When Next You Are In London




So successful has been my routine entitled "Taie Of A Shirt" which appeared in these pages, that I felt that something of a similar nature must be thought out for repeat engagements. And so was born . . . "MY PANTS".

This has been used for practically a couple of years, and take my tip. do not pass it by.

The preparation is simple and the equipment very, very cheap. You will need : 1 Changing Bag; 1 Changing Box; (the 5/- article from Max), 1 Tarbell Cone; 1 Double Newspaper as per "Modern Magic" similar to that used in the Shirt routine, 1 pair of Pants size about 14" wide & 10" long, colour BLACK; 1 pair of pants same size but coloured WHITE; 1 pair of pants with one half WHITE and the other half BLACK; 2 small Skull hats or caps coloured black and white.

Next comes the set-up prior to the performance. The Black and White pants are placed into the changing bag, one of the coloured caps is placed into the changing box. the white pants are placed in the newspaper. Now the other cap has a small hook stitched to it. (I use one of the excelsior clips) and this is placed into the right hand jacket pocket. The black pants are lying handy on your table.

Start off by telling the children that you have a small boy who loves to play football, and for his birthday you bought him a lovely football shirt (actually a tartan shirt), and he asked my wife, that is his mother, if she would buy him a pair of White Football Pants. He insisted that that was the best colour to suit the tartan.

Well, of course, like all wives, off she went and came back from the shop with a pair of BLACK pants. I asked her why she bought black ones and not white, so she told me that the black ones were much cheaper than the white which were only 1/9^ while the white ones were 1/10. So I thought that it would be a good idea if I brought them along and got someone at this party to help me to change them into a White pair for my young lad.

The children naturally agree and a boy is selected. I find that the cheekier the lad is the better,, so long as you can cope with him of course. The Black pair of pants is shown, and held against yourself and this always brings forth a laugh, the pants are handed to the lad who is asked to fold them up, at the same time saying . . . "Here we are, fold them over . . . and that's that". Make this expression a running gag every time pants etc. have to be folded up, the children soon get wise to it and say it for themselves, while the lad helping gets some support.

Bring forward your changing bag and get him to place the pants inside. Hand him a magic wand and get him to wave it over the top at the same time saying some of your favourite magic words. Open up the changing bag, asking which way he waved the wand, i.e. which direction. Nomatter what he says, tell him that it was the wrong; way . . . and in a jocular manner tell him off. The kids start to laugh at this, and the lad brings out the pants to start again.

You take them from him without actually looking at them, and drape them against yourself, all the time pointing out just how silly it is to wave the wand the wrong way. The kids start to laugh and shout as they realise that you are holding a pair of black and white pants in view . . . the more you ignore them the more they shout the place down, finally you realise what has happened. Now you have the audience where you want them and you are off for a real good time. The kids are enjoying themselves and you are flogging like the devil.

Hand the pants to the lad and tell him to fold them up, remembering the sentence previously used . . . "Here we are. fold them up and that's that". The lad does this and this time you place them in the changing box. Once again the wand is brought forward and you tell the kid to wave the thing over the box which you are holding. No matter which way he waves it . . . you insist that it is the wrong way, it is a simple matter to get away with this even if you tell him which way, you can always say that he didn't hold the wand right . . .

or look right ... or stand on the correct foot, in fact anything as long as you point out that he was wrong.

The box is opened and the lad is told to bring out the pants, he dips in and brings out . . . one of the caps . . . again you ignore what he has and explain ail the methods about waving the wand correctly etc. The kids are howling, you are thinking of the repeat booking you have coming in and the adults are saying how wonderful you are.

At last it dawns on you what the lad is holding . . . take it from him . . . look at it. drape it against yourself, no good. Finally you stick it on your brain-box. in other words your head. The crazier the angle the better the kids love it. Take it off and chuck it on the kids head, telling him to fold it up . . . once again reminding him of the sentence he used previously.

The cap is taken from him and placed into the Tarbell cone and once more the business with the wand is gone through. If however you feel that the wand business is being outplayed, as it may do with some children, then you go through the effect something like this. Now Charlie has placed the pants into the ... we say the magic words nice and loud and Charlie takes the pants out exactly as we wanted them nice and white" . . . Charlie takes them out and of course the kids howl the place down while you ignore their shouts, etc.

Right. Let's get back to the spot where the cap is placed into the Tarbell cone. Do whatever business you care as stated, either with the wand, or the patter as detailed. Open up the cone, the lad dips in and brings out Nothing. Look aghast whatever that means and get really worried asking where the pants or the cap is, open up the cone, nothing there . . . look into the lad's hands . . . nothing there . . . look inside his jacket, up his pull-tover , down his pullover, inside his socks, up his irouser leg in fact anywhere and keep at it as long as the kids shout and laugh, for believe you me they really do.

Well, you now appear to be in real trouble, close up the cone, lay it aside and call Charlie over to your side . . . now tell him to say the following . . . "Girls and boys I am sorry to say that I and Johnny Geddes (use your own name, it gets in a good plug) have lost a pair of pants and a cap, and we are sorry that we cannot finish the trick".

Now while he is telling them this, he invariable forgets half of it, so you bend down and whisper loudly to him what he has to say, this gives you an excellent opportunity to dip your hand into your right side jacket pocket, get hold of the cap. and. when you step back to let the kid finish, hang the cap on to the back of your jacket, finally standing with your hands behind your back. Having got this far. the kid has told the audience what has happened and you have the supposed lost cap on your back. Now say to Charlie . . . "Right, let's see what trick we Will do next" ... go over to your table with your back to the audience as the lad and yourself are looking at the "rubbish" you have yet to swamp them with.

This is it! The kids see the cap and your ears are nearly shattered off your nut with the racket they make. Naturally you and Charlie are astonished at this outburst, play it up as long as you dare, finally taking the cap off your back Tell Charlie off for not putting it in the cone and sticking it on your back. etc.. etc.

Now pick up the paper and as you open it up. ask the lad if he likes bacon and eggs, if he says "YES", then say . . . "What a pity I didn't bring some ... we could have had a feed". If on the other hand he says "NO", then you reply . . . "Neither do 1. I'm glad I didn't bring any". This gets a laugh, don't ask me why. but it does. It is also good cover for the bulge in the paper while you place the cap inside, and fold over ready for action.

Now give Charlie the Wand tell him exactly which way to hold it, which way to wave it and which way to stand. Having got this clear, Charlie is all ready to create a miracle. He does as asked . . . you rip open the paper, and Charlie takes out at last ... a lovely pair of WHITE PANTS, hold them up. drape them against yourself, hand the applause over to your hard working assistant, at the same time telling the kids, just how pleased your little lad will be, that they have been responsible for presenting him with a pair of WHITE PANTS just as he had asked for.

This routine will give you nearly 8 or 9 minutes and provides plenty of laughs and scope for your favourite bits of business.

Gramophone by G. N. RHODES

I was very interested in the article "The Gramophone Record Flies Again" (Magic Magazine, March, 1955, Page 292) but was somewhat puzzled by the reference to the disastrous effect of removing the record in its cardboard case the wrong way round. Not having the actual trick itself, I cannot really comment, but one of sheer curiosity I have evolved a method which eliminates this and the case can be shown back and front, with either the real record in or the feke, which latter can also be shown at close quarters and which is actually a real record, or at least a part of one.

I have performed this at close quarters for some friends at home and been quite successful, even though some of them have quite a good knowledge of magical methods.

I trust these ramblings will be of some interest and that you will not think this an infernal cheek for suggesting how a trick should be worked or for offering a method of performing an already marketed effect.

I give the details below, which may be of interest to you. I am assuming that the brown paper envelope has a slit at the back, so that the real record, which is left behind when removing the case and its feke, can be discovered later on, by lifting the flap and pulling it up as though it actually came from the envelope.

The cardboard case is an ordinary record case to the back of which is attached another back, the attachment being by the sides only, thus forming a flat tube. The record will then slip right through from top to bottom.

The feke is a real record, cut with scissors whilst hot, to the shape shown in the sketch. This is rivetted with an eyelet inside the faked back of the cardboard case, and if the eyelet is covered with the finger when the case is held (natural hold position) both sides can be shown with impunity.

When not on view, the feke occupies the position in the case as shown in "A", while "B" shows the feke in view. I have found it quite easy to operate the "gimmick" when inserting the real record and a quick with the fingers on the back of the case ensures it being centred. This is done while the case is being carried across to the stand, and the hold on the case is quite natural.

When I commenced my recent series on "Comedy Magic" 1 didn't give a thought to the length that such a subject might take me, and I certainly didn't intend it to run for five issues, for I know that such a branch of magic isn't everybody's meat, and we do. in the "Magic Magazine", try to cater for all tastes.

I admit that the idea ought to have occurred to me, for the subject is a vast one, worthy of perhaps more attention than it has received in the past. Maybe we'll come back to it one day. The real reason why I mention this is that, for some months now, I have had an idea in my note book, an idea which I think is worthy of passing along to the readers, an idea which has had to be postponed for the past five months because it didn't fit in with the Comedy Act just outlined, as then planned,

I suppose it could, really, be included in such a programme, but then, that will be up to the individual performer to decide for himself, for while it could reasonably be included in "Comedy Magic", it is also. I think, worthy of a place in any straight magic act. I hope you think so too.

How many ways are there of accidentally (?) burning a borrowed note? In the early issues of this effect, the performer very deliberately set the envelope alight, but I have got to hand it to the

To be brief, the effect is that the performer, having borrowed a note, folded it and inserted it in an envelope, places the latter in a suitable clip. To satisfy the customers that the note does repose in the envelope, he very obligingly lights a candle, in its stick, and moves the flame backwards and forwards behind the envelope, where the shadow of the note can be plainly seen.

This job performed he very deliberately blows out the candle flame, and sets the candle and its stick upon the table, obviously, not alight. Now you've guessed what is coming. He comes forward clever performer who conceived the idea of making this destruction of the note appear to be an accident. The apparent misfortune added much, very much, to the effect, and many more must be of this opinion too. as witness the varied ways we have before us of causing this 'accident'. We have had the "Chaotic Candle", originated by Grote and first put on the market by Max Andrews, and it may be that this mechanical candle was the first of the type where the tipping candle caused the accident. Since the original, it has appeared in one or two improved versions.

Eric Williams gave us an excellent version, in a recent copy of "Abracadabra", of how to destroy the note by accident, by pure personal downright carelessness, but unfortunately, Eric didn't give us the low-down on what to do if we haven't an assistant. However, those of you who have adopted this wonderful idea will have thought of ways and means of dealing with the note after the burning. For a "casual accident" this will take a lot of beating.

At the moment, I am more concerned with the method of burning the note, and knowing what you blighters are in your search for something different. it may be that you will think this sufficiently different and worth trying out. For the sake of the record we will call it:—

to address the audience, thanking the lender for his kindness, etc.. and while so addressing the multitude (well alright—small gathering) the candle relights itself, and. the performer having unfortunately placed it in close proximity to the envelope, the flame reaches the envelope, and sets fire to it and the note.

When the performer eventually realises what has happened, he returns to the table, takes up the candlestick in amazement, gazes at the flame, and then again deliberately blows it out. He acts as though oblivious to the fact that the

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