Smell

EFFECT: The performer borrows a bank note from a spectator and folds it a couple of times. Six small envelopes are then brought out and it is explained that inside each is a piece of folded paper. One of the pieces of paper is removed in order to make way for the borrowed bank note. Firstly, however, the performer says he would like to 'mark' the banknote in a particular way.

Reaching into his pocket he gingerly removes a folded piece of greaseproof paper. Slowly, carefully and at fingertips, he unwraps the contents to reveal one slice of salami! The magician explains that this is a piece left over from his lunch.. ..unfortunately it was his lunch from 9 days ago!

Lifting the salami by the extreme edge, and crinkling his nose somewhat at the smell, the performer proceeds to wipe the meat all over the borrowed bank note, to the probable consternation of the spectator!

This delicate and rather distasteful process over, the salami is re-wrapped in the greaseproof paper and the bank note slipped into the vacant envelope.

A spectator is given all six envelopes and is asked to thoroughly mix them so that no one could know which one contains the bank note. The performer then offers to give a demonstration of 'sleight-of-nose'! This little known magician's skill will enable him, with the use of smell alone, to locate the envelope containing the borrowed banknote. The salami smell could be a clue, but not many can actually detect it when sealed in an envelope.

The six mixed envelopes are distributed by the spectator to the other assembled onlookers, and one at a time the magician, using his very fingertips only, takes the envelopes and raises them to his nose for a few moments. All the envelopes are returned to their owners with the exception of one. The isolated envelope is offered to its owner to smell - but the spectator professes not to be able to smell anything at all. But that's because he is not versed in 'sleight-of-nose'!

Simultaneously, the other five spectators remove the contents of their envelopes to reveal blank pieces of folded paper - and the borrowed bank note is then slid from within the one remaining envelope to reveal the borrowed bank note which is returned to its rightful owner - if he'll take it back, that is!

COMMENTS: Working on the premise (as I often do!) that presentation is all and method is nothing, I offer you this routine which I have had some fun with in my more relaxed close up bookings. I do quite a lot of work in hotel lounge areas where guests collect in groups after their evening meals for coffee, and because they have already wined and dined, they are usually relaxed and feeling sociable. This means that I can sit down with them and entertain them in a similarly relaxed manner, and SMELL is perfect for this type of situation. Ideally, you would want to work this to a group of half a dozen, although a minimum of three would do.

REQUIREMENTS: If you've read this far you probably are wondering if Leveridge has gone slightly off his trolley! After all, pieces of smelly salami are more reminiscent of Dave Harkey than Mark Leveridge. However, the first thing you must realise is that the salami slice is not real. When I was at FISM in Dresden I bought a piece of rubber salami which is extremely realistic and even close up looks for all the world like the real thing. A friend of mine told me about someone he knew who used several pieces of the salami in the routine, and how he had kept them wrapped in greaseproof paper in order to reinforce the fact that the meat was real. I thought this was funny and developed this routine from those ideas.

OK, so you probably will not have a piece of realistic looking salami, but there are available all sorts of imitation foods both supplied by magic dealers and also possibly by joke shops. You can substitute anything which would have a smell attached to it. For instance, you could pull out a spray dispenser of perfume and pretend to spray the note, or you could apparently wipe stick deodorant all over it. Use your imagination and you are bound to come up with something!

So, you will need the salami or salami substitute, six small brown pay envelopes and six pieces of blank paper the size of a ten pound note.

SET-UP: Fold the pieces of paper to a size that will slip easily into the envelopes. Next, take one of the envelopes and trim a small angled piece off the envelope flap. This just makes it a 'marked' envelope. Any easy to spot (for you!) marking system would do instead.

PRESENTATION: Borrow the note and fold it the same as the pieces of paper. Bring out the envelopes and display that there are six. Spot the marked envelope and placing the others down, slip the paper out of it in order to show what is inside each of the envelopes. 'Mark' the borrowed banknote in whatever way you have chosen and then slip it into the empty envelope.

Hand over all six to be mixed and handed out to the spectators. (If you have enough onlookers for them to have an envelope each, this is good, because it keeps them all involved. If you have less people, some of them will have to hold more than one envelope.)

Take the envelopes back one at a time and holding them at the extreme fingertips (so that the spectators do not suspect you are trying to feel the thickness of the contents of the envelope) raise each one up to your nose. Simply retain the envelope which is marked.

Get all the other spectators to remove their pieces of paper and that just leaves the last spectator to remove the banknote from the one you held back.

Simple though this method is, the routine is such fun because of the presentation, and actually, the 'sleight of nose' idea tends to keep the spectators off the scent (sorry!) of the real method.

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