THE OPEN BOOK TEST John Riggs
John has taken an impromptu version of the Mental Epic and has converted it into sheer entertainment. You are getting a slightly purified version of John' s routine which he spices up depending upon the location where he is performing and the alcohol content of his spectators. You know the caliber of John's magic from his many contributions to The Trapdoor — He is one of the "regulars." This will acquaint you with John's sense of humor. You will also note the professional in him; the trick packs flat, opens wide, and plays big. Do not let the apparent complexity of the trick scare you away from it. It is complicated to explain, but simple to perform.
Effect. The magician makes three predictions: a word from a book, a card from a deck, and a picture from a freely chosen magazine. Just about everything in this is packed with humor. Ultimately, all three predictions are correct.
The Work. Let me dispense with the method for accomplishing the prediction first. Of course a Mental Epic as sold by most dealers would put the magician one ahead as needed for the successful completion of the trick. However, John (and I) prefer a more impromptu appearance. John uses the method described in Bascom Jones' Magick under the title The Mimic Brain and credited to Cicardi. Since Idon 't have the individual issues of thatmagazine, I will credit The Compleat Magic. Volume I, page 194.
To teach this, you will require three index cards. During performance, you will cover the writing on each of the cards. This is accomplished with a business card, hinged to the index card with a notary seal (or Scotch tape. After writing the predictions, you will lower the business card and seal it at the bottom with another seal. This is apparently to keep you from changing your mind on the predictions but actually has no effect.
During the course of the routine, you are going to write three predictions on the index cards. After writing each of the predictions, you will number the back of the cards, apparently in order to track which prediction is which. You are going to predict three things: a word from a book, a card from a deck, and a picture from a magazine. The word and the card are free choices. The picture of a bunny rabbit is forced as will be seen.
The table on top of page 803 summarizes what happens. The first column shows the card being discussed based upon its initial position in the packet. The second column shows what you are purporting to write on the card. The third column shows what you actually write on the card. The next two columns contrast the number you supposedly write on the back of the card versus the number you actually write on the card. Finally, the last column shows the beginning condition of the cards. You will note that the top card already has the prediction on it.
To arrive at the above condition, hold the index cards in your left hand in dealing position. The business cards which are sealed to the index cards are facing upwards. The top card has the prediction "bunny rabbit" on it, hidden beneath the business card. All cards are otherwise blank.
Assume you have tossed a book, a deck of cards, and a magazine which forces "bunny rabbit" to different
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