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I've been chasing this piece of strange for years.

It started with the classic any-card-at-any-number problem. I was looking for a purist no-touchies shuffled-deck solution that I'd want to do on purpose. Having repeatedly hit the stupid wall on this to the point of numbness my only option was to up-level the game by making the problem even more impossible... in hopes that the shifting conditions would crack the construct enough to let in some light.

So I unplugged from all my stale thoughts about what might be real or good or practical and allowed the "any card" to become any eight cards and the "any number" to become the any eight serial numbers on a borrowed bill.

In this game the spectator brings out any dollar, then shuffles the deck and freely selects any eight cards. The numbers on the eight cards exactly match the eight serial numbers on her dollar. A golden paradigm-popper, but where's the light?

If you explore this piece for any length of time you can't help but to notice that the only elegant approach is to switch both the borrowed bill and her eight freely selected cards for a matching set, and to minimize your exposure and handling you'll want to switch them as one unit at the same time. Seems simple enough until I rummage around in my tool kit and discover that I have no practical eight card/dollar switches that can take the heat. If there's the slightest hint of a switch the mystery will collapse into solution, which is not what we're here for. So it's back to the stupid wall where I sat on a pillow and felt stupid for a long, long time.

And since I didn't have the slightest idea about what thought to think next my mind shifted gears to memories about an island in the South Pacific where wild bats were sold like chickens. Catching the bats was the major source of income for the scruffy island kids. Their simple solution to the bat-catching problem was to go sky fishing for the tasty critters by flying a kite with baited hooks tied to the kite string. Of course, how else would you do it?

Unfortunately none of this could practically be applied to switching a packet of eight cards and a dollar. But since I still didn't have the slightest idea about what thought to think I gave the problem to one of the island kids. Maybe a scruffy kid with a simpler perspective would have a more direct approach, maybe something that my conditioned adult mind was too smart to consider.

The kid didn't think twice. He walked right though the stupid wall and yanked out the pillow I was sitting on. "What...use the pillow as cover for the switch? Of course, how else would you do it?

PR.E.-&AT - Finish off your barbequed bat-burger, then look around your performing environment. You want a naturally occuring situation where you can sit directly across from your spectator...where there just happens to be a pillow-like object to your right.

A. It you're sitting on the floor, a small pillow or magazine is great. 11 you're sitting at a tab\e you can use a magazine, a menu, folded newspaper or a \egal pad or any similar-size ob\ect. The whole point being that this thing is a neutral, naturally occuring part of the landscape that \ust happens to be there. You don't want to be seen adjusting anything. The only ski\\ required for the effect is to naturally find you and your spectator in this situation.

2. Now get hold of an average-looking dollar that has serial numbers that correspond to the numbers on cards...which means avoiding serial numbers that have ones or zeros. Remove the matching spot cards from a deck (any suits) and arrange them in in a packet from the top down in the same order as the serial number.

3. I'm a floor guy so we'll assume a floor and a pillow (On the off-chance that you're not a floor guy, simply translate what follows to work with a table and magazine/newspaper/ menu etc.) Put the bill on the floor so its serial number side is down, then place the facedown card stack on top of the bill (FIG.1). Note that the stack is in a loose not-completely squared condition. Cover the dollar stack with a pillow so that the concealed stack is as close as you can get to the left side of the pillow (FIG. 2). Again, once you start, you do not want to be seen adusting the pillow or paying the slightest attention to it. This thing is just part of the floor and has nothing to do with your performance.

I always do this with the now less-than-full deck. If it makes you feel better you can use a full deck but since my deck is often missing cards anyway its never been an issue.

6T^P ¿?NlEL - You and your friend have naturally found yourself sitting on the floor (across from each other...the pillow just to your right. Before this maybe you were on the sofa, or in another room, but now the floor seems like a cozy place to be.

•5TLP ~[\s/0 - Drop the deck on the floor between you and your friend and have her bring out a dollar. If she doesn't have a dollar handy she can select one of yours...but it's better if she uses her own dollar.

Direct her to place the dollar flat on the floor so George is facing down. Use one finger to adjust the dollar so it's about an inch to the left side of the pillow...oriented like the concealed bill.

6TLP TJ-lE-LL - Drop the case to your left as you have her shuffle the deck so it's shuffled beyond a doubt, then have her "put it over there" (indicate the pillow). This spot could just as easily have been the floor but there's a thing already there so what the heck.

6TLP F^UR. - Direct her to remove one card off the top of the shuffled deck and to place it face down on top of the bill. Adjust the card with one finger so it's on the bill in about the same position as the setup. Have her continue to remove face-down cards off the deck and place them onto the bill until there's a loose stack of eight cards (FIG. 3).

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