Several years ago a stunt was passed around that was simply an optical illusion. It was invariably done with a pencil wnlch the magi would shake in front of your eyes and wnlcn would very apparently bend back and forth. It was held about the center or at balance point, the pencil lying parallel with the floor. Hold-it between tnumb and forefinger with thumb underneath the pencil is given an easy up and down swing or shake covering a distance of about three inches.
In practice Just do tnls over and over for about three or four minutes, letting tne pencil wobole as it may. Let the arm stand still and let tne wrist do the work. Keep at tnls until the wnole action is loose, easy and reiular. The secret of why tne pencil appears to bend up and down at both ends is the double action of the up and down movement of nand combined wltn the loose turning action of wrist. If you nave ever watcned an orcnestra leader handle the baton from a side seat you can appreciate how it seems to oe very pliable.
Around tne clubs and night spots wnere a person is playing to the tables, the hardest an.---.ie is to crash the taole and get Interest. After yc»> ^re there it is entirely up to you but any of tne boy a who nave are willing to tell you tnat approacnlng a table of people cold is the tougnest part of tnl3 type of work.
I used tnls uendlng stunt for tnat purpose but IiMoiiAiJ of filii UDJAL P&..CIL uR rtii I U3J£J A JLA33 AIX-liW rod V.illc.-i Ij Au30 CALLed A 3'ill¿¿La ¿TICK, and used for mixing highballs and long drinks. Invariably tnere will be a couple or more on tne table after the people therethave been served.
When they had reacned an Impasse for a secorxi I'd barge in and pick up a rod and start shaking but would keep ay fingers tightened on it so nothing would happe for the present. Dropping it I'd try another and thla would start bending. If you have never eeen a glass rod apparently bending you oan't realise how funny or odd this looks.
At this time I'd explain tnat tne hotel was replacing tne old style breakable rods with those made of pliable glass because tne breakage was so high when guests would stir tneir drinks too hard. This got the Interest and I'd drop tne rod so it would bang on the table, make tnem realize it was glass and they would grab for It. After tney had fiddled wltn It for a moment I'd do it once more, drop it and step away for a secoril.
I liAJJ A ROD 'MAT riAJ biJlN Dfc.il' 114 THE dlMlM. It was only about half an inch out of line but that Is plenty. I was carrying it in my rlg.it trouser pocket and l"d merely brin^ 1 t out, start shaking It and step back into tne table. »Hta THIi ROD «As bKIMU SHAKEN XGU CuJLj dv/f lEU, If »A3 oKm! - ilAVIiW SEEN 1'riE FIRST ROD u3£i> IN i'HAf BANNER. Wow I'd say that I murt tell tnem one tnlng. i'hey should never stop shaking = uldenly Decause if tney did It would be right In tne middle of a bend, jo 3aylng I'd stop snort, tney would see tne bent rod and I'd drop it on tne table.
Thi* was what got tne laughs wltnout fall and only because of tne surprise angle combined wltn the ridiculous.
iiow I don't want any of my readers to take tnem-selves seriously on tnls stunt and t.ilnk for a moment tney ire fooling anybody wltn It. 1 Know damned well 1 never did and I'd pay a lot of money for another as good.
People know or 3ense ta-*t tne first is an optical illusion, i'nay won't be aole to do it but it looks so weird that tney will watch It for hours. The bent rod is strictly a surprise gag but it is one tney will all appreciate tne more because of tne tie-up with the first illusion and tne fact that no one probably ever before saw a bent glass mixing rod. '
i'he bent rod is simply made, i'hey are all about six incnes long ard perhaps a quarter inch thick. Take hold of each end in your fingers and roll the center of rod round and round in a glass flame or bunsen burner. I did mine on a gas stove. In three or four minutes the glass will get white hot at the center and it will almost bend Itself. Just lay It down somewhere on metal to cool By Itself, iour fingers won't even feel warn at any time.
Ihe only reason wny I'm breaking this stunt is as I said before because of tne inevitable leak. I've been proud of it and it will be a surprise to mat)/ tnat I've been using a stunt and keeping it down since last spring.
Think not that you can sway the mob with soft and gentle pleading:
Be on your toes, be firm aid energetic. Unless you strut and learn to let your chest have full Inflation Tne talents you may have will get you little admiration.
Observe tae man who wins applause: who leads where otners follow;
He may advance a foolish cause, his bragging may be hollow; But by the fierceness of his threats, and by rip-snorting capers He makes tne mob believe and gets his name in all the papers.
It matters little If at all how wise you are or able;
iour worth will be considered small unless you pound the table; Truth claims attention only when It has become dramatlo So in saying five and five are ten be noisy a«i emphatic.
If modesty within you lies, get rid of that affliction;
Tell other people you are wise and tell them wltn conviction. The boast you make may not be true but go the limit; yell it. For others knowing less than you, will take it as you tell It.
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