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Tales from the New Hampshire Woods

The Puzzler


RAY: As I said at the beginning, you didn't need to know very much about cars to this solve this. And in fact you don't.

TOM: That's a big hint.

RAY: And not only did I ask him a question which I already knew the answer to but I also told him what else he did. And the question was did you pay for the gas with a credit card. And he said, yes. And I said and while you were gassing up were you listening to your mother-in-law go on and on and on about how you should buy a new car, you shouldn't be such a cheapskate driving this old jalopy especially when you're taking her and her grandson all the way up to New Hampshire. And he said, yeah.

TOM: Um hm.

RAY: And what happened was the following. He didn't notice that when he put the nozzle in because his mother-in-law was running her mouth like she usually does that the thing shut off immediately. And in fact he put like 65 cents worth of gas in it.

TOM: How did you know that?

RAY: Well I knew that because the gas gauge read empty. So he went in with an empty tank and he left with essentially an empty tank having put in very little gas into it, and by not paying cash, if the attendant came over and said 65 cents, sir, he would have said, oh that can't be right, I'm on empty.

TOM: But if he just pulled a little slip out of the automatic machine ­-

RAY: Right, and he was just tired of listening to that mother-in-law of his. He just stuffed that thing in his pocket and off they went. He said, ah, those dopes, my gas gauge still doesn't work. So what we did very simply was put gas in it and off he went.

TOM: Did you charge him seven bucks a gallon?

RAY: And more. So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Millard Bockman from Euless, Texas.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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