This is based on an amusing party stunt where you humorously rip the wallpaper off a friend's wall.

I've been unable to find documentation for this principle in any of the popular wallpaper weeklies or professional party stunt journals. The best I can do is pay silent tribute to the inspired paperhanger who first executed this daring feat.

To bring this to the close-up table, I've made the minor adjustment of substituting a playing card for your neighbor's wall in order to avoid that awkward pocket bulge.

E.FFE-CT - The close-up entertainer confides to his audience that he's learned a revolutionary method for marking cards - a technique that produces a mark so fine that special glasses are needed to even see it.

The performer starts to demonstrate this technique on a borrowed playing card - but instead of making a small nail nick, he has mistakenly peeled off a large chunk of the card's backing, leaving a gaping, jagged tear. The sleight-of-hand artist then comments that this "subtle mark" can be made even more undetectable by applying a small amount of pressure. The performer presses down on the ripped section of card with his thumb. When the thumb is lifted, the card is seen to be completely restored1 The card is then immediately handed out for examination - to see if the "mark* can be detected

- Obtain a sheet of white note paper and fold it m half. Starting at the crease tear out a wedge-shaped piece (FIG. 1).

The «veage of paper should be of such a size tnat ■: can be concealed beneath your forefinger when in its folded state (FIG. 2).

need the one piece. Your final bit of preparation consists of curling one flap of the folded wedge (FIG. 3).

Place the wedge in a hidden yet easily accessible location, such as your pocket (tucked under a pen clip)..


5TE.P - During a lull in the conversation, secretly clip the wedge by its straight flap between your right first and second fingers as in FIG. 4.

Your left hand holds the deck face down in dealing position. Turn your left hand up so that the backs of the fingers are towards the audience (as is the face of the deck).

•5TE.P T\V^ - Grasp the deck by its ends with your right fingers. See FIG. 5.

cealed from your audience by this position. Press your left thumb against the creased end of the wedge, sliding the wedge away from the right fingers to a position halfway down the deck, as in FIG. 6.

As soon as the paper is free of the right fingers, these fingers riffle the top end of the deck.

iTELP TLlE-LE - Re-grip the right side of the deck with your right fingers. The right thumb holds the paper in position by pressing against the uncurled flap (FIG. 7).

Slide the right fingers down the deck (and the paper) to a position comfortable for spreading the cards. At this point your actions, as seen by the audience, have been merely to riffle the deck with your right fingers followed by a re-gripping of the cards.

5TE.P - The face of the deck is still toward the audience. Spread the deck from left to right. Direct a spectator to touch the card of her choice. Up-jog the selected card.

6TE-P FlVEL - As your right fingers move up to remove the card, the right thumb secretly slides the wedge onto the back of the up-jogged selection (FIG. 8).The card is now held in the right fingers, free of the deck. The left hand places the deck aside. All of the above actions have enabled you to secretly add the wedge of paper to the back of a selected card under cover of natural handling.

5TELP 5IX - Comment that a small amount of moisture on the back of the card will sufficiently weaken its surface to enable you to institute the famous "Gambler's Nick," (named after Nick the Greek).

5TELP 6E-\/EJ\l - Suiting actions to words, liberally moisten the pad of your left thumb with the aid of your tongue. Next moisten the area of card (using your thumb) just below the wedge. See FIG. 9.

This one spot of card has to be really wet. Depending upon various scientific factors, you may actually have to wet the card down a second time. Under the pretext of nail-nicking the card, slide the wedge down onto the wet spot with your right thumb. Give the flat part of the wedge a good press against the back of the card.

The paper should now be stuck to the card, giving the perfect illusion of a ripped card (FIG 10).

It's important that there still be a strong curl in the open flap. The curl, in addition to adding a touch of authenticity to the illusion, also conceals the fact that the tear is nothing more than a stuck-on piece of paper. If your curl has sagged during the handling, you should give it a quick touch-up job before displaying the card's back to your audience.

6TE-P ELI^J-lT - Turn the card face down so that its back is visible to the audience. The "crease" must be towards the performer as FIG. 11.

3JLP [\IinIE_ - Place your left thumb on the tip of the flat part of the tear. Make the comment that a little pressure would make the mark even more difficult to detect. Moisten the pad of your right forefinger, then press it down flat onto the tear. Your forefinger starts the "press" at the curled end of the tear. As your forefinger presses flat against the card (concealing the tear), move your left thumb down so that it covers the tip of your right forefinger (fig 12)

Slide your right forefinger (along with the tear) and left thumb as one unit about one-half of an inch toward the inside end of the card. The idea here is to place your thumb over the spot where the card is supposedly torn.

6TELP TE-N - Casually remove your right forefinger away from the card (FIG. 13).

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