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• When doing this for the more skeptical souls its fun to build a garden path of no return. Have them shuffle the deck a certain way, but only twice...then cut the deck into eight packets, then have her shuffle each packet before dealing out a card...and on down the scenic route and over the edge to ground zero.

• After the spectator has placed the deck into the box (and the switch is done) you can have her remove one last card from the box and place it on top of the stack...where she then immediately picks up the stacked bill. Create a little mental space by selling the details, then direct attention to the first symbol of the serial number; oops, it's a letter, so the top card's a zonk...but all the rest are golden.

There is but the flimsiest of transparent membranes between what our imperfect perceptions experience as real...and the actual state of affairs. The following visual metaphor lies in wait as sucker bait for unexamined beliefs.

ELFFELCT - A joyous spectator discovers that her freely selected card is the only card in the deck with a secret mark on its back. But you can't walk around with an illegally-marked card in your deck so you slide the mark off the card and onto the cellophaned case. But you don't really like having card-mark-graffiti all over your almost new case so you slide the mark off onto a card you don't use very much and give it to the spectator to dispose of as she wishes.

TE-6T iNl^LlN^ - Stand by with your basic write-a-letter type of pen (not a sharpie) then draw a question mark on the cellophane of your card case. (You may have to tilt the pen at a creative angle to make the ink happen.) Let the ink dry for ten seconds or so...then slide your thumb across the mark. The ink should effortlessly wipe away leaving just the clear unmarked cellophane. If the mark is still there you need to find a different style pen. This should be a carefree sort of search that you can indulge in at your leisure.

PR.£.-K/|E-M - Draw a small question mark on the back of a card (FIG. 1) and put it on the face of your Bicycle deck.

You must now pre-mark the cellophane on the white space to the left of the big Spade (FIG. 2). Handle the case with care because any contact with the mark will cause it to no longer be. Set the empty case aside, marked-side down, flap end toward you. The slight bend of the open flap should prevent the erasable mark from touching the table.

TLlL ACTUAL ME-M -6TE-P ¿MO. - Spread the face-up deck between your hands as you ask someone to point out any card that suits her fancy. Remove the face-up selection and place it onto the face of the deck...then give the deck a complete cut and turn it face down.

6TE-P T\N/^7 - As you spread through the face-down cards comment that you had previously put a secret mark on one card. You didn't mark the rest of the cards because you didn't want to ruin a perfectly good deck.

As you near the center of the pack, cleanly separate each card as it slides by to make sure that you don't accidentally pass the small mark. When your spectator discovers the "secret" mark, leave it on top of the left-hand cards, while your right hand tables it's half face up to your left (FIG. 3).

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