Wigging the1 Bildpate

I PUBLISHED AN abbreviated version on this trick in rhe June 1977 issue of Pabular. ilie premise goes back to J. J. Kolar s lock and key trick, popularized by led Annemann as ''Seven Keys to Baldpate.' Kblars method was a simple switch of keys. Since dien many gimmicked versions have been developed. The basic lock and key effect has always struck me as something less than spectacular. The odds of success arc five (or sometimes seven) to one, so it i.s not all that unlikely to happen by pure chance.

My presentation seeks to raise die odds while introducing more audience participation and a couple of additional mysteries. The lock and key business is not intended to be rhe major focus of die presentation» hut merely a pathway to a deeper and more surprising mystery. 1 am sure I have borrowed some ideas in diis presentation from others, such as To ny Co rinda.

El-l-fcCI: "llie performer invites five men to come forward and stand in a line facing die audience. He then introduces a padlock, saying, "This lock is exactly as it came from the factory "The audience sees a key in the lock, with a red ribbon tied to it.

Snapping open the lock, the performer removes the key and hands it to a woman. lie then picks up a glass containing four .similar keys and shakes

. Bapjue RiciiAnnsos ic. After tliis he pours the keys onto his hand and divides them among four of the men. • .

I le snaps the lock shut and hands it to rh^ fifth man, who holds it while the orhcrs try their keys. These keys arc not supposed to open the lock and none indeed do. After each has been tested, it Is dropped back into the glass. Then the performer retrieves the lock. . '

Turning to die woifian, the performer asks her to remove the ribbon from :hc correct key. He then hands the lock to her. so that she may again test her key. The lock snaps open.

The performer now opens a standard file folder. Several sentences are printed in bold letters across its interior. These are flashed at the audience, but too quickly for anyone to read. He closes the folder and passes the lock •iirough a couple of small holes in it. Snapping die lock shut, he seals the message inside.

The woman now drops her key into the glass wis^. the others, i'he performer doesn't touch the glass, key or lock again. ^

He now introduces a bowl of poker chips, each wkh a number on it. The woman is asked to take a handful, during which she sees that the numbers vary on each chip. She gives a chip to each of the five men.

Next each man is 3skcd to take a key from the glass. They may swap keys if they wish. Likewise, they can also exchange poker chips. Meanwhile die performer turns away.

He now invites a woman in the audience to .select two of the men. The other three are told to drop their keys into the glass and call our the numbers on their poker chips before returning them to the bowi. Obviously, this provides opportunity for some lighthearted banter with the woman as to why she chose diese parucuiar men.

The two remaining men are offered the opportunity to exchange cither their chips or their keys, or both, if they wish. No one can now know who holds which key and which chip. It is made clear that each have one chip and one key; This is important - no horseplay—and holding two chips or keys is not allowed. The woman points to one of the men. The other is dismissed and deposits his key and chip.

Now there is only one mail of die five left. He takes the key, rries it in the lock and finds thai it opens. The lock is removed and the folder opened and handed to another woman, who reads the following message:

PREDICTION NO. 1: ACHAJLVCNG YOUNG MAN BEARING A BL.IJK B:^/.KR

AMD RED TIE WIJ. BE SKtiX.TF.D BY A SENSITIVE WOMAN.

Theater of the Mind .

PRKDK.TIO.N..NO. 2: THE MAN WITH-A (¡OI.U> WRISTWATCH VX'ILL HAW

Here the performer signals tor her to paiisc while the effect sinks in. .She then continues: ' -

PRfcDlCTION NO. 3: IHF.SKI >:C!hDM-\N WILL HOI J) A POKER CHIP WH

HE NUMBER 37 ON n*. I AM SURE OF 11 US. — BAKKlh RICIIARDSON 4 •

P.S. V.K VlANl'S NAMK Wl.l1 RK HI J HLR JAOC OR S I KPHFN.

And all this is true!

METHOD: Lets begin with the lock and keyv, or to he more precise, locks and keys. Instead of using a gimmicked lock or trying to switch keys, 1 have returned to an old idea of Hen Fctschs {The Jim, No. 34, July 193?. p. 227), in which the locks are exchanged rather than the key.

So you will need two locks of identical appearance, one having five matching keys that open it. Place four of these keys into a clear glass. To the fifth, tie a length of red ribbon, using a knot thai can be quickly undone during performance.

As you have probably suspected, I'm also using the same prediction method employed in 'Minds in Unbon.*' For this you need aninc-by-elcYcn-inch file folder. Punch two holes in it, aligned and. centrally located near the opening edges. Make these holes large enough to allow die lock to pass through them (Figure l).With a bkek grease pencil, you then write your predictions inside. I will tell you what they are in a moment.

And of course you will need a nail writes of whatever style you prefer, fitted with grease-pencil lead matching diat with winch you wrote your predictions in the folder.

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