On Friday night I sent out a text message poll to most of the people in my phone. The question was one I have been wondering about lately:
What is the oldest trick in the book?
D.N. - Men dressed as women
D.W. - The Shell Game
B.F. - "Look over there!" [pointing]
D.H. - "Your shoe is untied."
S.C. - "You have something on your shirt." [Bonk!]
D.G. - "My hands are full, could you reach into my pocket?"
J.S. - The Houdini
M.H. - Hugh Hefner
J.S. - Texting strangers random questions
B.T. - Prostitution
E.N. - Trojan Whores
S.P. - Prostitution. It's in the fucking bible!
C.?. - Mary Magdelene
J.A. - Reviving the nut sac (which we'll file under Prostitution)
J.C. - Toss up between Stove Top Stuffing and instant mashed potatoes
N.H. - Mr. Potato-god
S.?. - Switching the poisoned cup
M.M. - Ointments that don't really work
S.K. - Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
I was quite surprised to see potatoes come way out of left field for a close second place. But as you can see, the slang usage of the word 'trick' for an act of prostitution has topped the chart on this one. I think that many people may have felt it was a trick question. Maybe it was.
If you intend to pose this same question to anyone, I recommend being as clear as possible. Depending on your meaning, ask either of these instead:
"What is the oldest known prank in history?"
"Who is the first prostitute in the Bible?"
According to this Uncyclopedia entry, the oldest prank known in history is "Tapping on a person's left shoulder when you're standing on their right."