"Gags and More Gags"

Here is a little gag which you can pull off at a Party, or even at a Dinner, a gag which will bring a great deal of laughter and amazement. You will need a stooge, someone who will work with you on this.

During a lull in the proceedings, you lean over to your stooge and say "Excuse me old man, but do you mind if I pull your tie through your neck?" If he plays up with you he will of course refuse at first, but after a little assurance from you that no harm will come to him, he eventually but reluctantly agrees.

You grasp his tie by the knot, 01 just below it. and, if by now the rest of the company isn't entirely engrossed in the proceedings, you call their attention to what has transpired, viz : that the obliging gentleman has agreed to let you attempt to pull his tie through his neck.

Having got attention, you pretend to tug and pull at the tie, and suddenly, without warning, it comes away from his neck, BUT THE CIRCULAR PART OF THE TIE, THAT WHICH ACTUALLY GOES ROUND THE NECK IS STILL A COMPLETE CIRCLE.

I said that the 'volunteer' is a stooge. Beforehand, you arrange with him to undergo a little preparation. The tie is removed and then re-tied in the usual sailor's knot, except that this time the tie does not encircle his neck. It could be done round a straight sort of vase or even a large jar, so that, when the knot is completed, the tie may be removed in its tied state. The circle is enlarged or reduced to about the proportions it would assume, were it round his neck, and then the circle is flattened, so that half sticks out either side of the knot. These two ends are now placed under his collar, and with a needle and thread, just a couple of stitches are sufficient to hold each end in place.

At this stage it will be realised that the tie is only half way round his neck and a quick tug will free it from the slender threads. The rest of the success of the stunt depends entirely upon your acting and particularly that of your stooge.

Another good gag. Have in your possession several types of gents suit buttons. Also, a noisy Watch Winder. Choose a victim whose coat buttons pretty well match one you have in your possession, and going up to him, grab his coat, and then run the watch winder down the cloth. What a noise it makes ! As you take your hand away, drop the concealed button on the table and then apologise saying "Sorry sir, I didn't intend dragging your buttons off!" He will be quite concerned for a moment or two, not only looking for the tear but searching for the spot where a button must be missing.

On several occasions, when I didn't happen to have the watch winder (must have misplaced it) my wife would, just at the correct moment, tear a small piece of Engineers Emery Cloth. With hands out of sight under the table, my, what a ripping noise it makes !

A tip here which at some time you may find well worth while. You may find it necessary to leave the stage during your show, to carry out some sort of jiggery-pokery and here is a perfect and legitimate reason for so doing, a reason you've been looking for for some time.

You tell the audience that you have an invisible rabbit (shades of Harvey!) who loves a drink of milk but the strange thing is that he will only drink the milk when no-one is watching him. Cautioning the audience to be very quiet, you place a drinking straw into a glass milk container and then quietly tip-toe off the stage. The audience watches the milk and gets quite a thrill when it is seen that the milk is slowly going down in the glass. When almost all the milk has disappeared the performer (you) comes back on stage and shooing off the imaginary rabbit, carries on with the programme, happy in the fact that, during the brief spell out of sight, he has been able to perform— well, whatever it was which had to be done out of sight. Yes, you've guessed it. One of the present-day Visible Milk Vanishes. That all.

You entice a spectator on to the stage (maybe he has already helped you in which case you ask him to stay a little while) and at that moment your assistant walks on with a short length of rope. One end is handed to the spectator, and, taking a double sheet of newspaper, the performer spreads it over the rope so that half hangs down both front and rear. The spectator is asked to keep the rope taut and steps back a little, then the assistant does the same and this goes on until the rope stretches right across the stage.

With this effect the present series draws to a close. I'll not be trying to shake any skulls again. The emphasis in this series has been in the main upon that type of effect which Teally mystifies. You may retort that all tricks should do that. Well, of course, it wouldn't be a magical effect if it didn't mystify in some way. But many effects which are popular today have mystification only incidentally. Their main purpose is to create laughter. If the effects in this series have caused laughter it has been only incidentally, perhaps even unintentionally. So it is appropriate that as far as this series is concerned we should bid farewell on a mystic, not to say eerie, note.

Yes; it is another "living-and-dead" test. I know that many people object to performing tricks featuring the names of those who are dead. Well, there are 1002 ways of altering the patter so that dead people don't come into it . . . you can

This is the usual Stretching Rope set-up with the rope coiled up the sleeve but, done under cover of the newspaper and the constant moving back of first the spectator, then the assistant, this gives it a new lease of life. Those who know the original set-up will have no trouble in working this one out.

If you attend a Magic Meeting, that is, one for magicians only, here's a little gag to pull off for the boys. During your show, pause and take up a letter which you commence to read. "Dear Magic Dealer, Some time ago, I purchased from you the Floating Wand. I am returning it herewith as it is no good. I put it in some water and it SANK. Sank you, A Presto".

(Note.—This little gag may be coupled with the one, "A Free Trick" which appeared in the October 1955 issue, along with several more gags suitable for such occasions.—Editor).

Ah well, as the Trombone Player said. "I must blow now!"

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