Can You Make My Wife Disappear

EFFECT: The magician says that one of the most common things men say when they find out he is a magician (apart from 'go away'!) is, "Can you make my wife disappear!" Well, anyone who has seen stage magicians perform will no doubt have seen the performer do just that as their female assistants vanish from inside boxes and cabinets. But now, for the first time, the performer is prepared to give someone else a chance to make a lady disappear, and not on a stage but right now at the table side!

A small pile of cards is shown, each card having a drawing of a woman on its face. A male spectator initials a sticker which is attached to the back of one of the lady cards. A small blue coloured envelope with a square hole cut right through it is now displayed and the initialled card slipped inside it. The initialled sticker can be seen through the hole on one side of the envelope, and the picture of the lady is seen on the other side.

The envelope is placed on the flat of the spectator's hand and he is asked to snap his fingers over the top. The initialled card is then slipped face down out of the envelope and on to the spectator's palm. The performer says: "Well, you have made your wife / the lady disappear but unfortunately it wasn't the best thing to do, because she's left you with all the hoovering!" As he says this the card is turned over to reveal that the lady has disappeared but a picture of a vacuum cleaner is now printed there instead!

COMMENTS: This uses the See Through Switch Envelope detailed on p.6 in a routine which has novelty and in the right performing situation, much appeal. As this routine requires some special graphics on cards, I have given you a set of the cards. You should have found the set in an envelope tucked in the front of this book. If you require more cards you can order them as Promo Cards (see my website or Illustrated Catalogue).

REQUIREMENTS: 1. A See Through Switch Envelope.

2. The supplied set of cards which comprises of 6 cards with ladies on them and one card with a vacuum cleaner on it.

3. A sheet of white circular stickers.

4. You will require a pen to write on the stickers.

PREPARATION: You will need to cut a square hole out of one of the lady cards. For the principle of the See Through Switch Envelope to work, the hole needs to be large enough so that when the card is flush inside the envelope no part of the card is seen. However, when the card is pulled half out of the envelope, the hole must be entirely hidden by the top part of the envelope.

SET-UP: The card with the large hole through its centre should be in the envelope so that the side with the picture on is facing you when you open the envelope and slide the card out. The pile of six cards is arranged with the five lady cards face up on top of the face up vacuum cleaner card. The stickers and pen should be to hand.

PRESENTATION: Introduce the effect in your chosen manner and then casually show the See Through Switch Envelope. I tend to insert the first two fingers of my right hand into the envelope and twist it back and forth before removing them again. This action, coupled with the fact that the spectators can see right through the envelope via the hole, makes the envelope look completely empty with out you needing to labour the point. Place the envelope down so that the flap side is against the table top and the flap itself is held open.

Pick up the pile of cards and casually spread them face down to show blank backs. Square and then turn them face up and start to spread them to the right to reveal the pictures of the ladies. Do not spread the last two cards or else the vacuum cleaner will be revealed. Cut the top four cards under the other two and as you square them get a left little finger break under the top two cards.

Pass a male spectator the stickers and pen and ask him to initial a sticker. When he has done that, double lift the top two cards (the break makes this easy) and flip them right over onto the pile again. Peel off the initialled sticker and attach it to the centre of the top card. This will be onto the back of the vacuum cleaner card but they will believe it is on one of the lady cards.

Double lift the top two cards over again so that a lady shows. Hold the cards squared in the palm up left hand. You explain that the lady will now go into the envelope. Turn your left hand palm down and bring your right hand to the front short edges of the pile. With the right fingers push back a little on the bottom card and then slide out the second to bottom card (this is the Glide, of course).

The exposed short edge of the bottom card at the rear of pile as it is pushed back should be hidden by your left hand. If it isn't, you need to position the pile slightly differently in your left hand to begin with in order to make sure there is sufficient cover. As the card is slid out by your right fingers the spectator's initials will be seen on it, of course, so all appears to be in order.

The left hand turns palm up and places the pile down. It then lifts up the envelope and the right hand slides the card inside. As you slide the card in, make sure that you insert it above the gimmick card already in there.

You point out to the audience that the spectator's initials can be seen through the hole in the envelope on one side and the lady on the other. As you say this, the left hand grasps the envelope as in Fig. 145 so that the fingers cover the hole showing the initials. The envelope is then twisted so that the underside faces towards you and you insert your right index finger and thumb into the top of the envelope. Using this finger and thumb, grip the top edge of the card nearest you (the fake card) and start to slide it up out of the envelope. Fig. 146.

Fig. 146

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When the card reaches the point where its centre hole is concealed from view by the top part of the envelope and when at the same time the bottom part of the card blocks the view through the envelope from your side of the real selection underneath, stop pulling it out and lower your left hand down so that the audience can see the lady apparently on the initialled card partly out of the envelope.

You should do this as casually as you can. Being able to apparently show the lady card inside the envelope is what makes this so strong magically. Once the card has been seen push the card straight back in to the envelope, simultaneously turning the envelope flap side down again. When you withdraw your left hand the initials will be seen once more through the hole in the envelope.

Get the spectator to hold out his hand and lay the envelope flap side down on his extended palm. Ask him to snap his fingers over the envelope in an attempt to make the lady disappear. When he has done so, pick up the envelope with your left hand by the short sealed end nearest you, and put your right thumb on the exposed part of the card showing through the uppermost hole in the envelope, the second finger onto the card through the hole on the underside of the envelope and slide the card forward so that it starts to appear out of the end nearest the spectator.

Grip the exposed top edge of the card and slide it out face down onto the spectator's palm. His initials will be facing him and the envelope will look disarmingly empty. Put the envelope away and lead up to the punchline where he turns over the card to discover he has been left with the hoovering to do.

To re-set the trick, all you need to do is remove the initialled sticker and replace the vacuum card under the pile of lady cards and you are set to repeat it for another group.

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