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Topic: It happened at a bloodbank.....
Message: Posted by: JasonbytheOcean (Dec 30, 2004 05:46PM)
For those of you who think audiences have seen it all today, I present this gem which really happened about two years ago. Under the appropriate circumstances, I've enjoyed performing magic at random times when people aren't expecting it (similar to that TV special THEM, please bring it back!). This was one of my best pieces.

I was in a bloodbank preparing to make a donation. They test first to see whether you are anemic (low iron) before you can donate. I was hit by inspiration, and just happened to casually mention that it's a little known piece of biological trivia that the iron in our bloodstream is actually magnetic. They just looked at me and said, "Whatever." I offered to prove it and asked for one of the metal clamps they use to tie off the plastic tubes when a donation is nearly completed.

I said, "Now, the reason we don't go around with forks stuck to ourselves is that you need to stop the bloodflow long enough for the magnetic effect to take hold. It might work if you squeeze a finger, but actually, because of the veins running through the arm and hand, it's easiest just to take hold of the wrist and give it a gentle squeeze. Like this....." At which point, of course, the clamp "stuck" to my hand even as I shook my hand. "Of course, when I let go of my wrist, the blood is free to run again and the effect wears off." And the clamp hit the floor.

The two technicians had an over-the-top reaction. They couldn't believe it. To this day it remains one of the strongest reactions I've had to an effect (and yes, I do perform sterner stuff! ;-) Now, I thought they were kidding with me at first - after all, this was a trick I learned as a kid and I thought everyone knew how it was done, so I never performed it. But, after I finished donating I was waiting to get cleared to leave, having a cookie and lemonade, and I hear them in the background talking to the next fellow. "You'll never believe what this guy just showed us....." and three times the clamp hits the floor..... "Hey, it worked for him!" Couldn't have been funnier.

For what's it worth, I've used the story ever since and would encourage others to reconsider this classic as a result. (But hey, if you're ever asked, a little credit my way might be nice! :) No one else I know seems to have thought of using this one, until after I showed them the story (even fooled a professional magician with it once, go figure!) Will it fool everyone? No, so even though Ortiz recommends against such effects as a result in "Strong Magic," I still use it because the 8-of-10 people it does amaze. It has a little humor potential for the others. For reasons I haven't quite figured out yet, young kids seem to figure it out before adults. I think it's because adults know enough about the body and magnetism to buy into my story while kids don't know enough, so they're less distracted by my story. I think older kids and adults really want to believe, and given a story done with enough plausibility, they will.

Just thought I would share that one. Any thoughts people have are welcomed!