Lateral with Tom Scott

Comedy panel game podcast about weird questions with wonderful answers, hosted by Tom Scott.

Previous EpisodeIndexNext Episode

Episode 82: Cattle at the office

Published 3rd May, 2024

Karen Chu ('Good Job Brain'), Bob Hagh and Lizzy Skrzypiec face questions about golf gatherings, risky records and flirty figurines.

HOST: Tom Scott. QUESTION PRODUCER: David Bodycombe. RECORDED AT: The Podcast Studios, Dublin. EDITED BY: Julie Hassett. MUSIC: Karl-Ola Kjellholm ('Private Detective'/'Agrumes', courtesy of ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: Adam, Tyler Xia, Luciano Spanto, Cyrus Hettle. FORMAT: Pad 26 Limited/Labyrinth Games Ltd. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Bodycombe and Tom Scott.


Transcription by Caption+

Tom:How did the LIV Golf Tour get its name?

The answer to that at the end of the show. My name's Tom Scott, and this is Lateral.

Welcome to the show where getting the right result sometimes involves a shot in the dark or a lucky guess. And we've certainly hit the jackpot with our guests today.

In what has turned out to be some sort of game show/trivia special, we start with Twitch star and editor in chief of BuzzerBlog, Bob Hagh!
Bob:Hello! Happy to be here.
Tom:Welcome to the show.

You are, I think, more normally asking questions as much as answering them. How do you feel about being on this side of the questions?
Bob:You know what? It feels good.

Because normally I don't do well a lot with quizzes because I like writing questions and hosting and presenting, but to be on the opposite end of the equation I think is really exciting. And I also love puzzles, and I love thinking about things, and I have no problem looking like an idiot.

So, you know what?
Bob:We're good to go! (wheezes)
Tom:You are going to be stood in very good stead for today's episode.
Tom:Good luck.
Bob:Thank you.
Tom:We also have from trivia podcast Good Job, Brain!, Karen Chu. Hello!

I've had three venti cups of coffee, three hours of sleep, and a four-month-old. So I'm ready to transcend to the astral plane
Karen:of solving lateral puzzles. Let's do it.

Or crash and burn.
Tom:Honestly, I don't know what to follow that with.

Could you tell us a little bit about Good Job, Brain! actually?
Karen:Oh, yes.

Good Job, Brain! is a a long time running trivia and weird facts podcast that I started in... 2012? Yeah, it's to simulate kind of the good time that you have at pub trivia with your pub trivia team, and the camaraderie, the sharing of the stories. A good time for all.
Tom:Good luck on the show today.

And finally today, we have comedy improviser and question producer for various game shows in Britain. Our only returning player today, Lizzy Skrzypiec, hello!

And just to give everyone else a fighting chance, I'm hungover.
Lizzy:And I think, you know, I've done it before. I need to weaken myself somehow, so...
Tom:Some very different excuses being got in at the start of this show. We've heard worse. How are you doing, Lizzy?
Lizzy:Good. I'm fragile. But in my life, I'm doing well. I'm not 100% rehydrated.
Lizzy:But yeah, good, good.
Tom:Well, best of luck to all three players.

Before we started recording the show, we tossed a coin, as usual. I don't know why there's a wishing well in the studio, but who am I to argue? Let's see if you can make heads or tails of the first question, which is this:

This question was sent in by Luciano Spanto. Thank you, Luciano.

On the 20th of December 2022, 30 passengers were on a bus in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Though the bus was not faulty, five helicopters were needed to take the passengers back to where they started. Why?

I'll say that again.

On the 20th of December 2022, 30 passengers were on a bus in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Though the bus was not faulty, five helicopters were needed to take the passengers back to where they started. Why?
Karen:Ooh, intriguing.
Karen:The date is kinda— A lot of twos in there, maybe... something on a display, and the twos spell out something or something weird. Maybe there's... you know, an obscure holiday.
Lizzy:Oh, maybe.
Tom:I was very specific with that date, wasn't I?
Lizzy:Oh, that's important. The date's important.
Lizzy:Okay, this seems... Oh, it does remind me of, I heard—

It's a rumour I heard of a girl that went cycling in the Amazon and she had to be airlifted out because when she went to the toilet, a monkey stuck its finger up her bum. (wheezes) And she...
Karen:Very good aim on that monkey.
Lizzy:She was so embarrassed that she didn't tell people for half an hour. And the moment she confessed to it, they were like, "Well, you have to be airlifted out immediately. You could have rabies."

And so she had to tell someone at every step of the way.

So from not wanting to tell anyone, she told the person in the group, she told the person driving the helicopter, she told the people at the hospital.
Karen:Rabies in the butt!
Lizzy:Were there monkeys on the bus?
Tom:I didn't know where that anecdote was going!
Bob:(cackles) Tom, what was the date again? Can you repeat the date one more time?
Tom:20th of December 2022.
Bob:So, you're saying that there were helicopters who had to get these passengers off the bus. It didn't mention anything about... before going onto the bus.

So, it sounds like something happened with the passengers that they need... 'Cause now, listen, you mentioned airlifting passengers out of something. Unless the bus was working fine, or they needed to get to another part of the trip, where it had to be airlifted to somewhere else? 'Cause I'm thinking 30 passengers, five helicopters, six seats. It makes sense, you know, mathematically.

I like that, but I'm trying to think, what happened on those dates? I'm trying to think news wise.
Lizzy:I mean, it's a bit close to Christmas.

Is it— I think it could be a Christmas thing. The buses run— Is that the last day of buses? Does that happen? Do buses stop on Christmas?
Karen:They need to celebrate Christmas too.
Lizzy:They do!
Karen:They need a break.

If you write out the numbers, 20th of December, it's 20/12, like 2-0-1-2. And then the year is 2-0-2-2, correct? 2022. So it's...
Bob:Well, we know 2012 is that whole we thought the end of the world was gonna happen type thing.
Karen:Yeah, yeah, it was the Mayan armageddon.
Tom:If you haven't twigged the date by now, I suspect you're not going to.
Lizzy:Oh no.
Tom:It's a very good clue if you know what was going on around then. But I suspect... that that date's gonna pass the folks here by. So I wouldn't concentrate too much on that right now.
Lizzy:Okay. Is it a football thing? If it's a football thing, I'm not going to know this.
Tom:It is a football thing.
Lizzy:There is— It's a football thing. I knew it.
Bob:Is it World Cup stuff? Yeah, it was a World Cup. Yeah.
Tom:Yeah. Why is that date important? What was going on around there?
Lizzy:Was that a team? Was that a football team on the bus?
Tom:It was a football team on the bus.
Lizzy:Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Lizzy:They've got to get to the... football building. (baffled wheeze)
SFX:(others laughing)
Bob:Those buildings that hold footballs.
SFX:(Bob and Tom laugh)
Lizzy:Those... Stadium. It's literally called a stadium. We're not gonna do well if I can't remember the word for stadium.
Karen:It's so funny because when Lizzy was telling the... the rabies butt story in the beginning, I was thinking of— I was—

Somehow I was reminded of Alive. Do you remember that movie based on a real true story about the soccer team that got stranded in the Andes and they had to eat each other? Or not eat each other. They had to... eat dead bodies. Do you know?
Bob:It sounds vaguely familiar.
Tom:I vaguely know that, yes.
Karen:Yes. Well, it's a thing that actually happened, I think in the '70s, where... a South American football team, – and I forgot which country – they're traveling, their plane crashed in the Andes, and so... In the States, it's kind of a Donner party situation where you're kinda stranded, and you don't have food, and you're kinda waiting for help. And they resorted to eating the dead bodies.
Tom:It is not that, in this case. This is much more recent.
Lizzy:Okay. (laughs)
Tom:And we've got away from the World Cup. You identified...
Lizzy:Yes, yes, yes, sorry.
Tom:The 2022 World Cup was held much later in the year than usual. This was the 20th of December 2022, which is actually a couple of days after the last match.
Bob:Were the passengers... Were they feeling ill or anything? I don't know what the conditions of the passengers were or the players.
Tom:They were fine. Maybe a little tired, but they were fine.
Karen:Was it a country rivalry? A country rivalry where people had to be kind of concerned for safety?
Tom:They were certainly concerned for safety, but that— but not for that reason.
Lizzy:(gasps) Oh, Buenos Aires. Hang on a minute. Argentina.

Are they good at football? I feel like maybe they are. Did they win?
Tom:They are. Yes, they did.
Lizzy:And did they have fans that were mobbing the bus?
Tom:Yep. Keep running it through.
Karen:Wow, Lizzy!
Lizzy:Okay. Football fans! They're out there. I'm not one of them.
SFX:(group laughing)
Lizzy:But I imagine things get pretty crazy in Buenos Aires when they've won some football. So, the fans mobbed the bus. The team had to be airlifted to safety.
Karen:And they ate each other.
Tom:They weren't so mu—
SFX:(Tom and Lizzy crack up)
Tom:They weren't so much mobbing the bus. It wasn't like the bus was in active danger of being overturned.
Tom:But there's one—
Bob:Was there just a safety precaution for them, just in case something would happen? So they want to get them secretly transported somewhere else so that event doesn't actually happen to the bus?
Tom:(strains) Think bigger.
Lizzy:(whispers) Bigger.
Tom:This is Argentina. It's a football country, and they have just won the World Cup. And they are on an open-top bus doing the traditional parade through the city.
Tom:So, the fans aren't mobbing the bus... but there are a lot of fans!
Karen:Blocking the road. Are they throwing stuff onto the open-top?
Tom:I'll say— I'll take blocking the road.
Tom:The parade had ground to a complete stop. There were four million people...
Karen:Oh my... word!
Tom:...who had come to see that parade.
Bob:(whispers) Wow.
Tom:So, keep going. What's happened?

There are four million people. Everything's ground to a stop. What do they have to do?
Lizzy:So they've gotta take the passengers, take the football team off the top of the bus to get them out, right?
Tom:It wasn't a full airlift from the top of the bus, but security had to clear a path just to the nearest open space, land helicopters there, and escort the team through to there, because there was no other way out with four million Argentinian spectators, including Luciano, who wrote the question, who was there!
Bob:Oh my god!
Tom:They had to transfer all the players – Lionel Messi, everyone – out into helicopters and get them away from the crowd because there was no other way it was gonna disperse.
Karen:(whispers) Wow.
Bob:What service to have. Dang. Wow.
SFX:(others laughing)
Bob:I love this podcast so much because we went from butt monkeys to escorting Messi off a bus. That is absolutely amazing.
Tom:And on the way, Karen, you talked about the incident with the cannibalism. Producer David said that was a Uruguay rugby union team in 1972.
Karen:Oh, yes!
Tom:So with all those loose ends cleared up, yes, congratulations.

This was a football team so popular they had to be airlifted away from their fans.

Each of our guests has brought a question with them. We will start today with Karen.
Karen:This question has been sent in by Adam.

The 12-inch single Blue Blood Blues by The Dead Weather – the band Dead Weather – contains five tracks. Performer and label owner Jack White said that you'd have to enter into his 'mind game' to hear a previously unreleased track. Why?

Once again.

The 12-inch single Blue Blood Blues by The Dead Weather contains five tracks. Performer and label owner Jack White said you'd have to enter into his 'mind game' to hear a previously unreleased track. Why?
Tom:I know a little bit about this, but not enough to say it for certain. So...
Tom:Jack White, quite famously... He's one half of The White Stripes.... has his own recording studio... and I remember seeing that he'd bought one of those old machines where you could go in a shopping mall and perform... perform your record, your song, whatever, and it would... I want to say burn it because that's what I did with CDs.
Tom:But, etch it. Press it into vinyl as you performed it.

It was a vending machine, photo booth kind of thing where you put money in, you record it, and what you got was a vinyl thing. So my first thought was that he's doing something weird with vinyl grooves, like old novelty records used to have, where there's multiple grooves or something like that, and you have to...

But I don't know how that's a weird mind game.
Karen:Tom, you're definitely right about something about the vinyl.
Karen:It is not a wax cylinder. It is a 12-inch single vinyl— Kids, if you don't know, that's how music used to be made. It's a big circle... (chuckles) of plastic or vinyl.
Tom:I shouldn't be rambling too much here, but this is... weird thing I found out about and got really enthusiastic about once is that there are things you can do with vinyl records that you can't do with any other medium.

You can put multiple grooves on one side.

And there used to be novelty records that had recordings of fake horse races. So as a part of the game, you could bet on which horse was going to win, and depending on which track you randomly dropped the needle into, it would play a different race.

The Beatles song that ends with that "number nine, number nine, number nine" is a locked groove. The record just reaches to the end, and then the needle just keeps going round and round.

When CDs came along, they just had to fade it, 'cause there's not an equivalent. The original vinyl of that would play endlessly... until you actually took the record off.
Karen:A loop! A physical loop.
Karen:That's cool.
Tom:We're now starting to reach the end of my vinyl knowledge. (laughs)
Tom:I just read up on this because it's like, it's weird recording stuff you can't do in any other medium, and I love stuff like that.
Bob:So, what, okay, so, so... Were there hidden messages somehow hidden in this vinyl record, whether it's on one side or another side, and you had to... Was there a cue that says, "Hey, you know, jump to this track here and try to connect maybe some pieces together from different songs or..." That puzzle aspect, I want to figure out what it was.
Tom:Choose your own adventure book, but on vinyl.
Karen:Oh my gosh, that's the most difficult thing. I'll buy it. (laughs) Bob, you are... correct that there is something hidden. There definitely is something hidden.
Lizzy:Oh, is it a QR code? It's always a QR code.
SFX:(others laughing)
Bob:They always pop up everywhere!
Tom:You sound so disappointed by that!
SFX:(guests laughing)
Lizzy:Because I think they're everywhere. There's always a QR code. I'm over them now.
Tom:Oh yeah. No one used to really know what to do with them, and then COVID came along, suddenly scanning them, and now it's acceptable to have a QR code instead of a menu, which is just absolutely not.
Lizzy:So has he got one of those on the vinyl? Is it... printed in?

But that'd be cool if you can spin the vinyl at a certain speed, and that the printing or the patterns of it spell a QR code, and then you can take a picture. That'd be cool.

No, but that is not.
Bob:So, going back to when you said, so there is something hidden in these tracks. So do you have to listen to the whole album in order to uncover the solution? Is that— Was that the determination?
Karen:You do not, and this is only possible... because it's a 12-inch single.
Lizzy:So if you put it— Wait a minute. I don't know a lot about record players, so I'm going to come across as a bit thick, but...

There's two sizes of records, right? And there's two functions on a record player.
Lizzy:So do you flick to the other function, and it becomes a second...
Tom:It's not a function thing. It's a speed thing.

Records have 33s and 45s, and that's the speed with which the disc is rotating, and if you get the speed wrong, you will have something (imitating speed ramp) that is horribly slowed down or something that's talking rather quickly. And...
Tom:But I don't get how you would turn that into a mind game. It would just sound wrong.
Karen:I would say the 'mind game' is more like... Jack White's deviousness and his puzzly brain. You know, that's kind of the vein of that.

But Tom, I believe you mentioned something about a different size. A different size for a different speed. What is that other size? We have 12 inch...
Tom:Seven inch, you have seven-inch singles.
Lizzy:Okay, so do you— Can you take part of the record off?

Can you take the outside bit off, and then you've got a little inner bit, and that's a different—
Lizzy:My god, I'm a genius!
Karen:(slow claps)
Tom:How do you perforate vinyl?!
Karen:That is a— High school cafeteria slow clap turned into a full applause for Lizzy.
Karen:Yes, run me through.
Lizzy:Okay, you take the vinyl out of its sheath.

And then inside, there's a 12-inch vinyl thing. Record, if you will. I'm not word speaking well today.

And then you can take the outer bit off or maybe push it in, maybe it concertinas into a smaller record. Is that what happens?
Karen:You're close.

Bob mentioned something earlier about... that this is a treasure type situation.
Tom:Oh, he's hidden tracks underneath the sticker in the middle. You have to destroy the record. You have to take off the peel thing in the middle, and there's an extra little record underneath there.
Karen:You're nailing the hidden record within the record.
Karen:But it is not— You have to do something to get to this hidden record. So it is not the sticker. When you, like Lizzy said, when you... (snickers) take it out of its sheath.
Tom:Sleeve. The word is sleeve. Can we avoid the word 'sheath'? It's sleeve.
Karen:You have your 12-inch disc. How— and then— and you know, we've kinda nailed it, that—
Tom:Has he hidden an extra 7-inch one inside the sleeve? You have to destroy the record sleeve to get an extra disc out there, or destroy the 12-inch to pull a 7-inch from inside it, or... That?!
Karen:Yes! The latter! But you don't have to destroy it.
Tom:You just have to slit it down the side, or it pops open, and there's another one inside?
Karen:Yes! You have to take a knife, 'cause that's pretty metal.
Karen:You have to slice open, like you said, the 12-inch to free the seven-inch single.
Bob:Oh my god.
Karen:So, it's kind of like a... I mean, it's kind of like a Russian doll situation a little bit, right? You got a baby... record that is hidden in the body of a bigger record. And you can only get to that if you slice it open, which, you know, if you didn't know this, no one's gonna destroy a record. Maybe you'd be like, "Hey, this record's kinda... thick or— it's kinda—"
Tom:Heavy, yeah. But it's Jack White. He likes weird vinyl. He has his own vinyl press.
Tom:That's just a Jack White thing. You're not gonna slit a record open. That's amazing.
Karen:That's awesome.
Lizzy:I am now. I'm gonna do it to all of my records.
Bob:I have five in that closet. I'm gonna go after this show and go through each one...
Lizzy:(laughs) And slice it!
Bob:And find it!
Karen:Take that! Well, you... You probably can't find it 'cause only 300 copies of this special nesting record exists. And Adam shares here, unplayed copies of this album sells around... sell for around 500 pounds, which is about 600 US dollars. There you go.
Tom:Thank you to Cyrus Hettle for this next question.

In 2024, more of the world's queens will don green than any other colour. In 2025, the preferred colour will be blue, and then it'll be white, yellow, and red thereafter. Why?

I'll say that again.

In 2024, more of the world's queens will don green than any other colour. In 2025, the preferred colour will be blue, and it'll be white, yellow, and red thereafter. Why?
Bob:Now, just for clarity because my brain goes to this:

queens as in humans and not chess pieces. (laughs) I just wanna— This is not some abstract game that's like, queen pieces on a giant chess board somewhere in the world!
Tom:Not chess pieces. I will rule that out. And I will rule only that out.
Bob:Okay, good.
Tom:I'll let you talk about it for a while.
Karen:Royalty queens versus drag queens.
Lizzy:Drag queens.
Bob:Or queen bees.
Bob:I don't know if the colors— Now, colors to me...

I mean, as soon as I heard color changing, I was like, is this some type of oxidation happening? Are these statues? Are these old queen statues? I don't know what it could be, but I'm just thinking of other queen types out there. You know, like I said, queen bees or the queens of various cultures around the world.

So I'm just trying to figure out, what does blue, white, yellow, red— What can change those colors on a annual basis?
Karen:Tom, is the sequence of the colors you gave us of any special importance, that specific order?
Tom:The specific order doesn't matter for the question. It is a fixed order, and it will repeat every five years, but it doesn't matter what specific order that goes in. For the question at least.
Karen:Okay, okay. Can you give me the colors again just so I can write it down?
Tom:(laughs) Yeah, it's green, blue, white, yellow, red. But you don't need to remember that order. That's not important for the question.
Karen:Is it something to do with... Olympics? And the Olympic rings colors?
Tom:I can see why you went there, but there is not a white Olympic ring.
Bob:See, I was thinking Google, but I don't think there's a white letter in 'Google', 'cause that wouldn't make sense on a white background page anyway, so...
Karen:It's a transparent PNG! Works on dark mode.
SFX:(others laughing)
Lizzy:It's not royalty queens, is it? Or is it royalt— I feel like... It's not royalty queens.

I feel like, is it beauty queens? What's the main one? Miss World?
Karen:Ohh! Like pageants? (softly) But how does colors come into play?
Bob:They're on Rubik's cubes, but I don't think that's anything to do with color. (laughs) I'm trying to think what has green, blue, white, yellow, red.

But like Tom said, it's gonna be in that order for as long as we can think of, or—
Tom:It's a five-year looping cycle of colours.
Bob:Five-year looping cycle of colors.
Lizzy:I mean, I remember when the actual Qu— well, Queen Elizabeth wore green, and it was the perfect green for green screen.

So people would green screen onto her outfit all of these various, like, she'd be wearing a giant pizza and stuff.
Tom:Alright, we've had theories of drag queens, beauty queens, and queen bees.

Which one do you think it is? Take a vote. Which one do you want to go with?
Bob:I want to do queen bees, 'cause that'd be so cool for this.
Karen:Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Lizzy:I'll pick beauty queens.
Karen:I think I'll go with bees, too. Something about the cyclical, cycle, something...
Tom:It is queen bees.
Tom:Two out of three there, yep.
Bob:Okay, okay.
Karen:Their life cycle, their generation cycle, their production cycle, maybe it's a...
Bob:(gasps) Oh! Mm... I wonder if the colors have to represent something because they're carrying, you mentioned something about life cycles.

I don't know how long a queen bee usually lives for. I don't think queen bees live for too long because I know a lot of times, hives are trying to find a new queen to associate with.

So I wonder if these stickers, maybe they're stickers. Maybe they go on hives from those who maintain live nests and say, "Hey, this queen is supposed to— if it's a green sticker, this queen is supposed to live maybe upwards of five years, the next five years, or blue or white."

So maybe they're trying to identify a cycle of a lifespan for queen bees, possibly?
Tom:I think that's close enough that I'm just going to give you that. Spot on, yep.
SFX:(Karen and Lizzy cheer)
Tom:Beekeepers place a large coloured dot on the back of their queen bees.
Bob:No way!
Tom:The colour indicates the year in which that bee hatched.
Tom:And just like you said, they only live about two or three years.

So if you are some other beekeeper, and a wild queen that's from some other hive has flown over, you can look at that bee and know when it was born and how long you might be able to use it for your own hive.
Lizzy:So is that why there's no yellow and— there's no yellow and black there? Because that's literally the colour of bees?
SFX:(others laughing)
Tom:Yeah, that's...
Lizzy:Yeah, it's clever when you think about it. Don't be putting a yellow or black spot on a bee.
Bob:Do you know what I suggest? Put a QR code on queen bees.
SFX:(others laughing)
Bob:You just be like, "Ahh yep, you're gonna pass away in three years. Okay, it's good to know. Thank you."
Tom:Well, actually, the other thing it does is visually identify the queen.

If you're just looking at a mass of bees, you can spot the one thing in there that is not yellow or black, and that is going to be the queen.

Bob, over to you for the next question.
Bob:This question has been sent in from Tyler Xia.

Why were 40 live cattle delivered to an office in downtown Chicago?

I'll say that one more time.

Why were 40 live cattle delivered to an office in downtown Chicago?
Karen:Bob, do we have a year on this? Because this might h— That might validate what I'm thinking.
Bob:I don't have the year on these notes, but I don't think the year is relevant if you understand what's going on here.
Karen:Something to do with Chicago Bulls?
Tom:Oh? Oh, that's very different to what I had.
Bob:Well, before I address what you said, Karen, and what you said, Tom, I'll go to Lizzy.

If you have any ideas in your head, Lizzy, regarding why would someone get 40 cows?
Lizzy:I think it's a beef delivery gone wrong.
SFX:(Bob and Tom laugh)
Lizzy:I think you can buy beef fresh. (laughs) And I think maybe they ordered it too fresh.

And I think maybe if you ordered some Aberdeen Angus, and then 40 Aberdeen Angus cows arrive. That is a thing that might happen, potentially.
Karen:Does the type of cow come into play? What type of cattle?

Are they like Ben and Jerry's Holstein black and white cows? Or are they like the cows with the emo hair?
SFX:(others cracking up)
Karen:Are they super beefy ones?
Bob:The type of cow doesn't matter. It's just, they were just alive. They're just alive when they were delivered. That's all— That's all it was.
Karen:Okay, okay, okay.
Bob:I would say if you have any knowledge on some, you know... Having some movie history may help you on this, because this could be a topic of interest if you were a fan of, let's say, some films.
Karen:Okay, Chicago, Ferris Bueller.
Lizzy:Oh, I—
Karen:Sausage King. Oh, what were you— Lizzy, go ahead.
Lizzy:I was thinking it might be a western. Cowboys need some cows. Is it for a cowboy film? In Chicago.
Tom:I was thinking it's The Blues Brothers. Just with cows. They've just got the largest cow crash ever put on film.
Bob:Well I would say... half of the Blues Brothers is part of this. And the other half—
Bob:Yeah, I would say one part of the Blues Brothers if you know a movie they're in.
Karen:Whoa, Tom!
Bob:Tom is like... just poking around with this. You've got the stickiest gum today. I would say to Lizzy, it's not a western, but it is a comedy. Yeah.
Lizzy:(laughs) Okay.
Bob:I would say it is...
Karen:Is it Dan Aykroyd?
Bob:It is a Dan Aykroyd film, yes.
Karen:Trading Places.
Bob:It has to do with Trading Places. And what was that movie about? With Trading Places?
Karen:Dude, that's my favorite movie of all time!
Tom:Oh, I've never seen it. What's it about?
Karen:Ohhh! It is Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. And they kind of— Eddie Murphy is a guy who lives on the street, you know, kind of a hustler. Dan Aykroyd is an elite, posh, annoying finance dude. And they trade places. I won't get into how, and it's about— It's a comedy about, yeah, about trading.

So they're literally trading places, and they're trading commodities.
Lizzy:Don't they trade orange juice? Frozen orange juice in there.
Karen:Yeah. Frozen orange juice concentrate.
Bob:I actually looked that up because they said that it's so ridiculous that you wouldn't think that orange juice is being traded like that.

But that's one of the topics they use for the movie, actually, because that's some of the weird stuff that happens with these traders where you're actually trading orange juice.
Tom:Was that a plot point in the movie? Did that...
Bob:I think just knowledge of the movie, like knowing what the movie is about, could relate to something like this happening.

Because this was an honest mistake when getting cattle delivered to your office in Chicago. So think about these... So what Karen was talking about was you have these traders who are pretty much buying these contracts.

What could possibly go wrong if you— And they're called futures. And I had to dig deep into this.

What might happen if you decide as a trader, "Oh yeah, let me buy this for a set price and a set expiration date"? What could happen?
Tom:No one buys them off you.
Karen:Or it expires.
Tom:You have to sell those cattle... that you have theoretically bought.

And it's not a wrong thing on a form. It's not a weird mistake or anything like that. It's just, you have to unload those cattle... because otherwise... (laughs) they're going to get delivered to you.
Bob:That's exactly right. And I'm going to say right there, yeah.

So what happened was this was a commodities trader who just let his futures contract expire. He bought this livestock of cattle. He forgot to sell it by the expiration date.
Bob:And one day, he just gets 40 cattle delivered.

His name was Bob Lassandrello. He was a commodities trader in Chicago. He bought and sold futures similar to what was in the movie Trading Places. And he specialized in live cattle futures.

On one occasion, he forgot to sell on the contract before the settlement date. East St Louis Stockyards drove up (wheezes) a truck and put the 40 cows in a pen outside his office. So these things do happen. 'Cause you agree to buy a future for a set date at a set price.

And like Tom said, if you just don't sell it and no one buys it off you, you're stuck with that. And hopefully, you may get a buyer in the future. But nope, you have 40 cows living in front of your office space, so...
Karen:Do we get an aftermath of what actually happened?
SFX:(Tom and Lizzy laugh)
Bob:As it says in my notes, the stockyard charged the broker some additional fees to sell the cows on his behalf. So he cut— He paid a little more, and then they were able to sell the cows, and someone just got the beef. So, there you go.
Lizzy:Very good.
Tom:Good luck with this next one, folks.

At the World Championship for which sport is the main object of play changed after every two minutes of game time?

I'll say that again.

At the World Championship for which sport is the main object of play changed after every two minutes of game time?
Karen:This is very ESPN The Ocho.
Bob:Oh, yeah.
Karen:I mean... I think this is not really a champion— It's not a champion sport. It might be some sort of field day activities, like a beer fest... competitive beer games, or something like that. No?
Lizzy:Ooh! Ooh! Oh. If I get it, do I get—
SFX:(others laugh uproariously)
Lizzy:If I get this right, do I get 100 points?
Tom:Yeah, okay, we don't have points. But yeah, if you get— If you nail this, you get 100 of them.
Lizzy:I'm just gonna put it out there. Chess boxing. Mm, what's that?
Karen:What is that?
Lizzy:What do you do in chess boxing?

First you play some chess, and then once you've done that... you punch each other!

And I can imagine that being a two-minute cycle that's quite fun to watch.

Oh my god, have I got it?
Karen:That is a really good idea!
Bob:Oh my god, is it?
Tom:I can't give you chess boxing. I love it in theory, but it's not two-minute rounds.
Lizzy:Oh, okay.
Bob:I'm trying to think, so...

If something is changing every two minutes, then it has to mean that this sport either has traditional halves or quarters that last a certain amount of time. But I don't know if those two minutes mean possession for... (stammers)

I'm saying, is it a team— I don't want to turn this into questions, but is this a team sport, Tom? Or is this more like a 1v1 type sport?
Tom:Yeah, out of you and Karen...
Tom:You're definitely closer. Karen, I love the theory that there's some weird esoteric sport out there, but everyone here knows this sport.
Karen:Oh, so it's not like Calvinball? Oh man, okay.
Tom:Nope, nope.
Lizzy:Oh, we all know this sport.

Is this football? Am I just completely not very knowledgeable about football?
SFX:(group laughing)
Lizzy:That could be a rule.
Karen:Have we established if it's a sport or a game?
Tom:The question did say sport. That's not a red herring, it's an actual sport.
Karen:Okay, sport, sport, sport.
Tom:Why might something need changing every two minutes?
Bob:I don't know if it's player, yeah, equipment or player substitutions, or is it a moving target? I'm trying to think of sports with moving targets, but I can't think of any sports that we know of.
Karen:Something about the elements as well. The elements might change. Maybe it has something to do with water or they have— or ice? And it has to be refreshed? What other things?
Tom:That's a very good line to go down, Karen.
Bob:I know with ice hockey, you have to have the Zambonis come out, and every couple of minutes, it has to come out, and it has to, you know, reglaze the ice. And you're changing just the surface of which the game is played. So your movement's going to be changing, and you may have to come up with plays to adjust to the new... texture of the field.

But I like when you mentioned— because when you said ice, Tom lit up. So I wonder if it's a field element or something changing in real time.

Where it is a smaller kind of... smaller movement than hockey. And so you need to keep refreshing the ice.
Tom:Bob, keep going with ice hockey.
Karen:Oh no!
Bob:Oh my god. I can't do this, Tom! Okay, so ice hockey.
Tom:You've got the answer actually. You've got the answer.

It's ice hockey. That is technically the answer to the question.

What's the object?
Bob:Oh, well, I know—
Tom:And why?
Bob:I know in hockey, they have something called power plays, where if a player gets ejected from the game for two minutes, That gives the— So it's like 5v4 then. That gives a team on a power play an advantage to actually try and score goals because there's one less player on the other team.

So that can open the door for more wacky plays to utilize that down one player advantage.
Tom:You are massively overthinking it.
Bob:Oh. (deflates)
Tom:Main object—
Karen:It's just that the puck moves. And that's the main objective, and it changes all the time.
Tom:In world-class ice hockey, why do you want that puck changed every two minutes?
Bob:Oh, it's getting slapped around too much, it's getting chipped and damaged, so they have to— Because sometimes I wonder if you try to slap a puck with your hockey stick, what happens if your hockey stick gets into a groove in the puck, and it gets stuck or something?

I don't know if they need to have a brand new rubber puck out there. So it kind of keeps the play authentic to the players.
Lizzy:Are they warming it up? Are they giving it a little bit of a (huffs) warm it up so it slides around a bit better?
Tom:They're not deliberately doing that, but that's what happens.
Karen:Oh, okay.
Tom:If you are at the World Championships of Ice Hockey, or at full world-class ice hockey level, then they will have a load of pucks in a freezer ready to go.

And every two minutes or so, whenever there's a stop in play, there'll be a new puck thrown in.
Tom:Chilled to -10° Celsius. Just so it always behaves the same.
Lizzy:So a hot puck? A hot puck's bad?
Tom:Yes. It bounces too much. It just becomes a little bit too rubbery and bouncy. And if you're at world-class level, you want a solid frozen puck.
Karen:Wow, that's amazing!
Tom:And Bob, you're right. The deterioration comes from it being slapped around by the hockey sticks. They all impart temperature. A little bit of friction with the ice will heat it up as well.

It is deterioration over time, it's just not... It's not that obvious, it's just getting a bit warm.

Lizzy, over to you.
Lizzy:Made in Europe in the early 18th century, a pair of small, carved ivory figurines have a pedestal for a base. Unusually, their heads are twisted by a quarter turn. What are they, and how does this design variation help? How does it assist you?

Made in Europe in the early 18th century, a pair of small, carved ivory figurines have a pedestal for a base. Unusually, their heads are twisted by a quarter turn. What are they, and how does this design variation help?
Karen:Variation. Interesting. Variation.
Tom:One always lies, and one always tells the truth.
SFX:(guests laugh uproariously)
Karen:Which question?
Bob:So now I'm thinking here... Are they all turned the same dir— It sounds like they're all turned the same direction, and... they can't move.

I was trying to think of something almost like... a sundial type thing where their head movement turning somehow interacts with either a sun's ray or, you know, Earth's gravitational field. Something that is supposed to react to just the environment around you.

But that 25% turn is interesting, because now it sounds like they don't turn anywhere anymore. It's fixated in that 25%. So it's always going to be that. Almost like a compass needle who always points north, for example.
Lizzy:Yeah, I could tell you they're fixed.
Tom:For the third time in this show, is this chess? Is this chess pieces?
Tom:You've got two small, carved figurines. We tried it with the bees question. We tried chess boxing with the hockey question.

Is this one chess pieces?
Lizzy:If it was, what, follow that thought.
Bob:The mention of a pedestal is interesting because why would you mention they're on a pedestal if it's not just a regular figurine? Can it come off the pedestal?
Karen:Maybe it's something special.
Bob:Can it detect earthquakes? (wheezes)
Tom:(chuckles) If you turn the head, there's a secret passage open.
Bob:(laughs heartily)
Lizzy:Yeah, there's a seven-inch vinyl in there.
Bob:Oh god!
Tom:There's a great earthquake detector. What is it? We just put a thing on a pedestal. If it falls off, there's been an earthquake.
Bob:It's earthquake.
SFX:(Bob and Karen laugh)
Tom:That's an earthquake right there.
Lizzy:But go down that chess route.
Tom:Really? This is actually— This is actual chess? We actually have a chess thing on here?
Lizzy:This could be a chess— Why don't you go down that route?
Tom:So, maybe it's two knights on a chessboard that look at each other to...
Lizzy:If it's two knights, you're spending too much time on your chessboards.
Karen:They're facing each other very tenderly.
Bob:Well, doesn't— Well, if it's chess, I know in chess, the... not the... not the rook, not the bishop, but the knight. The knight does a quarter turn, an L shape. So does that— So if it's chess related, because it goes into an L shape, so a quarter turn. but that may seem too—

But they're ivory, so I'm trying to think.
Tom:Oh, I haven't played chess in years.

I'm really, really bad at chess to the point where I cannot remember the board layout. If you ask me to set up a chess board, I don't know where everything goes. I know the order from the outside. I know rook, then knight, then bishop. And then I never remember which way the king and queen go round.

So if you turn the heads of those pieces so they're nearly kissing and looking at each other, is it a way to remember how to set up a chessboard?
Lizzy:Wow. A hundred points to you, Tom!
SFX:(group shouting)
Lizzy:Oh my goodness!

Yes, it's the king and the queen, and they look at each other. So you never get it wrong when you're setting a board.
Karen:Tenderly! Ugh!
Bob:That's lovely.
Karen:Amazing. But you're right, Tom, that... I think that's what happens to all of us.

We're like, "We know these", and then you're in the last two, you're like, "Mmh..."
Karen:"Which one where?"
Lizzy:Yeah, it's a king and queen from a chess set.

So yeah, one of the most common mistakes is not knowing where to put the king and the queen. But these two figurines' heads point at each other. So they'll always be looking at each other, and you'll always set the board up correctly.

So it's impossible to get wrong.
Tom:Presumably there's a black pair of these as well where the heads are turning the other way. So you can remember that side as well.
Karen:Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tom:One last order of business then. At the start of the show, I asked:

how the LIV Golf Tour got its name?

Anyone want to take a quick shot at that?
Karen:Roman numerals?
Tom:Roman numerals, yes!
Tom:Keep going.
SFX:(guests laughing)
Tom:'Cause you're right. LIV is the Roman numerals for 54.
Tom:Why call it the 54 golf tour?
Bob:I feel like it has to be three golf tours, 18 holes with three of them, so 54.
Tom:Yep, there are three rounds played. Each one is 18 holes. It is 54 golf holes, L-I-V in Roman numerals, hence LIV.

Congratulations, everybody. Where can people find you? What's going on in your lives? Plug your stuff.

We will start with Bob.
Bob:So yeah, I stream on Twitch. I do a lot of video games with Pokémon, also interactive game shows. So that's buzzerbob on Twitch.

You can also follow me on the Twitter – not X – at @BuzzerBobTV, but also, you can also follow for all the latest game show news in the US and around the world.
Lizzy:Yep, I'm part of Degrees of Error, and we have a show Murder, She Didn't Write.

So follow us on the socials and come and see our show! It's very funny and murderous.
Tom:And Karen.
Karen:I'm just on Good Job, Brain!,, or search for any podcast apps.
Tom:And if you wanna know more about this show, you can do that at, where you can also send in your own ideas for listener questions. We are regularly at and you can catch us at @lateralcast pretty much everywhere.

With that, thank you very much to Karen Chu.
Tom:Lizzy Skrzypiec!
SFX:(both laughing)
Tom:And Bob Hagh!
Bob:We love chess!
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:I've been Tom Scott, and that's been Lateral.
Previous EpisodeIndexNext Episode