The Uncanny Fortune Telling Deck! The discussion having turned to fortunetelling, the performer brings out an efficient device for that purpose: a pack of over 30 cards, each bearing a different divinatory message. The pack is mixed, as a spectator is invited to take part. The performer explains that these mystical message cards will be used in conjunction with a venerable system in order to generate two fortunes – one for the participant, and the other for the performer…
The “system,” he explains, “has its roots in Numerology.” Now surveys have revealed that among the numbers under fifty the most popular “lucky number is seven, while for some reason the number least often named is sixteen. Therefore, we’ll use those number as our frame of reference. The person is asked to decide on any number between 7 and 16. He is then instructed to deal two piles of that quantity onto the table; the rest of the pack is set aside.
The performer now explains the mystical sorting procedure to be used to generate a revelatory card from each randomly configured group. Hopefully, the messages on those cards will prove to be relevant to their respective subjects. In order to preclude any suspicion that the performer might influence or even alter the outcome, he stands aside and allows the participant to handle the sorting for both packets. Two cards are thus delivered.
“Let’s look at mine first,” says the performer… The person turns up that card, and read its message out loud. It states: YOU ARE SCRATCHING YOUR EAR. The group looks at the performer, who has indeed been engaged in that very activity. “That’s amazingly accurate!” the performer exclaims. The audience is not sure; it certainly seemed that the performer had started scratching his ear before the message was disclosed, but… The performer presses on with enthusiasm, telling the participant, “Read out what’s written on the card you choose for yourself, and let’s see if your message is as appropriate as mine.” The card is turned over. Its message reads – YOU WILL SELECT THIS CARD!