Saturday, 14 April 2012

M - Magic


Ahh, I remember the days when I were a wee lad.  Back then, you couldn't get GPS on your phone, so you had buy a device that clipped onto a pigeon to tell you where you were.  This was before the invention of money, so we exchanged turnips for food at the supermarket, buying carrots, beetroot, and other turnips.  Also, I had an interest in magic.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  You’re imagining me as a child, wearing a shimmering purple waistcoat to school and pulling rabbits out of the teacher’s flies (a trick that most kids at my school were forced to do at some point).  I certainly wasn’t as bad as that, but I did perform a couple of magic tricks at school in front of my class.

As a budding, eager, amateur magician, I managed to perfect a massive array of three tricks.  Three whole magic tricks to mystify and astound your friends and family, or so it said on the box for the Paul Daniel’s Magic Set I owned (showbiz’s most detestable dwarf before it emerged that the Crankies were swingers).  After years of silence, I will reveal the secrets behind my illusions, a bit like that masked magician, except that everyone knows who I am.

This is the man I wanted to be like.

The first trick I knew was a simple card trick.  You’d fan the deck and ask them to “pick a card”.  I know, I know, it’s complex and unusual set up for a trick, but bear with me.  Tell them to look at and memorise the card, and whilst they do that, you split the deck and take a peak at the card at the bottom of the first half (say the Ace of Spades).  Then, you invite them to put their card back on top of the second half “in the middle”, then put your half back on top.  This means that you now know the card directly before their card.  Next, you start turning the cards over, face up on the table, and you look for the card after the Ace of Spades.

Unfortunately, I was never blessed with the sleight of hand required.  I was a pretty clumsy kid, and I was often caught looking at the card at the bottom of the first half.  Basically, I messed up the easiest card trick in the universe on a regular basis.

The second trick I knew was more of an optical illusion.  In fact, 99.9% of people already know how to do this trick, especially the average bored office worker.  The magic set came with a plastic wand, about the size and weight of a biro.  Hold it loosely at one end between your thumb and index finger, then move your hand up and down to wobble the wand (you can do this with a pen), and it looks like the item is bending.  If you did this in medieval times, they’d burn you.  Not for witch craft, but for owning a Paul Daniel’s magic set.

ARGH!

 As mentioned, a lot of people already know this trick.  I like to think that I am solely responsible for the trick’s spread and distribution, mainly because it’s the only trick I could do with any sort of success, and I promptly told all of my friends how to do it.  The magic circle has since made several attempts on my life.  They've released a whole flock of rabbits infected with myxomatosis into my house at night, and have made a tiger reappear in my wardrobe.

The last trick I knew, I didn’t actually understand it.  Basically, you’d get someone to hold out their thumbs, then you’d hook a loop of rope over them, with a gold ring threaded onto the middle.  Without taking the rope off of the person’s thumbs, you’d hook the rope around them in such a way that the ring would just fall off with a little manipulation.  Although I didn’t understand the methodology, my seven year old brain could just about follow the instructions to occasionally pull this one off.  The problem is, sometimes the ring would get knotted in the rope and become stuck, as happened when presenting this trick in front of the school one time.  Neverless, I finished off with my wobbling wand technique and won over the crowd again.

Thus ended my flowering career as a magician.  After this, I decided that I would only use my magic powers when absolutely necessary, as they cannot be controlled properly and I don’t have the time to train them further.  I’m too busy tending to my shrubberies to develop my paranormal potential further.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, some men have appeared at the door and are demanding that I climb into a box on wheels.  I’ll just go and see what they want....

26 comments:

  1. I think that a certain bazillionaire authoress owes you some royalties. You sir, are clearly the inspiration for Harry Potter.

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    1. It's about time someone noticed!

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  2. My brother had a magic set that came with a small jar for keeping the dice in.
    His most famous trick? Capturing his farts in the tiny tube and asking us to, "smell this." Bastard!

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    1. The old ethereal gas technique, it's still a classic. I prefer to shout swear words into jars, then bury them for future generations to find.

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  3. I've never tried magic anything. It's safer that way. I figured that out after watching cartoons.

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    1. That's very wise. You never know when you might summon a tiny demon or two.

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  4. I remember Paul Daniels. I think my sister, or maybe a cousin, had that magic set.

    Lisa

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    1. Did they follow their magical ambitions? When you get to the top of that career ladder, you get your own tower with a legion of the undead to command as you please.

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    2. No. Unfortunately, there are no longer any magicians in the family :(

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  5. This made me laugh! I think I used to have this magic set too, or a similar one with three coloured plastic cups. I was always crap at it too.

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    1. Yes, I think it did have three plastic cups as well. Can't remember what trick you were supposed to do with them, but I think I managed to stick them to my face with suction. That's magic, right?

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  6. I love magic tricks.. great post.

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    1. Same here. It's a shame I can't do any.

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  7. I think I remember having a similar magic set...with probably worse results, I was the 0.1% that couldn't get the optical illusion...

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    1. Then I suggest you start practising with pens. Amaze your friends and neighbours!

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  8. That is funny. I love magic tricks, but never could seem to pull them off myself. LOL Visiting from the A-Z challenge.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think you need a sleight of hand that only career criminals can muster. Magicians are only one step away from shoplifters.

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  9. Ha ha. You sure that you can't be persuaded to pick up magic again?

    -Barb the French Bean

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  10. (Also: I love the new layout! Very nice!)

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    1. Thanks. And no, I've hung up the wand for good. Such a power should only be used for good, and that's not a promise I can keep.

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  11. If you ever find out how to do Teller's 'Shadows' trick, tell me. They'll sue the hell out of you, but tell me anyway.

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    1. Sorry, I don't know. But I can tell you how to take off your thumb and reattach it.

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  12. Very dangerous this 'coming out' about Paul Daniels. You may get burned for even mentioning him, let alone the horror of actually owning his magic set! I once did a stupid magic trick of tying two people together (while inebriated) and then forgot how to get them undone. They were not amused and I never lived it down. Did they like it? Not a lot!

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    1. I was once tied to someone else as part of a magic trick too. Then a lady came in wearing tight leather and started whipping us. I'm not sure if she was the magician's assistant or what, but the trick didn't really go anywhere, then she demanded money from us for an hour's work. Rubbish.

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