Occupation: Graphic Designer
Date of Performance/Collection: March 15, 2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Italian, Spanish
The following is a riddle my informant told to me:
A man and his son were driving down an icy road. When they took a corner, the car flipped. After a while, two ambulances came, one took the father to a hospital in the west, the other took the son to an hospital in the east. The nurses rushed the son into surgery, because he was losing a lot of blood. The doctor entered, and after looking at the boy exclaimed: ” I can’t operate on this boy, he is my son!” How can this be?
Answer: The doctor is the boy’s mother
My informant told me that he tells this riddle often at parties or to his kids’ friends. Half of the time people guess the answer right away, but the other half of the time it completely stumps them.
When I first heard this riddle from my informant I could not figure it out. I thought it had to do with the sun rising, or another meaning of the word: “son”. As it turns out, it just reflected how the term “doctor” is still associated more with men than with women. I believe that this riddle is important because it pokes fun at the sexism of American society.