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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » A right balls-up (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

James Peters
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Romford, UK
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I had a challenge to escape from a set of Met Police handcuffs this morning, which I accepted. I checked the locks to make sure they were the same as usual, and proceeded to be locked up.

The ex-copper put them on as if restraining a prisoner (hands in front, locks facing away from hands etc.) which should not have been a problem.

What I didn't consider was that they were rigid, but *not* the folding ones. They have a thick piece of plastic that covered the keyholes, so when I inserted my gimmick-x, I couldn't turn it to unlock them!

Best bit...I didn't bother to take a key, and the guy didn't bring one. So I had to make a quick trip to the police station across the road!!

Now, how embarassing can it get?? Fortunately only a couple of people were aware of what happened...otherwise it could have been a real reputation killer.

James Smile
x-treem
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OH BOY James,

Challenge 101

1) Make sure the item you are escaping from is in proper working order.

2) Make sure the owner has a working key and open and close the cuff a few times with the key.

3) Make sure the challenger is not out to get you. Make sure the cuff has not been tampered with.

4) Don't always trust a gimmick. Make sure you are certain that you can escape from said challenged item and that you have a back up escape plan if the first method fails. Smile

Many of us have done it, don't feel bad. Matter of fact if you can find the same cuff, learn how to escape from it. Then promote the fact that you failed your first attempt and are going to try again.

Crowds often love it when you failed once and MAY fail again.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
James Peters
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Romford, UK
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Thanks for that! Absolutely right!

And I'm doing the repeat performance (with the main difference being this time I will escape) in a couple of weeks time!

James.
SpiffnikHopkins
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I'm new to EA but have 2 thoughts.

First, I've never failed to get out of an escape. So far I'm like 20 for 20 (not that big a number, so I HATE to say last time I didn't get out. I like boasting that I've never been restrained, but I do say (and this is true) that some escapes have taken me hours. (One time it took me 2 and a half hours to get out of my chains!)

In my mind this accomplishes 2 things: It says that if you tie me up and I can't get it, it's a first! Congrats, no one else has been able to do that!

Second it bills me as the man who can't be restrained no matter what! How impressive is that? We gotta check this guy out!

OK so sooner or later I know very well I'll have to ask for a key or some help, but afterwards at my next show, challenge or whatever, who will know? I'm not a dishonest guy, but magic relies on certain untruths. Part of the show in my opinion and I even let people know that half of what I say is Bull Shoe. They love the stories anyway Smile

Just a related thought I thought I'd throw out there.

~Spiff
x-treem
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Not a good idea and here is why— NO ONE can get out of everything! If you bill yourself as such you are going to wind up with challenges and items you have never seen and I guarantee you will not be able to get out of.

There is a handcuff, that for all intents and purposes looks and operates like a normal handcuff, called a Bigelow King Breaker. In the past I've been challenged by some bumpkin that somehow got his hands on one. Since it is made using only one certain handcuff I know to look for the thing that makes it a King Breaker. Could you?

It is generally a rule of thumb to not say you can get out of everything, it can lead to trouble. I've been there myself and luckily come out smelling like roses (or sweat) everytime.

Words of Wisdom.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
SpiffnikHopkins
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Those are some good points.

As far as things go with my act, I don't think it's much of a problem just yet. I mostly perform for campus kids who are a very controlled group. I'm not putting out a request for challenges or anything. Matter of fact I can't get out of any cuffs. I've never had to. No one here has them, and if they whip out a pair, I'll just joke about it and use some comedy lines to back peddle.

If I ever go big time, you're right, maybe not a good idea.

~Spiff
x-treem
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Spiff I know, it was just for future reference.

James Make sure you have a back up. With modern cuff escapes I always carry a X-treem/Fletcher Pro Key and 2 shims for back up in case something should arise.

I've heard of De-Val's Gimmick X but never saw one before, any good beyond your little mishap?

If anything I might want to add it to my collection of odds and ends tools of the trade. The price never really impressed me though.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
James Peters
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Romford, UK
385 Posts

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Shawn,

What's an X-treem/Fletcher Pro Key?

Lack of shims was not the problem. The handcuffs could not be shimmed (I know it sounds unlikely, but this was the case).

As for the Gimmick-X, it will work on these cuffs with a minor modification to it. I can recommend it as a very useful tool (I think the price was well worth it). If you want more details on it PM me and we'll go offline to discuss.

James.
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