Think a Month
This first appeared in the late Bascom Jones’ Magick Magazine.
This routine came to me about four o’clock in the morning one night. The time that most good ideas come to me. I was pondering the reason an old effect worked. The one where you have someone secretly pick a number on a watch and you start to tap the watch and each time you tap they add one to their number and they stop you when their total reaches twenty. When you stop you are at their number. The secret was to count counter clockwise and start at the seven. While doing so I stumbled upon the fact that if a person thought of a number and if you started at the twelve and counted in an anti-clockwise direction and each time you tapped a number they added one to the number they selected. When you were done they would have a total of thirteen no matter what number they chose. From this came the following effect:
“Each month has a value.” The mentalist begins. “January is one, February is two up to December which is twelve. I want you to think of the value of the month that you were born in. Just think if it and while you do that I am going to write a prediction.”
The mentalist writes out his prediction, folds it and places it in the spectators pocket.
“Now sir, I am going to name months, each time I do I am going to say out loud ‘add one’, this will mean to add one to the value of your month. When I name your month please tell me to stop.”
The mentalist proceeds to do just what he said “December, add one! November, add one! October, add one.”
Let’s say the spectator stopped him on October. The value of October is 10. At this point the spectator has added three to his number. His total is 13. “That’s great,” exclaims the mentalist, “although unlucky for most, the number thirteen means happiness, fame and fortune for those born in October. Please open the prediction.”
The spectator does so and reads ‘Although unlucky for most, the number thirteen is lucky for those special few.’
The method is quite simple. So long as you start at December and name the months backwards adding one each time plus one on their month, the spectators ‘lucky’ number will always be thirteen. The reason is simple. There are twelve months in a year. By counting backwards all that you are doing is having them add the rest of the months of the year which is twelve, plus one more on their month to bring the total to thirteen.
If you follow the routine as outlined and word the predictions as it is, the spectator will ‘remember,’ that not only did you know in advance his lucky number but you also knew his birth date. Please do not reveal in advance that you are going to find out his ‘lucky number’ as you will send out signals to the spectator to listen carefully and learn the procedure so he can figure out other people’s lucky numbers. What he will then figure out is the method. Reveal the number as his lucky number when he arrives at the total.
This can be done by mailing the prediction with a letter telling the person you want to hire you not to open the smaller prediction inside but that you will be calling them or if they can’t wait they can call you. Place the prediction in a smaller envelope, seal and write ‘DO NOT OPEN’ upon it. Proceed as in the effect.
When performing for someone you already know have them remove their watch and think of any number on the dial. Hand them the prediction. Tell them you are going to touch numbers on the dial they are to add one each time to their secret number. When you reach their number they are to call out stop. Tell them they now have a lucky number and ask what it is. Have them open the prediction.
If you want you can write the first prediction as 13, but instead of asking them to concentrate on their birth date, have them concentrate on the year they were born. Place this prediction in their pocket. Now ask them for their birth date. You now ask them to think of the value of their birth month. You then write the year on a second piece of paper and place that with the other prediction in their pocket. Now proceed to get their lucky number via this method. Both predictions match.