A Magnetizing Dinner Chez Magliozzi

Sep 22, 2008

RAY: Picture this scene: A family dinner with the extended Magliozzi clan. Lots of people, lots of food, and of course, lots of noise. Suddenly above the cacophony, my usually quiet wife made herself heard.

'Check this out!' she shouted. 'My knife and fork are stuck to each other, kind of like they are magnetized.' Well, sure enough the knife was indeed magnetized. In fact, it was such a strong magnet, she was able to pick up my entire set of keys with that knife. (She had dropped my keys into the soup, but that's another story altogether.)

Then one of the boys figured out that his knife was magnetized too, but the polarity was the reverse of hers. We all puzzled over this phenomenon for a while, until my niece offered an explanation. When we checked out her theory, we discovered that she was right. What was her theory?

Here's the hint: We stuck Tommy with the check that day!


RAY: Remember the hint? We stuck Tommy with the check because... we were out to dinner.

TOM: Ah.

RAY: It wasn't a family dinner at home, we were at a restaurant. And restaurants have such large losses of silverware, that they throw into their trash receptacle an enormous magnet so that when silverware is mistakenly thrown into the trash can, the forks, spoons and knives all get stuck to this magnet, and if it's on there long enough it gets pretty magnetized.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: So that's how it happened. So the next time you're at a restaurant you can do a little parlor trick. Find a utensil that's magnetized, and you can pick up somebody's keys and drop their keys in their soup. So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner this week is Beth Bartholomew from Carr, Colorado. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Beth is going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at Cartalk.com with which she can get a little more than one and a half copies of our new book, Ask Click and Clack.

RAY: Congratulations Beth!

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