Mar 20, 2006
RAY: This is from my 'Travel and Leisure' Series. Here it is:
Not long ago, I spent some time vacationing in a well known place. It was also well known for pickpockets and other unsavory characters. And no, it wasn't Car Talk Plaza.
When I checked into the hotel, the folks at the desk were quick to warn me of the dangers of certain areas. They insisted that I would be much safer not leaving the hotel grounds, and I could spend all of my money right there.
TOM: Sure! Why not?
RAY: I chose to disregard them, of course, and when I visited some of these areas, I saw signs all over the place warning people to be on their guard for pickpockets.
By the end of my visit, I found out that the percentage of people who had filed reports with the police claiming to have had their pockets picked had gone up dramatically since the signs were put up.
And that's the question: can you explain why pickpocketing rates increased after the signs went up?
RAY: Here's what happens. You see a sign that says, 'Beware of the pickpockets.'
TOM: And you immediately reach for your wallet!
RAY: You reach for the most valuable thing you have, whether it's your wallet, your passport, your Rolex watch, to reassure yourself that it hasn't already been taken.
TOM: And the pickpockets know exactly which pocket to go to.
RAY: They hang out by the signs. Exactly right. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it didn't work. Do we have a winner?
TOM: We certainly do. Our winner this week is Jay Macro from San Juan Capistrano, California. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Jay is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com with which he can get a copy of our latest CD, which is called, 'Doesn't Anybody Screen These Calls? Calls about Cars and Animals.'