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This is a great stunt for parties, so you have some time to practice this before your next opportunity.

The Stunt

You ask people to suggest 10 random items and you can recall them forwards, backwards, or in any sequence asked for even hours afterward.

The Method

A memory trick called a Peg System.

You have 10 mental "pegs" or "anchors" that never change, and you hang the suggested items onto the peg where you can easily reach for them in your mind.

The Pegs

  1. Gun
  2. Shoe
  3. Tree
  4. Door
  5. Hive
  6. Tricks
  7. Heaven
  8. Gate
  9. Wine
  10. Hen

You'll notice that one rhymes with gun. Two rhymes with shoe. Three rhymes with tree, and so on. This helps cement the objects into your memory using several pathways into your mind.

Note: If a different rhyming object comes to mind for you (nine / twine, for example), use that one. But once you decide, never change your mind. I've been using the list I laid out for 20+ years (literally).

In Action

Now that you have your 10 pegs memorized, here's how to use them.

When someone suggests the first object, like a post-it note, then you think "One -> Gun -> Post-it note" and you imagine some kind of ridiculous scene that involves a gun and a post-it note.

The more violent, graphic, ridiculous, etc. the better. Play with physical size. Make it as big as a city, or as small as an ant. Make millions of them. Just make it as crazy as you can.

If the image makes you laugh, even better.

Once you have a sharp idea in your head of the gun/post-it note association, forget it. Move on. Don't spend any more time on it than you need to.

You can quickly associate all 10 random items to your list, and now when someone asks you what's the first item you know it immediately.

You can go sequentially one through ten, or in reverse order, or whatever order someone calls off.

Easy!

Final Details

Have someone write the list down. Nobody else at the party will be able to remember the list, so they need the written proof for them to double check that you're correct.

I've been super drunk and this system still worked for me. In fact, that was one of my favorite party stunts; see how tanked I could get and still do it. Evidently it works even when you're too drunk to remember having done it the next day.

(Those days are behind me, but it's good to know this system is fool-proof from direct experience being a fool.)

Conclusion

Give it a try, and you'll be surprised at how easy this is. Having a good/better memory really isn't that difficult when you use the right strategies.

I'd love to hear your stories, so leave a comment about trying it!

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