Aldo Colombini – The Ruler

Aldo Colombili

After having read a booklet which included some ideas using a carpenter’s ruler by Daffen Dundee, and realizing that playing cards could be revealed with the ruler, the thought evolved into this routine. This trick is part of one of my acts and with the addition of some other comedy impressions and gags, I can get almost five minutes of fun.

A card is selected (say the 9 of Diamonds) and replaced. The performer tries to find it but he fails. Saying that it might be better to do some impressions, he takes out a carpenter’s ruler and does some. At the end, the ruler is folded so that it forms the 9 of Diamonds, the selected card!

You need a deck of cards and a carpenter’s ruler. These rulers are usually made of wood and consist of twelve wooden pieces that have been hinged together.

Approach a spectator and force the 9 of Hearts. (The Riffle Force is good here and is explained on page 24 in Joking Around.) Have the card replaced into the deck and have the deck shuffled.

Say that you’ll try to cut to the card. Do any one hand cut and turn over the top (indifferent) card of the deck (say the 4 of Clubs). Wrong card. Repeat the action and name the second indifferent card (say the King of Hearts). Toss the deck away and say, “Did I mention that I do impressions?”

Bring out the ruler and shape it into the shower shown in figure 1 (using all twelve pieces). Say, “I usually take a cold shower every morning for twenty minutes. Then I close the umbrella and go back to sleep!”

Fold the ruler into the machine gun shown in figure 2 (the left hand holds two pieces of the ruler). Say, “Here is my impression of a left handed soldier saluting.” Hold the butt of the rifle in the right hand with the barrel against the right shoulder as if you were at attention. Make the standard soldier salute with the left hand but at the right side of the forehead with your left hand palm up.

Fold the ruler into a shovel as in figure 3 (using all twelve pieces). Say, “A shovel is usually used for sad occasions. Like the undertaker who asked the man, ‘Would you prefer your beloved wife buried, cremated or embalmed?’ All three. Better to be safe!”

Ask the spectator the name of the selected card. Fold the ruler into the 9 of Diamonds as in figure 4 (three pieces are together in the ‘diamond’ shape) but keep the edge of the ruler towards the spectators so they cannot see the resulting figure. After they have named the card, turn the ruler to face the audience and show the 9 of Diamonds.

If during the one hand cuts you have the 9 of Diamonds on top, just do another cut to being an indifferent card to the top.

Obviously with the ruler you can only reveal Diamond cards. Besides the 9 of Diamonds you can fold the ruler into the 5 of Diamonds, the 2 of Diamonds and the 7 of Diamonds.