuscations here; the fact, the Midwest thing was an obfuscation.

TOM: Yeah. A red herring.

RAY: Red, complete red herring.

TOM: Completely red, yeah.

RAY: Blazing red herring.

TOM: Blazing red.

RAY: And then when I say I find him--I didn't find him. He found me.

TOM: Exactly.

RAY: Because I went to the customer service desk...

TOM: The white phone.

RAY: The white phone, and I paged myself.

TOM: Exactly.

RAY: And he says, "That nu..."

TOM: "I'm going to go collect that 200 bucks that sleazeball hasn't paid me for 20 years!" And there he was.

RAY: And there he was.

TOM: With his hands around your neck!

RAY: His hands in my wallet!

TOM: If you were given that as part of the puzzle--"and within two minutes, he had found me and had his hands around my neck"--that would have done it.

RAY: Anyway, who's our winner this week?

TOM: Winner? The winner is Susan Geyer [SP?] from Seattle, Washington.

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