This excellent antique American Memory Aid has been lifted from McSweeneys.net, the main thrust of it was in the original there, but I have added an addition narrative that was, I believe, just lurking under the surface waiting to be drawn out. (insults, hints of mental disturbance).
If you have come here looking for genuine become a genius techniques, read on none the less, it will help you distinguish charlatans from the real, actual, mind scientists who will really actually make you a genius, using their mind control techniques.
LET US BEGIN.
FIRST, YOU MUST MEMORISE FIFTEEN THINGS. If you cannot, then you are a DOLT and I can do nothing for you….
1. Alarm clock.
Now visualize an alarm clock. This alarm clock is very large. Both hands point to the figure 1. I tell you this not only because I want the picture to be clear, but because you are to associate it with the number one. Alarm clock is our first key word. To strengthen the association, remember, for example, that the alarm clock is the first thing you see in the morning, and it cost you one dollar. It rings once before you reach out and turn it off. If it rings longer the nurses will come to see if you have wandered off during the night. ONE is ALARM CLOCK.
Go through the same process in visualizing trousers as you did with alarm clock, this time, of course, associating trousers with the figure 2. These two-legged trousers cost you two dollars. Two pair of trousers came with your suit. TWO is TROUSERS.
Take all the time you need to form these mental images. They are the basis of a memory system you will use for the rest of your life and are as vital to it as the alphabet is to your reading. If the picture vanishes or is blurred and indistinct, wait until it appears as vivid as a real picture in an advertisement.
See the chair in your mind, and at the same time tie it up with the figure 3. Think of the chair as having three parts-the back, the seat, and the legs. It’s a four- legged, no, shit, three-legged chair. There is a big price tag, reading $3, tied to this chair. Close your eyes now and see the chair with its three parts. THREE is CHAIR.
Visualize a four-legged, four-sided table. It is set for four people. Four dollars is what you paid for this table for four. FOUR is TABLE.
This newspaper is a Five-Star Final. It costs five pence, and you read it for five minutes, but it was rubbish. It is a 5 o’clock edition which you bought after wandering off at 5 o’clock. FIVE is NEWSPAPER.
This is easy to remember. The automobile is a six-cylinder car, and the license plate has six figures, all sixes-666,666. It used to belong to a satanist. It seats six persons and six payments are still due on it. SIX is AUTOMOBILE.
He is seven feet tall and seven feet around, this big policeman. His badge number is seven. With his arm outstretched for you to stop, he looks like a figure 7. Run away from Seven. SEVEN is POLICEMAN.
8. Revolving door.
Think of a pair of revolving doors. When they swing around, what kind of figure do they make? That’s right-a figure 8, laid on its side. These revolving doors are in front of a restaurant in which you ate, before you were caught and they took you back. As you pushed the revolving door you heard the clock striking eight. EIGHT is REVOLVING DOOR.
When you see a government mailbox in profile it looks fuck all like a figure 9. The number on this mailbox is 999. The next collection is at nine o’clock. Nine is no place to hide in, it’s way to small. NINE is a MAILBOX.
10. General-delivery window.
This general-delivery window has ten bars. Every time you go to the general-delivery window ten fingers reach out to collect your ten-dollar bill. The shelf under the general-delivery window is made of tin and needs attention. They feed you though the General-Delivery window. You have been there for ten years. When will they let you go home? TEN is GENERAL-DELIVERY WINDOW.
This is easy to visualize, for the two sidewalks on the sides of a street form two parallel lines, just like the figure 11. ELEVEN is SIDEWALK. Stop people walking on it. They will get it dirty.
See a light in the elevator, flashing the number 12 and a sign reading CAPACITY 12 PERSONS. At twelve o’clock the elevator is always crowded with at least twelve passengers. Oh no. It’s just like before… THEY MUST MAKE ROOM. TWELVE is ELEVATOR.
Thirteen is considered an unlucky number, so many skyscrapers have no thirteenth floor. When you get off at the thirteenth floor, you step out and promptly fall on the unlucky thirteenth floor. THIRTEEN is FLOOR.
What a man this doctor is! At the age of fourteen he has fourteen degrees, fourteen letters after his name. He charges you fourteen dollars a visit. He wants to give you tablets. Are you going to eat tablets given to you by a fourteen year old? FOURTEEN is DOCTOR.
See an enormous bed, fifteen by fifteen feet. It’s an antique bed, with the date 1500 embroidered in gold on the canopy. Louis XV once owned it. It cost fifteen hundred dollars. Ah what a bed. FIFTEEN is BED. Good old dependable bed. It’s been a long day.