Thumbtipping

by Cliff Green

Imagine a modern-day sorcerer using the antiquated thumb tip—and bewildering a group of devout Magi! This is the sorcery of Slydini; so subtle and elusive as to confound even those who are themselves masters of the craft.

I give you here, not an effect in itself but the basis for many. Slydini's technique for using the thumb tip will enable you to perform seeming impossibilities.

The little bits of byplay, the disarming of the spectators, this is the work of a master craftsman; and this, dear reader, is yours to absorb. Read carefully. Not alone for the sake of the thumb tip but for the subtleties used in the presentation. Your diligence will be well rewarded.

For the sake of photographic clarity, Slydini has circled the base of the thumb tip with a strip of black tape (Foto 1).

You start out, as usual, with thumb tip on thumb (where else?). What I mean to say is that you contrive to get it on while nobody is looking. As you begin, make some remark such as "I'll show you something pretty . . ."

Take a handkerchief from your pocket with your right hand, open it up by grasping two corners between thumb and forefinger tips of both hands, stretch it out (Foto 2) and show it on both sides in the usual —or your own individual— fashion.

Allow the corner held by your left fingers to fall, and curl the fingers of that hand preparatory to making a fist. With right hand, drape the handkerchief over your left hand (Foto 3).

Watch it now! As you start to drape the handkerchief over your hand, slip your right thumb into your left palm, left fingers curl

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around the thumb tip, clip it against left palm, and pull it off (Foto 3A is exposed view) as your right hand draws away straightening out or "fixing" handkerchief until center of cloth is atop left fist.

Poke your right forefinger into center of handkerchief forcing the cloth into top of left fist (Foto 4). Offhandedly, snap your right fingers—automatically proving that hand completely innocent of any hanky-panky. Everybody, particularly magicians, now concentrates on that hole which they suspect contains more than air. So . . .

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you show them how wrong they are! How? Like so:

Grasp the edge of the handkerchief with fingers on top, thumb beneath. As your right hand approaches and starts to cover your left, your left middle finger keeps thumb tip in position against palm, while left ring and little fingers open up to raise cloth. Your right thumb slips into thumb tip and, aided by fingers on top, grasps and slowly pulls handkerchief towards you until all can see that their nasty suspicions were entirely unfounded.

Once again, make that familiar, small well in the handkerchief

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with your forefinger (as in foto 4). After removing forefinger, look distrustingly at hole as if something un-nice had got into it.

In order to remove the obnoxious bit of matter, put your right thumb and fore fingertips together (Foto 5) and "pick it up" from edge of hole. As you do so, insert thumb into cavity and leave thumb tip therein (Foto 6).

Turn your right hand up, fingertips of thumb and forefinger still together as if grasping the offending speck, examine said speck with a look that implies "Oh, so that's what it is!" (Foto 7), and—

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throw it away . . . (Foto 8). Meanwhile, pay not the slightest heed to your left hand which is in plain view of anyone who has eyes to see.

With thumb tip now in place (but if you've done this properly only you should be aware of this) you can vanish anything you please—provided it fits in your thumb tip!

To dispose of the thumb tip —including load—- naturally, and

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without arousing suspicion, "dust off" the edges of the well in your left fist. As you dust, tip your left hand in and down (Foto 9) and slip right thumb into cavity—-and thumb tip (Foto 10).

Don't move your right hand! Move your left slightly forward and to your left and allow your head and body to lean in the same direction in order to examine the hole in the handkerchief (Foto 11). Your right hand then moves forward and up (Foto 12) keeping

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thumb and forefinger tips together until they reach spectator's eye level. Then, open your hand fully (Foto 13). With tip of thumb tip dead ahead, bottom edge is invisible. Make this motion (going back and forth to hole in handkerchief with the same gesture, opening hand wide) several times while saying "Watch very closely . . . If you miss now . . . You'll never catch up . . ." Or anything you may deem more appropiate to yourself.

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