by Mike Rogers (with thanks to Larry Jennings)
Earle the Cyber Jock is sitting in an airport terminal bar at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport enjoying an imported beer while reflecting on the many new high-tech gadgets he had seen at the recent COMDEX trade show. Having just attended the show he is loaded with a bundle of literature telling of all that is possible with the best of the best in high technology. Life is good for Earle, as he pushes his coke-bottle-bottom glasses higher on the bridge of his nose for the 100th time today. The literature he is carrying home, combined with the products he has seen, become manna.
Two bar stools away Bart Bosco is toying with a deck of cards in a manner that suggests a strange game of solitaire. Bart has also been at the COMDEX show, though in a different capacity than that of Earle the Cyber Jock. Bart doesn’t share Earle’s enthusiasm for bytes, RAM, and hard drive space. He doesn’t personally know Earle, but he easily spots him as being one from the COMDEX show. The stack of brochures, his collection of convention giveaway goodies, and the fact that Earle the Cyber Jock is still wearing his convention entry badge, reveals why he’s in town. Bart smirks a bit, for wearing your convention badge outside the exhibition hall simply tells every mugger in town that you are a stranger, probably with money. In Bart’s opinion Earle is a nerd.
It’s apparent that both have more than a few minutes to wait before their respective flights. Each has reordered another round. Bart says, “I see you are really into Cyberspace, but have you any interest in Hypertime?”
“Hypertime, what the hell is that…. I’ve never heard of such a thing,” Earle replies. “What company at COMDEX demonstrated hypertime?”
“None, it’s an abstract thing,” said Bart Bosco. “If you have a minute I’ll show you. Everyone has a position in hypertime, though you don’t know what it is, and you have little control over it, yet it has great effect on our lives.”
“Listen Pal,” said Earle, “I have three computers having hundreds of gigs. I own the fastest modems in the state. I have two scanners, four printers, three zip drives, a fax machine, a cell phone, a beeper, call waiting, call forwarding, a camcorder, two CD players, voice mail, and a Clap On Lamp. I know what’s what, and this hypertime jazz sounds like pure hyperbole.”
Bart Bosco said, “If I can prove how hypertime affects your life will you buy me another brew?”
“That’s a no brainer, of course I will, for you can’t do it. There’s no such thing as hypertime,” said Earle the Cyber Jock.
Bart explained, “Hypertime is always expressed in the form of a number and this number can be acquired in many different ways. We don’t control it, but it has strong impact on the events on our lives. Earle, here’s how we will determine my place in hypertime. I’ll guard your beer while you go next door to the news stand. Pick out any popular magazine or newspaper having advertising. Flip through the pages until you come to an ad showing a picture of a clock or watch. I want you to be able to read the time on the clock or watch. It must be a time piece having hands, not a digital display. Digital time displays are high tech, and hypertime shuns anything that’s high tech. Remember the time, replace the magazine and come back here. While you are gone I’ll order a big pretzel for us to munch on.”
Earle the Cyber Jock returns in only a few minutes telling Bart he found a picture of a nice Elgin watch showing the time.. Bart says, “Great, that’s how we’ll establish my spot in hypertime, but remember, hypertime is stated by a number. Don’t tell me the time you remembered. Just add the hour shown to the minutes shown. In other words, if it showed the time to be 20 minutes past seven, you add 20 plus seven for a hypertime of 27. If it showed two minutes past nine add nine plus two. Get the idea?”
Earle performs the addition establishing a hypertime of 20. The number 20 becomes Bart’s hypertime. All quite fair, and certainly nothing Bart could control.
Bart says, “Earle, my hypertime is now established as 20. We’ll establish yours an easier way.” He sets his deck of cards on the bar and says, “Cut a block of cards and set them on the bar, but not in a puddle of beer please. We already know my hypertime is 20, and that’s pretty high, so try and cut less than 20 as this is your first visit to hypertime and I want it to be a comfortable experience for you.”
Earle cuts a block of cards saying, “Let’s get on with it. I have to read up on the new cable on-line service that works without a cache or temporary internet files.”
Bart takes the balance of the deck and reminds Earle that his hypertime is 20. He then counts 20 cards to the bar. He then places the talon to one side while casually giving it an overhand shuffle. Bart says, “Your spot in hypertime has been established by the number of cards you cut from the deck.” He counts Earle’s cards learning that there are nine. “Earle, my friend, your hypertime is nine. To make it all fair I’ll join you and count nine cards from my hypertime pile.” This he does, and places the new pile to the table.
There are now four packets on the table, the discarded talon, Bart’s original 20 card pack which has now been divided into two separate packs, and Earle’s pack. Bart reminds Earle, “Remember, the deal was you buy me another round if I can demonstrate how hypertime impacts our lives. The Fall COMDEX show is always in Las Vegas, and in this town here’s a winner.” With that he turns over the top card of each pack revealing each to be an ace.
Earle the Cyber Jock expounds, “Well I’ll be a son-of-a-bitch,” as his coke-bottle-bottom glasses fall to the tip of his nose for the 101th time today.
Bart summons the bartender saying, “Set ’em up, my buddy is buying, and another soft pretzel please.”
OK, what do we have here? It’s a well-disguised version of the clock principle along with Larry Jennings’ “Intuitively Yours” from “Neoclassics,” published by Stephen Minch in 1987. Jon Racherbaumer has a reworked version in “Big-Easy Card-Cunning.” The clock principle was beat to the fare-thee-well in most of the Rufus Steele books years ago. It’s an ageless concept that continues to resurface in many of the marketed card effects sold through the magic dealers. For this to make sense I have to give you the bare bones of the Jennings handling, for it is Larry’s creative thinking that provides the neat disguise. I have added this story line along with an extremely deceptive method of forcing the number 20.
Here’s the method. There’s a simple set up. Place one ace on top of the deck, one ace on the bottom of the deck, and the two remaining aces 20th and 21st from the top. From this point on it’s all management.
The spectator cuts the first block to the bar. You then count 20 cards to the bar REVERSING their order. The talon is placed to one side, but casually sluff the bottom card, an ace, to the top. Count the spectator’s cards WITHOUT REVERSING their order. In this case there were nine cards. Pick up your 20 card pack and count nine cards REVERSING their order. There are now four packets on the table, an ace on top of each.
Oh, the force? (I almost hate to let this out.) Most people do not know that in magazine ads showing a clock or a watch, the time will almost always be ten minutes after ten. This is not true when the clock shows digital time, so it must be one showing hands the old-fashioned way. It’s not sure fire, but the risk is small.