In my furniture-hauling haste, I’d neglected to bring something to read during my meal, but I noticed that Fuddruckers had a little game-filled placemat for the kids, so I took that to my table. However, I noticed that it was a thoroughly uninspired placemat, with “brain teasers” and “riddles” so musty that they’d obviously just downloaded the whole kaboodle from boringass.utah.gov. So to help out, I decided to see if I could answer the riddles in a more interesting manner than they expected. Here are the questions. Below are the answers I came up with.
1. What has 18 legs and catches flies?
2. You are always going and leaving me behind.
3. What goes up when the rain comes down?
4. How do you divide five potatoes equally between three people?
5. What has three feet but no legs?
6. I can see it and you cannot.
7. It has ears but cannot hear.
8. In the evening I looked, and there it was. In the morning I looked, and it was gone.
9. As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
Each wife had seven sacks
Each sack had seven cats
Each cat had seven kits
How many were going to St. Ives?
RIDDLES AND PUNS
10. Who should you call when your feet hurt?
11. What body of water do ghosts like best?
12. What is a sailor’s bellybutton?
13. What is an Inquisitor’s favorite mathematical expression?
1. Two spiders, plus Renfield from Dracula.
2. Dead skin cells, or possibly mites.
4. Give each person five-thirds of a potato. Better yet, give each person one potato and donate the others to charity. What are we fighting for?
5. A line of dactylic trimeter.
6. The reasonableness of my opinions.
7. A deaf elephant.
8. Too many options! The moon? The stars? Night-blooming cereus? The daily low? Commercials for phone sex? The short-lived element unnilhexium? I’m stopping now.
9. “At least one,” but the complete answer is impossible to determine without contacting the St. Ives Chamber of Commerce. Note that another possible answer is ‘Nine,’ if you assume that I met them in line for the St. Ives Ferry that we were both going to take, and if you assume that animals don’t count. (After all, they’re in sacks, so they’re probably going to drown them anyway. That’s easier than feeding 343 kittens. What would their house smell like?)
RIDDLES AND PUNS
10. The Godfather of “Sole”!
11. The Ghoul-f of Mexico!
12. Unless you rephrase it as “what do you call a sailor’s bellybutton,” it’s a pretty stupid question. I call mine “Dr. Innie.”
13. The Witch of Agnesi, which was named in 1875 and describes a plane cubic curve that has the equation x2y = 4a2(2a-y).
Okay, I made that last question up just to show off. But honestly, with only three riddles, that section of the placemat felt kind of thin. Why do people write placemats without consulting me? Our children's education is at stake.