The Story of John and John

Aug 11, 2001

TOM: OK. Here it is. This is good. I like it.

RAY: Far be it from me.

TOM: I'm going to give it a try. It's 1982.

RAY: Should I be writing this down?

TOM: It would help. John is 12 years old. In 1987 John is 7 years old.

RAY: Any hints? Is John a goldfish?

TOM: The question is how can that be? And a hint is --

RAY: Oh, I don't think the hint is necessary.

TOM: Oh, I think so.

RAY: No, cause it's too easy if you give the hints.

TOM: Really. Well, but we want someone to get the right answer.

RAY: Yeah, so we can give away some of those mugs.

TOM: How many mugs have we got?

RAY: Plastic mugs.

TOM: Those plastic stainless steel mugs.

RAY: In fact, if you win, we'll give you two.

TOM: In fact, if you don't win, we'll give you one. Here's the hint. His name probably wasn't John. Got it? 1982 John is 12 years old. 1987 John is seven years old. How can that be? And the hint is his name probably wasn't John.


TOM: It's backwards, and how can this be, and the hint was his name was probably not John.

RAY: Probably not.

TOM: Probably not. And the answer -- add some bogus pause. The more I think about it.

RAY: Yeah, how does it feel.

TOM: It's stupid.

RAY: Isn't it a singular feeling when you devise a puzz -- you didn't even devise this, but sometimes I craft a Puzzler. I put my heart and soul into it --

TOM: I know. I know.

RAY: And then as I am giving the answer --

TOM: You say --

RAY: What always does it is the look -- the look on your face. You get that look on your face like you're ready to blow chunks.

TOM: What was I thinking? How can it sound so good? As they say it seems so -- it seemed like a good idea at the time.

RAY: Embarrass yourself, you commie techno-elitist techno-snob. Go ahead.

TOM: The answer is. It was BC. Or is it BCE?

RAY: BCE. Yeah, BC is no longer politically correct.

TOM: In the common there -- common parlance. It was the year 1982 BCE and the year 1987.

RAY: Yeah, we got it now. No need to belabor it. I think you've beaten --

TOM: BCE, so obviously --

RAY: Yeah, we got it.

TOM: 1982 BCE was five years after.

RAY: Yeah, we got it. I give you a piece of advice. For what it's worth --

TOM: I'm never going to -- yeah, go ahead.

RAY: It's like if you say something you shouldn't have said you should just keep going.

TOM: Just drop it, yeah.

RAY: But you don't need to explain the BC, BCE.

TOM: Well, no, I'm just --

RAY: You know the seven to seventeen. It was lousy, and just end it. People will forget about it if you just don't belabor, but if you continue to talk about it, then it just is like throwing salt on the wound. So I think you should just move on, and who is our winner this week? Should I do the winner?

TOM: You're going to do the winner.

RAY: Our winner this week -- he's embarrassed to admit he's the winner -- is Lou Annella from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter