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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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RIDDLE

Q. WHAT IS THE BEST BUTTER IN AMERICA?
A. A GOAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00001960S

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RIDDLE

Q: A TRAVELER IS WALKING DOWN A ROAD WHEN HE COMES TO A FORK. NOT
KNOWING WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE HE DECIDES TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.
THERE IS A MAN AT EACH PATH. ONE ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH WHILE THE
OTHER ALWAYS LIES. IF OUR TRAVELER CAN ASK ONLY ONE MAN ONLY ONE
QUESTION WHAT IS HIS QUESTION AND WHO WILL HE ASK?
A: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO HE ASKS IF HE SAYS - IF I ASK THE OTHER
MAN WHICH WAY I SHOULD GO, WHAT WILL HE TELL ME?
LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; J L HUDSONS ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; AN ACTION (A) ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-02-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT MUST BE DONE TO HAVE SOFT HANDS?
A: NOTHING.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; LITERAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) HANDS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN, FELT, OR HEARD, YET HAS A NAME?
A: NOTHING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATED MATTER (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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Q: WHY ARE A COWARD AND A LEAKY FAUCET THE SAME?
A: THEY BOTH RUN.

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER VARIANT IN U OF D FOLKLORE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; HARDWARE (Q) ; METAPHORICAL NONOPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PRETENDED OBSCENE RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DOES A LADY DO SITTING DOWN, A MAN STANDING UP, AND A DOG ON
THREE LEGS?
A: SHAKE HANDS

Data entry tech comment: 2 MORE EXAMPLES ARE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; PART OF THE BODY (A) HANDS ; PERSONS (Q) AND DOG.

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATE, IS ONE'S FIRST THOUGHT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: KAS SALDESNIS US NEDIZ? - WHAT IS SWEETER THAN HONEY?
A: MIEGAS - SLEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; COMMUNICATIONS AND ; EATABLE (HONEY) (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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PRETENDED OBSCENE RIDDLE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Q: WHAT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD FOR INTERCOURSE?
A: TALK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; COMMUNICATION (Q) ; LITERAL NONOPPOSITIONAL

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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THE UNSEEN CAT RIDDLE

Q: HOW WOULD YOU SEE A BLACK CAT IN A DARK ROOM WITH NO WINDOWS
AT MIDNIGHT?
A: YOU WOULD TURN ON THE LIGHT.

Submitter comment: ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITIONAL
TOLD TO INFORMANT BY HER 3RD GRADE TEACHER, MRS. CLAPPER.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (A) ; ANIMAL (Q) ; CATCH QUESTION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-28-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS WILLING TO SHARE?
A: WORK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (A) ; CATCH ; LITERAL NONOPPOSITIONAL ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-20-1968

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: JOHN IS IN THE OTHER ROOM SLEEPING. MARY IS ON THE FLOOR DEAD.
THERE IS WATER ON THE FLOOR NEAR MARY. THERE IS ALSO BROKEN GLASS
ON THE FLOOR NEAR MARY. MARY DID NOT DIE OF ANY WOUNDS.
HOW DID MARY DIE?
A: JOHN IS A CAT. MARY IS A FISH. JOHN KNOCKED THE FISH BOWL OFF
THE STAND AND IT BROKE AND MARY DIED OF SUFFICATION (SUFFOCATION).

Submitter comment:

YES AND NO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RIDDLE ARE ASKED OF THE RIDDLER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANIMALS (A)

James Callow Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEM (Q) ; NAMES FOR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name
RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-26-1969

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: KAS JUODAS NEDAZYTAS? - WHAT IS BLACK AND UNPAINTED?
A: VARNA. - A CROW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; LITERAL ; STATE OF BEING (Q) AND COLOR

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-08-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: IF YOU HAVE A DUCK BEFORE 2 DUCKS AND A DUCK BEHIND 2 DUCKS,
AND A DUCK IN THE MIDDLE , HOW MANY DUCKS DO YOU HAVE?
A: 3 DUCKS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; ANIMAL (Q) ; LITERAL NONOPPOSITIONAL ; PUZZLE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHO ALWAYS GOES TO BED WITH HIS SHOES ON?
A: A HORSE

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; LITERAL NONOPPOSITIONAL ; WEARABLE (Q) ; WISDOM

James Callow Keyword(s): HORSESHOES

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS IT THAT GOES AROUND ALL DAY GRUNTING WITHOUT BEING SICK,
AND IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING WITHOUT HAVING LOST ANYTHING?
A: A PIG.

Submitter comment: DIRECTLY TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANIMAL (A) ; ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITIONAL ; WISDOM

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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RIDDLE

Q: IF YOU LIVED IN A HOUSE, ALL FOUR SIDES OF WHICH HAD A SOUTHERN
EXPOSURE. WHAT COLOR WOULD BE THE BEAR WHICH WALKED BY?
A: WHITE - HE WOULD BE A POLAR BEAR AT THE NORTH POLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; ANIMAL AND BUILDING (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITONAL

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THOUGHT TEASER

Q: IF YOU ARE IN A ONE ROOM HOUSE WHICH HAS ONE WINDOW ON EACH
WALL AND EACH WINDOW HAS A SOUTHERN EXPOSURE. AS YOU LOOK OUT ONE
OF THE WINDOWS AND SEE A BEAR OUTSIDE, WHAT COLOR IS THE BEAR?
A: IT IS WHITE! IT'S A POLAR BEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BATTLE CREEK

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): BUILDING (Q) ; HARD WARE (Q) ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: IT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER.
A: AN EMBARRASSED ZEBRA.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL LOBBY

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; LITERAL ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q) COLOR

James Callow Keyword(s): NEWSPAPER RIDDLE, VARIAN OF ; SPELLING: RED FOR READ

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?
A: A ZEBRA WITH A SUNBURN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; STATE OF BEING - COLOR (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-00-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS IT THAT WHEN YOU GO IN THE FRONT YOU ARE AT THE BACK?
A: A CHURCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTITHETICAL ; BUILDING (A) ; PARTICULAR AREA - CHURCH (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-14-1968

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