As­tound your friends and fam­ily with th­ese mag­i­cal mar­vels

The Simple Things - - MISCELLANY -

EF­FECT: In­vite a spec­ta­tor on stage to take your pulse and count each beat out loud, steady and strong. “And now for an as­ton­ish­ing demon­stra­tion,” you an­nounce. “The tech­nique is rarely seen to­day. But af­ter years of prac­tice, I’ve mas­tered it.” The spec­ta­tor, count­ing aloud, slows as the ma­gi­cian’s pulse is slow­ing. Then it stops. “Check again…to be sure,” you say in a weak voice. Re­peated at­tempts to lo­cate the pulse fail. As if snap­ping out of a trance, you click your fingers, and the pulse steadily re­turns to nor­mal, ap­par­ently thump­ing at its usual pace af­ter only ten sec­onds or so. You are back from the dead! PREPA­RA­TION: Place a small, hard rub­ber ball (or a balled-up hand­ker­chief) in the pit of which­ever arm your spec­ta­tor will take your pulse. Hold there loosely. PER­FOR­MANCE: Once you’ve found a spec­ta­tor who can take a pulse, pro­ceed as above. Have her lo­cate your pulse on your wrist and call out each beat of your heart so that ev­ery­one can hear. As you de­liver your mono­logue, in­crease the pres­sure on the ball in your armpit. Your pulse will ap­par­ently be­gin to slow and should be re­flected by the count­ing. Even­tu­ally, if enough pres­sure is ex­erted, your pulse will be im­pos­si­ble to find (on the wrist she is hold­ing). To re­store your pulse, grad­u­ally re­lax your pres­sure on the ball. Once “re­vived”, take a bow – if you’ve the strength.

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