Saturday, January 2, 2010


I gave my daughter a small magic kit for Christmas. It wasn't very expensive, but it was the kind of thing that would hold her attention for a few moments and give us some laughs. After opening the box, she searched out the trick that had the shortest instructions and quickly read through them. She did not want to try any other tricks because that would involve reading, and, after all, she was on vacation and NOT in school.

I gave her a few moments to practice the illusion and to work out her presentation. The trick involved someone from the audience (i.e. me) giving her a coin ("No Daddy, not a penny, it has to be a quarter" - the price of this magic kit just keeps going up). The talented magician would then slip the coin into an enchanted box and the coin would disappear, ..., into thin air. Jinkies! After a few moments of oohs and aahs, the coin would then reappear in the magician's pocket. The room would then be filled with amazement and applause. ... Don't look at me that way. That is what the instructions clearly stated.

My little wizard tried a couple of times, but the coin kept getting stuck in the enchanted box. The one time that she got it out, she dropped it and it hit the metal support of our accent table, resulting in a loud and obvious clang, clang, clanging. So, things were not going so well at this point. The crowd was getting restless and wanted to go get his coffee. But wait, please, ..., one more try, O.K.? O.K., one more try. This time, she asks for a coin from the audience (the old one would not do, it was used). The audience coughs up another coin. O.K., now close your eyes. (With eyes closed, I hear the coin go into the magic box, the magic box then got shaken several times - violently, followed then by a sort of gnawing sound - like a young child chewing on a magic box). Finally, I am told to open my eyes. Ta-da, the coin is gone! David Copperfield, eat your heart out.