You'll need just the one un-numbered purse. Also required are four slips of paper trimmed to the same dimensions as detailed previously, plus one additional slip cut to 4 1/2" wide x 4" deep. On the smallest slip print the word "Monkey." On the next largest, "Lion." Then, "Tiger," "Giraffe," and on the largest slip, "Elephant." Quarter-fold each slip and arrange them in "stepped" fashion in the secret compartment of the purse, with the smallest slip facing out.
Follow the presentation as detailed. Once you have learned which animal the spectator is thinking of, you'll immediately know which of the folded slips to access. As soon as you've delivered the line, "What I'm about to do is reality," open the secret pocket, reach in and remove the proper slip. Because the five slips are in "stepped" order and the order of the animals has been previously memorized, it's easy to remove the one you need. Show that the spectator's slip has mysteriously materialized. Allow the purse to close.
Reopen the purse normally and slip the paper back into the purse, allowing the springs to close on the slip, leaving a portion of it sticking out. Ask the spectator to remove his slip and as you extend your hand, squeeze the purse open allowing the slip to drop inside. Have the spectator remove the slip and confirm that there is nothing else within. Once the spectator has read aloud the name of the animal printed on the slip, take it back and hold it up for all to see. This enables you to retain the slip for your next performance.
This is an extremely strong, almost mystical effect that plays well stand-up or close-up. Often I have outfitted the spectator with a pith helmet and utilized taped background sounds of jungle noises to set the scene. The following gag has served me well and has not been previously released.
Before the show, seek out a cooperative member of the audience and ask for his assistance during your performance. Explain that during the show you will give the spectator a choice between five wild animals. However, as a gag, when you ask him to name the animal he is thinking of, request that he reply, "Gertrude." Explain that this will give the audience a good laugh, but then, when you ask him, "What kind of animal is Gertrude?" he to is say which of the five animals he is thinking of. Thank the spectator and leave.
Once alone, print up the five slips as follows: "Gertrude the Monkey," "Gertrude the Lion," "Gertrude the Tiger," "Gertrude the Giraffe," and finally, "Gertrude the Elephant." Not only will you get a good laugh when the spectator apparently misunderstands your request that he "name" an animal, you'll also baffle everyone as to how you knew the animal's name was "Gertrude." Try this. It's a powerfully entertaining bit of business and quite a mystery in the bargain.
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