The Trapdoor or Death The Choice is Yours
During this recession, I am not totally unsympathetic to the financial woes of magicians around the world (I said, not totally). During the current economic downturn, you may be scrutinizing your magical purchases more closely. Let me try a different way to explain why this is a foolish idea. See, if you scrutinize your purchases, you may, in a moment of weakness, decide that The Trapdoor is not worth your investment. You then toss me aside for food and a mortgage paid to strangers. (Boy, that didn't take long. So much for brotherhood, huh?)
When your renewal checks are not forthcoming, then there is a cash flow problem with the magazine. If the magazine suffers, then I have to start scrutinizing my purchases more closely. I (being a loyal member of the brotherhood) would choose magic to such luxuries as groceries. So, I would stop spending money at the neighborhood grocery chain. This would create cash flow problems for the grocery store which would echo throughout the chain.
It would cause stores to close throughout the nation. It would finally affect your neighborhood grocery. When it closes, you will once again evaluate your purchases, deciding that maybe The Trapdoor is worth your money, since you can no longer purchase food. You would send me your check along with some drivel about the brotherhood of magicians. Foolishly, you would think that I can turn my emotions on and off like a prop from Collector's Workshop. (And, while we are at it, why didn 't you quit ordering from them before you canceled your subscription?)-You may even feel guilty enough to include a little extra bribe money with your renewal check, hoping that I will simply forget your previous treatment of me. (I would gues s that it would be hard to remember anything with, oh say, about $20 extra in the renewal envelope.)
So being the magnanimous kind of editor that I am, I renew your subscription (after thinking about it over, oh say, a $20 dinner). You once again start receiving the magazine and your life is whole again. You think you are back to normal. You are so enthralled with the magazine arriving at your house five times a year that you forget that you still can't buy food. You get hungry and die.
And, this story does not have a happy ending. Since you are no longer around, I lose a subscriber. (Of course, I don't know this until a year later when the renewal comes due.) Aren't you just real pleased with yourself now? You're dead, grocery chains are closed, and to top it all off, I'm back to scrutinizing my expenditures. This is darned inconvenient for me. See what happens when you try to skimp by cutting back on The Trapdoor?
So, before it is too late, refuse that shipment from Collector's Workshop, eat a hearty meal from your local grocery, and send your $30 (USA) or $42.50 (overseas) plus $20 in bribe/forgiveness money for even considering cancellation to:
The Trapdoor 407 Carrington Drive Knightdale, NC 27545
Isn't life wonderful? I'm going to go eat... as soon as I get your check.
Leftovers (continued from the back page)
Floating Issue (#35). Dan Harlan saw Mark Fitzgerald perform it and he came up with a version which he published in The Minotaur. Ken Krenzel saw Dan's version after having played with my version. He then improved it with Airlift II which appeared in #40, page 736. John Riggs read this after playing with all of the above, and he combined it with his Airspread from #12, page 199. This is where it stands now. (For the index, the Floating Bastard.)
Perform Ken's Airspread II with half the pack exactly as explained. Now bring your right thumb over to the near corner. Slowly spread the top cards of the pack diagonally forward. They will spread amazingly far before the weight shifts enough to cause the cards to fall to the floor. Obviously, you will want to stop some time before that occurs.
Many of you have asked if any of the other editors I razzed in a previous issue had anything to say about it. I thought I would let you know that all of the ones I have talked to since have had a great sense of humor relating to the article. (TheBeam Course inPublishing Magic Magazines: Lesson #1 - How to Reject
Unwanted Contributions. Issue #38, page 692.) Since the issue came out in June, I have talked with Bill Miesel, John Bannon, Phil Wilmarth, Ed Eckl, Dan Harlan, and Marv Leventhal. All of them had nice things to say about the piece (things like I would be in several pieces if I ever repeated the stunt). Judging from my incoming mail, all of the above publications have ceased publication.
I razzed The Precursor for their lack of illustrations. Ed Eckl immediately responded in his next is sue by issuing an open letter to The Trapdoor. In his humorous article, he explained how the illustrations in Precursor come to life, if that's what their existence can be described as. As I understand from the letter, I believe the creative process which goes into their few illustrations is a rare blend of paper, ink, gin, Bill, Ed, more gin, cards, type, even more gin, a photocopier, and the postal service. Oh yes, and then there's the gin. (Ed, beware of the new group of magic activists who operate under the acronym, MADD - Magicians Against Drawing Drunk.)
The reason I pick on the other magic magazines is because we are all doing this as a labor of love. If you don' t believe it, you should show up at my house when the renewal checks arrive. Now that's amore.
I sent Roger Sherman's copy of issue #41 out early to him. I figured that was the least I could do since he had a hand in it. (Think about it.)
As I write this, it is Valentines Day weekend and there is a magic convention in progress a scant ten miles from me. Now there's an idea whose time has come. It's not like card tricks have broken up enough marriages. No, now we hold our conventions on Valentines Day. I can hear the wives now. "So this is what you meant when you said I could pick my own Valentines card? The four of clubs?" (In all fairness, this was not the convention planner's first choice. The hotel was already booked for Mother's Day.)
With the I.B.M. planning our family outing for July 4th (their annual convention) all that's left is for some lecturer ahead of his time to book a Christmas lecture tour. ("But honey, we can see the family on Presidents Day. Besides, I'll let you pick your own Christmas card...)
While on the subject of conventions, I have been debating holding a Trapdoor gettogether (maybe, uh, Thanksgiving???). This would bring together a small group of friends to exchange ideas and once and for all decide the future course of magic as an art form.
After reading Max Maven's recent fascination with anagrams in Magic, I think this is predestined. Rearranging the letters for "Steven" yields "events." Further research along these lines showed that it might not be such a great idea. Rearranging "Steven L. Beam" produces "Events amble." My dictionary defines amble as "to plod." And isn't that just what magic needs — another plodding magical event — which will probably be held on Easter.
And, speaking of predestination (and smooth transitions) how is this for spooky? Dawn's name when rearranged forms "wand." Eerie, huh? All of this goes to show that magic isn't the only oudet for people with too much time on their hands.
I just saw an interesting comedy prop. It's a lota canteen that gets over 30 pours. My only previous experience with using a lota was published in my first book. They Don't Make Trapdoors Like They Used To or You Too Can Walk on Water (1977). For those who don't have the book, I used the Rings & Things lota (with a lid I provided) as an urn for the ashes of my dear departed friend. I left the urn laying around the house where it was mistaken for a flower vase, a spittoon, and a bedpan by three different relatives of mine. This accounted for the separate bits of water which poured forth from the Lota. At the end, I explained that what really depressed me about the whole experience was that my friend couldn't afford the whole cremation. He had to go for the "handy" special and they only did half the job. At this, I would remove a hand from the urn. "I thank you, and Jack thanks you." At this, I would wave bye with the hand.
The reason I haven't been thrilled with the lota is that it looks like a magic prop (or a cremation urn). Now that there's one in the form of a canteen, there are many ' patter possibilities which can be built around the military, scouting, and camping. If you are interested, send $27.50 plus $3.00 shipping & handling to Strange Entertainment, 519 Cambridge Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29301. Tell Glenn that you read about it here and and he' 11 throw in the instructions (a $99.95 value) absolutely free of charge.
Until the next time, I remain Periodically Yours,
Was this article helpful?
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.