Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My best magic trick EVER !

Do all Dad's do this?  I make no claim to being an actual Magician, having never studied, and having no specific talents, but all my life as a parent I have reveled in the art of making my kids think I am magic.  Admittedly this works better at age 7, than 17, but there are tricks for all ages.  I don't remember when I started to try to amaze my kids, but I do remember one of my first tricks.  I would frequently come home from trips with pens provided by a hotel I had stayed at.  I would find 2 pens from the same hotel and insert one in my left sleeve.  I would then call the kids over and show them the "trick".  I would take the hotel pen and put it into my right sleeve, and contort my body and shake my arms until the "other" pen fell out my left sleeve.  Then I would repeat it the other way around.  Inevitably the kids would think they could do it too, so I would give them one pen and watch the hilarity ensue for the next 10 minutes.  I wished I had videotaped more.  I sometimes "magically" guessed the endings of a TV show we were watching, as sometimes I had seen the show while on the road.  I actually have a great record of guessing the card turned over in Euchre to be trump.  I went 4/4 just the other night.  All my tricks were small slights of hand, or hyped up intuition, or a little pre-knowledge of a situation about to happen, but as a fun loving Dad, I always spun them as "Magic".  One day I almost fell victim to my own hype...

We had a family gathering at my mother's house in Bristol and about 6 of the smaller kids, my kids, and assorted nieces and nephews were playing in a back room.  I was reading the Sunday paper in the front living room, when I heard a loud exclamation from either Molly or Danny.  What I heard was the ending of an argument (short of the Nanna, Nanna, Boo Boo), and  they said "MY DAD CAN TOO DO MAGIC!".  This did not bode well for me, as previously mentioned, I have no actual magical ability.  What I did have, however, was the ability to quickly assess the next actions of a group of 7 year olds, so I immediately acted.  I scanned the room, leapt out of my chair, and grabbed a banana off from the counter, quickly concealing it in my right sleeve.  I put my paper back up and pretended to read just before I started to hear the tramping of 7 pairs of adolescent feet come down the hallway.  They gathered in a group in front of me, I was able to ignore them for a while, but then the interchange took place....

The Group:  "Uncle Bill, you can't really do magic can you?
Me:  "Who told you that?"
The Group:  "Molly and Danny"
Me: "Molly and Danny should know better than to tell our family secrets" (Paper going back up).
The Group (still skeptical, but on the verge of belief): "But, you can't really do magic, can you?"
Me: " Well, I am not supposed to show others, but tell you what, I will do one trick only, and then you are never going to ask me again, or talk about it again, Agreed?"
The Group: "AGREED!"
Me: (folding my paper onto my lap) "OK...what do little kids like?  Oh, animals, name me some animals...."
The Group:  "Lions, Giraffes, Bears, Gorillas..."
Me:  "Oh, I like Gorillas, what do they eat again?"
The Group (in squeaky unison): BANANAS!!!

So the story telegraphs itself a little, but the ending is still spectacular, with a clap of my hands and a loud TADA, a single banana suddenly materialized in my hands!  Every jaw struck the floor.  I quietly handed the banana to the nearest kid for them to pass around.  I put up my paper, and said "Remember our deal." 


      I didn't grow up with a magical Father, but if you want to know what it is like to, feel free to ask my kids. 


Andrea said...

That was awesome! You are a very quick thinker.

Anonymous said...

WHAT!? You mean you're not REALLY magic?

...This is earth-shattering for me, Dad. I'll be sending you the therapy bill promptly.

torcon said...

That is a fabulous story! Will you adopt me???