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CO^JE.E.T ACTION - You need two matching business cards. I usually do this with whatever cards happen to be around, but it transcends when you can secretly get hold of an extra business card of someone for whom you'll be performing. One card is left in pristine condition. The other is stripped as follows: Peel off a section (at least half) of the front layer. To do this, start at a corner and pry a thin layer of paper up on the front side. (Business cards are much easier to split than playing cards.) Carefully peel off the front layer until you reach the middle of the card (FIG. 1). Then rip off this top flap. You now have a card that looks normal from the back side, and a large chunk torn from the front.

top layer of card - and it doesn't have to be neat. A ragged half chunk is just fine.

Get a book (a normal paperback is a little easier to handle than a big hardback, but either will work). Open the book a little below center, and stick in the torn-off card skin, then cover the piece with the face-down business card. The piece has to be completely hidden by the card. Remember the page number and close the book. (Don't place the rough torn-off sides against each other. During the routine you'll need to slide the card out, and leave the piece in. Experiment to find where the least friction is.)

■5TELP ¿?l\lEL - Hand someone the book and unprepared card, and have them stick the card into the book somewhere near its center. Take the book back and glance at where they put it. If it's way too far to one side, or if it's a direct hit (the same page as the setup) just remove the card and have them do it again. Once the card's inserted, openly tap it all the way into the book so it doesn't show.

iTtP T- Riffle up from the back of the book and open it to the page where your setup is...where you trap the setup card against the page with your thumb. Pay no attention to the card as you clearly point out the "random" page number.

5TE-P TtlE-E-E. - Look up at your helper and ask her to remember the page number. Repeat the number as you let the book shut and slide out the face-down card. The secret skin stays inside the book as the card is pulled free.

5TELP fOUZ. - Put the book down and drop the card face down onto it (being careful not to flash the card's mangled front),

•5TG.P FIN/E. - Direct your spectator to press her hand down firmly on the card. Announce that her card will melt through the book to the chosen page. Have her wait until she "feels something happen." When she lifts her hand the card is still there. Oh well, it was a nice thought.

.5TE.P 6IX - Encourage her to pick up the card...and point out the strangely mangled section (even better if you can wait and let her make the discovery on her own). Ask for the page number.

±>TG.P 6E.N/E.N - With obviously empty hands slowly pick up the book and riffle to the chosen page. You should tip the book slightly toward yourself until you get close to the page, just in case the other card flashes during the riffle.

5TE.P ELICjllT - Lower the book into your audience's line of vision as you dramatically riffle the last couple of pages. Stop at that page, and have the business card's owner remove the piece. When it's matched to the card the moment of astonishment will just hang in space. Let it hang.

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