Old 12-20-2004, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 10
The pumpkin riddle.

My father told me a riddle when i was a child that didn't 'click' mentally, for lack of a better word. Here is the riddle as presented to me:

'If a pumpkin is a pumpkin, and if everyone has what a pumpkin has, what has a pumpkin?'

I didn't even have a clue what the hell he was asking. I was only a kid so I was used to not understanding everything I heard. My father, on the other hand, seemed exasperated with my comprehensive shortcomings. He would repeat the riddle with various inflections.
'If a pumkin is a pumpkin, and a everyone has what a pumkin has, what has a pumpkin?'
'If a pumpkin is a pumpkin, and everyone has what a pumpkin has.......What......has .......a pumpkin?'
When I gave up on the riddle, he told me the answer.

As a teenager he asked me the long forgotten riddle. I knew the answer as soon as he said 'If a pumpkin is a pumpkin......'. I still didn't quite understand the riddle though.
Another decade has passed and the riddle came up again. I realized that I am no closer to understanding the riddle than the first time I heard it.
I could sleep better if someone could make sense of the riddle.
Old 12-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: My own little world
Posts: 1,730
What's the answer? Put it in a spoiler box, of course.
Old 12-20-2004, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: West Chester, OH
Posts: 477
Originally Posted by Dr. Dog
'If a pumpkin is a pumpkin, and if everyone has what a pumpkin has, what has a pumpkin?'
Isn't this what Spock told the robots to make their heads explode?

I have no idea what he's looking for...I second the motion for the answer to be posted. Perhaps then we can make some sense out of it.
Old 12-20-2004, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 10
a name.
Old 12-20-2004, 03:21 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 36,798
Okay, that makes sense. Lemme rephrase it to make it more comprehensible:

If a pumpkin is a "pumpkin," and everyone has what a pumpkin has, what is it that a pumpkin has?

Frankly, I think it's a lame riddle, but at least i understand what it's getting at. The "what has a pumpkin" phrasing is (intentionally?) misleading, since it sounds as though "pumpkin" is the object of the verb, not the subject.

Old 12-20-2004, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,274
Are we sure it's not some sick inbreeding joke?

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