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Where Is The Magic In Life?

Jun 13, 2008
The magician asked me to pick a card, write my name on it and shuffle it back into the deck. The next time I saw that card it was in a sealed bottle of Fiji water. If you know how he did it, don't tell me. I like to be tricked.

I like to watch magicians make things disappear. I don't want to know how the woman disappeared from a locked trunk or how the tiger disappeared from a box suspended over the stage. Of course, my liking to be tricked might explain why I buy things like anti-wrinkle creams.

Because I want to make my life magical, I buy new products that promise to remove stains, make clothes smell fresh and make furniture shine. Most of these products come in spray containers - which enable me to put the press into prestidigitation.

When I was a child, I was told please and thank you were magic words. I told my sons the same thing. I also told them to mind their P's and Q's. When my sons asked what P's and Q's were, I said pints and quarts. Before I could explain further, my older son said minding your P's and Q's meant drinking eight glasses of water a day.

A fairy godmother turned a pumpkin into a coach, an elephant flew, a girl was kissed awake by a prince - Walt Disney provided many magical moments - but they looked different to me as an adult. Bambi, Dumbo, The Lion King - why did so many mothers die? Why weren't there any evil stepfathers or wicked warlocks? I didn't want to think Walt Disney was a misogynist; but if anything had happened to Minnie, I would have thought he was a mouseogynnist.

Although I've never seen a female magician on stage, I see them every day. Instead of cutting ropes, they cut corners. Instead of pulling rabbits out of hats, they pull dinners out of microwaves. The card tricks are performed with credit cards and a man is cut in half with - well, that's called divorce.

Some professional magicians do tricks with silk scarves, others use metal rings; but they all use patter. Patter is the quick, glib speech they use to distract the audience from seeing how tricks are done. Not all tricks, however, are done on stage. Some are done on platforms. That's when the patter is campaign promises.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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