Skull Shaker No 4 m

"FOOLING ABOUT"

For the past few weeks I have been fooling about with Max's "Chinese Rope Rings" which, at 7/6d, is surely one of the cheapest "buys" in magic today. Here are a couple of notions for its use.

First of all, an effect which has always appealed to me is the simple "penetration" of a solid ring on to a solid rope. I have played around with methods until I am silly, but few of the results of my thought were as clean-cut as I should have liked and in the event I have used none of them. But consider the faked rope in the Chinese set! It has the neatest of possibilities if it is handled subtley.

All you need are: 1 faked rope as supplied; one length of unfaked rope as supplied; one hat; one long, low piece of apparatus sufficient to provide cover for one of the lengths of rope. (I will describe this later).

Given the fact that the audience's eye-level is below the edge of the table we are all ready to go ahead. The faked rope is folded into a neat flat bundle and placed on the table. The hat, which is of the soft trilby sort and may be borrowed, is placed on top of the bundle of rope so that the latter lies concealed beneath the indented crown of the hat which is lying brim uppermost. Place the unfaked rope inside the hat. Have your "long, low" pieces of apparatus lying directly in front of the hat so that, whilst the major part of the hat is exposed to view, the flat bundle of rope would not be visible if the hat were lifted. If you have a small tray, with the edges built up for about an inch this will do admirably as it can be used for receiving the ring which you are going to borrow in half a jiffy.

The routine, then, is as follows. Pick the unfaked rope out of the hat and throw it to someone to examine. In the meantime, ask someone to lend you a finger-ring, making sure, of course, that it is wide enough to pass over the rope. Take back the rope, fold it into a flat bundle as nearly as possible like the one under the hat and place it on the table as near to the crown of the hat as possible. It will be hidden momentarily behind the tray, but no-one notices this for as soon as you put the unfaked rope down, you pick up the hat and show it casually. Immediately afterwards you place the hat down again but this time on top of the unfaked rope. Now pick up the tray and advance towards the spectator who is loaning you the ring. Ask her to place the ring on the tray.

Now all these moves have been perfectly natural yet you have managed to switch the rope indetectably and all that remains visible on the table is a hat with a piece of rope by its side.

Having secured the ring place the tray in front of the hat. Then say: "All we need for this experiment is a hat . . (at this point lift up the hat, show it again casually, and place it crown downwards on the tray) "A piece of rope . . ." (here pick up the piece of faked rope by one end and drop it end first into the hat) "and the ring which this good lady has been kind enough to lend us." Here lift up the ring and show it but do not place it into the hat.

Tell them that the wonderful part about this experiment is the fact that they see the ends of the rope the whole time. So saying, place the ends over the sides of the hat so that they are visible. Under cover of the hat, undo the fake. All that now remains is to take the ring, place it into the hat and on to the faked end, joining the rope as soon as the ring is in place. The magic words can now be said, the ends of the rope lifted so that the centre of the rope can be seen with the ring threaded on to it.

If you now descend into the auditorium you can allow the lady to remove her ring from the rope in the following manner. Hold the end of the rope at the right between the right little finger and the third finger so that the end lies at the back of the hand. Raise the left hand and allow the ring to slide down the rope until it is approximately half-way between the fake and the right-hand end of the rope. Now carry the left hand end of the rope to the right and grip it between the right first and second fingers at a point halfway between the fake and the ring. Allow the left end of the rope to fall behind the right hand which should now be palm towards the audience. The general effect will be apparent from the diagram ... the ring is held in a bight of rope suspended between the fingers of the right hand. In this position it can be proffered to the lady to confirm that it is actually her ring . . . the faked portion is concealed behind the right hand. After she has looked at it and confirmed (a) that it is her ring and (b) that it is really threaded on the rope tell her to hold the ring and then you walk away from her releasing your grip on the rope where it is held between the LITTLE AND THIRD FINGERS but hanging on like grim death to the rope where it is gripped between the

first and second fingers. The ring comes away from the rope and the effect is over. At no time has the fake been visible at close quarters to the audience and although the lady, at the end, is apparently allowed to pull on the rope, there is no danger of the fake parting. I think you will like this routine if you try it out.

My space is just about used up so I must be brief about the other idea. It springs from an effect in one of the Ganson "Routined Manipulation" books though the result is slightly different.

Tie the faked piece of rope into a circle in the usual way and then, openly, thread an unfaked piece through the circle and tie its ends so that you have two linked rings, the unfaked one dangling from the other. Now tie the remaining piece of rope into a ring and round it, opposite the knot, tie a silk. In one hand, therefore, you have two linked loops ... in the other one separate loop with a silk tied round it.

Lift the lower of the two linked loops upward and place it alongside the other loop. Now add the separate loop and you will find that by opening the fake and passing it over the rope of the linked and the unlinked loops you can, in one move, unlink the linked and link the unlinked. This is almost impossible to explain in print but will easily be worked out with the ropes in hand.

This move accomplished, all the ropes and the silk are dropped into a hat. The magic words are said and the silk is removed. It is found that it is now tied to the linked loops and the single loop is loose in the hat. The moves are then reversed and next time the silk is tied on the single loop once more and it and the rope can be thrown out for examination.

NOTE.—The subtlety of this presentation is that it does not pretend to have anything to do with linking or unlinking of rings ... in effect it is the silk which hops from one rope ring to another.

This is where you get off the bus ! ! But I hope the ride was worth while. "Chinese Rope Rings", as Peter McDonald says, are a good buy at 7/6d. and, if you wish to use the other gimmicked ropes mentioned, no doubt Max will be able to arrange supplies, if you approach him. I will submit some further ideas myself, later on, for the Rope Rings. Meanwhile, have you a routine that is different?

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