Counting

To begin, lets discuss the counting of the pieces of card after it has apparently been torn into quarters—and, for that matter, the counting of small groups of cards in general. In my opinion when you have three or four or even five cards, or pieces of card, it is both silly and unnatural to count them "One, two, three... ctc." If you think for a few moments as a normal person, rather than as a magician trained by past example, you will realize that these amounts are too small to require such deliberate counting. It is much more natural and to the point simply to display the few cards or pieces. After all, the human eye is perfecdy capable of taking in three or four cards at a glance. When there are five, the average person may cheat a little and split the group visually into wo cards and three cards, which he then knows total five. And with six cards, you well might count "One, two, three, four"—then stop, as everyone can easily see that two cards are left. Only idiots and magicians count such small groups one by one. T his consideration makes the manner in which many packet tricks arc commonly performed, to my way of thinking, very odd and unnatural.

It is unfortunate that in our parlance we have chosen to call certain procedures "counts", such as die Elmsley count, the Jordan county the 1 lamman count—when the purpose of such sequences is usually one of display. Instead of counting the cards as four, you should simply show them while making a comment like "Here arc the Aces" or "These cards all have blue backs." There is no reason to count the cards out loud, unless of course the effect specifically concerns the number of cards in use.

What has all this ro do with " I'hc Ultimate Rip-oiF ? In the original handling, once the card has been torn up, three pieccs arc counted to prove them separate. This articulated counting is both unnecessary and unnatural. To eliminate the need for the count, I devised a method of displaying the picces that is very deceptive:

At that moment in the trick when the last piece is apparently torn oft, you are holding three-quarters of the card, untorn but folded, in your left hand, and the fourth, separate quarter in your right, as shown in Figure 1. (A note here: I tear the card with its facc turned outward, which results in my tearing off a non-index corner. This varies from Mr. Harris's procedure, but is necessary for reasons that will become clcar when we discuss the Complete Restoration. The illustrations reflect this small change, but the display can be easily adapted to the original handling, if it is preferred.)

With your left thumb, push up and rightward on the lower left corner of the folded [lacker, forcing the near quarter of the card to move diagonally to the right, forming a minimal fan (Figure 2). Then place the right hands quarter card on the face of this fan, beside the angled piece. This crcatcs a fan of three pieces that can be clearly perceived without physically counting them (Figure 3, an audience view).

This display is, I think, far more natural and convincing than the false count originally used; and the many magicians I've taught it to over the years seem to agree.

Flash Restoration

From this position I have discovered a method for instandy restoring the card, which is extremely visual and surprising. Bring your right hand to the fan of "pieces" and grip the two quarters on the right, your thumb contacting the face of the loose piece, and the tip of your forefinger the back of the attached, angled corner (Figure 4). As the right hand assumes this grip, shift your left thumb down onto the lower left corner of the folded packet. This will be an exposed portion of the face of the folded card; the rear quarter, to be precise.

Now move your left hand upward and the right hand down. You will find that the folded portion of the card immediately opens out to reveal itself no longer torn (Figure 5). If you do this very quickly; the result is an instantaneous visual restoration! At the same time, pull the loose piece back behind the right fingers, concealing it.

Once the card is open, press the creases on both untorn edges of the card between your thumbs and fingers, crimping them a bit in the opposite direction to prevent the card from collapsing back into a semi-folded state. You can now conclude the effect as explained in the original. Or you can follow that with...

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