The thing about magicians is that the very fact that they are magicians tells you they are going to deceive you…in some way. So they give you fair warning. Some go so far as to say I’m going to do a trick. They tell you in advance they are going to trick you. So in a way they are honest about it. Last blog I wrote about a break-in to our shop and a robbery. So we know some magicians aren’t honest. Since that time, and before it, some things have gone walking …so to speak.
When we used to have The Performers Platform in the early days, we had a book rack for the soft covered books in the front of the store on your left, when you entered. The stage was at the back of the shop, and there were chairs and some people stood around the bookshelf, watching the performers. Every week stuff went missing. Not a lot, but some. We tried to watch but the magicians are good at misdirection and we never caught those guys either. We finally made the announcement that stuff was missing and if anything else was taken, we would have to stop Performers Platform. After that it stopped.
Within the past few years, other things have walked. In this shop its easy to steal because everything is accessible. I know I didn’t misplace the things. For instance, John Kennedy’s Mystery Box #2 is missing. The person didn’t take the box it was in, just the mystery box in the box. So one day when I picked it up to show it to someone, I couldn’t help but notice how light it was. When I opened it up, there was nothing in it except the tissue paper it was wrapped in.
One time, I was in the shop alone. The shop we’re in now. A whole family came in from out of town. The son was the magician and he was perhaps 12. He had a sister of about 15. The mother sat down to wait and I was helping the boy and his father decide what to get. As they were pondering I happened to look at the girl, who took a silk vanisher, boxed, off the hook it was hanging from and open her purse and put it inside.
The summer before I was at Atwater Market and I was thirsty. I left my family to buy myself a bottle of water. I found a health food store, went to the back, picked up the bottle and went to pay. At the cash in front of the counter were a group of people talking to the gentleman behind the counter. They were telling him of some kind of seed, that was even better for your health than flaxseed. They were telling of all the things that could be make with it, etc. and I was interested and listened intently to their conversation. Phil hates when I do that, but he wasn’t there. I suddenly realized that everyone was waiting for me and I abruptly left the store. As I was rushing towards where I was to meet the rest of our entourage, I noticed I was holding a bottle of water. OMG! I didn’t pay for it. I ran back to the store and said to the man, who was now alone. “I didn’t pay for the water.” He said, “I know.” I said “Why didn’t you come after me?” he said, “I don’t chase water!”
I looked at the girl who had just taken the cigarette vanisher and thought,”I don’t chase cigarette vanishers, I guess.” Perhaps for her own good I should have said something. It was only in the shower that I thought of what I should have done. It would have been great but….too late! This is what the proper solution was.
The box was small enough to conceal in my hand. I should have done like a sponge ball routine and make it vanish and tell her, in front of her family, that my power is so great, that I would make it appear in her purse. Did she think it was possible? I would have her open her purse and lo and behold, there it would be. I’m ready for the next one.