Card Tennis

The "CARD ON THE WALL" trick is an old thought but it continues to serve as a pattern for some new outlet for the enthusiast with a creative urge. The ancient 'CARD SWORD' and the effect of catching a selected card on a cricket bat are also parts of the same family but when the three presentations are offered individually, they appear different from one another.

Tricks and gags can always be made to appear fresh simply by the application of a treatment different from that to which the onlookers are usually accustomed to. The basic secret of originality is nothing more than the knack of combining judiciously two or more OLDER ideas. This rule is not one that governs magic alone. It is UNIVERSAL in application.

When we first acquire a new piece of equipment or tool, we cannot help but admire its advancement in superiority over its forerunner. After we get accustomed to it, we try to convince ourselves that what we have seems to be the only natural solution to meet the intended problem. It is one of the human failings to assess a thing in retrospection. Invariably under such conditions our verdict will be tantamount to our saying "why ! anyone could have thought of the same idea". Does this not show that the foundation of ORIGINALITY is what I had already stated above ?

This month I am glad to present my own application of the old idea and I can assure the reader that only a single trial is needed to realise how practical, simple and different it is from its former prototype. I shall describe two different versions of the same trick, both of which are still active in my current repertoire.

THE EFFECT:—A note is borrowed and if the performer wishes he gets the owner to record its number for later identification. The note is folded by a spectator and thrust anywhere in the pack. The card directly under the note is then seen by him. This is now returned to the pack, the folded note placed on top of it and the rest of the cards added. The pack is finally slipped back into its case, wherein a drawing pin had previously been dropped.

A table tennis bat, which incidentally has been lying in full view on the table, is next picked up. Using the pack in much the same way as a table tennis player would use the ball in serving, he gives it a whack. The card in question together with the note is now seen held fast to the side of the bat. This is taken to the spectator for verification. The owner detaches his folded note and takes it back. The selector of the card is asked to autograph it with date which you state you would add to your collections. Whether you do so or not is immaterial but it will certainly help to make him feel important. That is how the whole proceeding progresses and ends. Now for the working details.

P RE-SETTING:—Let me tell you at the outset that the bat is NOT gimmicked in the least. The thing that is really doctored is one that is least suspected. It is the card case.

To begin with, you will be needing a duplicate card. We will suppose you intend to use the seven of spades. The regular 7S is placed on the top of the pack and all returned to the case. Take a pound note of your own and fold it once the long way and twice the other way. Take a drawing pin and grip it between the jaws of a pair of pliers. With a small file thin down the spike. First push the point of the pin through the middle of the folded note then through the duplicate card itself. The next step is to temporarily attach the card and the folded note along with the drawing pin to the back of the case. I do this in three different ways to suit my own convenience according to circumstances and environments. I shall describe them all and the individual performer can suit himself.

you see on it you really call out the numbers which you had previously memorised from the other one. Hand the note after refolding to the owner or a different spectator and then pick up the case and withdraw the cards. If the cards are withdrawn as shown in Fig. 2, the prepared side of the case will not be seen.

You now state that you wish a card to be selected in as fair a manner as possible. Hold the pack with the faces of the cards upwards and then start doing the authentic HINDU shuffle with the only difference that you do not disturb the original top card. Since the pack is still held in reverse fashion, the topmost card would now be the one

Method (a):— With a razor blade cut a slit in the centre of the case. Just insert only ONE side of the drawing pin's HEAD into the slit. This will keep the card and note attached in position to the case until needed.

Method (b):— Wax the four corners of the card and press against the case.

Method (c):— Use four transparent photo corners. Attach these to the back of the case as one would stick them in a photographic album. The four corners of the card are then slid under them.

Fig. 1 in our series depicts the manner in which the case and card are put together. It is

Fig. 1 in our series depicts the manner in which the case and card are put together. It is

of course, not necessary to add that the face side of the card has to contact the surface of the case.

The bat is laid on the table. The card case is placed on a tumbler with the doctored side underneath.

PRESENTATION:— Ask for the loan of a pound note. When one is offered proceed to fold it once the long way and only once the other way. After completing the folds—as though inspired by a second thought—remark that it would be better if the owner records its number. Open out the note and instead of reading the numbers

at the bottom. While still retaining the cards in reverse, ask the spectator with the note to stick it half way into the pack, anywhere he chooses. Fig. 3 shows the spectator in the act of inserting the note into the pack. After the spectator complies, you proceed to explain what you wish next done. You grip the note and all cards under it with the right thumb and first finger whilst you execute the familiar card GLIDE, i.e. pulling back the 7S. which as you will remember is still at the bottom, with the fingers of the left. You have supposedly illustrated your intention. The spectator is now told to proceed and Fig. 4 depicts this part of the proceeding in process of execution. After the note

and cards are pulled away by the spectator, the 7S still stays at the bottom. From all appearances, spectator has had a free hand, nevertheless when asked to look at the point in which the note was inserted he will be obliged to find the 7S. In other words you have planned and succeeded in forcing this card. The reason why I choose this fashion of forcing is to provide a logical excuse for borrowing the note. In this way the introduction of the note is subordinated to the cards themselves and not until the climax is broken do the spectators realise that it too played a major role in the trick.

However after the helper notes his card he is asked to return it to the pack and then fold the note once again and place it over the card just looked at. The rest of the cards are then added on top. Fig. 5 illustrates this stage of the trick. Hand the cards to the spectator to retain for a while and then pick up a drawing pin and drop it from a height into the empty case. Rattle the case to convince them audibly that the drawing pin is inside. This rattling also serves the dual purpose of getting the pin to rest on its flat head, so that the needle end points upward. This is necessary. Fig. 6 shows the position from which the drawing pin is released into the case.

You now take the cards away from the spectator and push them into the case. The fact that the drawing pin is standing on its head will cause the point to pass in between the ends of the cards. Fig. 7 will explain this point. Actually it shows what happens inside the case after the pack is lowered into it. The flap is finally tucked into position.

Hold the card case in the left hand and pick up the bat with the right. At this point I do not by any means advocate that you deliberately turn the bat from side to side in an attempt to prove that it is free from trickery. This is not necessary and besides an act like this will put ideas into their heads. Merely pick up the bat as shown in Fig. 8 and bring it to the striking position as in Fig. 9. This action in itself is sufficient, for both sides of the bat will then be presented to their view alternately.

From position Fig. 9 the case is smacked squarely. It is directed to the table or the floor at an angle of 45 degrees. The final result is shown in Fig. 10. As you will observe, the card in question and the note are firmly attached to the bat and it will need a bit of force to pull out the draw-

ing pin in order to free them. The original card and the note will be out of the way inside the case and never questioned.

Before I go into the other variation of the same theme I would like to add a few words about the bat itself. A good bat to use is the kind introduced by the Japanese players, for their's is covered with sponge rubber and a slight tap is all that is needed to get the card and the note on to it. Some bats I used had a very hard centre and consequently much force had to be used when striking the case. This is a strain on the case and will shorten its life. But the best method I have ever used, and will continue to do so, is to cover the face of the bat with cork sheeting. This may be painted. The point of the pin penetrates it easily and at the same time the grip is firm.

Now for the variation. In the alternative presentation I do not use the bat at all. This version is ideally suited for the banquet table. A regular cork mat, in this case, is substituted for the bat. This is the kind usually placed under plates when dining. Place one of these on top of a glass. The mat covered glass is then stood in front of some important guest. The trick is virtually worked right under his nose.

You proceed as in the original version up to the point where you pick up the bat. Ask the diners to stare at the centre of the mat. Drop the

card case on to it. Ask the gentleman to tilt the mat and there will be seen the card and the note. This is illustrated in Fig. 11. At the conclusion the gentleman is asked to pull out the pin and free the articles.

At one time I used to carry my own cork mat with suitable publicity matter printed on the underside. When the trick was done I presented the mat and card together with the note still attached, to the person who lent me the money.

Just try out both the methods and I am sure you will at least find they make welcome and refreshing changes from the usual run of card effects.

Re-Opens for the Season on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28th., 1955.

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