Amaze Your Friends

farmer (showing off his farm to a friend): "How many sheep would you say were in that flock? See if you can get close with a rough guess."

friend (after short pause): "I'd say there were about 497 sheep there."

"Why, yon hit it right on the head, that's exactly right! How in the world did you know?"

"It was simple, really, I just counted all the legs, and then divided by four!"

the memory stunt contained in this chapter may not be as astounding as dividing the legs of sheep by four, but it's certainly easier to do. You'll probably be glad to know that there are no mathematics involved at all—just a trained memory.

A friend of mine in the textile business here in New York has told me that he has gained quite a reputation for himself by remembering numbers. He goes to lunch with a few business acquaintances each day, and he invariably asks them to give him any four or five digit number to memorize. He usually has anywhere from three to six people with him, and he memorizes the numbers they give him. They interrupt him during the luncheon to see if he can still recall the numbers, and, of course, he does.

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