Magicians have round the vogue for chain letters of interest. I received ten in 9 days and four were from magiI If a chain did keep moving until your name hit the top, you couldn't help but get a return. They don't however, so what? It's the age old 7 or 9 lucky charm chain foolishness modernized with shekels and despite Federal warnings there is little that can be done about it. Supreme court decisions have made necessary an individual search warrant for each letter or piece of suspected first class matter.
So in your morning mail there is an innocent bit of reading which promises wealth should you have faith in your fellowmen to keep the ball rolling. Six names are before you. Copy the letter 5 times - copy the names too, but leave off the one on top and add yours to the bottom. Send the 5 copies to friends (if one has that many) and send that crossed off name a dime, quarter, dollar or whatever that particular chain calls for. In time (?) your name reaches the top but by then the snowball has grown and a total of 15,625 people cross your name off and the Lord only knows what the local postoffice will say about your popularity. All of this occurs only if-if-if the aforementioned fellowmen don't fall by the wayside.
Of the ones I received from magicians, one was for a dime, one a dollar, one for a piece of apparatus or a book with catalogue value of a dollar, and one for a quarter. The rest were dimes. I can only surmise that at least three magi are planning on taking in the conventions - if the chain doesn't break or falter.
Yes, I 'went to town' on the quarter chain, but I haven't much faith either so I forgot about the others and spent the dollar and ten cents for "Jf-'s In The Bag," by H. Adrian Smith-plus postage.
No wonder wives and mothers tire of magic. They are always the first upon whom a new one Is inflicted. Besides, they Invariably see them before it has been perfectly learned, and catching them call Jt all very silly. A man invariably tells of his wife1s accuteness at 'catching on.1 Do they realise that a wife or mother knows every little habit and geature of a man? If he steps out of his self for a second in performing a trick, and makes a move foreign to his ordinary actions, she has it every time. All of which brings me to my case. My mother was tired df magic before I was fifteen. I asked her to-day if she'd like to see a good one. Not having been pestered (In that manner) for a long time she consented. I told her she was to select a card with the deck in her own hands. As I handed it over I deftly palmed one from the top as per instructions and waited. Shuffling the deck a little, mother said.in an off-hand manner, "I
thought you said I was the one to take a card."---
A few nights ago I worked at a club where beforehand I had the opportunity of talking with the president who was very much interested in magic. He told me of being in a hotel in Virginia where a travelling magi and wife did some mental stunts. Then the mystic went into a huddle with a dozen or more persons who were interested and showed them a set of tricks, furnished them with instimetion sheets and collected a dollar each for thirty minutes time. Then the climax came when this person tells me one of the tricks taught to the group -a book test - and waxing enthusiastic tells me my own Premier Book Test combination which I sold over five years ago and which I was on the verge of using that nlghtl I couldn't find out the name but I have a good description and some of the stunts he is doing around lobbies. If I find out I'll let you know. Mallni has worked this angle for many years for a good living. Mind you, I'm not kicking as I don't give a hoot for all the curbstone magi in the world - and there are some good ones. But forcing magic on people who otherwise wouldn't be bothered with buying it is what helps hurt the bus iness. Let them become interested themselves and you'll have a true subject who won't kid or fool with the trick as a novelty and show it to everyone he meets. And to paraphrase a remark that Fred Keating once made; "If Magic is dead, it is because it has been murdered."
Several well meaning persons have asked me why I don't carry more news. The reason is simple. I haven't the facilities for obtaining ALL of the late news nor the space to print it. The standard journals carry it as it should be read. I never write about anyone I don't see myself whether it be in-home, club or theatre and then I write just what I think. The remaining news (if it could be by |any chance called that) I might cover and not duplicate that in the regular monthlies would be scandal. And if I carried stuff like that I wouldn't be around for very long. Scandal can be dug up anywhere if one will root for it. And what would it benefit me to carry such items as, "What world known mystic was caught key-hole snooping after the show in Allentown, Pa., March 30th, and said he was looking for his room?"-----"What great man lost his trousers from a 9th floor window of his hotel at the Hartford, Connecticut convention two years ago,and who threw them as well as why?" Those examples prove my contention. Who wants to read that stuff in a magazine or paper that should stick to tricks and legitimate magic news? Who would it benefit? That paragraph then,is my excuse for not handling news as news nor scandal as such.
I see that the Connecticut Assembly of the S.A.M. Intends publishing a monthly magazine. They are to present the truth, clearly and forcefully, not insultingly but still bluntly. This is commendable — if done as promised. The adjectives though, are not necessary. If magical magazines would tell the truth about all performances and shows, it would make much better reading. We read that Inkus did a clever this and a' marvelous that while Dlnlcus bewildered everyone with a remarkable what. Talking with those present we discover the show best described by a five letter word meaning pediculous. The worst example of this constant whitewashing in a long time was in the Linking Ring for June 1929, right after that year's convention in Lima, Ohio.
----"Satani made the unusual blindfold drive shortly after noon. Cotton pads were put over his eyes, a blindfold fastened and a black bag placed over his head. Yet to the wonder and admiration of all he managed to steer an automobile through congested traffic that took all the attention of drivers with wide open eyes."------- So much for that drivel. The Toledo Blade for June 6th carried a special story of how Josef Satani, the headless wonder was forced to acknowledge defeat when he fainted at the wheel. A passing motorist saw him slumped over and took him back to the auto agency. If the Connecticut magazine will bury the whitewash brush and weild an honest pen, its* success and fame is assured.
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