That should give yon the general idea. When 1 say that these codes are bogus, 1 mean that their lofty preparation and layout covers the fact lhal most of them would not fool a child of ten. When you get to number ten, start switching the letters around ,, o,g. . . . BCDEFGH1JA, then after a while, if you get bored, use KLMNOPQRST, Hut please, please note, just write those down Tor the moment, they can be typed later when you have gathered all the material. The codes must be inserted in random order, otherwise, a progression may be noticed and any break therein would be suspect. I'erhaps a glimmer of light is dawning. If not, stay with me, all will be made clear in the fullness of time. From time to time, you may have to predict a number that contains identical digits, To thai end. a suitable
code will be made; you can see the need for having the codes all mined up. You can also see, I hope, why die codes are on labels so easy to remove.
Let's take an example. You write on your prediction the Jotters AFBGE The number, when the computer or draw reveals ii, turns out to be 5 2 3 5 7. The number five is repeated. Do you panic? No, you type out a code us follows;
On the face of it, the code does not stand out from the. others; there is a symmetry (imposed by the progression of the top line) which makes it look like an integral part of the layout, Bui in fact it is tailor made to fit the number you are striving to predict. On the morning of the draw, you turn up with your book, the appropriate code inserted at the appropriate position. Explain briefly how the codes work til takes only a moment to do this,) then stand aside, while one official reads out the coded prediction number and another writes down the de-code from the book. Havi; a blackboard used for this, it is most impressive as the spectators watch the winning number emerge, a digit a! a lime.
A few more points now concerning the make-up of the i-ode book. Strive to make it look authentic. With the advent of pressure-sensitive lettering < I etraset. Dry-Print. Mecanorma. and so on I an authentic label can be made for the cover, a title page would help, ton. When you introduce lite hook, call it "The standard Book Codes' and leave it at that, A measure of the 'Emperor's New Clothes' syndrome enters the picture at that point; if they don't know what it is they won't he in any hurry to say so. The pages should be laid out precisely. A sloppy layout undermines the whole tiling. Also, since you know what number code you will be specifying on the-prediction, leave that space blank and type out a fresh one to suit the winning number. The plastic covering is another psychological touch; it looks so permanent and the codes all appear to be firmly fixed where they lie. Also, it keeps them all tbe same colour. It would be alarming to turn up with a book full of grubby codes, the only clean one being, surprise surprise, the one your named in the prediction. Make up as many codes as you can, the more the belter. Al Koran had hundreds. The code number given in the prediction should be right in the middle of a page, somewhere near the middle of I lie book.
Now for ihe presentation. When you arrive ki witness the opening of the envelope, make a short preliminary address, as follows.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, A week ago [a week is Jong enough to build up the publicity and Lension, it is hard lo sustain beyoml that length of time) I made a prediction and left it in the safe keeping of the Mayor, lie witnessed what I wrote al thai time and will confirm, I am sure, lhal the piece of paper he is about to remove from the envelope is the same piece I gave him last week. The paper bears his signature as witness, I wrote the prediction in code, for obvious reasons. The Town Clerk has been given the Book of Standard Codes, and he will decipher what I wrote. I have not yet heard, myself, what number has won the sweepstake; I shall be as interested as von to ■ice if my prediction was successful."
I'lie Mayor opens the prediction and hands the paper to the Clerk, after you have asked him openly it it is the same piece of paper he signed a week ago. The Mayor himself then goes to the blackboard ;md writes down I lie de-coded numbers as they are read to him. Specify, before the start, that the Clerk need only read out the deciphered numbers not the code ones. Thai adds quite a percentage to the impact. You are home and dry and it is to be hoped you can, like Al Koran, follow-through with such a reputation on your hands.
The use of a code book may appear to the inexperienced reader to be suspect. Just take my word for it, it does no harm to tiie effect at all. The publicity this trick can generate is virtually limitless, so perform il exactly as described, do not be tempted to add or take away a thing. Koran knew all the angles for this kind of trick and he overlooked nothing.
One final point. If you do not mind taking the trouble (and this trick is worth all the trouble you can put yourself to), make each label in the book a double-liner. In other words, have four lines of type e.g.:
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