Banachek – Georgeand Bill



This first appeared in Bascom’s Magick

Experiment with this strange of-the-wall concept. You’ll find it can be employed as close-up as well as stage presentations.

“As most school-children know” you begin, “Abraham Lincoln was known as Honest Abe. Yet, he was not the most honest president we ever had.

“That distinction goes to our first president, George Washington. Remember the story of the cherry tree?

“It’s said that Washington never told a lie. And he looked with disfavor upon those who did. Let me show you.

“But I’ll need to borrow a dollar bill. Don’t worry, you’ll get it back, I’m not an evangelist and I promise to do nothing to damage it.”

With the borrowed bill in your hands, you casually fold it in half, with the picture on the outside, crease it, and, then, unfold it again repeating the process once more.

As you do this, you approach a spectator.

“Sir, I need you to think of a playing card. I don’t want to know the identity of the card, but I will ask you some questions about it.

“You can lie or tell the truth. In fact, sometimes you can lie and at other times you may tell the truth. You decide when to lie, when to tell the truth.

“But as you answer, I want you to look at the picture of Honest George here, right in the eyes, so he hears your response.”

Satisfied that the spectator understands what he is to do, you ask your first question.

Is your cad red?”

The spectator of course, an answer either way, but we’ll assume he says “No.”

You continue, “I’m going to show the bill to the lady over here. Does Honest George appear to be smiling or frowning to you?”

She looks and replies that Washington seems to be frowning.

“Oh, oh,” you say, as you turn back to the original spectator. “It appears that you have upset George.

Since nothing upsets him more than a lie, your card must be black. My next question would be, is your card a spade?”

This time, when you have the lady look at the picture of Washington, she indicates he appears to be smiling.

And so it goes, until you are able to reveal the identity of the card.

With the answer to each question, Washington appears to correctly know whether the spectator is lying or telling the truth.

The secret has to do with how you fold the bill. Hold the bill in front of you with George facing you. Now fold the bill back on itself and make a crease just to the left of his mouth. The bill is folded so the face is on the outside. Crease this first fold. Open the bill and again fold it making a crease just to the right of the mouth. Now you should have a furrow down the center of his face.

Then, by tilting the top half of the bill either towards you or a away from you, causes George to smile or frown. The effect is startling to say the least.

The card being thought of by the spectator may either be one you force or have selected and glimpsed.

This revelation of the card will be more incredible if the selection is done pre-show. See my ‘Card Opener.’