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Topic: Weight guessing?
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Jan 28, 2016 09:18PM)
I had always heard that carny weight guessers operated by first pretending to write down your weight and then surreptitiously writing your weight for real after you stepped off the scale.

Recently I read a book that said they didn't even bother trying to get your weight right. Maybe they did but if not, so what? - because the "prize" you got for your $2 initial payment was only worth $1. (Figures approximate.)

This seems to go against the basic principle that you don't ever let the sucker win, so I was surprised.

Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Glenn Watson (Jan 28, 2016 09:58PM)
The more that win the more that play.This eliminates having to seem winnable it is mostly winnable,You might throw in a correct "guess every so often ,so no one catches on.
it barley even a scam. Someone wants a prize ,They pay your markup,they get a prize,No different than Walmart.You only occasionally "guess" correctly so a few lose.You could have an even cheaper consolation prize.
Message: Posted by: Noel M (Jan 30, 2016 01:39PM)
When I was a teenager I went to the feast of San Gennaro in NYC where a barker offered to guess my last name for fifty cents. (This was a long time ago.) He asked me if I was Italian and the first letter. My last name is Marcovecchio so I was curious to see if he could write all twelve letters with his thumb. He wrote a name on paper but his thumb never moved. He wrote, Millio. I won; he lost, Then I figured out the value of the 2 inch plaster of Paris poodle he handed to my girlfriend.
Message: Posted by: IMAGINACIAN (Feb 23, 2016 01:53PM)
I think a classic psychology principle at play.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Feb 16, 2020 09:11PM)
Ask Harley Newman and Todd Robbins.
The three of us stayed up all night at a Weerd! Weekend, working out the variants.
We worked out weight fairly soon.
Then we set out sights on birthdays.

No special tools or gimmicks.
And the pencil goes behind the ear.
I’m not at liberty to share all the details, but let’s just say the little pad has much to do with getting it right.

And remember, the hustle isn’t to guess your weight;
it’s to guess your weight within two pounds!
That’s two pounds either way, or four pounds.
With practice, noticing four pounds on a woman may be easy to detect without any ruse at all!

I believe the erroneous misinformation stated from the book is probably from the Steve Martin movie, The Jerk.
He gigs as a weight guesser and loses repeatedly.
He’s distraught until his employer had explains the profit margin.
He calls all the prizes “crap”.
The next line is Martin yelling, “Step right up and win some crap!”

A call to service Professor Flora and I rallied to often.
I can still hear him saying it as we stepped onto the fairgrounds.

Peace
Docc
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Feb 16, 2020 09:15PM)
PS. It’s a little known fact that the weight guesser had his pick of the prettiest girls on the lot.
He ALWAYS lost with them.
Guessing too low.
They got a BIG prize.
And he could use that little pad and pencil to jot down more than weight guess numbers!
Peace
😉
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Feb 27, 2020 03:09PM)
The old timers used a small slate.they pretended to write the weight on the slate without showing it and put it behind their back until the mark got on the scale.they had jammed chalk dust under the thumbnail of the hand holding the slate.once the weight came up they wrote the number on the slate,kind of a poor man's boon writer,then brought the slate back out...
Message: Posted by: Nestor D (Aug 11, 2020 11:42AM)
There is a no gimmick method in John Fisher's Body Magic. I have not tried it but I do believe that it is workable (especially with a pad to help you...).
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Oct 10, 2020 12:40PM)
There are ways to jot down weights in a shaky script that can be interpreted several ways. Basically, the guesser can write something down, take the weight, and then show what he wrote on the pad to the mark, claiming it was whatever he wanted to claim.
Message: Posted by: JJF (Nov 20, 2020 05:49PM)
So is weight guessign a magic trick or just a talent?
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 21, 2020 01:12PM)
[quote]On Nov 20, 2020, JJF wrote:
So is weight guessign a magic trick or just a talent? [/quote]

Neither. It is a minor scam.
Message: Posted by: markmagic (Nov 26, 2020 12:33AM)
I once did it at a school carnival. After about 30 minutes of misses and near misses within 5 lbs. which is really 10 lbs. I got to be pretty good at it. I see them on the midway occasionally, they’re called ‘’age and scale guys.’’ Usually you pay a couple of bucks and win a 50 cent prize. Most of the operators are pretty good on the mic. A little comedy goes a long way to draw a good crowd.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Dec 11, 2020 05:40PM)
Guess you age, guess your weight, guess what time you went to bed, guess what time you got up and went home.
Real ex-carnie.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Dec 11, 2020 05:55PM)
[quote]On Oct 10, 2020, Pop Haydn wrote:
There are ways to jot down weights in a shaky script that can be interpreted several ways. Basically, the guesser can write something down, take the weight, and then show what he wrote on the pad to the mark, claiming it was whatever he wanted to claim. [/quote]
It's not a ride or a game. It pays the same privilege as a direct sale, same as a sticker. Of course a smart guy can flat anything.
Message: Posted by: markmagic (Dec 14, 2020 08:15AM)
I don’t see many age and scale guys out there anymore. Another thing that time has passed by is bozo, the dunking clown. There were too many complaints in this politically correct world.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Dec 20, 2020 01:47PM)
[quote]On Dec 14, 2020, markmagic wrote:
I don’t see many age and scale guys out there anymore. Another thing that time has passed by is bozo, the dunking clown. There were too many complaints in this politically correct world. [/quote]
Once in Lexington we had three brilliant teenagers hanging around the cook top till closing. They were waiting for "that clown" to come out. Some tent rental companies have dunk tanks, a good picnic joint if you have a local politician in the seat. You will never see the "give the whatever a bath" again, I've never seen a "role Mable out of bed", but I'll bet there's still one out somewhere.
Message: Posted by: markmagic (Dec 29, 2020 11:01PM)
Last bozo I saw was on a catholic picnic festival and they ‘“approved” then after he started his spiel, they quickly shut him down.
Message: Posted by: bubbles (Dec 30, 2020 02:44PM)
I still see weight guessers and bozos at tons of fairs. Maybe not as many as there once were, but they are far from being lost to history, thankfully!
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Mar 9, 2021 07:30PM)
Age & weight is a DIRECT SALE. The mark is suppose to win, if he doesn't, you're doing it wrong.
Message: Posted by: NicholasD25 (Mar 9, 2021 08:42PM)
I remember being at a fair with my parents some 65 years ago. The weight guesser wanted touch my mother in order to guess her weight, and I recall that she wouldn’t let him.
I’ve got to think that in today’s world, that tactic wouldn’t go over very well.