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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Age Teller (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Corona Smith
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Airstrip One
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Kondini mentioned this sideshow entertainment in one of his posts on the Higley Zibit thread. Having never seen this kind of sideshow presented, I am curious as to how this would look and work (not fishing for tricks of the trade, but rather presentation).

What would I see and experience if I came across one? How would they advertise their power/skill/insight?

Anybody doing it on a regular basis?

I assume the crowd pay a small fee to challenge the teller to 'guess' their age, with a chance of winning cash or a prize should he/she be wrong.

Cheers, Corona.
drwilson
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I remember these from my youth. They would stand right out on the midway, not inside a tent, with a big scale and a large sign. Guess your weight within xx pounds/guess your age within xx years. Sometimes, guess your birthday within two months.

Let's look at the last one, a great proposition. Someone with a gift for talking pitches the "guess your birthday" act. You say, what the heck, there's a rack of prizes there, let's play. You pay two bucks. Your birthday is in, say March. January, February, March, April, May are all within two months of your birthday. Five chances out of twelve the guesser wins and keeps your two bucks. If he misses, what do you get? A piece of canrival slum worth 25 cents, tops. But the art is for the guesser to keep it funny, to draw a crowd, to make sure everyone has a good time. It's only on the drive home that it occurs to you that you paid two dollars for a plastic spider. Most of the time, it never hits you, because you had fun and you have a story.

For guess your weight or age, same thing. It's great for the guesser to underestimate a lady's age or weight. Maybe she gets a little prize, but the guesser gets to say, well lady, you really take good care of yourself, I thought that you were much younger. So she comes back with her friends, maybe he tries to guess all their birthdays.

This has got to be written up on Sideshow World somewhere, I just can't figure where.

Yours,

Paul
Corona Smith
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Airstrip One
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Lovely and enlightening description Paul, many thanks!

Corona.


Posted: Oct 15, 2006 9:21pm
-----------------------------------------
I actually thought a Swami might be involved, but after reading your post I realise that level of accuracy would be superfluous to an entertaining presentation of this art.

Corona.
Steve V
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They don't do this any longer? I remember it as being at all the fairs and carnivals. Interesting info on this on Whit Haydns forum.
Steve V
Todd Robbins
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I am currently working Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure. There is an Age & Weight joint right across from the stage. These joints are not rare. Just about every midway I've been on has at least one.
Harley Newman
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They're a feature everyplace. And yes, you can use a swami gimmick. I've seen it used as a kind of, let's just say "protection". And it's just a beautiful thing to watch, expecially if the operater knows what (s)he's doing.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Kondini
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Still a couple at the Goose Fair,,,,all you require is a sign brightly decorated, a box to stand on, a blunt pencil, small note pad, a swami, flamboyant outfit and the gift of the gabb.

Never get their age on the dot!
Never get their wieght on the dot!

Always take the £1 fee first.

Crowds biuld themselves at this scam.

Ken. Its fun to work.
drwilson
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While we are at it, there is the old hustle of the guy who says that he bets you five bucks he can write your exact weight on a slip of paper. He writes something and folds the slip. You put five bucks on the table and tell him your weight or get weighed on a scale. When you unfold the paper, it says, "your exact weight."

This doesn't work on the midway, though.

Yours,

Paul
Harley Newman
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And the one where you say "I bet you $20, I can tell you the exact time, the exact place, where you got your shoes."

"On your feet."
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
rossmacrae
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Drwilson's got it - you're ratcheting up the value (by adding intrigue and entertainment) to the classic carnival sales model (one of many, of course) called a "hanky pank." That's a joint that (with no effort other than a sign saying 'pitch till you win' or 'a prize every time') can give away a 25c prize (often even much cheaper) for every $1 play. Sometimes jointees even refer to their job as "selling bears."
handa
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The guess your age and weight (and sometimes birth month) booth is still operating in just about every amusement park I've been to within the past few years except for the Disney parks in Florida. (At least I don't remember seeing it there.)

The setup for the theme parks has been legit, but no prize for the first play is ever a big one. It is usually an inflatable that has a per unit cost of less than 50 cents for a $2.00 play. You have to do both (or all three w/ birth month) and have the operator miss all for the big prizes. The odds of being off on more than one are in favor of the operator and you pay for each guess.

Chris
Scott Cram
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You can also find one at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!
Corona Smith
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Airstrip One
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Thanks for the replies everyone,

So the A&S man is still alive and well, and playing Las Vegas!

Would love to see a photo, video or audio of one of these operating...

All the best, Corona.
Steve V
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I believe it was an age and weight joint in New Jersey that Bruce Willis worked.
Steve V
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