September 19 1971 ALPHA

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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this effect grew out of playing with a Hideo Kato effect, "Where Has It Gone?" (Genii, Vol. 34, No. 1, September, 1969, page 16). A Mario version later appeared in Hierophant, No. 2 (1970, page 63) under the name, "Over Here of Course!" This Mario effort was followed by a Roy Walton treatment called, "Gone to Earth" (Hierophant, No. 4, 1970, page 187). In the same issue Mario replied to the Walton approach with "Fly Me to the Moon" (page 189). All these treatments are methodological explorations. In any case, I liked the original Kato effect but felt it needed a blow-off. This approach does it. Its a cute interlude that has been effective as part of a longer program of effects. It's also an opportunity to use your Second Deal in an unusual way for an effect that is surely worth doing for lay audiences. The explanation of the routine may make it sound very sleight-intensive. Clearly, the routine is not without its technical demands, but to the eyes of the spectators it appears very clean.

EFFECT: From a shuffled deck, the performer deals a group of fourteen cards alternately face up and face down. A spectator names a card from the group. The card is made to vanish. When it reappears, its back has changed color and it is the only card in the deck with an odd back.

REQUIREMENTS: Seven odd-backed cards are needed, preferably blue-backed cards in a red-backed deck. It doesn't matter what the seven cards are, but you should know their identities, so you can move their red-backed duplicates to the top of the deck or remove them. This allows you to go into the routine in the middle of a series of other effects.

SETUP: Place the seven odd-backed cards on the bottom of the deck and remember the top and bottom cards of the seven. Either openly or prior to performance, do one Off-Center Faro Shuffle (Straddle type) and Slough-Off from the bottom. This alternates the blue (odd-backed) cards at the bottom of the deck. Spread through the deck face up until you reach the top card of the seven blue-backers. Check to make certain there are no duplicates among the alternated group; there should not be. If there are, rearrange the cards to eliminate the duplications. In any case, spread one card beyond the last blue-backed card and cut the cards at that point. This places the alternated set-up second through fourteenth from the top. Setting up in this manner makes it possible to go into the routine during a series of effects. If that isn't a consideration, use whatever method you like to reach the necessary arrangement.

Deal an Underhand, Necktie, Stud Second and place the dealt card face up on the table. Lower the deck and deal the new top card face down onto the face-up card. Continue dealing in this manner until you see the remembered bottom card of the seven odd-backs appear face up. Deal one more face-down card.

NOTE: This method of concealing odd-backs with a Necktie Stud Second was used by Alex Elmsley in a trick titled "A Strange Story" that he came up with around 1964. It was contained in a set of his private notes that circulated through the underground for years. See The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume I, page 401. While I was not aware that Elmsley had developed the idea, I'm happy to recognize his claim. This is not the only way to get to this position. You could load the odd cards on the bottom of the deck, eliminate the Faro and alternate Underhand Stud Bottoms and tops to create the same situation. I prefer the Second Deal approach.

Place the deck aside and pick up the packet. Spread the cards between your hands and have someone name any face-up card.

As soon as it's named, form a break under it and remember the face-up card above it. Close the spread, maintaining the break.

Cut the packet, bringing the named card lowermost in the packet. This cut should be one of several that apparendy rearrange the cards in a random manner.

Deal the packet into two piles, one face down, one face up, until you see the card you noted (not the selection, but the one before it). Deal it normally onto the face-up pile but deal the next two cards (the final two) as one onto the face-down pile. This is technically a Double Deal but with few of the typical alignment issues. This deal results in showing that the named card has vanished from the face-up group it was in. However, suspicion will naturally turn to the face-down cards.

Pick up the face-down packet and form a break under the top three cards. This is fairly easy because the top two create an auto-break. Turn the packet face up, maintaining the break. (The Tenkai-Marlo Pivot-Step, page 75, will do the job quite well.) Begin to deal the cards face up onto the face-up pile, in-jogging the first card dealt, and dealing two cards as one, just before you reach the bottom card (this is facilitated by the break).

Pick-up the packet, forming a break below the in-jogged card, and cut the packet at the break. Turn the packet face down and slowly spread off cards from the top until the face-up selection is reached.

NOTE: If you object to the unexplained cut, you can perform a Turnover Pass. I actually prefer the Pass, but I make the choice based on the angles. While it is true that the cut is unjustified, it is also not particularly suspicious. If you handle it casually, it will go by without arousing undue thought in the audience. It does not, in my experience, weaken the effect.

With your right hand, remove the selection and lay it face up on the table. You can spread the top card of the left-hand packet safely. As you place the selection on the table, necktie the packet slightly and push off two cards from the top of the left hand's packet, securing a break below them, between the regular and > odd-backed cards.

Lap or, if standing, use a Gambler's Cop to steal all the cards below the break as you gesture toward the selection. Add the remainder of the packet to the deck and spread it face down as you comment that if any of the other cards had been ■f named they would have turned face up. "But they didn't vanish. When something vanishes it's because it wasn't directed elsewhere, so it goes to the moon. And, of course, anything that goes to the moon is affected by the color of the moon; and the moon is made of blue cheese." Reveal the selection to be odd-backed as you say, "blue cheese." "This may not explain much to you, but it does to me. Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it."

NOTE: This closing bit of patter is obvious nonsense that should be delivered with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek. After all, nonsense can be fun and enjoyable. Isn't that why we do this stuff? The final comment, "That's my story..." was closely associated with Dai Vernon. When I showed him this effect in the early 1990s, he broke into a big toothy grin and launched into a story about the origin of the line. Unfortunately, as was his wont, he got sidetracked into a different story and I never did learn its origin.

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