[The Guessing Game]
Arizona, present day. In the evening there is a middle-aged man driving along a highway in the desert. He is listening to the radio when he sees a young hitchhiker off on the horizon.
Radio: Another victim has been found in Nevada today, as a result of a bizarre hitchhiker serial killer who murders drivers….
Driver: (Speaking to the glove compartment) We’re not gonna let anything like that happen to us boys, right?
Driver turns off radio as he stops to pick up hitchhiker
Driver Where are you going?
Driver: I am going that way. Get in
Driver: Don’t see too many people picking up hitchhikers anymore around these parts. Everybody is afraid of that crazy serial killer. Have you been getting many rides around these parts?
Hitchhiker: No, most folks seem too afraid of Hitchhikers to want to pick them up; people like you are pretty rare. Are you going all the way to Sacramento?
Driver: No, I’m going all the way through Nevada to the state line, so that should get you most of the way there. It will still take us over eight hours of driving to get that far and then you still have another four hours before you get to Sacramento.
Hitchhiker: Well, maybe I can convince you to drive a little farther along and get me all the way to where I am going.
Driver: How are you going to do that?
Hitchhiker: I teach you a game, and if you can beat me at it we stop where ever you are going and I will pay you for your gas and twenty bucks too. If you can’t beat me we drive until you do. One thing is for sure; it will make the hours fly by.
Driver: What is the game?
Hitchhiker: It’s a guessing game. You think of something, and I try to guess what it is. I get to ask 10 questions, and you reply with a yes or no. At the end of the 10 questions, I have to have guessed the object or I lose.
Driver: OK, let me think of something.
Driver tries to think of something while drinking a cola beverage.
Hitchhiker: Do you know how bad cola is for you? You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of cola, and the steak will dissolve in two days.
Driver: Who would put a perfectly good T-bone steak in a bowl of cola?
Hitchhiker: Scientists, I suppose.
Driver: Well, don’t they have anything better to do?
Hitchhiker: It is there job to make experiments, and all of the good ones are gone so they have to make up new experiments.
Driver: But why does that have any impact on anything about me drinking cola? My teeth are not made of steak.
Hitchhiker: Well phosphoric acid, the main ingredient in cola can dissolve a nail in about 4 days. And a nail is much stronger than your teeth.
Driver: If someone already did an experiment on how cola dissolves a nail, why did they do an experiment on dissolving a steak?
Hitchhiker: To prove, without a doubt, that cola is bad for your teeth.
Driver throws can of soda out of window.
Driver: OK, no more cola! Now, back to the game you were talking about. That sounds fair. I have thought of something, and it is in my pocket.
Hitchhiker: Is it a coin?
Hitchhiker: Is it larger than a coin?
Hitchhiker: Is it made of metal?
Hitchhiker: Does it have moving parts?
Hitchhiker: Is it sharp?
Driver: Well, it depends on what you mean by sharp. Pointy like a needle, or something with an edge, like a broken ice cube?
Hitchhiker: By sharp I obviously don’t mean intelligent so it must mean that part of it is ether pointy or has a cutting edge.
Driver: Well which one?
Hitchhiker: An edge.
Driver: Then no, because it has two.
Hitchhiker: Two what? Two sides or two edges?
Driver: Two edges.
Hitchhiker: Does it have a handle?
Driver: Umm, yeah, I guess
Hitchhiker: It does or it doesn’t.
Driver: What do you mean by “a handle”?
Hitchhiker: I mean, something you would use to hold an object. What else could a handle be!?
Driver: Yes, I know that is what a handle is by definition. But anything can be held. Do you mean a part of the object is used as a grip by design?
Hitchhiker: Is it a knife?
Hitchhiker: Is it used to cut something?
Hitchhiker: Is it used to cut something hard?
Hitchhiker: Is it a pair of nail clippers?
Hitchhiker: See how easy it is? Would you like to play?
Driver: OK, would you like to guess first?
Hitchhiker: Yes I would.
Stares at glove compartment
Driver: I am thinking of something in my glove compartment.
Hitchhiker: Please keep your eyes on the road! I don’t want to get in an accident.
Hitchhiker: Is it made of metal?
Hitchhiker: Is it made of cloth?
Hitchhiker: Is it made of wood?
Hitchhiker: Is it made of plastic?
Hitchhiker: Is it made of stone?
Hitchhiker: Is it eatable?
Hitchhiker: Is it a rat?
Driver: Not A rat, how many are there?
Hitchhiker: (Thinks for a second) 3
Driver: Well, what color are they?
Driver: Yes, but what are their names?
Hitchhiker: I don’t think you understand this game. And why do you have rats in your glove compartment?
Driver: All right, you won that one. The rats are trained to kill anyone in the car with me.
Hitchhiker: OK, I guess it’s my turn now.
Driver: Don’t you want to open the glove compartment and see?
Hitchhiker: Yes, but let’s just finish one more game first.
Driver: It’s a deal. But after this game, you have to open the glove compartment.
Hitchhiker: Deal. Now you have got to guess what I have in my backpack.
Driver: I would think you probably have lots of stuff in there.
Hitchhiker: No, only one kind of thing.
Driver: OK, is it made of metal?
Driver: Is it made of cloth?
Driver: Is it made of wood?
Driver: Is it made of plastic?
Driver: Is it made of stone?
Driver: Is it an animal?
Driver: Is it a rat?
Driver: Is it… alive?
Driver: GET IT OUT OF MY CAR. NOW!!
Hitchhiker: But you haven’t guessed what it is yet.
Driver: I don’t care what it is, just get it out!
Reaches into bag and pulls out smaller bag with top tied, untie the bag and out come the heads of two snakes! The Driver screams and runs his car off the road as he brakes, hard. The hitchhiker is thrown forward. He drops the snakes and when he crashes into the dashboard, the glove compartment opens. Both Driver and hitchhiker jump out of the car.
Driver: (screaming) You idiot!! Look what you’ve done!
Hitchhiker: What I’ve done? I didn’t drive the car off the road! Besides, you never guessed what was in my bag!
Driver: I didn’t care what was in your bag; I don’t like animals!
Hitchhiker: You don’t like animals, but you have 3 rats in your glove compartment.
Driver: They are the only exception, they are almost like pets.
Hitchhiker: Well, I guess now we have to wait for my cobras to eat your rats. After that, I can put my cobras back in the bag so you can get in. Then we could continue our ride to Sacramento.
Driver: Your cobras could never eat my rats, besides what makes you think we are going to Sacramento?
Hitchhiker: Yes they could. We will go to Sacramento because you lost the game.
Driver: No they couldn’t, and I did not.
Hitchhiker: Could and did.
Driver: No and no.
Hitchhiker: Yes yes.
Driver: No way.
Driver: OK, lets go see. If your snakes ate my rats, then I’ll give you a ride to Sacramento. But, if my rats ate your snakes, then you walk.
Hitchhiker: OK, it’s a deal.
They walk back to the car to find the snakes and rats both alive. There is a dead person in the back seat with a knife in his hand.
Driver: He must have been hiding under the blanket; I think he’s dead.
Hitchhiker: I think he is just sleeping.
Driver: Sleeping!!? You’re an idiot!
Hitchhiker: How do you know he is not sleeping?
Driver: Because there are rats biting his nose and snakes under his shirt!
Hitchhiker: Maybe he is just playing with them.
Driver: The man is dead, he ceases to exist, and he is no more!
Hitchhiker: Do you think he could be the serial killer?
Driver: Not anymore. It looks like my rats killed him.
Hitchhiker: No, my snakes killed him.
Driver: I don’t think so. He looks like hamburger; he has been slashed so many times by sharp little rat teeth.
Hitchhiker: No, snake fangs have punctured him so that he looks like a pincushion.
Driver: No they didn’t.
Hitchhiker: Yes they did!
Driver: Did not!
Hitchhiker: Did too.
Driver: Did NOT!
Driver: Well, your snakes didn’t eat my rats. I guess you don’t ride to Sacramento.
Hitchhiker: But your rats didn’t eat my snakes ether! I don’t have to walk; you have to take me there.
Driver: No, you walk.
Hitchhiker: If I can’t get in your car, then neither can you. My snakes will attack you.
Driver: And if I don’t take out my rats, then you cant get your snakes.
Hitchhiker: What are we going to do?
Driver: What can we do?
Hitchhiker: I was asking you.
Driver: I don’t know, OK?
Hitchhiker: (looking into car) Is that a penguin?
Driver: I believe it is!
Hitchhiker: How did that get in there?
Driver: I didn’t bring it in, that’s for sure.
Hitchhiker: Nether did I.
Driver: Maybe the stupid writer of this story put it in to take up an extra page.
Hitchhiker: No, no one is that stupid.
Driver: Think about it. Snakes in a back pack, Rats in a glove compartment. This man is an idiot! Putting a flightless bird native to the Antarctic into the back of a car traveling through the desert is certainly not beneath him.
Hitchhiker: I find it hard to believe that anyone could stoop so low as to use such a sophomoric trick in order to squeak out an additional half a page!
Driver: Even if this is true, what are going to do with the bloody penguin!
Hitchhiker: There isn’t much we can do except watch it.
(Long pause while the two stare at the penguin)
Driver: It’s just sitting there, mocking us.
Hitchhiker: How do you get the impression it is mocking us? It is a penguin; it doesn’t have emotions.
Driver: But look at it, it knows it is the best dressed here. It is making me angry. Why don’t your snakes take care of it?
Hitchhiker: Because they have never seen a penguin, my snakes are tropical. They lived nowhere near a penguin.
Driver: A penguin could have swum there and met your snakes.
Hitchhiker: The distance from Lambert glacier at the South Pole to Bombay, India is 5000 miles. If a penguin swam at an average speed of 4 miles per hour, it takes him 52 days to get to India, the home of the cobra. The penguin would starve!
Driver: What if the penguin ate fish while swimming?
Hitchhiker: I don’t think that they can.
Driver: You can eat while you are walking, can’t you?
Hitchhiker: Yes, but I am not a penguin.
Driver: And that is your reason why your snake can’t eat a penguin?
Hitchhiker: Close enough. Why can’t your rats eat a penguin?
Driver: They don’t like white meat.
Hitchhiker: Is a penguin white meat?
Driver: How am I supposed to know?
Hitchhiker: How can your rat tell what kind of meat something is before they eat it?
Driver: They are unusually clever rats
Hitchhiker: Forget the rats!! I think I see a car
Driver: But what are we to do about the mysterious penguin that is just sitting in the car; staring at us. We must find out how it got there
Hitchhiker: I don’t care about the penguin anymore. There is a car heading towards Sacramento; maybe it could take us with him.
Driver: But could the penguin go with us?
Hitchhiker: No, not unless you want to reach into your car and pull the penguin out. While your are doing that; snakes are biting you
Driver: Then we will leave the penguin there, if it got there on its own, it can get out on its own. But I am not going to Sacramento; will he take me where I want to go?
Hitchhiker: I don’t know if he will take me. So I don’t know if he would take you.
Driver: Oh well, I will go to Sacramento with you then.
Hitchhiker: I don’t know if he will take me, and you are not staying with me at Sacramento.
Driver: Why not?
car drives away
Hitchhiker: You idiot! Didn’t you put out your thumb? Now we have to walk!
Driver: I thought you did, you are the hitchhiker.