This is a super-minor tweak on an ancient UF Grant trick that everyone and their mistress knows. Forgive me, it’s been a hard winter.
Setup: FD Ace, FD deck, FU 3, rest of FD Aces.
Performance: Riffle down the side of the deck. When someone calls stop, execute the Bobby Bernard tap cut, followed by a flash of the top card of the left hand’s half (the ace originally on top). Once it’s noted, place the right hand packet on top and square up. Using Bernard’s cut as a force is, I believe, a John Bannon idea.
Thanks to the cut, the original setup is now centralized. Spread the cards and show the faceup three. When they deny it to be their card,
vow Lucifer will rise again promise to rectify the situation. Cut the spread at the three, bringing it uppermost. Take the top two cards as one–the faceup three and the facedown ace below it–and table them. (Better yet, put them on the card box. It’ll facilitate the pickup in a moment.)
“It’s an indicator card. It indicates that I’m a terrible person.”
Count down three cards onto the table, turning over the third to reveal the selected ace.
“But that’s not all. Sometimes I weep at night until I fall asleep.”
As the spectators laugh, reach over with your right hand and turn over the two dealt cards, the aces. As all focus goes to these cards, your left hand (still holding the deck) turns palm down and picks up the three/ace double. As the hand turns palm up, the ace will come into view. This is a peripheral change–it happens under the misdirection of the right hand turning over the two aces.
In my opinion this is a good opener to a lengthier cups and balls routine.
Card is selected and controlled second from the top. Make some sort of magic gesture, dirty or otherwise. Triple turnover and claim that you’ve found their selection. When they say no, turn the triple over and thumb the top card to the table.
Pressing on, say you’ll do a fancy cut to find their card. Here I like to do a really bad, really labored Sybil-esque flourish cut of some kind. As long as it preserves the top stock. Double turnover, displaying the same card (let’s say the 10 of Spades) you just put down on the table. A bit puzzled, they’ll again say no. Turn it over and thumb it down onto the first tabled card.
Finally, say they’ll find their card. Using your preferred method, force the top card on them. I usually use the Blackstone force. Whatever.
So you’ve effectively shown them all the same card, none of which is theirs. Table the deck. Take this last 10 of Spades and use it to scoop up the other two cards on the table, bringing it to the bottom of the packet. Do a casual Flushtration Count (emphasis on casual), saying something like, “So none of these cards are yours…?”
After the Flushtration, the real selection is on the bottom of the face down packet. Under proper misdirection of your choosing, palm off the top two cards off the packet. Transfer the single card (assumed by the audience to be three cards) to your left hand, then bring your right hand to the tabled deck, unloading the two palmed cards as you spread the deck on the table and say something like, “So if your card isn’t here in the deck…” Then point to the card in your left hand, “…and it isn’t one of these…” You have a lot of flexibility here. Just as long as you get rid of those two cards in some fashion, you’re DTF. I’m actually more comfortable with a cop/palm from the bottom–I just wanted you guys to think I was cool.
End however you see fit, eventually disclosing that you only hold their single selection in your hand.
Announce your open prediction, which is secretly at the face of deck.
Commence typical OP dealing procedure, stud dealing into a neat faceup packet on the table. When they stop you, deal the next card facedown, but sidejogged to the right. Deal a few more cards faceup. Now turn the deck faceup, end for end. In the process, execute that old reverse, where the face card remains in the left hand, kinda sorta copped, and the deck is placed on top of it. The OP is now facedown at the bottom of the faceup deck.
Deal a few more cards from the face. Then spread the deck in the hands, ostensibly to expediently show the OP is nowhere to be found. As you square back up, prepare a block of about twelve cards at the bottom (rear) for a VT. (“VT” is secret code for Vernon Transfer. I’m abbreviating it so laymen don’t find this post and learn a secret by accident.) Under cover of spreading the tabled packet, VT the block onto the cards. Thanks to the Chucky Nyquist, the sidejogged card will vanish under the spread and the facedown OP will blink into view. It’s a fairly smooth switch. I think.
Food for thought.
Harris’s “Sweet Stuff” is fucking awesome.
Magic-wise, this time of the year is awful. The majority of Christmas-themed magic is fucking atrocious. I swear to god, if I have to watch one more flushtration-counted packet of snowmen printed onto card stock, I’m going to shit on my own face.
That being said, Chad Long offers up a wonderful Christmas-friendly (but not Christmas-exclusive) bit of magical playfulness for free on his website. Fuh-fuh-free, folks. So click this link. Then buy everything he offers, because Chad is awesome and deserves all your money.
Okay, it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m trying to finish this essay and here’s something.
Card is selected and controlled, reversed, to the bottom. Do a Benzais spinout. With your right hand, pick up the card spun out. At the same time, your left hand turns palm down and picks up the deck, secretly turning the deck over as your hand turns palm up. Standard stuff. Selection’s now uppermost, facedown on a faceup deck.
Flick your right hand’s faceup card into the deck. You know Williamson’s Stabbed in the Back? Think an action like that. If done rapidly enough, the faceup cards in the deck won’t be seen. Make sure they get a clear image of what just happened–a faceup card was shot into the supposedly facedown deck. Square everything up.
Now do Walton’s Trigger. And that’s pretty much it. Spread the deck faceup and point out the one facedown card in the middle. Ask if either of the cards next to the facedown card is the selection. After suitable byplay, turn the card faceup. Ta-dah!
No, it’s not good. But it’s something.
Tell your fellow magician pal that you’ve got a new key card placement.
Have your stupid idiot victim pick a card. Proceed to go through a really fair replacement procedure. They’ll be watching like a hawk. The card genuinely appears to be lost.
“That’s it,” you say. Make a wide faceup ribbon spread on the table. “If we’re lucky, your card should now be beneath the ten of hearts.”
You look through the spread and point out the card beneath the ten of hearts. “There it is! Right there! The four of clubs! Thank you, thank you.”
The spectator will voice their dissent.
“That’s not your card?”
“What was it then?”
“The jack of spades.”
You sit in thought for a few breathless moments. Then your face lights up.
“Of course! The jack of spades. Yes. Sorry, this is a principle I still don’t totally grasp. Fortunately, I did actually manage to sneak your jack of spades under the ten of hearts…”
Point to your card box.
As we all know, the new Bicycle boxes have a ten of hearts on the front. You can probably see where this is going.
“Lift up the card box.”
Alternatively, “Open the card box.”
Laff in their faces. GTFO.