Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 2/27/2019
Primary Language: English
Informant (R): I also used to do a bunch of riddles and stuff, like while hiking at summer camp, you know?
Collector (J): yeah, yeah, that was fun!
R: My favorite was the brick room one.
J: oh yeah, that one messed with me as a kid, I felt so dumb because I couldn’t figure it out.
R: I mean, it was hard!
J: How did it go again?
R: Ok, so imagine you are trapped in a solid brick room, with no windows, no doors, nothing. You have a single piece of rope and a paper clip and a note that says you must escape the room or you’ll die. How do you get out?
J: I mean, I know the answer, but can you say it?
R: Yeah, so I said imagine you’re in the room. Stop imagining.
Context: Both R and J went to summer camp together. They were recalling old games and riddles for the sake of this collection. R learned this riddle from a camp counselor who repeated this riddle while hiking with younger campers.
Analysis: As other riddles are, this riddle contains insider information for those who know the answer to the riddle. Those who “play the game” of trying to solve it are typically misguided and attempt to find ways out of the room with the rope or other tools. Depending on the performance, the “clues” to escape change, keeping those attempting to solve the riddle on their toes. However, those who know the riddle are quick to remember the keyword “imagine.”