May 1991

Thea ter of we Mind

The Psychic St Long Man

THIS IDEA CAME from Henning Ndms* book. Magic & Showmanship (see "The Strong Mans Secret/* p. 14). The method he gives is different from the one Eve developed, as mine allows the laces to be left in the hands of the spectators; but the effect is identical.

EFFECT AND PRESENTATION: "Many yean ago 1 saw a fair ground performer billed as The Mighty Atom, the strongest man on earth. The Migfrty Atom turned out to be no more than five feet, six inches tall and of modest physique. Even so* he could do extraordinary things. His strength seemed to come from some psychic power rather than muscle. A huge man jailed to bend his arm when he held it straight, and he only had to touch people to send them frying and falling across the stage.

"But what impressed me most was watching him pinch a couple of ten-foot ropes between his left forefinger and thumb, u4)ile a pair of beefy fellows tugged away. Try as they might; they could not wrest them from his vice-like grip.

"Today I would like to show you a variation. Since I dont have the training, HI have to do it on a smaller scale."

Two boot laces are brought out. The performer holds the ends as described. Two onlookers arc invited to pull on opposite ends of the laces. Try as they might, their endeavors are resisted with the utmost ease. Once

Theater of the Mind they admit defeat, the performer merely separates his finger and thumb, and the laces tall away. Trickery seems out of the question, leaving mind over matter as the only possible explanation.

Just in case anybody has doubts about the phenomenon, they may be allowed ro try the feat for themselves.Their efforts result in total failure.

' " METHOD: The secret lies in aspecial gimmick.

This is an S-shaped hook of brass or .stout wire. These can be obtained from hardware shops. Mine is about one-and-thrcc-quarters inches long and half an inch across (Figure 1). One curve is formed more rightly than the other, but is not entirely closed. Enough room remains to enable it to be linked through the band of your signet or wedding ring, which must be worn on your third finger.

During performance, the laces arc secretly twisted around the gimmick. The spectators arc in feet tugging against this. All their force dissipates there, while your thumb pressure prevents the strands from slipping.

To get into position, begin as in Figure 2. Notice how the laces already pass through the loop (a simple position to achieve). As you move your right hand upward with its ends of the laces, sccrcdy wrap the centers once more around the gimmick (Figure 3).

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