Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TODAY'S 2nd NUGGET: Plain Sight Double Meaning

Did you ever hear hear this riddle?

Mr. Smith and his son get into an accident. Mr. Smith dies, and the son is rushed to the hospital. The doctor looks at the boy and says, "I can't operate, he's my son!" How is that possible?

Before I tell you the answer, look at the setup of the riddle.

The father dies, but the doctor claims the child too. Is the doctor lying? Maybe it wasn't the child's real father. Maybe the son was adopted. Maybe this is the step-father.

These presumptions are wrong. The riddle sets you up to avoid looking at the doctor. All the pieces are in plain sight, but something is missing.

The answer is that the doctor is the boy's MOTHER.

Did you jump to that idea that the doctor must be male because the other two characters were also male? Notice how the misdirect was easy to make, yet when you see the answer, you say, "How could I've missed that?"

I read a great script that did this to me with a double meaning, and a missing piece.

The entire script is based on Woman A blaming Woman B for her misfortunes. Woman B dies, and everyone is sad. Woman A finds out it actually was Woman C in the background who was guilty.

The twist is that the surrounding characters know it is Woman C. Away from Woman A, they weave in and out talking seamlessly about Woman B and Woman C.

However, you, as the audience, think B & C are the same person. AT NO TIME do you realize they're two separate women! So the same time Woman A finds out it's Woman C, you find out it's Woman C!

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I'm stunned, STUNNED by this simple, yet extremely effective technique. Come back tomorrow when I've recovered.

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