Now You Can't. Then You Could.

Mar 14, 1998

RAY: Well, this was submitted by Leo Leonard from Lynnwood, Washington and I chose it because it was written by hand, on a piece of paper --

TOM: With lines on it, from a pad. A pad of paper. He just wrote it on a pad of paper and tore it off --

RAY: Like a semi-legal pad, with a margin on one side. That's semi-legal?

TOM: That's --

RAY: Para-legal. The legal pads have a margin on both sides, right? So, you can what? Write in the margins.

TOM: Yeah. Right.

RAY: What makes a pad legal?

TOM: Well, as long as it's not violating any of the basic laws.

RAY: As long as it's not contraband. I don't know. This is in the form of a riddle.

TOM: A riddle? That's a new... That's new.

RAY: An automotive riddle and I lied earlier. I said the puzzler was non-automotive in nature, but that's only because I really didn't have a puzzler.

TOM: Well, while we were talking and it was sitting there in the pile, it became automotive. Something happened to it.

RAY: Here. Here --

TOM: There's no way to predict these things.

RAY: What is it that you --

TOM: They just happen.

RAY: What is it that we, for a long time, could rarely do with our cars and then we could, and now it would take you ten times longer to do it, if you could.

TOM: Wow! I love it.

RAY: What is it that you could rarely do and then you could do easily and then now, if you wanted to do it, it would take you ten times longer than it used to.

TOM: Wow. That's perfect. That's good.

RAY: Do you like it?

TOM: I like it. No one will get it.


RAY: And now we can still do it, but here's the hint. It would take us ten times longer to do it if at all, and that's really the only hint, that ten --

TOM: The ten.

RAY: The ten times longer.

TOM: Yeah, if we take the ten literally.

RAY: Well, it is literal. I didn't say about ten --

TOM: You said, "Ten."

RAY: I said, "Ten." It would take you ten times longer to do it.

TOM: Yeah. Um hmm.

RAY: Well, if you go back to the early days of cars the thing that you could never get your car to do was to make it to 100,000 miles and flip the odometer over from all nines to all zeros.

TOM: Oh. Uh huhh.

RAY: And then as cars improved, you will able to do that.

TOM: Sure.

RAY: But now you can't do it on most cars because they've added another digit. They've added a sixth digit.

TOM: And you have to go 1,000,000 miles.

RAY: So, you gotta go 9-9-9. You gotta go to 1,000,000 miles and it's ten times harder to do it, therefore, than it used to be. Do we have a winner? He hates --

TOM: You're as big a jerk as I thought you were. No, I like it. Yeah.

RAY: The best part is it's vague.

TOM: Vague. Yeah, we do have a winner. It's Ray Reynolds from Renton, Washington.

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