I recently decided, possibly due to sleep deprivation, that the world would be a better place if everyone learned a few magic tricks. That’s tricks, mind, not illusions. When David Copperfield waves his arms around in his ludicrous billowy shirt and turns one of his mates into an elephant (or vice versa), it’s never all that impressive. Too remote, too grand. You mumble the word ‘mirrors’ and get on with your life, possibly pausing to wonder if he wooed Claudia Schiffer by telling her that, with the right glamorous assistant, he could make his lad disappear. A trick, on the other hand, is something simple that’s done right under your nose. You should be able to work out how it’s done, but you can’t. That is its entire appeal. With a little collective effort, we could harness this simple truth for the betterment of all. How about using mini-miracles as a form of greeting? You’d bump into someone you’d hadn’t seen since for ages, rip up a fifty Euro note under her nose and then put it back together. ‘So how have you been?’ Your friend would pluck a pencil from her top pocket and ram it through the palm of her hand, only to withdraw it immediately, and no harm done. ‘Grand. Yourself?’ Tricks could become our national icebreaker. Enda could announce it in the Dail and when he was finished, he could link a couple of metal rings. No? Suit yourselves. Last time I try to make the world a better place.

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