Am I a Pretender or an Addict?

I got this intriguing email from Daniel Madison a few days ago.

Oooohhhh... what a juicy little question. Am I a pretender or an addict? You know, the embarrassing thing is... I've never even thought to ask myself that! Talk about the unexamined life not being worth living.

Well I thought I owed it to myself to really dig deep and find out. You know, considering it is Cheat Week and all. (Cheat Week is when we go down to the docks and operate the business end of a glory-hole. Wait... no... that's Fleet Week. Cheat Week is... hold on... I have no idea. Let me find out. Oh... got it... it's some uninspired Ellusionist promo.)

Okay, now... I think I may be a Pretender. I've acquired my skills "for entertainment, not survival." Although there was that one time, while traveling through darkest Africa, when I bashed that guy's skull in with one of those wooden ducks that finds a card from Collectors Workshop. Of course, it turned out that the guy I killed was my interpreter and traveling partner, Obatku, and not a spooky ghosty or a bear as I had thought in the moment, so it's questionable how much I needed to kill him for my "survival." In retrospect, when he screamed, "Andrew, it's me, Obatku, please stop beating me with that duck!" I should have taken a step back and reassessed the situation. But as it was happening I just thought, "Fuck no. This bear can talk and imitate people? That's the most dangerous creature in the world. This ends now!"

So, perhaps I'm actually an "addict."

Let's look at these criteria again:

  • They McMillan switch their credit card for yours.
  • They haven't picked-up a tab in years, and they probably won't EVER.
  • Cheating consumes their life,
  • and their only real friends [are] the court cards. 

Well... I'm enough of an "addict" to know it's actually the MacMillan switch. So I guess that's a point in my favor. But can you imagine what a badass you would be to switch out your credit card for someone else's! I can see myself doing that. Like my buddy puts his credit card down to pay for dinner and I -- super nonchalantly -- just MacMillan switch in my own credit card! Hahaha, the sucker! Oh, fuck... wait... now that means I'm paying for dinner. Waitress! Come back! What the fuck did I just do? Why would I ever switch in my credit card. That's something only a moron would do...


Ohhh... I see now. Is "addict" some kind of code word for having an intellectual disability? I mean, if you met someone and they're like, "This is our son Petey. Look out, because Petey will switch in his credit card for yours. He's been racking up a hell of a credit card bill this way, which he is in no position to pay off. In fact he hasn't picked up a tab in years, and probably won't EVER. How could he? He's essentially unemployable. Pick up a tab? He's 34 and wears a diaper and you want him to buy your club sandwich, you creep? Look at him. His only friends are the court cards. If that's not the most depressing thing you've heard in your life, you don't have a heart. Excuse me... what's that, sweetie? The Jack of Clubs wants to look at trucks out the window? Okay, darling, you two go do that."

What are some other indications of being an "addict"? Your walls are smeared with feces? You don't know your multiplication tables?

Of course, Daniel Madison, who is incredible with a deck of cards and has some brilliant ideas, is the perfect person to differentiate between a "pretender" and a real cheating "addict." He has been pretending to be a card cheat since he arrived on the scene in magic. He has a whole goofball origin story of how he used to be a crooked underground gambler until he was nearly beaten to death after he was caught cheating, which led him to take up magic. The story is ridiculous and blatantly untrue (although Magic Magazine did, embarrassingly, write a profile on him where they reported it as if it was completely credible). I mean, I have no doubt he got the shit kicked out of him early and often, but that goes for 90% of you in magic. However, "The boys at school stuck my head in the toilet, gave me a swirlie, and now my only friends are the court cards," doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Daniel had enough esthetic sense to not want to be associated with magic so he made up the story of magic being his fallback. I understand why he did it, but unfortunately he couldn't really keep his story straight and the timeline was in no way believable. (It was essentially, "I sprouted my first pube, and then I became an underground gambling legend.") I completely get why he didn't want to come out originally as just a guy who was really into magic. But I think we're approaching a tipping point in magic's perception. Not where it's cool, but where it's not inherently uncool. And I think Daniel Madison, with his skill and style, could help in that transition if he wasn't so apologetic about why he's in magic in the first place. So come clean, Daniel. Join us. Become a pretender. Embrace it.

Whiskeys up!

Oh, and before I end this post commenting on an email ad I received, I'd like to quickly mention another one. Did anyone else get this sick email?

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Uhmmm... okay.... I admit I didn't read this super carefully, but it appears that Vanishing Inc is planning on selling Andi's baby and Josh's wife? Or maybe raffling them off as some sort of promo? This is some sick, twisted shit. I'm sorry... I like to have fun on this site, but sponsoring white-slavery in order to push a few more copies of Blomberg Laboratories, or whatever, is simply not acceptable to me. Sorry, Vanishing Inc, but this demented little promotion gets a big "No Thanks" from the Jerx.