Riddle – American


The subject learned this riddle/joke in her AP English class in her senior year of high school. After the AP test the teacher and students sat around and exchanged riddles. The teacher offered up the following riddle: “A man walks into a restaurant and orders a bowl of albatross soup. So he puts down his spoon, pushes in his chair, goes home, and shoots himself. Why did the man kill himself? Well a bunch of people, including the man and his wife were stranded on an island after their cruise ship sank. The people soon ran out of food and the man’s wife dies of starvation. The people don’t know what to do so they say they caught an albatross and they turn it into soup, the man along with everyone else stranded on the island lives off of the ‘albatross soup.’ The people stranded on the island finally get rescued. Later on the man goes to a restaurant and orders albatross soup to remember his time on the island. Only the albatross soup doesn’t taste like it did back on the island…that’s because the man wasn’t eating albatross soup on that island, he and everyone else was eating his wife!”

The joke is not really funny to the subject but she likes the idea of the riddle because no one ever really gets it. She doesn’t find it funny because, she says that if she put herself in that position she would kill herself also.

I think the joke is a play on existential irony and that if I were that guy, before killing myself, would kill everyone else who lived off of my wife and lied to me about what it was.