Inquiring Minds

WCCO reporter Ben Tracy answers our good questions

Is honesty always the best policy? Paper or plastic? WCCO’s Ben Tracy takes to the streets to answer these inquiries and more on his 10 p.m. segment, “Good Question.” Tracy typically tackles barstool trivia (How many rolls of toilet paper are used at the Minnesota State Fair?), practical tips (How should we set the thermostat to save energy?), and ethical conundrums (Does street charity hurt or help?). Here, he answers our questions.

Why question authority—or anything else?
You’re never going to get beyond your place in life if you don’t question things. Throughout the course of history all the big things that have happened in life have come from people who said, “Why can’t we do it this way?”

There are stupid questions—right?
“Do these jeans make me look fat?” might qualify. Guys learn the proper response very early in life.

Has asking a Good Question ever gotten you into trouble?
If you’re going to walk up to some guy on the street and ask if he’s ticklish, you’re going to get one of two things: You’re going to get a funny answer or you’re going to get hit. It’s a good thing I have a bigger guy with a camera standing beside me.

Watching “Good Question,” I learned I’ve been merging wrong all these years—Mn/DOT actually recommends a last-minute move, otherwise known as “cutting people off.”

What answers have surprised you?
We did a story on whether arguing is good for your relationship. I think most of us would say that if you see people who are arguing all the time, something’s a little off there. But the experts said it’s a real sign of engagement and passion. As long as it’s not destructive, it can be a good thing.

So have you applied what you’ve learned on the job to your personal life?
You would think I’d be a much better person when it comes to relationships because of this. That’s not the case. But my friends do like to have me on their Trivial Pursuit teams.

Do you get recognized in public?
Not that often. I really have no issues with keeping the hordes at bay—it’s mainly my mother’s friends.

Anything I’ve neglected to ask you?
What questions are you holding back that you think would be too nosy to ask?

Are you wearing makeup?
I have it on right now because we did a shoot this morning. I hate wearing makeup.

How did you learn how to apply it?
I don’t know if I know how to do it. The worst part about this job is going down to the M.A.C. counter at Macy’s for the first time. That’s embarrassing. The great thing is, once you know what you need, when you go back you’re like, “Oh, I’m just picking up a few things, um, she wants blah blah.” Make it look like it’s not for you.