“We’ve got a problem” said Groucho.
“So have I” said Bill. “What was the tallest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was discovered?”
“I don’t know” replied Groucho. “But I have real problem.”
“Mount Everest was always the tallest mountain – even before it was discovered” said Bill.
“Okay” said Grouch. “But what about my problem?”
“Try this one first” said Bill. “Johnny’s mother had three children. The first was named April, the second was named May. What was the name of the third child?”
“Oh – June, I guess!” replied Groucho becoming really agitated. “Now, what about my problem?”
“No! It was Johnny. See, there were just three children – April, May and Johnny. Get it?” said Bill.
“Yes, but I really have a real problem” said Groucho.
“I bet you can’t get this one” said Bill. “A rich man has two sons. He tells them to race on their horses to a distant city. The one whose horse is slowest will inherit his fortune. They try to go as slow as they can for days. Finally, they meet a wise man who tells them something. They jump on their horses and race to the city as fast as they can. What did the wise man tell them?”
“I have no idea!” said Groucho who was starting to get quite angry with Bill. “But I need you to solve my problem.”
“The wise man told them to swap horses” said Bill. “Think about it.”
“I can’t think about it” protested Gummo. “We have a real problem. There’s smoke coming from the kitchen and Chico needs help.”
“Hmm, doesn’t seem like much of a puzzle” commented Bill. “But don’t tell me the answer. I’ll figure it out. You try this one: A man was locked in a room which was completely bricked up. There was no door or window. The only things in the room were a mirror and a wooden table. How did he get out?”
“That’s not a real problem!” protested Groucho. “There really is smoke coming from the kitchen and Chico needs help. I need you to solve my problem.”
“You’re not trying” said Bill. “Think about it. He had a mirror and a wooden table. So what could he do?”
“I don’t know what to do!” exclaimed Groucho. “That’s why I need your help.”
“I’ll give you a clue” said Bill. “First, he looked in the mirror. Then what did he do?”
“I don’t know what to do” cried Groucho, almost screaming in exasperation.
“He took in what he saw” said Bill “With the saw he cut the table in half. With the two halves he made a whole. And, then, he got out through the hole … By the way, I think I can smell smoke.”
“Finally!” sighed Groucho. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. There’s smoke coming from the kitchen.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” asked Bill. “Come on. Let’s get down there and see what’s happening.”
They rushed to the kitchen to see Chico emerging from a smoky doorway.
“What happened?” asked Bill.
“Nothing too serious” said Chico. “I was making some toasted chocolate sandwiches and the toast burned. It made a mess and a lot of smoke. I could have used some help cleaning up. Why didn’t you come when I called?”
“I guess I just wasn’t listening” said Bill. “Next time I’ll take more notice of you Emots!”