Wishuffle

January 19,1973 FINAL

this is one of those effects that always "demonstrates" extremely well, is richly enjoyed by lay audiences, but has never caught on in the magic world—so go know. I'm explaining it here in its entirety, with the instructions that came with the effect, but with this added little historical preamble.

I first wish to acknowledge that the presentation was influenced by a man who inspired much in me through his writings, Mr. Ed Mario. His gags and bits of business pertaining to shuffles, which appeared in the Ireland 1944 Yearbook (page 10), and later in his book, The Cardician (1953, page 25), while not all original with him, made this routine possible. I am, yet again, in his debt.

Beyond that, its ancestry can be traced as follows: "Cheek-to-Cheek" is a dealer item that has been on the market since 1948. It applies the same method (in reverse) as "Wishuffle," but the effect is not at all the same. It does, however, share common ground with the second phase of "Wishuffle." U. F. Grant is usually given credit for creating "Cheek-to-Cheek," and so I thank him for another clever idea, of which he had many. It is of interest to note that Dai Vernon reported that Arthur Finley had come up with the same idea decades before Grant but never published it. Grant, therefore, was unlikely to have been influenced by Finley.

The primary effect of "Wishuffle" is that a deck invisibly shuffles itself at the performer's request, under impossible conditions; there is also a secondary effect: the location of a selected card in the fashion of Triumph. When I marketed "Wishuffle" I believed I had discovered a new plot, that of causing cards to mix face up and face down by merely willing them to do so. As it turns out, I was incorrect. Stephen Minch has brought to my attention a Herbert Johnson effect in which the deck is fanned to show the cards in normal orientation; the fan is then closed and the cards dealt to show them alternating face up and face down. That's not quite the same as a deck that unshuffles itself, but it's close. White-bordered cards and a tight fan were his method. Johnson's trick appeared in Walter B. Gibson's Twenty New Practical Card Tricks (1925, page 16) under the title "The Instantaneous Reversing Pack." Another closely related effect is the magical mixing of the colors of the deck. Leslie Guest is believed to be the first to tackle this plot in his "The Pack That Shuffles Itself" (The Linking Ring, Vol. 8, No. 8, October 1928, page 639). Guest used waxed pairs of cards to disguise their true mixed condition. Ed Mario weighed in on the subject with his "Cased-in Shuffle" in Ibidem (No. 8, December 1956, page 20; and page 154 in the book edition), in which the rough-and-smooth principle and Oil-and-Water technology are put to use. J. K. Hartman's "Faromatic" (in Mr. Gadfly, Vol. 1, No. 3, September-October 2001, page 31) features yet another method. Tony Chaudhuri altered the plot somewhat with his "Automatic Deck Shuffler" CBedazzled', 1977, page 42), in which a pack in new-deck order is shuffled magically into a mixed condition. Finally, in 2002 Bob Farmer, working from an idea by Gerald Kirchner, combined several of the plot elements above to produce an "un-Wishuffle" effect wherein a deck in random order is mixed face up and face down, only to right itself magically, also rearranging itself into new-deck order. This effect, with a gimmicked deck, is marketed under the title "Bammo Card Walloper."

Those interested in this type of effect may wish to check another related plot, the "sympathetic" face-up, face-down mixing of cards in two packets. My contribution to this idea is "Siamese Shuffle," which I developed nearly a year before "Wishuffle." I contributed "Siamese Shuffle," over twenty years after its invention, to Apocalypse (Vol. 15, No. 9, September 1992, page 2120). This effect and three variations were later included in my book, The Magical Record and Thoughts of Wesley James (page 62). The earliest sympathetic-shuffle effect I'm aware of is U. F. Grant's "Giant Acrobatic Cards," a marketed item that was purloined by Glenn Gravatt for his Encyclopedia of Self Working Card Tricks (1936, page 125) and then appeared in Hugard's revision, Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (1937, page 127). Another notable example of this tiny genre is Nick Trost's "Believe It or Not!" from The Linking Ring (Vol. 34, No. 12, February 1955, page 63). An improved version can be found in The Card Magic of Nick Trost (1997, page 150).

I created the concept that is "Wishuffle" on December 10, 1972, and premiered it to the magic world on January 19, 1973, at an S.A.M. Open House conducted by Sam Schwartz. The first "Wishuffle" decks and instructions were sold on March 28, 1973, by me at a lecture in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to magicians in that area, and shipped on April 1, 1973. Since then I have developed and recorded, in an unpublished manuscript, a number of handlings—two of them non-gaffed and impromptu—that eliminate the self-righting phase found in the original treatment. The routine stands as a novel combination of effects framed in a humorous presentation that has played well for many audiences for many years. I've told the history as I know it. What I give you in "Wishuffle" is a tool with which to bring some entertainment, some escape and some joy to the lives of those who see you do it properly. On the page it may seem silly—it is-—but do it for an audience with the proper delivery and you'll keep doing it.

REQUIREMENTS: You will need twenty-six different double-faced cards and twenty-six regular cards.

SETUP: Faro shuffle the two packets together, or otherwise alternate the double-facers and regular cards, and cut a face-down card to the top. Put the deck into its case and you're ready to go.

1 As you remove the deck from the case, face up, you introduce your premise. "Cards, as they come from the factory, are always stiff, slippery and in numeric sequence. For that reason, they are usually shuffled. Recognizing that this was probably true of the cards that came from the early Egyptian factories, I began

W. my quest for knowledge in the field of Shufflology. What else would a magician study? My perusal of the subject has proven enlightening, not only magically but also sociologically. Tonight (unless it's morning; I haven't seen the sun in three days) I'd like to share with you this report, which I've had the pleasure of delivering before four Presidents—at the foot of Mt. Rushmore. They were stoned at the time."

2 "To begin: The first methods ever devised for mixing cards were not true shuffles but merely cuts, usually done repeatedly. Although I am sure that other cutting techniques predate the following, I begin here for purposes of clear dating. In the year of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt, a man named Charlya, Moysha Char-

F ' lya, conceived this cut." Execute a Charlier Cut. "This has come to be known as the 'Jewish' or 'Passover' Cut. You'll notice one packet pass over the other."

3 With the deck still face up, continue, "Though it may seem strange, history documents no further advance in shuffle technology for many years. [As an aside:} Centuries is a lot of years, isn't it? Not until the Russian Czar, a devoted card player, during the Russian Revolution and while in pursuit of enemy forces, happened upon a technique that has come to be known as the 'Russian Shuffle.'" Spring the cards from one hand to the other. "One card rushin' after the other. By the way, the rumors that the Czar was Polish are totally unfounded."

The deck remains face up as you say, "That brings us to the first shuffle of the modern era and the first to be invented in the western hemisphere. In watching, you will notice the political statement it makes about its national origin. It is called the 'Argentine Shuffle.'" Do a Running Swivel Cut, a la Leipzig. "You see, of course, the political statement: one revolution after the other."

The deck will still be face up as you add, "One can feel pride in their American heritage when considering this next technique. I believe it reflects America's advanced technological thinking in the field of automation. The name given this efficient method of shuffling..." Begin an Overhand Shuffle from the face of the deck, running single cards. Stop the shuffle after running an even number of cards and throw the run cards back onto the face of the deck. ".. .is the 'Overhand Shuffle,' which is a misnomer in that the 'Overhand Shuffle' was invented by some very underhanded people. Such is the American way."

"Let me pause here long enough to say that it should be understood that this does not attempt to be a fully comprehensive look at Shufflology. Techniques like the 'Waterfall Shuffle' and the 'Table Riffle,' as well as mathematical shuffle techniques such as the 'Faro' and 'Reverse Faro,' the 'Monge' and the 'Klondike,' all fall outside the realm of this thesis."

For the first time, turn the deck face down. "In fact, there is only one more approach that falls within my scope. I am proud to say that I am the creator of this shuffle. I must, however, hasten to say that I don't understand how it works. I suspect that it has something to do with the power of the mind. It is for that reason that I call this technique the 'Wishuffle.' I simply lift off about half the deck [do so, lifting off a portion above a face-down card\ and drop it back on top [do so], and by concerted effort and concentrated thought they are mixed." Turn the deck face up and spread it.

Turn the deck face down again and say, "Now, just in case there are any doubters in the group, I have devised further, incontrovertible, scientific proof. I will turn the top half face up and leave the bottom half face down." Cut at a point where a face-down card rests on top of the lower half and turn the top half over. Place the reversed top halfback onto the bottom half, but maintain a large, open step between them. "I place them together, half face up, half face down, and wish." As this line is spoken, with your right hand lift the upper half and flash the back of its lowermost card. This serves as minor misdirection; you don't need much. Your left hand rotates palm down, allowing its cards to rest on your curled fingers (Figure 326). As the hands come together, turn

your left: hand palm up again, simultaneously uncurling the fingers while the packet lies on them (Figure 327). In other words, the packet is subtly reversed by rotating your hand around it. This reversal is further covered by executing it under the screen of the upper packet, in the last instant before the packets are rejoined. Casually bring the upper packet down onto the lower one and move the reassembled deck to your fingertips. Turn the deck face down and spread it on the table. Every other card is face up. "Proof that the shuffle works."

"Now, being a magician, I can't have a deck in this unusual condition without putting it to use. So, would you, sir, please, as I turn my back, take any one of the face-down cards, turn it face up, look at it, remember what it is, and place it back into the deck, still face up, right where you got it. Square up the spread cards and leave the pile on the table. Let me know when you're through."

When told by the spectator that he's done, pick up the deck, square it and reverse it openly. "Now the magical 'Wish-Unshuffle,' which does not, by the way, fall into any category." Spread the deck across the table. "Lo and behold, every card in the deck turns one way. Except one." Remove the single face-down card from the spread and hold it back to the audience. "What was the name of your card, sir?" When he names it, repeat the name. "Thank You." Dramatically turn over the selection and toss it onto the table. As the audience reacts and applauds, put the deck away while making idle comments.

NOTE: If you prefer to do a shorter routine or if you can't do a Charlier Cut, Running Swivel Cut, or spring cards from hand to hand, eliminate those items. Mario includes some other gags that can be used. I list them so that you can figure out for yourself how to incorporate them:

The "Army" or "Rifle Shuffle"—Execute a riffle shuffle.

The "Fancy Shuffle"—Make a fan, being careful to show only the face of the deck.

You can expand or contract the routine as suits your style. The "Wishuf-fle" portion of the effect actually starts with Step 7. Give the presentation some thought. It's an interesting premise and lay audiences get onto the farce of it.

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