Riddle Me This

{Spoiler Alert: If you happen to be on Facebook but have been living in a cave for the last week, this post will give away the answer to the riddle that has caused many of your friends to change their profile picture to a giraffe.}

A friend of mine recently changed her profile picture on Facebook to that of a giraffe because she had joined the “giraffe club” when she failed to answer a riddle correctly:

3:00am the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, it’s your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread, and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

I pondered the question for a little while. I’m really not very good at riddles. They aren’t made for logical, linear thinkers. I started to consider the different food items before reminding myself, No! Riddles never have to do with the obvious! It won’t be one of the listed items. Concentrate on something else. Look at it differently.

That’s when I got it: the door. You’d open the door first. I confidently shot off the response to my friend, knowing I wouldn’t be sporting a profile picture of a giraffe for three days and idly wondering what answer she had given.

I then went into the living room and told the riddle to Jane and Grandma Dot, my step-mother. Jane immediately answered with “door”. I explained on Facebook that I had to be right because my daughter gave the same answer and everyone knows that she knows everything.

She then offered up a riddle of her own: “What stays in the corner… I mean in A corner yet travels around the world?”

I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. I sat down on the couch and pouted a little bit. “You know,” I said, “you are really busting my ego. I’m not very good at riddles and I was feeling really good about getting that other one and now you give me this one.”

“It took you awhile? I got it immediately.”

“Yes, I know.”

“So do you want to know the answer?”


“I do!” chimed in Grandma.

“Well, I do too but I don’t want you to tell it to me right now.”

“It’s a stamp.”

“Wait a minute.” I was ready to argue about this one. “A stamp can go around the world. It doesn’t necessarily.”

“Ok, fine. It goes around the world. It can go around the world. Whatever.”

“No, not whatever! These distinctions are important. You have to get the wording exactly right with riddles or they don’t work.”

“Fine. You want another one?”


“The maker has no need for it. The buyer has no…”

“Oh. I’ve heard this one before,” I interrupted. “But go ahead. I don’t remember the answer.”

She fumbled the wording a few times before settling on “The maker has no need for it. The buyer has no use for it. The owner will stay with it forever.”

“I’m going to let Grandma Dot get this one… Since I’ve heard it before, you know.” I winked.

Shortly after I left the room, I got a notification from Facebook. My friend had responded to my message: That was my answer also. Wait! What?! Welcome to the giraffe club.

“Jane! Come here!” Once she joined me, I informed her that she was wrong. She immediately responded: “It’s eyes. You open your eyes first.” She was, once again, quick. And this time, right.

Now, being an engineer, I’m going to quibble a bit about this one. If I already know it’s my parents, then I’ve arguably already gone to the door to see who’s there. In which case, I’ve already opened my eyes. But hey, even I can appreciate a trick double-riddle. And Melman looks cute as my profile picture.