A Magic Trick Four Years in the Making

When I get ready to go out, I check to make sure I have the essentials:

    • Wallet – check
    • Watch – check
    • Pants check
    • Extra Pants check
    • Binaca – check
    • Three of Diamonds – check

For almost 4 years, I have been carrying around a “Three of Diamonds” in my front pocket. I wanted to pull off a surprising magic trick using this precise card. The trick involves asking somebody to pick a card from an invisible deck of cards. I would say, “Pick any card,” as I fanned out a pretend deck of cards. My hope was that the trickee would pick the “Three of Diamonds”. If I could produce the card they were thinking of, they would be amazed – they would have to be.

Three of Diamonds

I chose the “Three of Diamonds” for one main reason – if someone picked it out of the blue, it would be unlikely that I was prepared for that exact card. “Ace of Spades” of “Queen of Diamonds” would be obvious, but a three – none one would pick that one.

My thoughts were right, no one picked the three of diamonds for a long time, 4 years or so. I had to play it off as a joke when they said some card other than the 3 of D. Almost half the time someone picked an Ace of something.

But patience paid off. I was at a party recently and I got to try my trick again. I saw a group of ladies that were friends of friends that I had met a long time ago. I started up a conversation. I wanted to say the words “Three” and “Diamonds” in the chit-chat. After so many wrong picks, I thought that I would start stacking the deck so to speak. I had to be subtle though.

“Alright, I want you to think of any card…” I waved my hands to mock a magician and got a smile. “Pick any card… Do you have the card?… Can you see it?” She said, “Yes!?”

I dug out the hidden “Three of Diamonds” and said, “Is this your card?” She opened her eyes and reacted with total amazement. She immediately wanted to know how I just did that. “It’s magic. I am magical.”

I have since retired the trick. I didn’t want to be that guy that does magic tricks at parties. How annoying is that guy?

Guitar Zero to Hero

I don’t usually have time for video games, but I do have time to pretend to play video games and then write about pretending to play video games. Does three hours a day of online poker, chess, and bridge count as video games?

One day I had the idea to poke fun at Guitar Hero and Rock Band by claiming to play these games constantly, although I have one friend who got completely obsessed with the game. He’s so into the virtual rockstar mindset that he has no more bathroom sinks on the wall and every time he asks you a question, he yells, “I can’t hear you.”

Guitar Hero

I started this flight of fantasy trying out my newly written jokes about my Guitar Hero mastery and obsession with my friends and then on my newsletter.

The responses poured in. People love to the play rockstar games and were glad that I joined in. Everyone missed my sarcasm and believed my lies about playing the game. I had a problem as everyone I saw thought to ask me about the modes and songs – everything I had no idea about.

My friends pulled me into a basement and set up the Rock Band equipment: a 5-button guitar, a 5-button bass guitar, a 5-button drum kit, and a microphone. We were complete – the band was all here with an orgy of adoring virtual fans.

In one night, I went from Guitar Zero to Guitar Hero. On “Easy Mode” the game is pretty easy. Insightful as that may be, the more advanced modes are impossible to me and I have an appreciation for those that can orchestrate the 5-buttons to create virtual portions of a rock song.

“I can’t hear you, London!”