The Jumping Rubber Band

I remember seeing this effect performed years ago by Theo. Bamberg (Okito). In the hands of this master of sleight of hand the illusion was a perfect thing.

This experiment is a good one to use before or after the PENETRATING RING effect. If you use this trick first, you can explain (?) how you did it with the ring. The audience, of course, is none the wiser after you finish than they were before.


A rubber band is placed over first and second fingers of right hand. Another band is twisted around fingers, one at a time, between first and second joints. The first band seems to be secured on fingers by the second band, but in a moment the first band suddenly jumps down around the third and fourth fingers. Then it jumps back again around first and second fingers.


1--Two rubber bands (as described in preceding effect). SECRET AND PATTER:

"Yesterday afternoon when I was in China I saw a very funny effect with a rubber band. A Chinaman took a rubber band and placed it around his fingers just as I have done here."

Show right hand, both sides.

"Then he took another band and wrapped it around all his fingers so that the other rubber band could not get away."

Twist a second band around all fingers of right hand between first and second joints, as you did in THE PENETRATING RING effect. Show both sides of hand.

"Quite a clever Chinaman."

Hold right hand in front of you, back of it to audience. Slip index and second fingers of left hand under band A and pull out about an inch or two from right hand. Figure 14. This is screened by hand.

Then close fingers of A into thi fingers of There is a second and third and Figure 15.

right hand and as you do so push all four right hand through band A. This brings band s position: It is around first and second right hand below the other rubber band. twist in the band coming up between your third fingers. Then the band is around your fourth fingers above the other rubber band. Remove left hand.

Back of your hand is toward audience, and your hand is closed for only a second so that audience cannot see the move you make here. You are working from the inside of your palm so that audience sees the rubber bands still in position on the back of your hand. Figure 16.

"Then he closed his hand and said, 'Hi-Diddle-Diddle,' and would you believe it . . . "

Open hand suddenly, stretching out first the first and second fingers. The rubber band jumps down onto the third and fourth fingers below the first band.

Open hand wide and show it on both sides. Figure 17.

"The rubber band jumped down onto the two other fingers."

With back of hand to audience again, slip thumb of right hand under band A. Pull band away from hand. Figure 18.

Close fingers again so that all four fingers go through loop. Figure 19.

Then remove thumb and let band A rest on finger tips.

"Then he closed his hand again and said, 'Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo . . . '."

Open hand far enough to permit band to jump back to first and second fingers.

"And up jumped the rubber band again to the top of two fingers. Now, for the benefit of those who do not understand this, I will explain it—in Chinese."

Repeat first move of pulling band away from hand with two fingers of left hand. Close right hand, get fingers into loop, and remove left fingers.

"All he had to do when the band was on the top fingers was to say, 'Parlay voo Fransay?' ..."

Let band fly to lower two fingers.

"And down she goes. Then he would say, 'Sprechen Sie Deutsch?' ..."

Place thumb under band A, as explained previously. Lift band away from hand, close hand, place fingers in loop, remove thumb. Open fingers slightly and band flies to upper two fingers again.

"And up goes the band again."

Show hands, both sides.

"Rather a foolish explanation, but good." Remove bands from hand.


Performer's two thumbs are securely bound with a heavy rubber band. Yet in spite of this, he passes hoops onto his arms and passes his tied thumbs through a broom handle or cane.


1--A large, heavy rubber band. Experimentation will show you the size best adapted to your thumbs. Band must not be too tight or too loose.

2--A broom or cane.

3--Two or three large metal rings or wooden hoops, such as those used for doing embroidery work.


To Perform:

Request someone to come up from audience to assist you. Have assistant stand at your right.

"A rubber band is only a small article, but it can hang on about as well as anything I know. It is said that once a Japanese policeman, not having a rope handy, tied up his prisoner with rubber bands. And the prisoner didn't get loose either because the policeman knew how to tie him. One of the bands, I have been told, went around the thumbs."

Follow these moves carefully. They are not difficult, but you must watch the details to get them correct.

Hold band in left hand. Push thumb and index finger of right hand through band. Figure 20.

Make loops in band with thumb and first finger, as shown in Figure 21.

Slip loop from index finger over onto thumb. This leaves your thumb secured by a double loop in the rubber band. Figure 22.

Repeat this series of moves exactly in the same way with the left thumb.

You now have the arrangement pictured in Figure 23. Loop around right thumb is A, loop around left thumb is C, and the band between loops is B.

"Something like this. Anyway, I am well tied. A nice time I would have getting my thumbs out of two tight loops like these."

Show hands, both sides, and move thumbs to show that they are tightly bound. Figure 24.

Pick up cane or broom and give it to assistant from audience.

"Now, if you will please hold this broom up. . . . That's right, the brush part on the floor and the handle up. Now please hold the upper end tight."

Have spectator assisting you hold broom straight up in a vertical position.

"Nothing could pass under the broom because of the floor or above the broom because of the gentleman's hands."

As you say this, screen right hand with left and push second finger of right hand into Loop C. Then insert third finger also in Loop C. Figure 25.

When loop is secure on second and third fingers of right hand, remove left thumb from Loop C. Be careful to screen this movement behind hands. Figure 26.

Place left thumb quickly under B portion of rubber band. Keep hands close together so that assistant and audience cannot see your movements. Figure 27.

Pull down slightly with fingers in Loop C and bring two thumbs close together. The audience is not aware that you have made any change in the arrangement of the rubber band. It appears that the thumbs are still secure in the loops. Figure 28.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you. The policeman placed the man's arms around a small tree for extra precaution."

As you say this, bring hands up to broom about a third of its length from the top. Withdraw left thumb from under band. Open hands only enough to allow broom handle to pass between. Figure 29.

When hands are around broom handle, like a flash slip left thumb under B portion of rubber band again. Turn thumbs to audience and to assistant to show that they are still securely bound. Figure 30. The effect produced is that you have passed broom handle right through rubber band between your hands.

"Like this. Now my arms are around the tree, or broom rather. Of course, being bound like this, it is impossible ..."

Slip thumb out of B, bring hands away from broom handle, and slip thumb back under B again very quickly.

Practice for perfection in this move. You must perform it very rapidly so that neither assistant nor audience suspect you are doing anything out of the ordinary. Be

careful to keep hands screened and hold them as closely together as possible while passing them around broom handle.

Continue reading here: To escape

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