ou know you've been handling cards too long when you start wondering which one of the four Queens is the best babe." (It's the Queen of Spades...and she knows it.)
E-FfELCT - The Ace of Spades is sticking out of the center of the deck. The Queen of Hearts is face up on top. Both cards are clearly displayed. There is a flicker, and the two cards instantly change places.
6E.TUP - (from the top down) Ace of Clubs. Queen of Hearts, Ace of Spades.
-5TE.P ObIE. - As you explain that you'll do something curious with just two cards, casually take off the top two and flash their faces to the audience. Catch a little-finger break under the top card of the deck and replace the two you've shown.
±>TLP T\Vt0 - Instantly flip the top three cards over onto the deck as if they were one card, the Ace of Spades. Flip the three cards Dae* over and place the top single card into the center of the deck at the outer end (FIG 1) Notice that the card is left sticking out exactly 1/2 an inch This covers the Club pip and aiicws you to display the face of the Ace sticking out of the deck
STLP TilC.E.E. - Spread the top two cards off the deck a little. Flip the top single card face up and catch a little finger break under the second card. Square the cards with the deck, retaining the two-card break.
i>TE-P FtfUR. - Turn your hand slowly palm down to display the Ace sticking out of the middle. Turn back palm up showing the Queen face up on top. This is very convincing, so take advantage of it.
6TELP HN/EL - Execute Looy Simonoff's Flippant Move as follows: Take a deep breath, hold it and then drop your hand quickly about 4 inches straight down. This causes the top two cards to flip over and land with the Ace showing on top of the deck. Try this a few times till you get the knack. You'll know you're zeroing in on the correct handling when you are subtly but imperceptibly "helping" the double to flip by tipping your hand slightly as it drops. Done properly this is a startling change.
6TE-P 5IX - Remove the face-up Ace and toss it to the table. Now you'll do Jeff Altman's beautiful clean up. The following actions will all happen as one smooth, continuous move.
±>JLP ¿>CVC.N - Grasp the deck from above with your right hand in the Biddle Grip. Squeeze the protruding card square into the pack with the right fingers. In a continuing action, lift off about half of the deck with your right hand and peel the top card (Queen) off of this pile with your left thumb (FIG. 2). The right-hand packet smoothly flips the Queen face up and out-jogged onto the left half and then the right-hand packet settles square with the rest of the deck (FIG. 3).
6TE-P LIC^T - Pause to display the out-jogged Queen a moment, then strip the little babe out of the deck and toss her onto the Ace.
• With a minor change this becomes an ideal effect for the strolling performer working without a table. When you get to Step Six, instead of putting the Ace on the table, take it out and clip it between your left first and middle fingers. Execute the Altman move, and stop there. No table, no free hands needed, no one has to remember a card.
• This is Jeff's bare bones version, you may even prefer it.
1. Double lift the top cards, display the face, turn the double down and insert the top single face down into the front end of the deck, out-jogged from the center.
2. Double lift again to display a second card. Turn the double down and deal the top single card face down onto spectator's hand.
3. Do the Step Seven switch of the out-jogged card, then reveal it has changed with the card in the spectator's hand.
When properly timed, this massive bluff looks exactly like you're flipping the center card face up into the center. Again, the key is to perform the sequence as a single, fluid movement.
John's "Flutter" is a fine example of astonishment-design that structures a sequence to maximize the properties of common objects. This outstanding impromptu routine of John's went virtually unnoticed when he published it in the June '86 Genii. Take notice. This is good.
E-fFELCT - You vanish a coin. A paper napkin mysteriously "flutters" and the coin is discovered under the napkin. You do this over and over again: vanish, flutter, discover. You attempt to vanish the coin one last time by balling up the napkin for misdirection... but the audience catches you sneaking the "vanished" quarter into your mouth. It looks like you're busted, when suddenly the balled-up napkin changes into the quarter...while perched between your lips is the missing napkin! All this with just one quarter, one napkin and one pair of lips.
óTLP £?ÑL - Find a cocktail napkin. You want the kind that's folded into quarters (One edge is creased, and the opposite edge is open). Lightly wet the center of the creased edge and press it against the table. This will hold the napkin down for what you're about to do. The open edge is towards yourself.
ÓTE.P T\V¿? - Borrow a quarter. Display it on your open left hand, resting in position for a finger-palm.
•5TE-P TtlR-LL - Pretend to pick up the coin with your right hand as your left hand turns down naturally, and finger-palms the coin.
5TLP F^UE. - Hold your right hand about six inches above the napkin and pretend to drop the coin. At the same instant, secretly blow a puff of air against the table right in front of the napkin. This causes the napkin to flutter a little. It seems that the vanished coin has "re-appeared" under the napkin causing it to flutter. This poetic little visual puts you psychologically one-ahead.
6TLP FIVE. - Without any hesitation lift the near edge of the napkin slightly off the table with your right hand. Your left hand ducks under the napkin with the palmed coin, quietly sets it on the table and then openly slides it out to the left. Leave the coin about an inch from the left edge of the napkin.
6TLP 6IX - Announce that you'll do it again. Reach down to the quarter with your right hand and as you pretend to pick it up you secretly "kick" it under the napkin with your thumb. Follow through by pretending to place the coin into your left hand, which closes into a fist.
6TELP 5LVLN - Hold your left hand about a foot to the left of the napkin and make a crumbling motion with your fingers. Open your hand and again secretly blow in front of the napkin. There's a vanish, a flutter and it's happened again.
6TE.P EJ^LlT - Pick up the near edge of the napkin and cleanly slide the quarter out with the left hand just like before.
6TE.P NiNlEL - Offer to explain how this is done. "Part of it is based on sleight-of-hand. It looks like the coin vanishes, but I hide it behind my hand." Take the coin in your right hand and slowly (and clumsily) press it between your fingers so it's hidden from the front. Turn your hand over so the coin is exposed from the back.
5TE.P TE-lsl - "But if I do it quickly it looks as if the coin vanishes, doesn't it?" As you say this line, take the coin with your left hand, and display it briefly resting in position for a finger-palm. Just like at the beginning, pretend to pick it up in your right hand and finger palm the coin as your left hand turns down naturally. Open your right hand quickly with your fingers cramped together as if concealing the coin behind your hand. Pause a beat and then spread your fingers wide and say "It sure does!" Flash both sides of your right hand. Do the Flutter blow.
6TE.P LLLVLN -"It's gone back under the napkin." Lift the near edge a little with the right hand and use your left hand to slide the (palmed) coin out from under it like before.
6TE.P TWELVE. - Ease their minds with the following mock explanation: "That time I didn't use sleight-of-hand. I used a distraction. Magicians call it 'misdirection.' Let me show you how it works." As you are speaking, pick up the napkin and unfold it. Everyone will watch you do this. "See, you were looking up here at the napkin. You should be watching the coin on the table. But you were being misdirected. Try to watch the coin..."
5TE-P TJ-llE-TLLhJ - Crush the center of the napkin in your left fist as you gesture towards the coin. The crushed napkin sticks out of both sides of your left fist. Now you must secretly tear the napkin in two by pulling with your thumb and forefinger away from your other fingers. It's more of a "breaking" than a rip. (If you have trouble breaking a napkin like this, you can tear it a little with both hands as you tell them they should be watching the coin. Just get it started and later it'll break easily.)
5TE.P F<?URTELE.N - Continue your sentence, "...and also the napkin. I'll roll it into a ball." Use both hands to roll the napkin into two separate balls, but keep both together as you do this so it looks like one ball. Secretly pull one of the balls into your curled right fingers as your left hand openly puts the other ball down next to the coin.
6TE.P FIFTE-E.Nl - "Remember, I'm going to use a distraction to make the coin disappear." Pick up the coin in your left hand. Finger-palm the coin as you pretend to place it in the right hand. Be careful not to flash the extra ball hidden in the right hand.
5TE.P 6IXTLLN - Still hiding the coin in your left hand pick up the visible ball. Hold it out in front of you and say, "Watch the napkin." As this is said, quickly pop the right-hand "coin" (really the extra wad) into your mouth. Show your right hand empty as you say (very muffled) "The coin is gone." Try not to laugh along with your audience or you risk spitting up your finale.
6TE-P ¿LVlNTLLN - Pretend to toss the napkin from your left hand to your right. Actually keep the balled-up napkin concealed in your left hand and toss the quarter (keeping it concealed). Slowly open your right hand revealing the quarter. Now point up to your mouth with your left hand (the action helps to conceal the hidden wad of paper) and use your tongue to push the napkin into view from your mouth. This is a shocking transposition.
•5TE-P LIGLlTLLN - Take the napkin from your mouth with your left hand. As you do this, add the finger-palmed ball from the left hand to the one being taken from your mouth and squeeze them together as one. Hold the napkin out and say "Would anyone like to examine it?" Throw away the wadded-up napkin and give back the coin.
- The toughest thing about this for me is learning to like the taste of wadded-up paper napkin. There are no surprises here. It tastes exactly like a wadded-up paper napkin.
• Some people can produce stuff from their mouth and it's perfectly okay. Other people should keep whatever is in their mouth a personal matter. It's your job to know your mouth and your audience's interest in seeing what may or may not come out of it.
• Closed-mouth Option: If your mouth absolutely refuses to share itself with a napkin you can Flutter with your armpit instead. At Step Sixteen instead of popping the napkin into your mouth, openly "sneak" the napkin (apparently the coin) under your left armpit. Keep the arm at a stiff crooked angle as you reveal that the right hand coin is gone. Follow Step Seventeen to transform the visible wad ;nto a quarter then point to your stiff arm •vhere ycu allow the napkin ball to drop onto the tab'e or -/our right hand. Pick up the ball .vtr ,"cur ¡eft fingers to squish the two balls together and clean up by popping the napkin !"tc your mouth (Just wanted to see if you .•/ere paying attention )
I I arry exists to re-configure the "inflexible" -I—I rules of the universe. One of Harry's exercises for keeping his own universe in a state of ever-changing flow is to figure out new ways to stuff big things into small bottles. Things like baseballs, blocks of wood, kitchen appliances and even decks of cards. Collectors of strange will pay five-hundred bucks for a good Eng Bottle. Now you can make your own for the cost of a deck of cards and a bottle of scotch
PLCkl IN E>^TTLE_
E-FFE-CT - You bring out a bottle containing a full-size deck of cards complete with case People look at it and say "neat-o." You vow to one day invent a great moment with it. But for now you're just happy to display a neat-o thing on your shelf.
•5TE.P ¿?NE. - You need a tall square bottle of the "Johnny Walker Black" style. JWB is a very expensive scotch. For a couple of bucks you can get a bottle of Chinese cooking wine which looks almost the same. The deck looks even better in a smaller salad dressing bottle The smaller the bottle the more impressive the final display and the more insanity you'll have to endure before completing the job. Start with a bigger bottle to make your first try easier. Although "easy" is not the first word that will occur to you as the deck-stuffing progresses.
6TE.P J^JO - Drink as much of the bottles contents as you can, and then pour out the rest. (You are in for several hours of tedious effort, so a good buzz might help your attitude when frustration starts to set in. If your bottle contains Chinese cooking oil or salad dressing you might want to hire someone to drink it for you.)
6TE.P TJ-lE-ELE. - Rinse the bottle out really well and allow it to dry. (Or use a hair dryer.)
5TE.P fOVOZ. - Get a long pencil with a soft rubber eraser. (Although Harry uses a chop-stick with a rubber band wrapped tightly around one end.) Get a thin dowel and put a card-length slot in one end. Those are the tools you'll use for working inside the bottle. You'll also need a worn pack of cards.
6TE.P plN/C. - Take the cards out of the box. Now carefully flatten the box so that the sides flair out, not in, as in FIG. 1. Then fold the top flap down so the top of the box is open.
6TE-P 5IX - Roll the box up into a tube and jam it down into the bottle. Notice that the opening of the box points up (FIG. 2).
iTE-P AE.VC.N - Use the eraser end of the pencil to fluff open the case. There's no way to get it back into pristine condition, but it should be more or less box shaped, and open at the top (FIG. 3). Sometimes it helps to use a long knife to fluff out the case. I have no other great tips for you here. The flat case will slide around when you attempt to get leverage to pop it open. The bottle will laugh in your face. You have my permission to curse and make rude faces. 3
6TE-P EJ^J-lT - You'll now use the same box-stuffing technique to stuff the cards into the box one by one: Take a card, roll it up lengthwise and tap it into the bottle. If you lay the bottle down on its side the card will sit in the bottle free and clear of the box.
■5TE.P NiNEL - Use the pencil (eraser end) and the dowel to uncurl the card. You do this by slipping the card into the slot and pinning the edge down with the pencil. Then slide the dowel back and forth, pressing against the curl in the card. Harry says you can perfectly flatten a card, without any damage to the card at all. Mine were sort of flat and had slight wear and tear at the edges from the dowel. To maximize your technique it helps to have been brought up in a different culture.
6TE-P TE-N - Once the card is "good as new" use the dowel to manipulate it into the box.
-5TE.P E.I_EVlN - Repeat Steps Eight - Ten, fifty-one times (FIG. 4).
Actually, there's more to it than that. As the cards pile up the differences in flatness begin to show. Thirty or thirty-five cards fill the interior of the case so additional cards must be jammed into a progressively denser deck. Sometimes by leaving the topmost card slightly out-jogged this is a little easier. Notice that as the box fills up it straightens out and starts to looks like new. This is the last bit of good news you'll get until one of you wins.
Harry swears (and I believe him) that he can get all 52 ^
cards into the box. On my third attempt I could only get 38. I couldn't force one more card into the case. But it still looked great.
6TE.P T\\/e.L\/E. - Once the cards are into the box, use the pencil to carefully close the case. If you leave the flap slightly open it's obvious to anyone that the box contains a real deck. With the flap closed, thirty five cards will look like a complete, slightly warped, deck. Harry would consider you a piker for not getting all fifty-two cards inside. It's something you'll learn to live with.
- The deck looks really amazing in a flat, pint-sized bottle of Jack Daniel's, but the cards must be flattened as they enter the bottle and go into the box. This nearly drove me insane after only six cards. Sometimes to do astonishing things you actually have to be able to do things that most people can't do. That's why Harry can get five hundred bucks a bottle.
Harry swears (and I'd like to believe him) that his bottled decks are so perfectly flat tnat he can shatter the bottle and then use the deck for a normal card routine. From my ow" limited deck-stuffing experience this strikes me as impossible. But that's what we're here for
• Currently working on a signed deck t^-at instantly appears in a bottle which the spectator can take home. Uses a very weird prmocxe Could be great - could be a disaster. I'll ¡e*. know.
Harry did this on a Japanese TV program and caused a national sensation. It's another paradigm-popping moment for popping a rea; ping-pong ball into a too-small-glass bottle
6TE-P ¿?NE- - Get a ping-pong ball ana a small glass bottle. You want a bottle that w-m barely house the ball, with an opening a tad smaller than the ball's diameter. (FIG. 1) A couple of hours in any mall and you'll ever-tua»-ly come across the right one. (Mine is a smal square bottle that originally contained Scented Bath Crystals.)
5TE-P T\JO - Boil a pan of water. Drop tf>e ball into the boiling water and let it float arxj bob around for a minute or so. This will soften up the ball for the abuse it's about to go through. Throw in some scented bath crystals if you want the ball to smell good.
5TE-P Ti-lE-E-E. - Fish out the boiled ping and crush it just enough to push it through the neck of the bottle (FIG. 2). Try not to damage the surface of the ball during this. (You can't help but to do a little damage, but try to be gentle.)
5TE.P riN/E- " Put the bottle (with the ball and water) into your microwave. Crank up the oven on high and watch the ball.
¿TE-P 5IX - The microwaved ball will slowly inflate back to it's original condition. When it's done, stop the oven and take it out. Be careful, because the ball will explode if you let it go too long. (Okay, it doesn't really explode, but it Anil crack and break up and wish it never met you)
^>TE-P 5E.N/E.N - Pour the remaining water oot of the bottle and let everything dry. That's >t put a nice cork into the bottle and put your bonled ping on display next to your bottled oeck
Harry also has a practical technique for bot-tse-stuffing a genuine solid golf ball (really!). Now that you understand that paradigms are made to be popped and pinged, try stretching ■nto what you don't know and attempt to flow nto your own astonishing answer to the golf ban dilemma, or even better, maybe you'll bump into a brand new astonishing question.
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