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03 October 2008

This is not a riddle. [More:]If you have seen this question, please don't answer just yet. There is no wrong or right answer. It is not a trick question or a riddle.

Here is the question:

A woman is at her mother's funeral. There she meets a man, who is a friend of the family but she doesn't personally know. She is captivated by him but he leaves without her getting his name.

The next day she kills her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?
Her sister really should have told her his name.
posted by stilicho 03 October | 14:30
God, not another Sarah Palin thread....
posted by Lipstick Thespian 03 October | 14:36
My sister asked me this question. She is in a graduate program, pursuing a degree in ABA therapy. I assumed it was a question from one of her classes. I answered the question and she told me I wasn't a psychopath. Yay! What a relief.

I answered along the lines of, "She was overcome with grief and she saw the man as a savior..." and some other nonsense.

Evidently, a psychopath would answer "She killed her sister so she could meet the man again at her sister's funeral."

I thought it was a neat question. She said she read that the question was developed my an American psychologist to determine whether a person was a psychopath. I posted it here. We got to talking more and I found out she actually found it on WebSleuths. We looked it up on Snopes. It's a hoax.

How could I be so naive? :-)
posted by LoriFLA 03 October | 14:42
Why do you think this is not a riddle? Because it's a brain teaser?

(I know the answer, and I know that's supposed to diagnose me as XZY personality disorder, too.)
posted by rainbaby 03 October | 14:42
There's got to be a baby daddy involved somehow. There's always a baby daddy.
posted by mudpuppie 03 October | 14:43
Well, if he showed up at one funeral, odds are good he'd show up at another.
posted by CitrusFreak12 03 October | 14:44
Oh darn, nevermind. Should have previewed.
It reminds me of this book of "lateral thinking puzzles" I had when I was a kid. They encouraged you to think outside the box, but a lot of them were just flippin' impossible.
posted by CitrusFreak12 03 October | 14:46
rainbaby, bogus or not, it's not meant to be a brain teaser or a riddle.
posted by LoriFLA 03 October | 14:48
Because the man was a plumber.
posted by Hellbient 03 October | 14:51
And there I was thinking, "This is a silly question. You haven't given us enough information for us to guess a motive."

But the funeral! That's brilliant.
posted by brina 03 October | 14:52
It's what CitrusFreak just said, a word puzzle - "lateral thinking puzzle" or whatever. Puzzle equals brain teaser for me. Like "He's afraid to come home because there is a man with a mask waiting for him" and it's the catcher in a baseball game at home plate, yeah?
posted by rainbaby 03 October | 14:52
I see what you're saying, rainbaby. I didn't view the question as a riddle because it is intended to be a, albeit bogus, diagnostic tool, not a trick question. There is no right answer.

Since it's bogus, I can view it as a riddle, and CF got it.

I've got my eye on you, CF.
posted by LoriFLA 03 October | 15:05
The man addresses her at the funeral with a certain degree of surprising familiarity, stating that "now she can finally move on" and that "some things are just meant to be"; she feels that he somehow intimately understands her conflicted relationship with her weak yet demanding mother, and wonders if he is the shadowy father that her mother always claimed died before they were born.

Before she can ask his name, he begins to walk away. "You will never see me again, Laura," he says so quietly that nobody else can hear, "but you always know how to find me... if you ever need someone for another job like this."

But Laura is her sister's name... her older sister by two minutes, and by family tradition it is her older sister Laura who will inherit the lion's share of their mother's estate. And it is Laura who has the cold, controlling, even sociopathic nature that has made Emily's life a living hell in the absence of any intervention from their fragile invalid mother. It is Laura that will now completely control everything in Emily's life unless she finally acts...
posted by taz 03 October | 15:27
Aiieee, I got it too. Oh dear.

One of the most dysfunctional relationships I've known was that of a guy and a girl, who met at her sister's funeral after the sister had an aneurism during a one-night stand with the guy. He picked her up in a bar and took her home, she carked it then he made with her sister at the funeral. The relationship lasted two years (and no children, thank the dog) before he took out a restraining order on her. Nasty shit.
posted by goo 03 October | 15:30
I'd wager the answer is some kind of walking clock.
posted by Atom Eyes 03 October | 15:49
Dude, have you ever killed your sister? IT'S FUCKING AWESOME. You don't even need a reason.
posted by Citizen Premier 03 October | 17:24
Hippo || Talk Me Down....