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I don't want to distract you too much from the discussions on hecklers and audience control, but would you be able to write a bit about jam auctions?
*Mark Lewis*
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There are pages and pages about it in my wondrous book "The Lives of a Showman". You can read it all there or view it on that scoundrel Kaufman's site.

Incidentally I see that Will Roya has reviewed it on the Step Right Up section. The review seems to more about Will than it is about me. I am beginning to wonder if Don Driver has a point about him. But he shows one flaw about himself as a pitchman in his review. He is chattering about the way I describe unethical practices in my book and I think he is probably talking about the Jam Auction. But look at what he actually says and I quote:

"Of course you want to do this in the most ethical way possible with the least amount of investment of not only money, but your time and soul (for lack of a better word.) As Lewis describes some of the hustles in his book it is well pointed out that anyone can take peoples money in a borderline legal manner. But to do so with a smile on the mark’s face and having them want to come back for more is a different story."

Dearie me. I nearly fainted at the expression "THE MOST ETHICAL WAY POSSIBLE" And there is great danger that if Don Driver reads that you may well kill him off with the shock and trauma of reading such nonsense. How on earth can you become a grafter if you insist on doing it "the most ethical way possible"?

And as for that other expression concerning putting a smile on the customer's face I would be utterly heartbroken if the punters were smiling after I have done with them. I want them to be as miserable as they have made me. Every good grafter does. As for them coming back for more I never want to see the vermin again. I've got their money. What further use are they to me? And what on earth does Roya mean by "more"?

Grafters aren't running a magic shop. We only have half a dozen items at the most and that is actually more than most of us have. I have four items only and they are usually sold as a whole package so what "more" can I get out of them? At this point I just want them to go away and never come back.

Ethical way possible? Dearie me. Methinks Don Driver, misery though he certainly is, may well be right about young Will. He may well make a good pitchman though. AFter all he seems to have inherited one of their qualities. Constant bragging about how much successful they are even if they only have enough money for a sandwich.

It is bad business for grafters to brag about how much money they make and how successful they are. And that goes for magicians too. As Tony Corinda once said to me, "Keep your mouth shut"
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