I hate it when someone says, “That’s the oldest trick in the book.” I guess I hate it, because I don’t have a copy of the book. I googled “oldest trick in the book” and there’s a lot of information on the subject. I don’t want to repeat the information I found, so I’ll offer some “alternative facts.” Some data does exist on some old jokes, and some is pure conjecture.
There’re “tricks” and then there’re “tricks”. Regular tricks trick people. When a prostitute has sex with a “John” that’s called a “trick”. It’s safe to assume that Eve “tricked” Adam into eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Therefore, Eve invented the oldest trick in the book. I’m guessing most of the oldest tricks came from Adam and Eve. I’m sure at some point, Adam said to Eve, “look, a Tyrannosaurus Rex.” When she looked, Adam laughed and said, “Made you look.” That caused Eve to tie Adam’s big toes together while he slept. I’m sure that once Adam made a wolf a family pet, he started to blame the wolf for his farts.
When Cain and Abel came along, Adam started the old “pull my finger’ trick. He also invented the “there's something on your shirt” trick. When Cain or Abel looked down, he would flick them on the nose. Adam would just roar with laughter, but Cain and Abel hated it. Not to be out done, Cain invented the old "tapping on Abel’s left shoulder when he was on his right." Abel didn’t care for this trick either, and they got into a fight where Cain killed Abel.
You may recall that Jacob invented the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” trick to get his father’s blessing instead of his brother Esau. Delilah may have used Eve’s old trick to trick Samson. Apparently, she gave him a roofie and then cut his hair. She wasn’t a good barber, so Samson got pissed and tore the palace apart.
We all recall the story about the “Trojan horse” trick the Greeks pulled on the citizens of Troy. That trick inspired a condom company to adopt the name “Trojan” for their name and logo. I guess if you let them inside, you’re screwed. Of course, this can’t be the oldest trick in the book.
The old “gluing coins to the sidewalk or counter” trick didn’t come along until coins were invented, so that’s not the oldest trick either. It didn’t take long for a smartass merchant in ancient India to glue newly minted coins to his countertop in his shop. That same merchant may have started the “the check’s in the mail” trick. Of course, the old “ring the doorbell and run” trick did come along until electricity and doorbells were invented.
Card tricks aren’t that old. They had to wait for cards to be invented somewhere in China around the ninth century.
Perhaps you know of some trick that might be the oldest trick in the book.