Don Timoteo Answers Your Magic Questions

Image of a Card Fan and a Woman on Inside Magic[Questions for Don Timoteo – Magic Expert – can be about any aspect of magic including escapes, big stage illusion shows, little tiny close-up magic, and even so-called psychic magic.  Send your question to and we will pass them along to the Master].

As you know, because of my fame I have worked around the world performing for standing room audiences as well as many theaters where there were chairs for everyone — but just enough.

My expertise in magic is second to none, as you know. And yet I offer this help to you, the questioning mob of pubic magicians. Why? Does Don Timoteo make money doing this?

A little, but not enough to put up with some of the questions I receive or the ridicule thrusted on me like a Watchtower Magazine through the slightly opened door to my inner-most soul.

The other professionals, like that reindeer with the glowing nose, do not like me to be different.  “Oh, Don Timoteo, you should be like us.  You should never reveal the secrets to our art to the common magician.  That is like throwing the baby pig out with its pearl-wearing babysitter!”

Don Timoteo does not care.  He does not hear much of it and that which he hears he does not understand.

So bring your questions to Don Timoteo.  I promise on my honor that so long as you show reverence for my incredible talent, and historic place in history, you will be fine. You will not be faced with the wrath like someone who sticks his face in a pie-throwing booth at the Wrath Festival.

I know many men would like me to tell all of my secrets of love or the conquests my secrets have earned.  But I am first a gentleman and would never reveal the what has been secreted by me and my many lovers.

So, instead, I answer questions about magic.  Love’s magic is a secret I will not reveal.

Senior Timoteo:
What is fanning powder and where can I buy it other than at the magic store? They rip me off there.  Everything is more expensive because they say, “you’re not really buying the props, you’re buying the secret.” So if it’s just powder that helps you fan cards, what’s the secret that I’d pay an extra $5.00 for?
By the way, I loved you on The Flinging Nun with Sally Fields.  Yes, I am that old! I liked her before she was in Forrest Gump or Sybil.
Your Fan, N. Warner Douglas, IA

Don Timoteo Responds:

My friend.  From your first name, Norman, I know you are not Spanish and so the subtle but oh so impotent differences between titles is probably of little meaning to your head.

I am not “Senior Timoteo” but Don Timoteo.  I am thinking you meant to say “Señor Timoteo” but even this would have been wrong and to another man with much less class and noble heritage, it would have been the last words you said.  I am the fifth generation of my family’s royal tradition. I am a Don, of noble birth. My family’s tree is thick and filled with leaves.  It traces back to España and the mystery of the love that clings to the Spanish land like a scared two-year-old clings to his mother’s thick, hairy leg.

But, my friend, I of course excuse your lack of knowledge. I am like that.  I am forgiving.

I do not forgive your slighting of Ricardo Montalbán (who is not Spanish, he is from Mexico) by confusing me with him in the television show The Flying Nun.  He is the greatest of the great actors of our time. Have respect and humility when you mention the name Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino.

You have offended him, Senior Montalbán, by confusing a great actor with a mere stage performer.  I cannot forgive you for this, only Señor Montalbán can give you forgiveness.

Another thing to say to you, my friend. It is not, as you say, “The Flinging Nun.” It is “The Flying Nun.”

But enough of the funny little ways you demonstrate your place vis-à-vis royalty and great actors.

Let us address your question, yes?

Of course, it is well known fanning powder was invented in pre-Biblical Egypt and used by the kings to cool the skin on hot days or warm nights.

The powder then was made from the grindings of what we would now call “Rocks” or “Stones.”  Some stones provided a better powder than others.

In a joke popular at the time, a king would complain of the quality of the stone’s powder by saying “I believe this was made from the grinding of a special stone – a kidney stone.”

It was funny to read this on the walls of the great pyramids.  It was not in Spanish (my native tongue) or English (my other native tongue) but was written with pictures of flat-people walking sideways and pointing to where their kidneys would be.

But there was no magician who needed fanning powder so this part of the story is irrelevant to your mercenary needs.

The modern playing card was first made in 1945 – or at least that is when I first heard of such things.  My family, rich in both money and class did not perform magic with playing cards.  They may have existed before I discovered them but I do not imagine that could be important.

I showed my father, Don Fernando II, the playing cards I had bought during my semester at the American School.

He was, how you say, disgusted.

He was a proud man and a great magician.  He said, “My little one, why do you not show me that you have decided to do the multiplying balls of mierda?  Why not practice the Zombie Turd?   These cards are, to me, nothing more than the waste flung by monkeys from their crowded, stinking zoo cage.”

He thundered like a mighty storm as he shook his so-skillful finger at my pimple-covered face.  “You have caught the excrement thrown by a monkey, you must be proud.”

He sent me on my way and was heard by many of our domestic staff to wash his hands for the next half of one hour.

Still I was fascinated with these cards.  I smelled them, they did not smell like something I would flush or avoid stepping into.  They smelled clean and like printed cardstock.

I bought a book about doing magic with the cards and would practice every night under my blankets with a flashlight in my mouth (the end with the light bulb was facing out).

I learned to do wonderful things with these cards.

But yes, I also lost seven kilograms of water-weight.  Because Southern Spain is hot during the summer, very few people practice for hours under a wool blanket with a flash light in their mouth.

I would practice to the point of passing out and then I would practice some more.  To this day, I can perform one-handed second deals with either hand while convulsing from dehydration.  There are few that can claim that in these days of air conditioned magic clubs and magic stores.  I know.

I am special but not in the way teachers use the word. The fanning powder was needed by me because I dare not buy a new deck of cards that summer.  I had to avoid the wrath of my father, the Great Don Fernando.

So I practiced, sweating and breathing hard while holding a flashlight’s rear-end in my lock-jaw boca minúscula, until the cards were nearly bloated to twice their size (thick-wise) from sweat.

Now the cards, she smelled more like what my father had described.

The fanning powder I bought from a magic store familiar to my family for five generations.  Perhaps you too have heard of this store.  It has an exotic Spanish name but translates into the crass “Store of Magic y Pranks.”

The store owner was a common but wise and wrinkled man.  He said to me, “Don Timoteo, this powder you do not eat or put into your eyes, or put where you have mucous.”

He told me how to apply the powder to my swollen deck and to then try to fan the deck.

I was not sweating now.  I was in the open air of the tienda and the cards, they felt like slim slices of powdered toffee and love as they spread so easily.

The store owner asked me to show him a trick I had practiced every night for so many months under the wool blanket.  This is when the story becomes unbearable for me and perhaps for you too.

With the powder on the cards, they were soft, smooth, slick and I could not do a second deal.  I could not do a second deal with my left hand, with my right hand, or even with both hands. The cards, she was too slick to grasp like a mechanic or to strike with my thumb.

I am a man but a man of emotion – as are all great men.  I cried like a two-year-old child torn from the thick hairy leg of his mother.

The cards could be fanned.  Pretty patterns could be made.  But they could not do my magic.  They were beautiful, yes.  But like the arranged marriage I would soon enter, the beauty was the object’s only quality.

There was nothing to do but to look at the cards in their lovely fanned shape.

To admire art, a woman, or a woman who loves art, is a wonderful occupation but like all occupations, it ages terribly.

I learned an important rule that day:

To be the object of our full and long-lasting desire, the object, I must be able to touch, to work on, to manipulate, to sweat upon, and yes, even cause to swell under a wool blanket with a flash light in my aching mouth.

This rule even applied to cards.

The secret of the fanning powder, my illiterate friend, is to leave it alone.  It is like cement applied to a living creature; turning a work of nature into a permanent statue of the object.  Yes, to be certain, it fixes in time what one sees; but the cement robs all that could be seen and dreamed.

You might also ask your pharmacist for zinc stearate powder.

Either way you will be okay.

The zinc stearate powder is the essence of the fanning powder and so if you take Don Timoteo’s advice and do not apply this devil’s dust to your cards, you can still use the powder to prevent chafing from sweating under wool blankets.

You can buy a 150 pound block for your own grinding for less than $462.90 according to the latest prices I observed while I was on-line in between my love chats with your mother and your sister.

I am glad you asked, my friend.

Until next time,

Don T

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