Dustings of Woofle #10

I was in my hometown the other day and ran into someone I hadn’t seen in about 25 years and she mentioned a trick I did in the lunch room in high school that I (apparently) called the Time Traveling Chicken Sandwich. I don’t remember the details about it, but I do remember I used the torn corn principle, except instead of a playing card I used a breaded chicken patty. I took a bite out of it and spit it out onto a napkin and gave it to someone to hold. In actuality I swapped the bite I had just taken for a bite from another chicken patty already in my mouth. I quickly devoured the rest of the chicken patty (including the extra piece I had just bitten off).

Then I did something, although I don’t remember what, and demonstrated that we travelled back in time and I revealed a restored chicken sandwich missing one bite—a perfect match for the one I spit on the napkin from the chicken I apparently ate earlier.

She remembered that shit 25 years later! That’s now officially the longest time gap between performance and spectator recollection in my magic history.

A testament, indeed, to the awe-inspiring power of such a beautiful routine and my magic genius.

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Speaking of… for those who have inquired about consulting, you can now find details on that in the menu at the top of the site.

Tom Frame sent me the PDF for his Hypercase. The Hypercase is inspired by the Hypercard, which is this classic “impossible object” which is made from a single playing card:

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Unfortunately, I’ve been familiar with the Hypercard for so long, that I can no longer see the “impossibility” of it. The topology of the object is too apparent to my eyes and I can’t get back my “spectator brain” about this thing as I can with most other things in magic.

Here is Tom’s Hypercase.


Similar to the Hypercard, I don’t have the ability to comprehend how a spectator’s mind would perceive this “impossible object.” What I mean is I don’t know how “impossible” it would seem. I think for it to be really strong you’d need to, apparently, construct it in the moment with the person you’re performing in a partially open/partially secretive manner, to give their imagination something to chew on.

Here’s how I’d do it one-on-one/jerx-style/extended presentation.

I would construct the case and have it in my pocket along with cellophane from a deck and an extra card. I'd buy a deck when I'm out with someone. When we get back to their place I'd ask if they had scissors. When they go to get the scissors I'd put the normal deck away somewhere. I’d pull out the Hypercase with the additional card held against it and the cellophane.

When they return I’d act as if I'm pulling the cellophane off the deck and toss the cellophane on the table. Maybe I'd even put a seal on the Hypercase so they could see me remove that too. Not too much attention is being paid at this point. I’d remove the cards, take the scissors and say, "I can't show you exactly what I'm doing just yet," and somewhat hide the procedure from them behind the case/my hands.

They’d hear me cutting the case, but really I'm just cutting the extra card. I’d set the scissors down. Fold the extra card behind the case and steal it away and ditch it at some point as I'm fussing around with things. Then I’d pick up the scissors again and trim a little bit off the actual tabs on the case. Just to reinforce that yes, I'm actually cutting up the case in this moment.

I’d set the scissors back down and mutter something like, “Well… here goes nothing." And I'd grunt/groan really loudly, "Gaaahhhh!!!!" as if I'm straining in some way—doing something requiring great effort on the back of the case (reaching into another dimension). Then I'd toss it on the table and be like, "There you go."

Tom doesn’t have a site, but you can get his PDF on this for $7. Find the details in this Genii forum post.

A couple people wrote me about these glasses, which Mike Close recently mentioned in his newsletter.

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They’re pretty interesting looking and fairly inexpensive.

You can get them with dice, poker chips, bullets, guitar picks, etc. I’d get the one with a poker chip. I wouldn’t use it directly in a trick, I’d just leave it out somewhere. When someone commented on it I’d say. “Oh, that was a trick gone wrong. Something I’m working on. Actually… let me give that another shot, hold on.” And I’d grab some coins and a glass and do some sort of coins through glass effect.

Now, when they’re mind starts going to sleight-of-hand and ways to sneak the coin into the glass, they have this strange object in their line of of sight that’s going to counteract that “easy answer.”

You could, of course, make the glass your finale for a coins through glass routine, and switch it in for a normal glass. “I’m going to pause the trick half way.” That sort of thing.

But I think I prefer a subtler use of it. Since everyone just assumes magicians are lying all the time, I think the less of a big deal you make about the glass, the more likely they are to believe that just maybe there is some way to pass items through glass and this glass represents a botched early attempt. Or at least their mind will be tempted with that notion.

Look, no one is a bigger fan of long, extended tricks than I am. I’ve mentioned before I think it’s pretty pathetic that people do Out of This World with half a deck because they can’t keep people engaged for the minute it takes to deal through a a full deck.

That being said, I think this version of OOTW by Michael Ammar is really swinging too far the opposite direction.

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I feel it starts to drag after the sixth deck. You do get something of a “second wind” around deck 10. But when he brings out deck 12 and is like. “Okay, for real this time. This will be the last one. I just want to be 100% sure it’s not a fluke. David…David! Wake the fuck up, and deal the 12th deck!” It feels borderline abusive.

Also, I question this line in the explanation, “It’s completely impromptu, as long as you run into someone with 12 decks of cards on them, or 12 people who each have one deck.” I mean… yeah, I guess.