JK: Ok, so, it’s a blackout and you’re walking along uh street uh a dark neighborhood street and you see one little cottage that is lit up by candlelight so you go inside and there’s a red door and a purple door. Which one do you go through?
VG: The red.
JK: K, so you go through the red door and you are presented with two more doors. There’s a brown regular looking door and there’s uh- polka dot door. Which door do you go through?
VG: The brown.
JK: You go through the brown door and you are presented with two more doors…it’s a black door and a white door. Which door do you go through?
VG: The white door.
JK: Ok, so you go through the white door and you come out of…the s- into uh- a space brightly lit by candles and there’s a couple there and they’re very angry that you broke into their home and you can either choose death by uh their dogs who will tear you apart or you can choose death by electric chair. Which one do you choose and why?
VG: I choose electric chair-
VG: Because it’s faster.
EM: I know what this is- can I answer it?
EM: Cause- wait there’s no electricity right?
JK: Yeah, you choose the electric chair because the power is out.
Location of story – N/A
Location of Performance – Different student’s dormitory room, Los Angeles, CA, afternoon
Context: This performance took place between 2-3 people who were working on a film project together for class. This story came in response to my question if anyone had time to talk before the film shoot to talk about traditions specific to school, festivals, holidays, and riddles. JK and I had just met recently on this project. His story had just followed two about high school traditions.
Analysis: My favorite part about this performance is that the other person in the room, EK, had heard of this riddle before. Moreover, EK’s question about whether she can spoil the end demonstrates the universally understood pressure to let the one being challenged demonstrate their wit. I was actually nervous participating in this performance because historically, I am not very good at riddles and whenever I “fail” I always feel socially inferior. It may seem silly, but my anxiety only confirms the social implications of these riddles.