Ted Lesley – "money In Your Pocket"

Columnist:
Ted Lesley
(Ted Lesley)

“Ladies and gentlemen,” begins the Mentalist, “mind reading is an extremely intuitive process. So much of what we perceive comes, not from overt observation, but from subconscious perception. Let me give an example.”

He points to a man seated in the audience and asks, “Would you please stand for a moment sir? Have you any idea the exact total of the coins you carrying? No? Wonderful! Please take you change from your pocket and quietly count it now.”

As the participant is counting, the performer pulls a picture postcard from his pocket and writes something on it, using a ball point pen which is then put away. “I`ve written a message on this postcard. Please tell us the value of the coins in your pocket.”

The participant says (for example)”Eighty-seven cents.”

At this point, the performer pauses, looks down at the postcard and back to the participant. Handing the card to a nearby member of the audience to read aloud, the Mentalist, ammost muttering to himself says, “I can’t understand it. I’m never wrong.” The second participant reads aloud the total on the card, “Ninety-seven cents.”

The performer looks at the man, shrugs, and continues the show. Several times during the program, the Mentalist will pause, search out the same man in the audience, look at him and shrug again.

At the end of the show, during his final bows, the performer stops the applause and turns to the first participant to say, ” That ten cent difference has been bothering me all during this show, and now I think I have solved the problem. I predicted you would have ninety-seven cents in coins and you only counted eighty seven cents. Would you check your coat pockets please?”

A look of surprise crosses over the man’s face when he reaches into his breast pocket and discovers a dime (ten-cent coin). “I knew it!” exclaims the mentalist, “As I said, I am never wrong!” He bows and exits to renewed applause.

Writing on the flexible postcard guarantees a semi-legible handwriting, a perfect match for the swami gimmick. Write everything except the amount, leaving room for that to be entered later.

Place the pen behind your ear or clipped in your coat breast pocket to serve as a visible reminder that the pen is put away before the participant reveals the count. Or borrow a pen (actually writing with the thumb writer) and return it before the total is said aloud.

The extra dime is easily dropped into the gentleman’s outer breast pocket in passing, or during a brief pre-show moment.

NOTE:
I use the subterfuge dropping a coin into the outer breast pocket of a spectator before the show for other tricks as well. My friend Alan Shaxon’s “CONFABULATION” is one example only.