(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times December 3, 2009)
I asked my dad what a trick question was. He gave a bunch of examples, and I could have figured them out if I had just thought about them harder. First, he asked: "If a rooster flew all the way to the top of the roof and laid an egg on the tippy-top, which way would the egg roll?" I answered, "right." He said, "No, roosters don't lay eggs." The next example he gave was, "If you put a piece of toast in the toaster, you have three settings: golden, medium, and dark. Which one cooks toast the most?" I say, “dark.” Wrong again. The answer is, “You don't toast toast, you toast bread.” By the third example of trick questions, I was on to Dad. He said, "There's a watermelon tree on one side of a fence. BUT, the watermelon falls in the person’s yard on the other side of the fence. Which person owns the watermelon? The yard the tree was on, or the yard the watermelon fell on?" "Neither!" I answered, "there's no such thing as a watermelon tree!" I hear people refer to the phrase “trick question” a lot. Personally, I can’t remember ever asking a trick question. I think people use this phrase too much, maybe to describe things that aren’t really trick questions or because they are suspicious. Readers, tell me, have you heard any real trick questions lately?