USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘hat’
Riddle

The Hat

The Hat

My friend was born in the U.S. He is currently a second year at USC.

The riddle goes like this:

Q: There are three people who were abducted by an alien. They are each blindfolded and put in a straight line. They are told that there are two black hats and a white hat. Each one of the abducted people is wearing either a white hat or a black hat. The last person in line can see both people’s heads in front of him, the second person can only see the first person’s head, and the first person can’t see anything. The alien then says that if they can guess the correct color of the hats, then they will be let free. Who speaks up and what answer would he give?

A: The person standing last in line would speak up only if he sees that the hats in front of him are the same color. If the colors were opposites then person in the middle would speak up. The middle guy would know that the person behind him is quiet because the hats in front of him are two different colors. By this deduction, the man in the middle knows that whichever color hat he is wearing is the opposite of the hat color he sees in front of him, and the same as the color of the hat color behind him.

The Analysis:

Me: Where did you hear this riddle?

J: My friend, Daniel Chun.

Me: When did you hear it?

J: I heard it about a month and a half ago. After sophomore accountability, we were just chilling in another friend’s room.

Me: Do you guys do this often?

J: Oh yeah, we just chill, share stories, talk, and stuff.

 

It should be noted that there was a similar riddle to this one about hats and prisoners but without aliens.

 

Customs
Folk Beliefs
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

Rally Cap

This informant is my roommate, who grew up in Laguna Hills.  He played baseball up until high school, when he quit to play lacrosse.

Baseball has a ton of superstitions and lots of players do weird shit, like never wash their socks if they are on a winning streak or something, but the “Rally Cap” is known by all players.  It doesn’t matter if you are in Little League or the Majors but if your team is losing and you need a good inning everyone wears their hats upside-down, which is suppose to make your team play better or hit homeruns or something.

I know from my few years in Little League that the rally cap is a very prominent folk belief in baseball regardless of how effective it really is.  While neither my informant nor myself know how it originated, I can guess that it stuck into the baseball culture because of the “hat’s” importance to the sport.  Many people refer to hats as “baseball caps,” regardless of the embroidering on them and hats really aren’t worn in any other sport, making them unique to baseball.  From this perspective it sort of makes sense that a folk belief like this stuck for good.  Altering an item of clothing that embodies baseball seems natural, especially when a hats appearance is so easy to change by flipping it.

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