You borrow a persons spectacles, and after looking through them say "You must have good eyesight if you can see through these, wait a moment I'll clean them for you." Remove hanky from pocket to clean lens and as you polish the lens a lens falls to the floor. This can either be 'cracked' or you could stand on it when looking for it. Everyone will see the joke except the chap who isn't wearing his glasses.
Naturally you have an extra lens (or piece of plastic) in your pocket along with the hanky.
In my search for material for this column it occurred to me that no-one had done much with smoke rings other than just blow them. I could not have been more wrong. Mentioning this to the Editor (we do meet on occasions) he remembered seeing BORRA, the world's greatest pickpocket for anyone's money, blowing rings in his circus act, but was somewhat hazey on details. Knowing that the PAGE BOY was a circus buff a 'phone call to him produced the following information.
Borra would hold a top hat mouth downwards at arms length — not at full stretch but with the arm slightly bent. He would then blow a smoke ring which would pass over the crown of the hat and settle on the brim. Another stunt was to blow a large ring and then blow a succession of smaller ones through it.
If you wish to try this, and cannot blow smoke rings, here's how. Get a mouthful of smoke and hold it for a few seconds — this will allow the smoke to collect some moisture causing the smoke forming the rings to be more dense and therefore more visible. Hold the tongue away from the bottom of the mouth and the lips open and rounded. Expel the smoke from the mouth by taking air in through the nose which (this is difficult to explain) gets behind the smoke and forces it out by blowing gently from the back of the throat. It is the formation of the tongue and lips that produce the rings.
Most readers will have had a relative who entertained them when a child with some simple trick or puzzle. In my case it was an uncle. After blowing smoke rings and making smoke come down his nose he asked if I would like to see smoke come out of his eyes. The apparent impossibility of this feat intrigued me and at his request placed the palm of my hand on his, not inconsiderable stomach, and obediently gazed into his eyes. No smoke appeared but I did feel the hot bowl of his pipe on the back of my hand. My first lesson in misdirection.
In attempting to place as many as possible impromptu bits of business on record, much which appears will be regarded as being elementary and 'old hat', but if a top world class entertainer can use the humble smoke rings in his professional act surely there is scope for the exploitation of similar material by lesser mortals in their attempts to entertain people, both young and old.
An instance of this happening was told by DEVANO who introduced the 'Snapper' novelty to a group of intellectuals. This wellknown simple stunt in which people are invited to engage a catch on a rod on an elastic loop at the bottom of a tube kept the group entertained for quite some time.
The PAGE BOY came up with the following routine with an imitation cigarette, which if weighted at one end can be rested on the edge of a table with almost all its length over the edge a la anti-gravity wand. It can also be balanced upright on the tip of the finger, back of the hand and to finish on the nose switching it for the real thing as you remove it.
More next time.
A BOOK DESTINED TO BECOME A COLLECTOR'S ITEM
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.