The Laced Coin

Effect: A Chinese coin with a hole through its center is handed out for examination. The performer then causes it to penetrate a shoelace, the ends of which are being held by a spectator. The performer's hands are empty at the finish.

Method: Place a Chinese coin in your right jacket pocket. Thread two and one-half inches of a thirty-six inch shoelace through a duplicate coin, bunch up the rest of the shoelace and place it in the left jacket pocket. The short length of shoelace and the coin should be toward the front of the pocket. The bunched up part of the shoelace is toward the rear of the pocket. See Figure 1.

When ready to perform, place your hands in your jacket pockets. Remove the coin from your right pocket and hand it out for examination. Finger Palm the threaded coin in your left hand as you reach into the left pocket, grasp the end of the shoelace between your thumb and the second phalange of your forefinger and withdraw the shoelace from the pocket. Untangle the lace, grasp the free end between the thumb and second phalange of your right hand and stretch the shoelace horizontally between your hands. The palms of your hands are facing the audience. Thanks to the Finger Palm, your hands appear to be empty except for the shoelace — Figure 2.

Bring your hands together. Place the right end of the shoelace with the left end, between the left thumb and forefinger; close the second, third and little fingers into a loose fist around the lace. The ends of the lace protrude an inch above the left thumb and forefinger and the remainder of its doubled length runs through the fist to hang below the left little finger — Figure 3.

Grasp the ends of the lace between your right thumb and forefinger, pull eight inches of doubled shoelace above your left fist — the one strand runs freely through the Finger-Palmed coin — and ask a spectator to hold both ends tightly — Figure 4.

Take back the examined coin between your right thumb and forefinger and place it in your left fist which opens to receive it. Your left thumb and forefinger and your left fingers cover the backs of your right fingers — Figure 5.

Now, your right forefinger rubs along the underside of your thumb which propels the coin up your right sleeve, then it moves back to its original position against the ball of the thumb — Figure 6.

Try to make this a soft, rubbing motion rather than a hard, snapping one. (See issues 26 and 50 of Apocalypse for further information on the Soft Sleeve and A Beautiful Vanish or Change.) The left hand moves away from the right, closes into a loose fist and both hands turn palms-up simultaneously. The right hand is seen to be empty — Figure 7.

The spectator is asked to pull gently on the ends of the shoelace. As it passes through your hand, it pulls the Finger- Palmed coin into view, thus creating the illusion of a penetration — Figure 8. Open your left hand and show that it, too, is empty.

If this routine is performed sitting down, you may reclaim the examined coin and place it two inches from the rear edge of the table before proceeding as described above. Instead of vanishing the coin by sleeving, you secretly lap it as you pretend to pick it up and place it in your left fist.

The following is in essence a combination of two excellent items which have seen print beforee — Larry Jennings' "Your Best Suit" (from The Symposium's Collection Two, p. 60) and Tom Mullica's "The Future Spread" (from Lorayne's Best Of Friends, p. 56). Other than some tinkering at the outset of the former and its altered climax, the only original contribution is the combination itself, but the fit seems good enough and the effect is strong enough to warrant the redescriptions.

The only requirement is a deck with two identical Jokers. Begin by extracting the Ace through Ten of Diamonds and the two Jokers. Do not expose the faces of the cards or count them aloud. Set the remainder of the deck aside and arrange the cards from back to front: Joker, Joker, then Ten to Ace in consecutive order.

Forming a break above the two Jokers, hold them as one as you lower the cards and spread them to expose their faces — Figure 1. Call attention to the fact that you are using the Ace to Ten of Diamonds and a Joker, and maintain the position long enough to allow the spectators to verify this.

Square the packet and turn it face-down as you repeat, "Ace to Ten of Diamonds..." As you then go on, "...and a Joker," flip the top card face-up, obtaining a break beneath the next card in the process. Concluding, "...which we'll get back to in a moment," grasp the upper two cards as one with the right hand from above. Revolve the balance of the packet face-up, sliding it above the double card (Figure 2) and retaking the packet in the left hand.

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