I found myself today, almost involuntarily explaining magic tricks to the girl next to me.
Girl: How did he do that?
Me: He switched it in the bag.
Girl: How DID he do that?
Me: The man he threw the first ball to is a plant. The paper he is reading does not have any of the things the audience said. He is just reading everything the magician wrote on the mahjong paper.
Girl: How did he do THAT?!
Me: The blades are separate. In fact, the actual blade looks like a fork - two prongs with the middle part missing. That's why the cucumbers on both sides get cut, but the man's head remains intact.
I turned and said, "You know, magic tricks are to be enjoyed, not explained."
Thank God no one asked me how the girl could go missing from the box. It is fairly simple. The hand sticks out, wriggling, means that the girl is hidden in the 'sides' or hinges of the box, which is fairly huge, but painted and designed not to look that way.
Magicians use mechanical devices, electronics, chemicals and plain old tomfoolery. They execute it with skill and lots of practice. Magic, is like wrestling.
I still appreciate their skill, even though I know how a lot of tricks work. In fact, most tricks take a lot of dedication.
Some, though, suck ass.
Levitation? Trickery! Trickery! Trickery! It was edited, the effects done in a studio. Only the reactions are real.
People react because they want to believe. They want to believe there are safe mysteries to ponder upon. Perhaps there are. Perhaps it is mass delusion. Who knows?
Figuring out magic tricks does not require intelligence. It is merely awareness and angle of approach. Righteousness and arrogance will never work.
And here's the clincher: figuring out things does not make you superior. If being or seeming to be superior or better than anyone is your goal, you will never understand things.
Some people do not want to be fooled. They dedicate their lives to not being fooled. They cared so much about not being fooled, they don't realise that they themselves have been fooled.
You might want to take my word for it, or you might not. It does not matter.
I just wanted to say that I felt really regal tonight. I was surrounded by drinks spiked with chives.
By the time I was done, there were some half-empty bottles everywhere. And the crowd dissipated into the night, slowly, like a puff of smoke on high speed camera.