Make something round

Informant places 5 sticks on the counter, all parallel to each other.

“Make something round from these sticks, only moving two of them.”

The informant takes the two outside sticks, and places them perpendicular to and above the 2nd and 5th sticks. This forms three letters, which together spell “TIT”.

“So when I was about 10 or so, I went out to visit my uncle. I always used to visit him during the summer. By this time, I was getting older and I had always had older brothers, so, ya know, I was starting to figure some things out. I guess my uncle picked up on this and wanted to initiate me into becoming a man or something. So I go to his house, and he asks if I want to hear a riddle. I say yes, so he lays out 5 sticks and asks him to make something round while only moving two. I consider myself smart, but I couldn’t figure it out. So he shows me, and he got so excited about it.”

This particular riddle seems to be something of a coming-of-age ritual, a way to initiate a young boy into becoming a teenager. This transition is often accompanied by increased interest in sex. This riddle seems to be a way to gradually push the subject over the liminal, and onto the path toward adulthood.