- Kel Gratke is a Generation Xer
- Boomers May Not Retire, but They Can Still Quit
- Global aspects of generations: China, India, Europe and Latin America
Kel Gratke, a generation Xer, Kel had a history in radio broadcast and production and as our resident pop culture vulture and media hound, he is always scouring the news headlines for great topics to skew generationally.
“A father and son are in a car accident and unfortunately the father dies. The boy is rushed to the hospital where the surgeon says, “I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.”
How is this possible?
For decades Traditionalists, Boomers, and Xers hummed and hawed as they thought up every possible scenario ranging from the boy being adopted to the boy is actually dead too and they’re in heaven.
Rarely did these generations come up with the right answer—that the surgeon was the boy’s mother.
What’s made this riddle newsworthy of late is that at last a generation has come along that not only has the answer, but doesn’t even get why it’s a riddle.
While those of us 30 and older laugh now—and are somewhat embarrassed if we can’t come up with the correct response—it’s typical of the generation we grew up in.
The media in our day portrayed parents’ roles very differently. When you’ve grown up in an era of Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver, it shouldn’t be that surprising that images of June Cleaver as a head surgeon aren’t front and center.
Could it be that with Millennials, we’ll be able to officially retire this “joke”?
We are definitely getting close. Unlike the previous generations, media today shows Millennials not only that mothers may know best—but they’re even bringing home the bacon.
Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER both make the riddle more of a no-brainer. Even the recent hit Mad Men, a show acclaimed for its historical accuracy, portrays the 1960s as a not-very-diverse time where men work and most women are stuck at home. Show this to a fifth grader today, and they wonder what planet the show is depicting!
In fact, their answers not only prove that perhaps the riddle can be retired, but even more so, that there isn’t one correct answer.
A father and son are in a car accident and the father unfortunately the father dies. The boy is rushed to the hospital where the surgeon says,
“I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.”
How is this possible?
As one of the students responded, “The boy has two dads.”