89.1 WEMU

'Another Thing': A Toothpaste Worthy Of A Caveman

Sep 24, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 1:56 pm

Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your clever skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.

This week's challenge: Researchers have found a 6,500-year-old human jawbone containing a tooth that shows traces of beeswax. This may have been a very early form of dentistry — a filling. So, tell us:

What do you suppose was the name of the first prehistoric toothpaste?

Submit your entry using the form below or by sending your answer with your name, address and phone number to anotherthing@npr.org. If submitting via email, please type "Toothpaste" in the subject line.

Entries are due by 12 noon EDT on Sept. 26. All entries become property of NPR, which reserves the right to edit them. Entries submitted as comments on this Web page cannot be considered. In the case of several similar entries, the first one received gets credit.

The winner will be announced on All Things Considered on Oct. 1. The first-prize winner will receive an NPR mug.

Last week's challenge: What will be the name of the first best-selling diet book for dogs?

Winner: Avoid the Pounds, Alan Edwards, McLean, Va.


1.38 Minute Abs, Ben Pagel, Stamford, Conn. (Note: Pagel says that's eight minutes in dog years.)

Chicken By Products AGAIN? A Dog's Guide to Helping their Owners Pick Healthier Food, Erika Yin, Miami Beach, Fla.

The Curious Incident of the Dog and Its Waistline, Brian Scholla, Richmond, Va.

If I'm Smart Enough to Catch a Frisbee, Why Can't I Lose Weight? Connie Caldwell, San Antonio

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


For a couple of weeks we've been challenging listeners with a contest just for laughs, or at the very least just for a slight grin. It's called Another Thing Considered. And the mastermind behind it is contest queen, Lenore Skenazy. Hi, Lenore.

LENORE SKENAZY, BYLINE: Hey there, Robert.

SIEGEL: And what have you got for us this week?

SKENAZY: Well, this week's contest came from an idea I got online about doggie weight loss.

SIEGEL: Yes, you mentioned last week a story about a 77-pound daschund named Obie who has his own weight loss blog - as his owner tries to help him lose 40 pounds.

SKENAZY: Correct. Well, we asked our clever listeners to come up with the name of the first best-selling diet book for dogs.

SIEGEL: And how did the listeners respond?

SKENAZY: Well, there was a bit of a pack mentality in the answers. One that kept coming up over and over - I'm not sure I can say on the air. Can I whisper it? I'm like the dog diet book whisperer.

SIEGEL: I'm sure that's not going to work on the air. You'll just have to say it, Lenore.

SKENAZY: OK. It's the South Bitch Diet.

SIEGEL: Aha, as in South Beach Diet.

SKENAZY: Yes, of course. Followed by a couple of other very popular entries like Rin Tin Thin, From Bow to Wow, and Eat This, Not - can you guess?

SIEGEL: Eat This, Not Cat.

SKENAZY: Exactly. Exactly. A variation was Eat This, Bury That. And a lot of people sent in Slim Dog Millionaire, which doesn't totally make sense but I like it.

SIEGEL: I like that, too.

SKENAZY: Yeah. And there were several Lassie entries.

SIEGEL: Lassie Come Home...

SKENAZY: Thinner. Like Timmy got an internship at Vogue. And there was also Lessie. And a lot of ruffs, you know, riffs, on different breeds. Like the Labrador's Dilemma, Whippet Into Shape, and the Real Slim Sheltie, Beagles Without Cream Cheese.

SIEGEL: I like that one. And someone must have sent in French Poodles Don't Get Fat.

SKENAZY: Oui, they did. And there were a lot of wiener dog jokes that I won't repeat.

SIEGEL: Thanks especially for that. So, who gets the top honors for clever entry this week?

SKENAZY: Uh-uh. First runners-up. There's Ben Pagel of Stamford, Connecticut. He sent in 1.38 Minute Abs. That's eight-minute abs in dog years.

SIEGEL: (Laughter) That's very good.

SKENAZY: Erika Yin of Miami Beach sent: Chicken By Products again? A Dog's Guide to Helping their Owners Pick Healthier Food. And the rather plaintive, If I'm Smart Enough to Catch A Frisbee, Why Can't I Lose Weight? by Connie Caldwell of San Antonio, Texas.

SIEGEL: This is a high standard if those are the runners-up. The winner for best first dog diet book ever?

SKENAZY: The winner this week is...


SKENAZY: Alan Edwards of McLean, Virginia, who was the first to send in the simple classic title: Avoid the Pounds.

SIEGEL: The Pounds. Very catchy. And what does Mr. Edwards, for being so clever with his dog catcher reference there, win?

SKENAZY: He gets an authentic, one-of-a-kind ALL THINGS CONSIDERED mug.

SIEGEL: So, what is our next Another Thing Considered challenge to our listeners?

SKENAZY: Well, Robert, researchers have found a 6,500-year-old human jaw bone with a tooth in it that shows traces of beeswax. They think it might have been a very early form of dentistry - someone filling a cavity.

SIEGEL: This is very good. All references to dentists, I believe, generate extreme listener interest.

SKENAZY: That's what I was hoping. I was wracking my brain for a dentistry contest.

SIEGEL: And we're asking the listeners to open wide and...

SKENAZY: Send us the name of the first prehistoric toothpaste. That's the Another Thing question. Come up with the name of the world's oldest toothpaste.

SIEGEL: Well, you heard Lenore. To play this game, enter your answers to anotherthing@npr.org by Wednesday noon, Eastern Time.

SKENAZY: And the winner gets another NPR mug. So enter at anotherthing@npr.org.

SIEGEL: Thank you, Lenore.

SKENAZY: Thanks, Robert.

SIEGEL: And so long until next Monday when we learn the results. Contest queen, Lenore Skenazy.



You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.