Gardyloo #81

I need some help tracking down a video I used to have. I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember I learned cool magic from it. Any ideas?

Cafe Soaps: Turner Watch Edition

I always love a good Magic Cafe soap opera. These are threads on the Cafe that go on for at least 10 pages (although 30 or 40 is more indicative of a true Cafe Soap). That’s enough time for characters to emerge and plot lines to come and go. With the “Chef’s Special” section of the Cafe having long gone defunct and discussion and reviews of magic tricks now more in the domain of youtube and facebook, the Cafe Soap is possibly the one genuinely unique thing the Magic Cafe brings to the art at this point.

If you don’t make it a point to follow threads on the Cafe—if you have something better going on in your life, like…oh, say… gradually gauging your rectum over the course of a month with a traffic cone—I will try and keep you abreast of any good soaps that you might miss.

The best drama currently on the Cafe is in regards to the Turner Watch. A gimmicked watch project that was funded this summer and is maybe about to come out now after a short delay.

Lots of good stuff in this thread, I won’t spoil it for you. But if you’re asking if they produced a gimmicked watch with the name of that gimmicked watch on the face of the watch itself, the answer is yes.

In my opinion, the biggest problem is that we might be, like, two months from the concept of a watch with hands that you can move remotely seeming commonplace. You might be able to fool your grandpa with it, but many people under the age of 50 will probably be familiar with a similar technology. And then they’ll be like, “Oh, is this one of those watches you can control with an app?” And you’ll be like, “Uh…what? No.” And they’ll be like, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll google the name printed across the front of the watch then.” And the next thing you know they’re on the watch’s web page, or their instagram, or that Cafe thread, or maybe here (Hi!).

You might say, “Well, it’s not that common now. Maybe 1 person in 10 has ever heard of a hybrid watch.” Okay, that means if you perform for a group of 6 people, you have a 50% chance that someone in the group will have a good idea what’s going on. What do you think the conversation will be like after you leave that group?

Hey, this shit happens. Before app-controlled lights were completely common, I used them as part of a trick a couple of times. That was just a few years ago, but it wouldn’t fly now. (I still use them in some of the more overt, non-secret ways mentioned in that post.)

With any luck, the people who bought the watch will be able to use it for a good few days before everyone they perform it for is like, “Oh yeah, my nephew has one of those watches.”

Actually, the most depressing thing in that thread are the guys who are like, “I perform corporate magic. If one of my clients saw me wearing a watch like this they’d think I was a worthless piece of human trash and never talk to me again.” Like, sweet christ, that’s your typical audience? Some corny motherfuckers who care about watches? I feel lucky because—while I do engage with a number of very successful individuals—none of them are this type of status-symbol weirdo. I didn’t even know such people existed outside of movies from the 80s.

“Hey, maybe they’re assholes, but they pay well.”


Okay, i kind of get it when someone who sells casino supplies or something like that misguidedly writes me to see if they can have a sponsored post on this site. Clearly they haven’t spent two seconds here to have any idea of the type of content, but I at least know what sort of keywords they entered to find my site.

Yesterday, however, I received an email with the subject “Salvaged Cars,” and I have no clue why I was targeted for this.

Hi there, 

I assume you deal with salvaged and rebuilt titles on cars?

If so I have an article already written that is relevant to your business that overlaps with auto insurance covering the restored, rebuilt, or salvaged car. The article helps people understand that once the salvaged car is rebuilt and restored, people need to get it insured. 

Would you like to look at it?
I work for an insurance comparison company called QuoteWizard and have a lot of knowledge on this subject. 

I am only allowing one company to use it for duplication concerns. Shall I send it to you? 

I am looking forward to your thoughts,

Nathan Barber

My response:

Hi Nathan. It’s a shrewd assumption on your part that I deal with salvaged and rebuilt cars. I haven’t explicitly stated this on my site, but it has been subtext for most of my posts. Like when I talk about “mechanic’s grips.” That’s a nod to the manner in which people who rebuild cars hold their wrenches.

I’m a little bummed you’re just bringing me this offer now. It would have been great to have your already written article for inclusion in my forthcoming book, but sadly that is in the hands of the publishers.

I would very much be interested in this article. Would you accept $8000 for allowing me to be the “one company” that is allowed to distribute it? Originally that money was going to be used to make a pilot for my improv group (The Shennanigoats) to pitch to the WB. But I’m not sure if that’s going to happen because Kurt and Tonya are fighting, and Kurt might quit. Also The WB doesn’t exist anymore. Do you do improv?

Anyway, great to hear from you. Can’t wait to read the article! Sounds like it’s a real doozy.

Your pal,


Can anyone put me in touch with someone at L&L? Specifically I’m looking for someone who can connect me with the regulars from the old L&L audience. I have some projects I’m thinking about that I’d like to involve them in. I’m not kidding.

Oh, and you can forget about that first question at the top of this post. I found the video I was thinking about.