Gardyloo #86

Friends, this has been the last full week of posts for Season 3. Another 150 articles this year, the equivalent of 1400 pages of content; plus 100 pages of X-Communication (final issue for Season 3 in January); and, oh yeah, an actual 300-something page book as well coming next month.

I couldn’t have done it without the great Jerx writing staff.


A lot of great guys and girls putting this site together. And I have to say, only six employees jumped off the roof to their death this year. That’s something to be proud of. And, to be honest, those six weren’t really pulling their weight. They needed to go one way or the other. If they can’t keep churning out the content, then, quite frankly, they don’t deserve their nickel.

(Speaking of “not pulling their weight,” where’s the goddamn photoshop of Joshua Jay doing his Balance effect but with one of the items swapped out for a dildo, that was supposed to be on my desk this morning, Wu Chunming?)

At any rate…, there will be a final post for this season next week and that will be a wrap for Season 3. Thanks to those of you who supported this year.

There will be some occasional posts in the weeks to come, but it will probably mainly consist of updates for people receiving the book and information on the potential Season 4. If you’re one of the people getting the book or if you want to claim one of the extra copies (if there are any), then check back here every few days.

Regarding last week’s post that dealt with me accidentally spending or giving away expensive gimmicked coins, a couple of people wrote in with the same, genius solution: Carry my gimmicked coins in the back of my Timeless watch.

What a great idea.

By the way, that Timeless thread on the Cafe is interesting to me. I think it’s pretty indicative of a divide in the way we present magic, a divide that has only grown larger in recent years.

You have people who are like, “The effect doesn’t make sense. The prop doesn’t look real. We shouldn’t value method at the expense of effect.” Let’s call this the “modern” school of magic thought.

Then you have a more traditional viewpoint, which is, essentially, “As long as you’re doing something impossible, then you’re doing magic, and who really cares if it makes sense or is obviously a prop or whatever.”

Here’s a post by Alex DLF from that thread, “But when people show you that this trick works very nicely, and baffles the audience, I think that, even if you don't like it, you have to agree people don't have the same consideration than magicians. I never heard "Oh, that watch looks strange" or "Wow, it's an empty watch !". They are just amazed by the fact they find a ring/coin inside.”

Uh-huh. First, “people don’t have the same consideration than magicians.” This is true. But it’s true in the exact opposite way he suggests. Real people are much more cognizant of weird or unusual magic props. If you bring out a wallet that doesn’t look like a normal wallet, or a pen that doesn’t look like a normal pen, or a watch that doesn’t look like a normal watch, people notice. And they notice more than magicians do because we’ve grown accustomed to unusual looking objects.

“I never heard "Oh, that watch looks strange" or "Wow, it's an empty watch !" Yeah, no shit. Why would they comment on something so obvious? This is a very typical sort of head-in-the-sand approach to magic. “Unless someone comes right out and says something to me, then it’s totally not an issue.”

There is sort of a disdain for the audience that permeates the posts of the traditionalists on that thread. If you believe the audience deserves an experience that goes beyond being fooled by an obvious magic prop, then you’re told you’re “overthinking” it. To be fair, the biggest defenders of this trick are the people who are trying to sell it, so I don’t actually think they care so little about these things.

As I asked in an earlier post, would you do this trick if it didn’t have a clever method? I can’t imagine the answer being yes. Another question I would ask would be, if you would do a trick with a watch with a storage space on the back, is there any prop you wouldn’t use in a trick?


I love a good, shoddily edited magic tutorial. I particularly like it when it’s clear they filmed something and didn’t even ever bother watching it back.

This video for Anything by Ben Williams is that sort of thing, but it’s also something of a mystery. What was it that happened to Ben at 10 seconds into the video below? Dick caught in a mousetrap? We may never know. Whatever it was it apparently didn’t warrant editing out of the final version of the download.

I broke a tooth playing lacrosse years ago. It wasn’t like a sanctioned lacrosse game with helmets and mouth guards, we were fucking around in a parking lot. The tooth I chipped wasn’t really visible and I never got it fixed. Last week, because of my mostly sugar diet, I had to have it pulled. And I had the dentist give it to me.

Last night I performed Get Them Digits, the routine from Monday, for some friends in NYC. After they all pressed their phones against my head and pressed send, I had this moment where I kind of shook my head a bit and moved my lower jaw from side-to-side. Then I spit out a tooth. “That can’t be good,” I said. It added a nice element to the routine.

Bish the Magish who once asked the age-old question if I was a “magic terrorist or a sick little boy” has a new promo video on his youtube page. Well, “new” might not be the best word. I guess I mean new as in “recently posted” because something tells me these video clips might be a little older. Maybe even a year or two old.

Now, I’m not going to make fun of Glenn Bishop here. It was never a fair fight, but at least 15 years ago when we were going at it we were both nobodies. Now that I’ve been named “the voice of 21st century magic,” by Fake Magic Monthly, it would certainly seem like a case of “punching down” to go at it with him now. I guess I’m growing up. Perhaps I’m a sick little man now.

The truth is, the people I used to be vicious towards were the people who started shit with me. Glenn hasn’t talked any trash in a while, and—as I’ve said on this site about Steve Brooks—I feel a strange affection for the man. In fact, if someone wanted to make me a set of Steve Brooks and Glenn Bishop cute plush dolls, that would be great.

In addition, Glenn has had some health issues recently and I don’t want to send any negative energy his way. Instead, I want to help our old friend Glenn.

You see, there is one problem with that video.

The length? The fact that it’s a 10+ minute promo video?

No. Sure, they say promo videos should be about 3 minutes. But that’s for a promo video that doesn’t have Glenn Bishop, baby! When you got Bish, all those rules go out the window.

My problem is with the music. That 80s keyboard and guitar sound is weak as fuck. It certainly doesn’t highlight Glenn’s dynamic performing style.

I’ve done him the favor of re-editing the first 90 seconds and adding a new soundtrack. A word of warning though, if you’re watching from work… turn the volume way up. You want to make sure everyone knows you’re watching something cool and to come over and enjoy it with you.