Roger von Oech

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Roger von Oech

Here are some possible answers.

#1. The results of a beauty pageant had just been announced. The crying woman is the winner, and the graciously smiling women are the runners-up.

#2. Hector is a newborn baby, and a doctor is slapping his rear to get him to fill his lungs with air.

Perhaps you can think of some other solutions.

Bad Banana

Hector is a baseball pitcher. The bases are full in the bottom of the ninth. The current batter is facing an 0-2 count after hitting four straight foul balls. Hector is one pitch away from winning the World Series. On the fifth pitch, the batter hits a grand slam.


The first thing that came to mind for #1 was the beauty pageant also.

For #2, I was thinking that Hector was either (a) an innocent man being tortured to extract a 'confession'; or (b) a participant in a fraternity hazing.


#1 The happy woman is an elderly lady who has just accepted a marriage proposal from a much younger man. The other women are her daughters who believe the young man only wants their mother's money.

#2 Hector is a willing participant in a gay s&m scene.

Maria Helm

One is getting married. The others are her friends/family, who disapprove of the groom.
One is over 30 and just found out she's finally pregnant. The others are her friends/family, who disapprove because she's single.
One caught the bouquet at a wedding. The other 4 did not.
One just won a contest/game show/reality show/audition. The other 4 did not.

Hector is a drum, or a bell, or some other percussion instrument.
Hector is in a gang hazing.

Tom Haskins

The five women are Hollywood starlets who all auditioned for the same part. The successful candidate is crying because the film's director has a reputation for sexually exploiting the female lead in his productions.

Hector is meeting with four detectives who are on the case of his missing wife. One keeps hitting Hector with further evidence that she has been abducted and murdered. Hector is in denial, hoping she has run off with the pool cleaner to his native Venezuela. Hector cries when he's hit with the realization that his wife is dead.


the lady has received a promotion and is sharing the news with her friends, who though they should all take joy in her friends achievement can only be upset that the opportunity is not theirs.

hector is being initiated into a military squad.
hector is an actor in a play about a man who has committed a crime

jason falcone

1) - Final episode of the Bachelor
- Five women who, on trial for running a prostitution ring, receive the verdicts. One is acquitted and the others are found guilty.

2) - Hector is on a Japanese game show.
- He's part of a flagellating religious group.


Hector is a gambling addict who's been on a roll for the last 2 hours at a particular blackjack table. The manager, floor manager and a member of security are all watching attentively now. Hecotr's entire winnings and life savings are riding on this last hand. The dealer hits him until he busts.

john alwyine-mosely

#1 a) They are at a fertility clinic and meet on the 1st of the month in all their best clothes to celebrate if one or more of them become pregnant. She has and they have not, so glad for her and sad for themselves.
b)Co-workers at the office gala celebration, and she has announced that not only had she the best sales figures but got the promotion, so will be their boss the others are smiling out of politeness but are disappointed that a more popular woman is now likely to leave the firm.
c) friends at a religious meeting with the cult leader, in which the happy woman has now achieved the seven level of enlightenment whereas they are still on the 5th.
d) They are emotional robots, acting out a quaint 20th century marriage custom of catching the brides flowers, these feelings are broadcast to the paying customers. Its the 23rd century's main form of pornography

2# a)Hector is in an psychology unit. He has brain damage and can't connect pain with emotion, this is an experimental treatment.
b) Hector is in uniform, he is a S&M addict, and is alone but in front of mirrors that give four reflections but they are set so he only faces one and so sees himself hitting his self until he cries, He gets a kick that out of the corner of his eyes through his tears, he can catch glimpses of three others beating him.
c)It is in the streets of Berlin in 1932,they are brown shirt fascists and he is a Jew that they are taunting and are beating him in the hope that he throws a punch so they can kick him to death.
d) Its a hidden camera film aimed to see if people passing by will stop the fight or walk on.
e) its the Swiss tickling scouts, they are not hitting him but applying a little known brown belt tickling move and Hector is crying with laughter.

Ahmad Alhashemi


# The woman crying has just been called the winner among four finalists in a beauty contest (brides contest, acting contest, .. etc).

# The women are asked to cry in an acting contest.

# The women are a sample of schizophrenics from the psychiatry ward demonstrating incongruent response to emotion.

# Hector has caught on fire and firemen are trying to put him off.

# Hector is in coma and doctors are assessing his response to pain.

# Hector is abducted by aliens and they are trying to get his tears for a potion they make.

ann michael

Roger what a great exercise. I find it interesting how many people interpret the ladies' situation as competitive - one person's gain being the others' loss.

How about they are at a funeral. The woman crying is burying her husband/child/best friend (pick one) after a long horrible illness. She misses him but has never been happier that his suffering is over. The other women (relatives, friends?) can't look past their grief to appreciate that the sufferer is finally at peace.

How about Hector is the youngest of five, his four brothers are all in the military. He and his 20- something siblings are on their way to a family event in the same car. It's over 100 degrees, the AC is broken, and Hector is sitting next to the window. He won't open it because he doesn't want to ruin his hair (an asset none of the other brothers can claim). The brother sitting next to him beats him until he cries - and opens the window!

Valeria Maltoni


I was surprised that everyone thought the women in a competitive situation, too.

#1 -- The woman crying is so happy that the other four have all been accepted for a trip around the world as part of a documentary on beauty and brains. She has work commitments and wouldn't have been able to make it. The others are slightly disappointed because they enjoy so much her company, they wish she could go, too.

#2 -- Hector is a cop who just won the lottery and is celebrating with his colleagues, one of whom is overly enthusiastic in demonstrating his support.

Roger von Oech

What wonderful "second right answers!" Lots of creativity and imagination displayed here.

Bad Banana: your baseball scenario makes a lot of sense.

Fitz: I like the marriage proposal idea for #1. Also, yours is the first gay S&M comment on my blog.

Maria: Yeah, why not? Hector could be a drum. I like it.

Tom: A starlet crying because of unwanted sexual attention? Okay.

Drew: Gambling? Bingo!

John A-M: Your imagination is in overdrive.

Ahmad: Yeah, Hector's got some real issues.

Ann: Funeral scenario: anyone who has gone through a two or three year period with a loved one with cancer can identify with your context.

Valeria: A "Global Beauty and Brains" documentary. What fun!


1) The crying women just caught the bouqet that the bride threw in a marriage ceremony. She is so happy as she has never caught one before. The other women are disspointed that they could not catch it.

2) Hector is the member of a tribe which has an annual festival to find the most durable person in the tribe. Hence a competition where the winner is the one who does not cry inspite of being hit again and again. The 4 uniformed men are priests in the tribe and one of them hits hector as a part of the competition

Nathan Rice

The "never been more disappointed" keeps my mind in the competitive/challenge realm. I keep visualizing the five women have been in the competition of a lifetime (like the Olympics) at the awards ceremony. One incredibly happy the others incredibly disappointed.

Hector was just born and the four uniformed men are doctors and nurses. The doctor is hit his back after the birth and he starts to cry.


The crying girl of course just won a beauty contest. She is happy, the other four are not. Well,at the end of the contest their four husbands find out who was the jury's President, a man called Hector, and one of them start hitting him until he cries.


Hector is a victim of police brutality. They consider him guilty of walking while black.


one is that the woman crying is happy because she hasn't cried for years and the others are miserable because they would like to cry to but still have a smile----------the next one would be that a couple of disturbed cops are having fun making arthur cry they get joy out of seeing people cry because they get a power trip and thier profiting of thier position as cops to do so.

Bard Judith

I instantly thought:

a) the women are in a 'reality show' such as Design Apprentice - the crying one has just won the job and is overcome with emotion.

b) Hector is in a fancy restaurant and has choked on his Scallops du Poivre, or whatever. The uniformed waiters are attempting to hide their resuscitation attempts from the other customers by clustering around him as the head waiter thumps him on the back...

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