PJlPICkL EYAN

umor has it that an escaped convict from a Swiss prison has flooded the U.S. economy with counterfeit quarters. A spectator's suspect quarter is peeled open and discovered to be manufactured from Swiss chocolate. The Close-Up Kinda Guy restores the peeled coin to its original quarter-like condition - returns it to the spectator - then warns her to keep the coin out of the sun and to contact the folks at M&M as soon as possible.

PREPARATION - Buy a pack of Juicy Fruit gum and discard the entire package except for one of the foil wrappers. Fold the foil wrapper in half (non-foil surface on the inside) and tear out a pizza-slice shaped section as in FIG. 1. Locate a chocolate-colored marking pen or crayon to color in half of the non-foil surface of the torn-out section (FIG. 2). Note that the non-colored half has been slightly curled. Place this prepared slice into a convenient right-hand pocket.

6TELP ONE. - Before starting, clip the slice of foil by its curled end between your right first and second fingers (FIG. 3). Borrow a quarter from a spectator (or use one of the coins you've been performing with). Hold the coin in your left fingers and rub your right thumb across its surface.

Pretend to lick your thumb "tasting the coin" while actually moistening the flat foil side of the finger-clipped slice. You detect traces of chocolate and decide to investigate further.

6TE-P T\VO - Transfer the coin to your right fingers - pressing it against the moistened surface of the foil. Examine the surface of the coin for a moment - then pinch it between your left thumb and forefinger -thumb on the foil side of the coin. Turn the foil side of the coin toward yourself - and re-grip the coin at its bottom edge between your right thumb and forefinger.

Pretend to peel away the foil from the "chocolate" coin with your left fingertips. Briefly display the peeled chocolate coin to your audience (FIG. 4).

6TE-P TJ-lREL - Moisten your left forefinger, and press it down onto the peeled section, folding the foil section back over the chocolate section (FIG. 5). The foil will stick to your forefinger.

6TE.P FOUR. - Transfer the coin to a similar position between your right thumb and forefinger, so that your right thumb apparently still covers the peeled section. Rub the coin between your thumb and forefinger for a moment - then toss the coin out for examination - or eating - depending upon how convincing your performance was. The foil stuck to your finger is easily detached by casually hooking the guilty finger over the edge of your back pocket.

A big chocolate handshake goes to Looy for dreaming up the wet finger steal of the foil slice.

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Michael Weber colors the foil with a chocolate-scented marking pen, so passers-by can actually get a whiff of the chocolate coin. There's a remote possibility that you won't have a chocolate-scented marking pen store in your neighborhood. In this extreme case you can add your whiff by rubbing some real chocolate onto the foil.

Michael Ammar recently featured Chocolate Coin on one of his masterly videos - whereupon reviewers discovered it as a "universally over-looked" mini-classic. Just thought you should know.

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