Would you pick it up?  

AmberSolaire 42M
2630 posts
7/17/2005 8:56 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Would you pick it up?

Take a look at the picture on the left.In it there is a wallet lying in the middle of a busy street.It is quite clearly stuffed full of money.There is noone around who it obviously belongs too.It is open with a yellow line drawn round it.Would you pick it up?

I am very interested in the working of the mind, and how people can be influenced. Most people can be wrongfooted if you behave in a way that's unexpected.

This is an extract from a man called Derren Brown who does just that

"Once I was walking along a street when a man said threateningly: 'What are you looking at?' I answered a completely different question, saying: 'The wall outside my house is not 4ft high.' He looked dumbfounded and repeated his question. I again gave a completely irrelevant answer, saying: 'I used to live in Spain.' He was so perplexed by my failure to respond in the way he'd anticipated that he gave up and ran off.

Let's see how confounding people's expectations can be used to manipulate them

When I leave a cash-filled wallet on the pavement in a busy street all day, I am playing with people's perceptions. By drawing a line around it, I disconcert them even more by making it look 'official'.

No one touches the wallet because they think it's too weird or perhaps some sort of trap. People know that lines are drawn round the shape of the body if someone has died in suspicious circumstances, so that makes them feel the wallet has been put there by the authorities. The line makes it clear that it's not lying there by accident.

I don't think the trick would work without the line around the wallet. It makes the object look surreal, as though it has been put there for some unknown purpose. People walking past suspect that both they and the wallet might be being observed, so they don't touch it. The context and appearance of the wallet are too odd for people to be able to process the information that they have about it.

The aim of this trick of the mind is to make people feel so weird about picking up the wallet that they would rather play safe and not touch it. And it works!

The trick of answering with completely different questions is particualy good for gaining the upper hand over people,Try it on your friends.

wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
7/17/2005 11:56 pm

yep that's the way it goes...

also a good one is if you know you are being followed, then as they are catching up to you and about to make a move, you turn around and address them ask them how their day is yada yada, by the time they have their head straight between what happened and what they planned to happen, they are no longer in a position to attack....

boney and I have used this one a few times.

new years eve about 5 years ago we were going to the street party and for the first time ever weren't actually working security at it. (we scored the night off don't ask how they are very careful now that NO ONE gets that night off anymore)

anyway we had finished partying for the night and were returning to our car parked in the cavanagh street post office carpark. on our way walking the 2 blocks there we were followed by 3 young men one of which we knew were armed, the one which was armed followed behind Boney, the other 2 behind myself they were gesturing etc between themselves. just as we were coming up on our car we knew they were about to act so approximately 8 metres before the car we swaped sides, he took two I took the one, turned around and said "happy new years fella's how is your night going"

and that was it, they got five meters past our car and stopped turned back around and the look on their face said all, but by then we were in our car the doors locked engine running and about to leave...


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
7/17/2005 11:58 pm

Oh I should mention, the boys fit the description of the mob of boys who robbed and attacked more than half a dozen party goes that night and were wanted by police, (although we did give the police their location and description on our mobile as we drove off)


Wag66 50M/49F

7/18/2005 12:23 am

I see what you are saying,It remind's me of being a kid again.

I used to hide in the bushes, I put a purse on the side of the road with fishing line attached to it,a couple of buck's sticking out of it,when people would stop I would yank on the fishing line. Some people got pissed off and some didnt
*it was fun,I was a kid.*

CuteAZguy27 39M
1545 posts
7/18/2005 4:57 am

My friends know me to well, it never works. I have to do this on complete strangers, or better yet-customers at work !


papyrina 51F
21133 posts
7/18/2005 5:16 am

i always take the last peice if its my favourate,i do ask first

I would pick the wallet up and then notice the circle,have a look round for someone possible looking for it and then search for ID and hand it in

I'm a

i'm here to stay

GleesFlakyShawl 50M
1620 posts
7/18/2005 6:24 am

.... I would think its a sort of gag for a "Secret Camera show" or somthing like that.....

keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
7/18/2005 7:26 am

I think green is an awesome color. Do you like green?

pussinboots4u 50M/47F

7/18/2005 7:53 am

We had about 5 minutes of rain on Sunday.

rm_talldarkavg1 105M
10172 posts
7/18/2005 7:56 am

I don't think that is the reason at all. We've all seen the movie Used Cars . So we don't fall for it:

A. There has to be a fishing line on it
B. We hate to look silly chasing a moving wallet
C. Who wants to bend over amidst possible hooligans?
D. Could be boobie trapped
E. This is a well known terrorist tactic

[blog talldarkavg1]

rm_jayR63 59F
1884 posts
7/18/2005 8:34 am

Had you posed this question five years ago I wouldn't have hesitated to say I would pick it right up.

Now, I'd wonder if it was going to blow up real good.

MsLoveRose 33F  
2432 posts
7/18/2005 10:18 am

well on impulse i would pick it up...having lost my wallet once...and didnt get everything back....i would say i would want it to fall in the hands of someone who wouldnt take anything...especially if i saw them drop it!!!! I am sure the person would be just happy to recieve it back....and if it was roped off..then i would have to look around to see who is watching the thing....these days you never know what peopel do!!!

rose...i have done the same thing...a guy who was at the market...trying to steal this lady's purse...she left in her basket...and turned to get some fruit....i walked up and spoke to him like we were old friends....he did seem upset but he left right after!

live more, laugh often, love much

expatbrit49 62M

7/18/2005 1:08 pm


Thank You for Your Time and Attention

Lapkin4u 42F

7/18/2005 3:57 pm

I would pick it up regardless of the little yellow line, in an effort to find an ID and return it to it's rightful owner.

cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
7/18/2005 11:20 pm

What time is it? Where is my dog? What is my age? Where?

What is the answer again?

Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet

starlight_runner 39F

7/19/2005 5:11 pm

That will be 69 pence please.Oh dear I have no money, nevermind I can use some from that wallet over there.

Kisses Star

AmberSolaire 42M

7/28/2005 11:32 am

So that is why the pink elephant and the yellow elephant went to the bloggers convention alone.All answers not yet recieved will be invited to dinner next week.

Walks nonchalantely over to wallet.Wipes out yellow markings and walks down street singing in the rain.

PriceRiggsLeads 72M

7/30/2005 1:50 pm

Amber is right ..youre good...you must write professionally if not do it...but then again dont you could lose your edge.. and waht an edge....

by the bye....our Pac NW Media was full of airport wallet stings for about 3 years..and that is more than enough time to get an urban ledgend started...bowline...standing or running...

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