Corrections and Letters to the Editor

 

Our Editors Respond

From time to time and as warranted or required by either good taste or onerous court order, Inside Magic publishes retractions or apologies in this column. 

 

Inside Magic also uses this space for significant letters to the editor or to answer questions of its readers.

 

 

 

Corrections

In the June 4th, 2004 edition, Inside Magic erroneously wrote, ?then climb into the non-gimmicked packing crate and have your assistants hide the specially prepared box.  Have the audience ignite the gasoline-soaked, non-gimmicked  packing crate in which you?re a securely bound and then push you into a river or lake.? 

 

This portion of the article, ?Escapes for Beginners and Kids? should have read ?then climb into the non-gimmicked packing crate and have your assistants hide the specially prepared box.  Have the audience ignite the kerosene-soaked, non-gimmicked  packing crate in which you?re a securely bound and then push you into a river or lake.?  Inside Magic is grateful to the surviving family members of 17-year old Jimmy Pickering  for this correction.   

 

The Future is Cloudy

In next Thursday?s…

 

Our Editors Respond

From time to time and as warranted or required by either good taste or onerous court order, Inside Magic publishes retractions or apologies in this column. 

 

Inside Magic also uses this space for significant letters to the editor or to answer questions of its readers.

 

 

 

Corrections

In the June 4th, 2004 edition, Inside Magic erroneously wrote, ?then climb into the non-gimmicked packing crate and have your assistants hide the specially prepared box.  Have the audience ignite the gasoline-soaked, non-gimmicked  packing crate in which you?re a securely bound and then push you into a river or lake.? 

 

This portion of the article, ?Escapes for Beginners and Kids? should have read ?then climb into the non-gimmicked packing crate and have your assistants hide the specially prepared box.  Have the audience ignite the kerosene-soaked, non-gimmicked  packing crate in which you?re a securely bound and then push you into a river or lake.?  Inside Magic is grateful to the surviving family members of 17-year old Jimmy Pickering  for this correction.   

 

The Future is Cloudy

In next Thursday?s Inside Magic, it will be erroneously reported that ?Inside Magic is unable to make predictions about future news reports.?  Inside Magic will regret this error.

 

In the October 25th, 2004 edition of Inside Magic, it was improperly reported that ?Halloween magic shows are easy to slap together at the last minute.  Just pick-up some tricks, throw them in a suitcase, and get performing.? 

 

Magic tricks should never be thrown.  Always place your randomly selected, unpracticed tricks into your suitcase or paper bag to transport to your most important show of the year.

 

 

Letters

Q:      If Houdini was so great, why did he die in the Water Upside Down Glass Box?

 

A:       This is a popular myth promulgated by the Tony Curtis? depiction of the great magician in the movie Houdini.  In fact, Houdini was great but he did not die in the Water Torture Cell.  Magic historians have recently concluded the great magician and escape artist died as a result of virulent peritonitis at Detroit?s Grace Hospital.  Because Houdini was not the magician?s true name ? his actual name was Erich Weiss ? he had no insurance or HMO coverage in his own name and spent his last six days in the waiting room at the Emergency ward. 

 

On the sixth day, after he finally collapsed and told his brother, Theo, that he did not feel he was able to ?win this battle,? the HMO came through, diagnosed the illness as a simple bacterial infection caused by a rupture of his appendix.  Unfortunately, because Houdini had not been referred by his ?Personal Plan Physician,? they were unable to administer the antibacterial medication necessary to stop the infection. 

 

An interesting side note, Houdini told his wife, Bess, he would try to return after death and would provide her with a coded message to verify his identity.  Because the peritonitis often causes brain hemorrhage and amnesia, the great magician did come back for the following ten years during the regularly scheduled s?ances.  He was unable to guess the secret password, however, and continuously driven to eternal entombment within the bowels of Hell by one of the attending exorcists. 

 

Humorously, the great magician?s guesses were not even close to the secret, pre-arranged phrase.  In 1935, his spirit shouted, ?I?m not kidding!  Help me, they?re jabbing me with pitchforks!?  The final communication came in 1936 when the spirit used an Ouija board to write what appeared to be the correct phrase, ?Rosabelle believe.?  Unfortunately, the judges ruled this should have been posed in the form of a question.  His spirit was then driven out to gnash his teeth and wail. 

 

Thanks for your question.

 

 

Q:      Is it true that Penn & Teller are the same person?

 

A:       We receive this question often.  Not from different readers, just this one individual residing in Day?s Lane, Michigan.  We have notified the authorities in his quaint little town and he will be heavily medicated and released to ?out-patient? psychiatric care. 

 

 

Q:      I saw a magician do this thing where he made put a duck in a pan and then he lighted it on fire and then he covered it up and then there was some paper there.  How does he do that?

 

A:       It is the policy of Inside Magic to not reveal the secrets of any magician?s effects.  Magic is best enjoyed when one can suspend disbelief and see the performance as impossible.  However, from your description of this effect we were able to identify it as The Duck Pan.  This apparatus was made by many fine companies and it is the staple of many magic acts.  Younger magicians often purchase a smaller version of the props in what are called ?Dove Pans? or ?Chick Pans.? 

 

The particular presentation of The Duck Pan you saw is actually the reverse of the traditional routine.  In fact, the presentation you describe is illegal in 42 of our 50 states.  Our guess then, is you live in Montana, Florida, Arizona, Alaska, Japan, or the District of Columbia. 

 

 

Q:      What would you advise for a Christmas gift for a young ? seven years old ? magician?

 

A:       Inside Magic always looks to encourage the promulgation of the great Art.  We know there is no better way to learn self-confidence and poise than to study and perform magic.  In fact, most great magicians began their careers at the age of seven or eight; so your question is well-timed. 

 

However, Inside Magic is against the giving of gifts or commercializing Chirstmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza.  These are important holidays in the traditions of those who celebrate.  Your desire to ?buy the love? of a child by purchasing a magic trick or magic kit is not only unfortunate and selfish but could be quite dangerous. 

 

Remember that all magic, even kids? tricks or beginners? magic kits, is an introduction to the Black Art of Satanism and Evil.  While this start on the slippery slope to Hell maybe appropriate for a kid during Halloween, we do not believe it is proper during this spiritual season. 

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