uhhhhhooooohhhh my goodness! I can speak!
What did the doctor write on the paper?
What the doctor wrote down is the answer to the riddle. And the answer to the riddle is...the answer to the riddle!
A Meta-Riddle is a self-referential riddle where the telling and guessing of the riddle and the riddle itself become intertwined. The riddle would include at least two subjects, one with a specific condition and the other tasked with solving the condition. Depending on the condition of the riddle's subject, the period of guessing and queries would proceed similarly to the riddle's storyline. When the riddle is solved the riddle teller's "condition" resolves identically to the riddle's subject.
In this specific meta-riddle when lakerstan correctly guessed the answer the guess was affirmed in the same way the man reacted to the doctor's note ("uhhhhhooooohhhh my goodness! I can speak!"). The man in the riddle is likely dealing with something called Selective mutism. A potential treatment for this affliction can be something called a "mystery motivator". In the riddle's case the mystery motivator was the written answer to the riddle. In the case of the riddle teller, the mystery motivator is also the written answer to the riddle. The resolution to the riddle and the resolution to the action of telling and guessing the riddle are identical. Upon conclusion, the riddle has become a foretelling of the real life events to follow.
If I had it do all over again I would not have given the riddle's subject the affliction of Selective mutism as it was just too difficult to see my online silence as being analogous to the man in the riddle's silence. Something that would have been a little more obvious in a written setting would have been better. I heard the riddle a few weeks back and saw it play out live in a matter of minutes and after the riddle was solved thought it would be an interesting experiment to try online. There would be no way to get the same amount of guesses/dialogue online in a short period of time hence my giving the thread some time to play out. If you had seen me tell you the riddle in person and then go silent as you guessed the answer, my silence would have played much differently and it would have been more obvious it was part of the overall picture. Instead, it came off as me ignoring guesses and the thread as a whole. Overall It was a swing and a miss but I hope you can see at least I whiffed while taking a huge cut. Thanks to all the doctors for the guesses and congrats to doctor lakerstan for correct diagnosis. "I'll never be able to thank you enough, doctor."