What's in that pocket?

Oct 16, 2006

RAY: This puzzler defies description. It arose from a real life event that happened to me just the other day.

I decided it was time to round out my fall wardrobe. So, I went and bought a new pair of blue jeans. They didn't have my size on the shelf, so a salesperson went to the back room and brought me the correct size.

I was convinced that no one had ever tried on this particular pair of jeans. I didn't try them on at the store, because they brought out my size. I just took them home.

The next morning, I put them on. Usually, when you buy a garment, you reach into the pocket and there's a little slip of paper, you know, "Inspected by number 17," or something like that. There was no such thing in these jeans, but there was something in the left front pocket. I pulled this thing out, and I couldn't identify it.

I put my glasses on. It would fit into a box that was 2 inches x 1 inch x 1 inch. It's not necessarily a rectangular parallelepiped. It wasn't the shape of the box, but it would have fit in this box. It could have been something bigger or smaller, but the one I had would have fit in this box I'm describing.

When I did finally identify it, it made perfect sense that it should be in the pocket. I said, 'Oh, I'm not surprised by this.' The question is, what did I find in my pocket?

Here's the hint that's going to help you solve it. I've been wearing blue jeans for fifty years. When I first started wearing jeans, I never could have found something like this in a pocket.
RAY: It wasn't one of those security devices.

TOM: I know what it was.

RAY: What?

TOM: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

RAY: They were making Kentucky Fried Chicken 50 years ago.

TOM: No, they were not.

RAY: What I found was a piece of rock, more precisely, lava rock. Almost all blue jeans are stonewashed, and I always thought that that was kind of a gimmick.

TOM: And that's the lava rock that they use to stonewash the jeans?

RAY: It is. And a piece of the rock wound up in the pocket, and if Inspector 17 had done his job, he would have removed that piece of rock, and in its place put the little slip of paper that says, "Inspected by Number 17."

Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yes, we have a winner. The winner is Joan Britton, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Joan is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which she can get our brand-new CD called, "Once Upon a Car Fire, The Greatest Stories Ever Told."

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