Items from our book-Betcha Didn't Know That! and scripts from the show


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Betcha Didn't know that

We usually read these but instead we'll post the script. You'll have to imagine we're reading them. (We worked hard to develop the ideas so this stuff is copyright.) If you want to use them-just call us up and we'll gladly read them for you!


L: Hey Brian, Heard about the new Barbie Doll?

B: Yea, I heard she's a real killer.

L: Tell you more when we return.

L: A new Barbie doll is ready to be introduced.

B: Is it 2003?

L: No, it's 007.

B: Wow, the ultimate.

L: Complete with her designer gown and a strap on cel phone.

B: And I bet I know where that is…

L: Yep, on her thigh.

B: Does she come alone?

L: Actually Ken comes along, dressed up like Pierce Brosnan.

B: I always liked Sean Connery better.

L: And I always liked the girls better…

B: We'll so did I…

L: And so does the public. 40 Years later Barbie's are still much more popular than their escorts.

B: Even when they're bond…

L: James Bond.

B: Betcha Didn't Know That!


L: Brian, ever heard of a Cape Cod lighter?

B: Is this an arsonist story?

L: No, it's about a very practical collectible…when we return.

L: A Cape Cod lighter is a small cast iron pot about 8" tall with a removable lid.

B: Oh, I've seen them. They usually have a rod with a ball on the end sitting inside.

L: You're right. That rod was actually holding a burner, kind of like a hard, lump wick.

B: And you lighted it?

L: Yes, but only after it sat in about 2" of kerosene. You placed your wood in the fireplace and lighted the torch…

B: You mean the ball on the rod.

L: Yes, and stuck it under the logs. It started the fire without much fuss…

B: And without cutting kindling wood…

L: When the fire was roaring you took out the torch…

B: The ball on the rod.

L: Extinguished it.

B: And put it back in the pot.

L: For Next time!

B: Betcha Didn't Know That!


Leon: Most 78 records have little, if any, value.

Brian: What's a record?

Leon: A large flat vinyl disc.

Brian: What's a 78?

Leon: That's the revolutions per minute on a turntable. There's 45s, 33 1/3s and 78s.

Brian: Why?

Leon: Good question.

Brian: How do you play them?

Leon: With a needle.

Brian: Ouch! That's primitive.

Leon: Yes, and some are much more collectible than others.

Brian: How come?

L: Well, for one reason is the label.

Brian: They had labels?

Leon: Yes, on each side.

Brian: They had sides?

Leon: And sleeves and covers.

Brian: Did they get cold?

Leon: Don't be silly.

Brian: So give me some names.

Leon: Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Brian: Those are songs?

Leon: No, artists. Blues artists.

Brian: What's the blues?

Leon: It's what I got. The antique partner blues.


The Original Wooden Lego

We know that Lego began in 1934 in Denmark. Not to take anything away from Ole Kirk Christainsen, but the idea of putting things together has been around a long time, however. It hit another guy, Charles Pajeau, in Evanston, Illinois a few decades earlier.

Charles, a tombstone cutter (not exactly a flashy job), got an idea for toys while watching his kids play with wooden spools and knitting needles. No, it wasn't blocks or pick-up sticks, but it was a version of both.

He borrowed the design of the wooden spool with holes, and the round needles to develop a construction technique that has thrilled kids for many years. After "tinkering" with it for a while, he set up a prototype and sought to sell it to the world. At the New York Toy Fair in 1915 he was assigned a spot in a far corner. He didn't sell one unit!

On his way home, Charles convinced two drugstores in Grand Central Terminal to carry his toy, in exchange for a hefty commission. Next came window displays that involved complex creations made of these spools and rods. He even placed fans nearby to move framework windmills with bladed tops.

Just like Lego, part of the selling technique was the finished product and the creative energy of the makers. Pajeau hired men to sit in windows building structures from his units. Kids began to get the idea. Since that day in New York City, over 200 million sets of Tinkertoys have been sold!

As with Lego, part of the desire of these sets is the enjoyment of creation and construction. Since they are mass-produced from identical parts, the collecting of either product line is not the same as finished products like toy trucks, dolls, or board games. But time will tell and complete sets of either Tinkertoys or Legos, or any other construction type toy will remain popular.

The key to their present value is the presence of the original packaging, the complete set with any instructional booklet, and the condition of the pieces. Although Charles Pajeau doesn't have a Tinkertoy Land named after him, he does have a spot in the heart of all kid contractors-and even adults.

Sometimes just tinkering around is a lot of fun!

PS We're glad Charles didn't event a tombstone cutter game. Could have called it the "cut of death." Wouldn't have been the same.