Presidents and Their Mothers

Oct 16, 1999

RAY: Ha! We're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and the new Puzzler. Now, last week's Puzzler was automotive in nature, and it was rather lengthy.

TOM: Yes, it was.

RAY: So, I thought that this week's Puzzler should be nonautomotive in nature.

TOM: And more lengthy.

RAY: No. And short and sweet.

TOM: Yeah. OK.

RAY: I will try to make this as...

TOM: So, it's nonautomotive, and it's short and sweet. And it might be pathetic. We don't know that.

RAY: Oh, I don't think there's any "might" about it.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Here it is. Which of the following presidents'...

TOM: Oh!

RAY: Mothers, by her own admission...

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Would tell you that she did not vote for her son when he ran for the presidency of the United States? You ready?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: I'm going to give you the names of three presidents.

TOM: I'm going to write them down. Just three?

RAY: Four?

TOM: I got a one-in-three chance of getting it right?

RAY: Which is...

TOM: I could be the moron that I am?

RAY: You could be a millionaire!

TOM: I could be the moron that I am and have a one-in-three chance of winning this prize?

RAY: Yeah.

TOM: I love it!

RAY: You ready?

TOM: Yeah. It's almost as easy as passing the Massachusetts driver's test.

RAY: Number one, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.


RAY: Number two...

TOM: His mother's name is Rose.

RAY: William Jefferson Clinton.

TOM: His mother's name is Rose also.

RAY: Thomas Woodrow Wilson.

TOM: Thomas Woodrow Wilson.

RAY: That's it.

TOM: Rose. I know her name is...first name's Rose, because they all have the first name Rose. That's a coincidence, isn't it? I don't want to obfuscate.

RAY: Should I give a hint?

TOM: No. Why?

RAY: No?

TOM: No. No.

RAY: Well, I was just going to...I was merely going to give a hint...

TOM: Which one of these guys...

RAY: That my teenage son, who is a brilliant student, didn't get it.

TOM: Oh! No kidding?

RAY: Yeah.

TOM: And he is brilliant.

RAY: Brilliant.

TOM: We know that.

RAY: Well, yeah. He's like his mother.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Duh!

TOM: You didn't have to say; that went without saying. Okay. That's it. Now, what if someone thought he or she knew the answer to this Puzzler?


RAY: And I did give a hint that my teenage son, who is a brilliant student...

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Did not know the answer. Did not get it, because it's out of his time frame.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: And the answer is: Woodrow Wilson. Not because...

TOM: She didn't like him.

RAY: Woody's mother didn't like him. It's--believe it or not, for all you youngsters out there--until 1920, women were not allowed to vote in this country.

TOM: No!

RAY: And because Wilson's term ended before women had the right to vote, she could not have legally voted for her own son.

TOM: 1920?

RAY: 1920, I believe, is when women, yes, got the right to vote.

TOM: 1920! What barbarians! I mean, what kind of a democracy is this? All men are created equal, but not women!

RAY: Well, and that's exactly what the Constitution said: "All men."

TOM: All men. It said that. And it's specific. Parenthesis: (Not women.) Hey, Mabel! Where do you think you're going?

RAY: Who's our winner this week?

TOM: Wow! The winner is Lu Shirley. Mmm. And only judging from their handwriting, reading Lu--L-U--is female.

RAY: Oh, yeah. For, like, Lulu.

TOM: Lulu, yeah. She's from either Papillon or Papillon, Nebraska.

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