This is Magic Week. Members of The Society of American Magicians do free shows at hospitals around the country. Sometimes we all meet in a room and magicians take turns presenting to a group. At other hospitals, we go room to room.
At Children’s Hospital we had some wonderful skeptics in the audience. I like to use optical illusions and science-based magic, so my part of the show has them flummoxed. One of the other magicians decided to try mentalism. Mentalism is the branch of magic in which the magician attempts to read the mind of an audience member who is helping with the magic.
The children ranged in age from toddler through teenager. The helper looked about 7 years old. First the magician asked the helper to pick a card, any card. She did. She showed it to the audience. It was a 2 of Clubs. Then the magician asked the helper to look at some alphabet cards, supposedly to test her eye sight. She read the cards aloud.
Tee, double-you, oh, oh, eff,
“What does that spell?” asked the magician.
“Tee, Woof,” responded the girl.
Gotta love it!
The next letters were see, el, you, bee, and ess. She didn’t know that word at all.
The magician wound up trying to teach a reading lesson, and the helper didn’t understand what happened to the magic.