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Subject: A Riddle rss

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Matt Thrower
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Had you heard this one before? I hadn't:

Quote:
A father and son are in a car and, as they are crossing some railroad tracks, its engine stalls. An oncoming train smashes into the car. The father is killed instantly; the son lives, barely, and is rushed to a hospital. The doctor enters the room, sees the child splayed on the table. “I cannot operate on this child,” the doctor says; “this child is my son.”

How?


It took me a couple of minutes to get it, and when I did, I was completely floored, shocked, ashamed by the fact it took me a couple of minutes. I thought I was better than that, and I'm not. I need to try harder.

From this extraordinary piece about women, gaming & the internet:

http://www.unwinnable.com/2012/07/13/i-was-a-teenage-sexist/

Best piece on discrimination I've read in some time.
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Jasper
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Got it, almost instantly after reading. Anybody who does not is a raving sexist chauvinist pig! Or, didn't see it before like I did.
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Clay
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It's not a very good riddle, there are too many valid answers. The doctor is his mother. The doctor is his other gay father. The man in the car was a priest. There could even be another simple explanation I missed.
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Josiah Fiscus
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The Message wrote:
It's not a very good riddle, there are too many valid answers. The doctor is his mother. The doctor is his other gay father. The man in the car was a priest. There could even be another simple explanation I missed.


Ha nice! Never thought about the priest angle.
 
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Stuart
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If it had started off, "A father and his son are in a car..." I perhaps wouldn't have been caught looking. As it was, I must admit I didn't right away think of the doctor as the boy's mother, either, until I read the OP's initial comments and realized the answer could indeed be much simpler.

As is often the case with any good riddle, though, the terms for the answer are set by the wording, so maybe the riddle itself is discriminatory, since it presupposes, and perhaps even generates, a gender bias? For instance, I'd wager I'd have answered the riddle more easily if it proposed that "a father and his daughter" were in the car accident together.

My family doctor is a woman, btw, although if I had a male doctor, I would still only go to see him once every five years or so, too...
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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The Message wrote:
It's not a very good riddle, there are too many valid answers. The doctor is his mother. The doctor is his other gay father. The man in the car was a priest. There could even be another simple explanation I missed.


My first answer was a Grandfather and a grandson, who are of course a father and son. WAY too many valid answers for this to be a good riddle.
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Marcel
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That is a very old riddle, I heard this as a kid at least 25 years ago, at the time I remember it took me a while to get it, but I was a kid, and all the doctors I knew at the time were men.
 
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CassSoren
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The Message wrote:
There could even be another simple explanation I missed.
One could have been the birth father.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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I think I get it, but then I am a man so may not. Did take a couple of minutes (I assumed there was some relevance to the sex of the driver of the car so assumed something to do with sex change (my first thought), adoption or IVF). As others have said too many possibel valid anwers.
 
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Dave G
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It took me a second to figure out what was supposed to be the "trick," the "mother" answer seemed like it must be too obvious to me if it was supposed to be tricky.
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Andy Holt
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This is not the cat you're looking for - some other cat maybe?
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Have you heard the news about God?

She's black.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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andyholt wrote:
Have you heard the news about God?

She's black.


Can't be, it's English.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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I had also seen it before. Pretty sure over forty years ago.

According to something I read somewhere, most parents fail this one. A description is given of how a school pupil is bullied every day by one of his classmates. The parents are asked what they would do if this were their child. So they give answers about seeing the head teacher, or going straight to the police or whatever. Almost all miss the key point, which I will hide though by now it should be obvious.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are two children in that story. Their child could be the other one.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Excellent, in this thread we have firmly established that Matt is totally behind the times when it comes to grade school riddles.

And people say nothing definitive ever comes out of RSP.
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.
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Dearlove wrote:
I had also seen it before. Pretty sure over forty years ago.

According to something I read somewhere, most parents fail this one. A description is given of how a school pupil is bullied every day by one of his classmates. The parents are asked what they would do if this were their child. So they give answers about seeing the head teacher, or going straight to the police or whatever. Almost all miss the key point, which I will hide though by now it should be obvious.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are two children in that story. Their child could be the other one.


And how would the parents answer this one? "A description is given of how a school pupil bullies one of his classmates every day. The parents are asked what they would do if this were their child."

They'll probably assume that their child is the bully in this scenario, because that's the child who is the focus of the first sentence.
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Christopher Dearlove
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ElAdoranSureshot wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
I had also seen it before. Pretty sure over forty years ago.

According to something I read somewhere, most parents fail this one. A description is given of how a school pupil is bullied every day by one of his classmates. The parents are asked what they would do if this were their child. So they give answers about seeing the head teacher, or going straight to the police or whatever. Almost all miss the key point, which I will hide though by now it should be obvious.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are two children in that story. Their child could be the other one.


And how would the parents answer this one? "A description is given of how a school pupil bullies one of his classmates every day. The parents are asked what they would do if this were their child."

They'll probably assume that their child is the bully in this scenario, because that's the child who is the focus of the first sentence.


No, that's not the asymmetry that matters (and if it were, the actual test would probably word it more carefully). Parents (well, most of them) don't assume their child is the bully. I doubt your wording would make any difference.
 
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Timothy Adamson
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I didn't get this the first time I heard it, but I'm pretty sure it was told wrong. Something along the lines of "the doctor enters the room and he says...".
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True Blue Jon
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MattDP wrote:
From this extraordinary piece about women, gaming & the internet:

http://www.unwinnable.com/2012/07/13/i-was-a-teenage-sexist/

Best piece on discrimination I've read in some time.


The article is very interesting and is much better thing to discuss than the ancient riddle.
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