Simon Lovell – A New Year For Ned

Columnist:
Simon Lovell

A New Year For Ned! By Simon Lovell and Ned the Lemming.

So the holidays finally grind to a halt and, as I look at my decimated drinks cabinet, I realise that a visit to the local beverage mart is in order to replenish supplies. Even Santa managed to polish off the bottle of brandy (and one half eaten cookie) I’d left for him!

However, while in holiday spirit (and reasonably full of it too), Ned and I came up with a cute idea which delighted our crimble guests. More amusingly it also fooled the hell out of a couple of magicians who were present at Lovell mansions. The requirments are minumul but you must be a cat owner for this to work. Since I own a 28lb pure long haired silver Maine-Coon cat (the soon to be infamous Harry, the psycho kitty of doom) I’m set to go – if you don’t own a cat then I suggest you rush to your local animal shelter and get one. Not only will you be able to do the effect but you’ll also have saved an animals life and be rewarded with the joy of having a sleeping and eating machine that will reward you with so much fun it shouldn’t be allowed!

Here’s the effect as seen at the party … A card was chosen and signed. Neither Harry or I were allowed to see it. John, my best friend and darts partner, who had chosen the card put it back in the deck and shuffled the cards himself. He was then instructed to spread the deck, face down, all over the floor. Since he was pretty tipsy at the time this took longer than expected and, as several broken ornaments can testify, was rather amusing. Harry was then released from my wife Kat’s arms. He scurried over the cards, ran around a bit, went to get something to eat, returned, purred and ran over the cards again. Tension was high, could the magic psycho kitty do it!

Well he did, eventually he started pawing just one card. He played with it until it was clear of all the others then lay down right on top of it! We eased the card from under him, trying to avoid his claws (in my case very unsucessfully) and turned it face up. It was the signed chosen card! This caused large applause and dropped jaws from the magi! The response was way beyond what we’d expected and, whenever guests are here, it’s Harry’s most requested effect. Since it’s the only one he does that’s not surprising. What is surprising is that it is soooo cute and it plays so BIG!

The method? There are two methods … 1. Train your cat in high class sleight of paw. 2. (much easier) Smear a card with some catnip, not too much, and fan force that card on your unsuspecting spectator. The rest, as they say, is obvious. Eventually they’ll go for the catnip card! It really is as funny as hell.

I thought I was the only one who did this nutty stuff but was delighted to learn when speaking with my good friend Guy Hollingworth (he of T&R card fame from WGM3) that he uses his pet dog for an effect! He does a three card monte routine where the spectator can never find the queen but his dog finds it every time!

The method? 1. Train your dog in high class sleight of bigger paw. 2. (much easier) Palm a dog biscuit or treat in your hand and as the dog sniffs the cards hold the hand palming the treat near the card that you want him to choose. You could also use the catnip principle to do do this with your cat. Then the spectator can mix the three cards face down and your cat can find it!

ADVANCED SILLINESS COMING UP – WARNING! If you do this get them to mix the cards face up first. The cat finds the queen (or the dog finds it). You point out that the cards were face up so they could see where it was! Repeat with the cards face down and it’s so silly that even Ned broke a smile or two as he ate through his crimble present of a bale of nuts and berries!

Ned has now returned to his spiritual haven to recover from his extended crimble visit and so it is left to me to wish all the Gemini mob a great new year that brings you good food, fine wines and all that you hope for.

I’m also looking forward to meeting lots of you at the DMS!

All the best from, Simon and Ned …. and Harry!