Dear C And C,
Long time listener and love the show.
I was one of the "dot bomb" casualties. Had been unemployed for about a year and the parents were thinking that I was going to be a total bomb myself—all day walking around in my underwear and listening to your show.
About a month ago I landed me a job interview at a high-tech company here in Pasadena. Had to shave and wear a suit for this one. (Good thing they did not notice that I could not button my suit anymore. :)) I went to the job interview. They informed me that it would only be an initial interview for 15 to 20 minutes and if they liked me they would call me back at a later date.
After 15 minutes of talk with the hiring manager, he took out a piece of paper and said that the last thing he wants to do today was to read a puzzle and see my thought process. And he proceeded to read this puzzle to me. "There are two uneven ropes that will take exactly an hour each to burn. These two...How can you measure 45 minutes by using only these two ropes and a box of matches." Of course, I knew the answer because I had heard it on your show. I pretended that I was thinking about the puzzle, but all along I was thinking, "Thank you, Car Talk, I knew all my devoted listening would come in handy one day."
After I gave him the answer he was so impressed. He said that only one person had been able to solve this puzzle in the company and none of the interviewees had been able to solve it. He walked me up to see the VP of the company and then the HR person and a week later I got an offer.
Thank you guys. I owe you a beer if you are ever in L.A. and I am pretty sure my parents owe you a large sum of money.