Date: April 4, 2022
Source and Relationship: W, friend
Folklore/ Text: “A man is walking down the boardwalk in San Francisco, he sees a sign outside of a restaurant that says “Today Only – Pelican Soup.” He goes inside, sits down, and orders the pelican soup. He takes one bite, walks back outside, and kills himself. Why did he do it?”
Answer: “This man had been previously stranded on an island with his wife for a very long time, and out of delirious hunger, he ate her after having convinced himself it was pelican soup. Once the man got back to civilization, he tried the pelican soup to compare it to what he had on the island. When he discovers that it tastes completely different, he walks outside and kills himself, realizing what he had done to his wife while they were deserted.”
Performance Context: My friend W told us this riddle during a break in our Thursday discussion section that his mom used to tell his siblings to keep them occupied on long car rides. He is a 20 year old USC student with two siblings and high family values.
Explanation: When I first heard this riddle, I threw out a myriad of potential answers that made sense in my head, but W simply sat and looked at me sympathetically, knowing I would never guess it. My other classmate who I was sitting next to insisted on figuring it out himself, but I eventually surrendered and begged for the solution.