New Routine With An Old Trick

by EDDIE JOSEPH

I know of many who look upon the EGG BAG as an ancient relic. However, here is a routine to prove that even an ancient trick when renovated can be made to vie with the modern. Let me first describe the effect as seen from the front.

Magician introduces a bag and an egg. He explains that whatever is placed inside the bag soon disappears. In proof of this he proceeds to place the egg inside the bag and then declares that it has vanished. To support his statement, the magician turns the bag inside out but the onlookers are not slow in determining the fact that the performer had slipped the egg into his pocket. This gives rise to some argument and the magician in due course satisfies the suspecting ones that the egg is in the bag after ail.

He now offers to teach them how it is done- Two people are invited up stage. Each of whom is asked to stand on either side of him. The egg is again dropped inside the bag. Each of the two gentlemen is next invited in turn to reach inside the bag and make sure that the egg is present. Both fail to, agree on this. When one affirms that the egg is there, the other repudiates its presence.

At this stage the magician offers to settle the dispute. He turns the bag inside out and confesses that the egg was not put there in the first place. He further admits that the egg never left his pocket from where he now brings it out. He now places the egg in the pocket of one of the gentlemen and asks him to place his hand over it from the outside- The magician next turns out the lining of his own pocket and allows it to hang in view.

After satisfying all that the bag is really empty, the magician asserts that he would cause the egg to leave the gentleman's pocket and find its way into the bag. Passing his hand from the direction of the gentleman's pocket towards the bag, the performer declares that the egg has arrived at its destination. This would naturally be discredited because the gentleman's hand is still pressed against the egg. Nevertheless—the magician reaches inside the bag and brings forth the egg. When the gentleman investigates, he is surprised to find that the egg in his pocket has now changed to a lemon.

"I am afraid you were not watching me closely" remarks the magician who offers to repeat it. Once again the egg is placed inside the bag and the latter handed to the gentleman on the right to retain. Explaining that the lasr time he was accused of slipping the egg up his sleeve and in order to eliminate the recurrence of this suspicion he removes his coat and hands it to the gentleman on the reft. As the assistant begins to move away wifh the coat the magician stops him and extracts his wallet from one of the pockets and lays it on a near by chair- This interlude is suggestive and provokes laughter.

The man with the bag is warned to hold tight' as the egg is about to leave his care. Slapping both hands against the bag, the magician states that the egg has gone and then asks the assistant to verify the fact. When the helper reaches inside the bag, he finds a stuffed chicken inside.

Turning to the man with the coat, who incidentally,is busy in examining the different pockets, the magician enquires whether he had come across the egg. When he replies in the negative the magician adds . . . "Naturally you don't expect to find it in the coat pocket because I had it here all the time". The performer pushes back the lining of his trouser pocket which was in sight all this time and brings out the egg from there-

This, of course, is the bare effect of the EGG bag routine which I am now presenting to you. Its real worth will only manifest itself in front of an audience

REQUIREMENTS.— (a) The usual Egg Bag. (b) a Lemon (c) a small stuffed Chicken (imitation) (d) Tw o celluloid or blown eggs Take one of the eggs and attach an end of a length of black silken thread to it. Lower the egg inside bag and break thread at a point about an inch or so from the top edge of bag. Tie a small black bead to the free end of thread. The purpose of this "Threaded" egg wiH be explained later but it is absolutely necessary to have the correct length if you wish to work smoothly. This is shown in fig. I-

DISPOSALS: Place the 'unthreaded egg' and the lemon in the right trouser pocket. Wind the thread around the other egg and with a tiny speck of wax stick the bead to egg. This, too, is placed in the same pocket.

bead bead

The chicken is fixed in a clip under the left side of coat. The bag lies on the table.

PRESENTATION AND WORKING:— Bring out the 'unthreaded' egg and pick up the bag. Place the egg inside bag, slip it into the usual secret pocket and then raise bag high above the head with the feft hand. As you do this place the partly closed right hand into the trouser pocket. The action of raising rhe bag above head is suggestive and will convey the thought that you are trying to DISTRACT attention for the disposal of the egg into the trouser pocket. Now turn the bag inside out to prove it empty.

Your suspicious action will naturally provoke a little titter and so you rum out the LEFT pocket and behave as though you are cornered and are now seeking an exit. However, after a littfe byplay, you explain that the egg was really in the bag which you eventually rake out and show.

You now offer to teach them how it is all done. Tell them "You thought I placed the egg in my pocket (by way of illustration you actually place the egg in the trouser pocket) but I assure you that I never did that". However, when you place the first egg in the pocket you leave it behind and come out with the other one. This, be it remembered is the one with the thread and bead. Exhibit it and drop in bag. Reach in bag, pull bead off the wax and bring egg out again. You now tell them to watch that you actually drop the egg in bag- Grip the bead between the tips of the first two fingers and allow egg to drop into bag. The bag, at this stage, is held in both hands with the bead end of thread between the first two fingers (see fig. 2).

At this point you call up the two gentlemen. Get each to stand on either side of you at about the distance of your arm's length. The man on your right we shall call 'A' and the other we shall designate as 'B'.

Let go of the bag with the left hand and swing it to the right with the other. Ask

'A' to reach in and satisfy himself that it is still there. However, as you are standing between him and the second assistant, the latter cannot see inside rhe bag. "A" affirms that the egg is stiil in the bag- The next move is very important and must not be hurried. You are about to ask 'B' this time to reach in bag and feel for the egg. Fig. 3 shows how the bag was held for 'A' to reach in. After he declares that the egg was in the bag, you place the tip of the left forefinger inside mouth of bag close up to the right hand. See Fig. 4. Now swing out to the left towards 'B'. During this action you slide your left hand along the open end of bag to the opposite side. This wili cause the egg to rise up under the fingers of the left hand-Fig. 5. will show you how the egg is concealed when 'B' is asked to reach in the bag. The little bead will not be felt or noticed by 'B' as he is only feeling out for the egg, when 'B' reaches in for the egg he naturally cannot find it.

You immediately turn to 'A' and ask him if he was sure that the egg was in the bag when he reached in. To this he wouid reply in the affirmative. Now let your right fingers enfer the mouth of the bag close up to the left. This is really in reverse of the former move. You swing out towards 'A' once again and during which action you slide the right hand to the opposite side to get the bead in the hand. Remove the left hand altogether and the egg will drop to bottom- Ask 'A' to reach in and for the second time he will affirm that the egg is stilf present.

You must get this move of raising and lowering egg into bag to work smoothly. It will not take more than half an hour of practice at the most to become proficient in it. You will never realise its comedy potentialities until you present it before an audience.

When 'A' admits for the second time that the egg is still within the bag, you turn to 'B' with a serious countenance and enquire

"Pardon me sir! sureiy you are not trying to suggest that this gentleman is not speaking the truth?" (indicating "A"). Continuing wirh the patter you say "this gentleman ('A') just said that the egg was in the bag and this gentleman CB') states that the egg is not there. Now swing towards 'A' again but this time do NOT release egg. When 'A' reaches in this time, he states that the egg is NOT there. Co through previous action and let 'B' feel and who declares again that the egg is not there. At this point you remark that this is even worse than the United Nations- Over there people seem to disagree with each other. "In this case you cannot agree with yourself" Now swing towards 'B' and ask him to make sure that the egg is not there. This time you permit egg to drop. When 'B' complies, he too contradicts himself by asserting that the egg is now in the bag. "All right", you continue, "since you say the egg is inside the bag you had better take charge of it". Suiting the action to the words, you reach in bag, slip the egg up the secret compartment, bring empty hand out partly closed and pretend to fay the egg on 'B's' hand. Of course, he gets nothing and you turn the bag inside out to prove that the egg is not there at all.

At this point you confess (?) that the egg was in your pocket all the time. Show your right hand empty (this is vital) reach in pocket, palm the lemon but bring egg out openly- Turn to 'B' and say that in order to save furrher arguments you will have him look after the egg. You reach into his right pocket—(the side closest to you) drop the lemon and come out with the egg pafmed You further add that you want him to make sure that your own pocket is empty. Reach into trouser pocket, stick the egg at top of pocket (usual magician's guile) and pull out the lining which you allow to hang in view.

The fact that the lining is turned out, the egg will remain firmly lodged. Turn bag inside out again and state that you will cause egg to leave gentleman's pocket and arrive within the bag. In due course reach in bag and take out egg. This would be the threaded one. The assistant who thought he had the egg finds a lemon instead.

However, as the assistant is bringing out the lemon, all eyes are set on him. Your right side is now facing front and during this interval, with the fingers of the left hand which also holds the bag, you dislodge the chicken from the clip and allow it to drop into bag. The egg is still in your right hand. You pretend to drop it into bag but retain it palmed. At this stage you talk about people suspecting your sleeves. Shut the mouth of bag by squeezing on it and ask 'A' to hofd it You grasp the right edge of coat and thus conceal the palmed egg. Take your coat off. The natural way of removing it is to pull off the feft sleeve first. The egg, be it remembered is palmed in the right hand. When the left arm is out of sleeve, the left hand grasps the right sleeve and pulls it off- In order to do this the left fingers have to go inside the front opening of sleave. The moment rhe sleeve is drawn over the right hand, the fingers of the left take egg away and pulls the coat compfete'y off at the same time.

The coat at this point would be hanging by the right sleeve held in the left hand. The four fingers of which hand is inside of sleeve and thumb on the outside. The egg likewise is in the left hand covered by the sleeve. The right hand now takes coat away from the left and hands it to 'B'. At same time the left deposits the egg in the trouser pocket on that side.

The rest is now quite clear. Sfap on the bag in 'A's' hand in due course and allow him to discover the chicken. He is then asked to push back the lining and search your pocket- He finds the egg which he brings to view

NOTE:—When instructing assistant to place his hand against the egg (?) in his pocket, you illustrate by placing your flat pafm against his pocket from the outside. When he copies your example he will not be able to recognise the lemon that is rhere instead. If you have any qualm on this score then merely ask him to place his hand against the opening of pocket. The lemon may be substituted for a small onion for easy concealment in hand. Lastly the chicken referred to is a rubber baby 'CHIC'.

Dear Max Andrews,

On the 6th. inst I received your parcel containing "Vent Head" safe and sound.

The "Head" is really wonderful and I liked it very much. All the movements engineered in the "Head" were marvels of mechanism and I am much pleased with them. I thank you very much for carrying out my instructions in posting the parcel.

Please tell by friend, Mr. Eddie Joseph, that the parcel arrived here safely and convey my salams to him and his family. Once again thanking you.

I remain, Sincerely yours,

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