Mike Rogers – Golden Gag

Columnist:
Mike Rogers
By Mike Rogers

I love a good gag and the one I’m about to describe is truly GOLDEN! When I say “golden” it’s for the quality of the gag, and for its creator, Eddy Golden. If the name Eddy Golden rings a bell it should. For many years Eddy operated his company called GOLDEN’S MAGIC WAND. Eddy was a major distributor of magic tricks, jokes, and Halloween supplies.

Eddy Golden, now enjoying retirement in Southern California, is held in high esteem as a practical joker. He sees humor and fun in every direction. For instance, the phone number of his company was 1-800-FIND-FUN.

OK, on to the Golden Gag. It is so subtle that I’m sure many have missed it entirely. A few years ago Eddy hired me to entertain at his company Christmas party being held in his home. At the time his home was in the exclusive section of San Diego County called Rancho Santa Fe. This is a beautiful area having no freeways, no malls, no billboards, and no mailboxes for home delivery of mail. As wonderful as it is the place is also where the Heavens Gate kooks were located. You don’t just leisurely drive around Ranch Santa Fe. Many of the homes are gated or shielded from view by lush landscaping. You have to know where you are going, or you don’t get there easily. Hence, the Golden Gag. Eddy sent me a small map having directions to his place. The map is held within a small pocket size folder pictured here. Notice the wording, “Golden’s in the Silvered Valley.” Below that is a compass rose showing just one direction, North. The gag begins on the front of this little folder. Using the word “silver” along with his name “Golden” is clever, and the compass rose is a tip off as to what’s to come. Yet few will realize it.

When opened the map depicts several of the Rancho Santa Fe streets along with the one leading to where Eddy lived. The map is correct, or so it seems. I arrived without any problems, yet through it all there was something wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but since I found the venue I didn’t give it much thought at the time. Later when looking at the map it finally hit me. Though the map is correct the orientation is entirely wrong. It is inverted and flipped. Look at the compass rose in the upper left corner. North and South are inverted while East and West are flipped. This shows up again in the upper right corner where an arrow points to the top saying “South to San Diego.”

What a great gag, it is absolutely Golden. I wonder how many people have used this map wondering how in hell they actual