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March 10, 2011

Magic is easy, unless it's hard

Learning magic can transform you from a wallflower into the life of the party. Everyone likes magic, except when it backfires. There's nothing worse than reaching into your hat to pull out a rabbit and out comes Mrs. Mackiewicz, your seventh-grade math teacher.

So, start with something easy, like a card trick. Have a friend shuffle a deck of cards. Hold out the cards and ask your friend to "pick a card, any card." Now, guess what card it is. You'll probably be wrong, but the beauty of this trick is that it takes virtually no time to learn.

Or, try a sleight of hand magic trick. These tricks involve the magician's old friend, "misdirection," which takes advantage of the brain's ability to focus on only one thing at a time.

For example, tell your roommate that his mother just died. He'll be so frantic and out of sorts he won't even notice when you go to his room and steal his watch.

"Looking for this?" you say with a flourish, as he tries to call home, his eyes filled with tears (applause).

Illusions are fun. You can create the illusion that you're employed by filling out on-line surveys, or that you're not an alcoholic by never drinking before 2 p.m. Turn your shirt inside out and ta-da! No more vomit stains. Create the illusion of happiness by getting married and having kids.

If you'd like to try something a little more on the wild side, try some black magic. Unlike the after-dinner parlor magic your uncle Ron did, this is the magic uncle Ron did to have sex with mango-smooth virgins from the Caribbean. Basically, black magic is just regular magic, but used for nefarious purposes and ministered through the use of malevolent powers and/or live sacrifice. For example, instead of simply making a quarter disappear (as in regular magic), you would stab a baby goat in the neck and sodomize Xa-Mul of Instanbul in a pool of warm goat blood.

To start, see if you can conjure Felattina, the she-wraith and multi-lipped daeva to Moloch the Aggressor. Ask her if she wants to come to your Super Bowl party. Remember that conjuring is difficult, however. If you're looking for Felattina, and you get Abraham Lincoln, don't worry. The old rail splitter knows how to party -- trust me.