Brainteaser about nationalities of patrons of a "house of ill repute"
March 8, 2023 10:03 PM   Subscribe

I've been given a brainteaser by a colleague which I can't solve.. even by a lowkey google. Hoping someone here can help. I'll describe the diagram. The objective of the riddle is to guess the nationalities or regional origin of 4 patrons of a "house of ill repute"". I know the details of 3 but cannot get the last one. The answer is around some wordplay with the nationalities. More details over the fold.

The diagram is of a hill, with a house on the top. The house has a red light on it, and is a "house of ill repute".

There are 4 customers of different nationalities. The objective is to guess the nationalities based on their behaviours.

Customer 1 - standing at the bottom of the hill, not moving. This is the one I don't know. The hint that I have is he's European.

Customer 2 - running up the hill to the house. I know he's Russian (because he's "rushing").

Customer 3 - inside the house. He's Himalayan ("him-a-laying"). Apologies if that's a bit crude, but part of the joke apparently.

Customer 4 - leaving the house down the other side of the hill. He's Finnish ("finished").

I've been given the hint that Customer 1 is of European origin, and the fact that the house is on the hill is relevant.

Any ideas?
posted by chmmr to Grab Bag (21 answers total)
Netherlands? (Nederland, Literally “lower country”)
posted by mbrubeck at 10:06 PM on March 8, 2023

Best answer: Is he hungry for what's up there? Hungary?
Spyin' on what's going on? Spain?
Idly standing by? Italy?
Remaining where he is? Romania?
Checking it out? Czech Republic?
posted by erst at 10:07 PM on March 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @mbrubeck I guessed that too, but apparently not... apparently it's relevant that he's not moving and this customer is the key to some kind of punchline.
posted by chmmr at 10:08 PM on March 8, 2023

Slovak/Slovene (because he’s slow)?
posted by Dwardles at 10:10 PM on March 8, 2023

Scotch, taped in place
posted by zadcat at 10:14 PM on March 8, 2023

Response by poster: @erst Thanks, all possible...

I've also come up with:

Norway (no way!) and
Holy See (just "seeing", too holy to sin)

I'll bounce yours off my colleague also... just he told me there's some kind of punchline with Customer 1 that ties it all together.
posted by chmmr at 10:17 PM on March 8, 2023

Belgian ("bulging")
posted by dum spiro spero at 10:32 PM on March 8, 2023

Just standing there not moving? Must be a Pole!

That doesn't fit with the idea that the hill is relevant, though.
posted by Redstart at 11:13 PM on March 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi all

My colleague decided to put me out of my misery and the answer is "Irish - because he saw the red light at the top of the hill, so wouldn't start driving his car."

Sorry if that's a bit anticlimatic and apologies to any Irish people reading, no offence intended or meant, I think it was a bit of an older-generation joke.

Thanks all for helping.
posted by chmmr at 11:18 PM on March 8, 2023

Wait, no, now you have to explain that. I don't get the joke... the rest are play-on-words type answers, what's the play on words with Irish, not driving a car, and seeing a red light? Also it said he was standing, so he couldn't be in a car?
posted by erst at 12:37 AM on March 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

Estonia? Waiting until everyone “is down here”, or estonian … is down ‘ere again
posted by meijusa at 3:03 AM on March 9, 2023

@erst I think the joke is that all the others are puns, but this one is just “and the Irish are dumb” (as in, he’s not going up to the red light district because he thinks a red light means stop).

Irish jokes were very common in the UK for a long time- more info).
posted by Dwardles at 3:59 AM on March 9, 2023 [7 favorites]

Could it possibly be a joke about Irish drinking?

Essentially the Irishman driving drunk and sitting at a red light, mistaking it for a traffic light and waiting for it to change? The hill is relevant under this construction because it puts the light above his head.

We are just around the corner from St. Patrick's Day, after all.
posted by jamjam at 5:09 AM on March 9, 2023


Clearly he's a Pole.

(ETA just saw that Redstart beat me to it)
posted by Mchelly at 5:39 AM on March 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

semi-related: when states started legalizing marijuana, one of the open questions was whether high drivers were more risky or less risky than drunk drivers. Turns out the drunk drivers are worse, because they blow through stop signs. The high drivers pull up and wait for them to turn green. Ba-dum-bum.
posted by adekllny at 7:40 AM on March 9, 2023

Mod note: Comment removed. Please just stick to answering the question and avoid accusations and presumptions about the original poster, thanks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:56 AM on March 9, 2023

When I saw this visual joke decades ago, the drawing was in color with a bright red light over the front door, signaling what kind of house it was. The punchline was "He's Polish, and waiting for the light to change."
posted by juggler at 8:36 AM on March 9, 2023 [3 favorites]

I was trying to find a way to fit Togo in there.
posted by theora55 at 8:52 AM on March 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

The way I heard it as a kid was he's a Pole because (ethnicity slur alert) he's waiting for the red light to turn green.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:56 AM on March 9, 2023

Response by poster: @erst Possibly the setup wasn't fully explained to me either - the diagram I was given showed the man standing and not in a car. So apologies if that was misleading.

Again all, apologies if the content of this caused any offence, none intended, I was just trying to find the solution. Thanks to mods.
posted by chmmr at 4:09 PM on March 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @erst Agree also that the other answers are plays-on-words but the answer for Customer 1 seems to just be national stereotyping.. I was a bit disappointed the answer wasn't funnier / wittier myself but that's just what it is I guess.
posted by chmmr at 4:14 PM on March 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

« Older Am I getting mail for a fake person or a real...   |   Healing a bunion with exercise? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.