Note

It is not necessary to go into audience to show needles if it is not practical to do so on certain occasions. Instead, have two spectators come up to assist you. Give the sharp needle to one, and the package of needles to the other. Have one stand at your right and the other at your left so that the sharp needle cannot be replaced in package by spectators. Should, by any chance, the needle happen to be replaced, just remove the rest of the needles, leaving that one in the package. This will not be noticed by spectators. Also give spool of thread to spectator holding the sharp needle.

"I shall also ask you to hold this thread."

Give spool of thread to spectator who is on stage assisting you. Have assistant at your right.

Have your table with glass of water on it a little in front of you and to your left.

"You, sir, are to act as chief inspector. First, I want to convince you that my mouth is empty."

Open mouth and show all parts. Push lips away from upper and lower gums in front to show there is nothing concealed there. Show space between upper teeth and cheek on each side. Now apparently show spaces between lower jaw and cheek on each side. To do this reach forefingers into each side of mouth and cover bundle of needles with left forefinger. You must do this rather slowly and carefully to convince audience that there is NOTHING in your mouth. Some performers shift needles from lower to upper jaw and back again, but this requires long practice and great care. This other method will prove entirely satisfactory.

Figure 6 shows fingers being inserted into mouth to show it empty.

"Nothing there. Will you please give me the needles?"

Remove needles from package. Be sure to keep them in plain sight all the time until you get them into your mouth. Show the needles to audience, bunch them up together and hold them between thumb and forefinger of right hand. Show to audience again, holding palm of hand toward audience.

Open your mouth and stick out your tongue. Place this bundle of needles on your tongue, heads toward the rear. Move your head around so that all can see needles on tongue. Show to assistant also, Figure 7.

Now close mouth and with the tongue force the needles over into the space between cheek and lower jaw on right side, opposite to side where prepared needles are concealed.

Pretend to swallow needles. Making a swallowing motion to create the illusion of swallowing the needles.

After this maneuver, sigh and say:

"Not so bad at that. Now for the thread."

Break off about the same length of thread as the one on which you have the needles threaded. Roll up about 12 inches of it into a ball and place in your mouth. Then gradually draw thread into mouth with chewing motion. Be sure not to have hands come near mouth during needle swallowing or eating of thread, Figure 8.

It is easy to get thread into a small wad in your mouth and to force it over on right side with the unthreaded needles. Figure 9 shows positions of bundles of needles—prepared ones are on the left side, unprepared ones and wad of thread on the right.

Figure 6 shows fingers being inserted into mouth to show it empty.

NOTE: When working with more than one package of needles for swallowing, each package is apparently swallowed one at a time. In reality, each bundle is pushed over to lower right side of mouth between jaw and cheek and stacked together there. It takes skill to work with several packages, so do not attempt it until you have mastered working with the pretended swallowing of one.

"Rather a light dessert for a needle meal."

Pick up the glass of water and drink some of it.

"That is sure to wash the thread down."

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