How Old Am I
or How to Discover Someone's Age Discretely

"How old am I? Don't you know it is very rude to ask such a question?"

If you are dying to know how old someone is without asking the question openly, try the technique presented in this article. Keep in mind it was written in 1904!

Every man seems to be born with a desire to know the age of the ladies with whom he comes in contact, and women also appear to have an innate curiosity concerning the number of summers which have passed over the heads of their female friends. But there is nothing more difficult to discover than the exact age of a lady who wishes to keep the fact a secret.

Now, here is a little scheme by which you can find out the age of any person.

How old am I

Having engaged that person in pleasant conversation, you proceed something after the following manner--speaking very innocently, of course:--

"There is a very simple problem in arithmetic which very few people are able to see through, yet it is as easy as possible. I wonder if you can do it?"

This sets the person on his dignity, and he or she wants to do it at once.

Then you go on:

"Think of a number corresponding to the numerical order of the month in which you were born. Oh, no, you need not tell me."

(To make the explanation clear, we will assume that the figure is two--standing for February--and that the age is 30.)

"Now, multiply that figure by 2," you continue, "and add 5. Done that? Well, multiply that by 50 and add your own age.-- From the total subtract 365, and to the total add 115. Now, what figure have you got?"

"230," replies the person addressed, "Isn't that correct?"

"Exactly," you exclaim, "You are one of the very few persons who have managed it."

And you turn away to hide your smile of satisfaction at having discovered that your victim was born in February and that he is thirty years of age. You have arrived at this result by separating the figures 230 into 2 (February) and 30. And you can do this with everybody's age. Try it on your sweetheart.

Excerpt from "Cupology. How To Be Entertaining", by Clara, 1904


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