It’s Friday night, I’m behind the bar, doing my thing. It’s been pretty slow, but it’s picking up. To my left, at seats one thru four, there’s a woman, a woman, a woman, and a man, not together. They’re all sitting there, with drinks in front of them, and they’re all on their cell phones. Yeah duh, it’s 2017. Who’s NOT on their cell phone 24/7. BUT. I work at a hotel bar where it’s ok to be at the bar by yourself, and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. It’s super easy. Hey, where you from, what are you doing in town, what do you do? It’s mainly business people, airline people, people visiting DM for events, shows, weddings, conventions. There you go.
But here they are, sitting at the bar, shoulder to shoulder, and they’re all on their phone, being somewhere else, besides here, at the bar, being social. And that’s fine. But I’m old school. There’s NOTHING LIKE having a conversation with someone in person, rather than texting back and forth with someone. Surfing the boring internet. Reading some dumb bar blog.
I walk up to them, say, ok, folks. I have a riddle for all of you. PLEASE put your phones down for a moment.
They all look up, shocked for a moment, but they all put their phones down, look at me.
Ok, you’re in a room with two people. And two doors. One door leads to “heaven”, and one door leads to “hell”. You don’t know which is which. You get to ask only ONE QUESTION to figure out which door to choose. Here’s the problem: one of the guys always tells the truth. The other one always lies. You don’t know which is which, but they both know who each other is. So…what is the question? I’m going to go do dishes, start talking amongst yourselves, to figure out the answer.
I go do dishes, help some other customers. I look over from time to time, all four people are engaged in trying to figure out the answer to the question. I go over. How’s it going? Any ideas? They throw out some possible answers. Nope. Nope. Ok, you’re on the right track, keep going.
After 20 minutes, they seem to lose interest in the riddle, but what happens is, they start talking with each other. AND THEY START HAVING FUN. Getting to know each other. The where you from’s, what are you doing in town? And then they keep on going, we’ll take another round, on me, and then I look at my watch, and 9pm, has become 1 in the morning, and the three women are still there, drunk now, laughing, exchanging numbers, they’re future best friends, and it’s all because of a riddle from the bartender.