The Blog for GW Pens

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Hocus Pocus

A few years ago there was a show on television that featured a masked magician. He had dancing assistants, a narrator that crossed the line and was just a bit too predictable, and props. The point of the show was for this masked magician to reveal the secrets of magic to the viewing audience. I’m not a big TV buff. My wife is, but I’m more particular about what I will watch. This show, however, really interested me. I liked throwing back the curtain to see how tricks were done.

Well there I was last night, lying in bed and flipping through the Tivo guide for something to watch when I see there’s a magic show playing. It was labeled as a magic variety show, I think, because it was a compilation of all different magicians. Immediately I started to think back to the masked magician and how much I enjoyed that, so I turned this variety show on.

I hated it.

I wasn’t sure why at first. Had the masked magician ruined it for me? Was the guy doing the card trick lacking that “it” factor? Maybe it was the lack of a narrator or dancing assistants? I watched on, looking for the secrets the masked magician had revealed. Nothing. I found myself wanting to turn it off, but there was only a few minutes left and I convinced myself it was too late into the programming time slot to flip around more.

Then, it slowly started to dawn on me. I think I just don’t like magic. But why? I’m a fairly introspective person, and the answer, I finally concluded, was I don’t like to be tricked. That’s right. I don’t like magic because I don’t like being tricked.

Now this brought me back to a magician/comedian from the early 90’s. He’d hold a red ball in one hand, and with one hand up in the air and the other in his pocket he’d ask an on-stage victim where the ball was in a thick British accent.

“Hand or pocket? WRONG! Hand! I’m fooling you and you don’t like it.”

He was funny, but he was right- most people probably don’t like to be tricked. And I think that is where I disagree most with Jack Handey and this Deep Thought:

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. ‘Oh, no,’ I said, ‘Disneyland burned down.’ He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2009 by and tagged .
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