A Magical Date

Doesn’t everyone dream of going on a magical date?

One of my weird life tips is to know a little bit of magic. If there’s ever a time where you need to grab the attention of a group of people, you’ll be instantly armed. Be they children or adults — mystify them. Show them something they don’t understand, and you’ll have them hooked.

On that note, while doing a little rummaging recently, I came across an old book from my childhood. Which had been passed down from at least one other’s, in fact. It was called:

“Spooky Tricks”.

Fond memories flooded. I was rapt. I showed Dion, who was intrigued. Since he’s always keen to get involved, I nominated not to put on a magic show for him. Instead, we decided to expand both of our mystifying artilleries, and learn some together. He suggested we preen up our powers a notch by dressing the part, too. No hesitation here!

Magical Date Outfit
Don't hire this guy for your child's next birthday party...

We focused on simplicity in materials and effort in an attempt to avoid frustration. With a little extra online research in tow, here are our favourite, most simple tricks:

Needle-Proof Thumb:

This is about as basic as sleight of hand gets. Even my uncoordinated, tiny-palmed self got a grip on it.

Materials: A carrot, a handkerchief, a few pins.

  1.       Cut a small piece of carrot, roughly the same size of your thumb.
  2.       Conceal it in your hand, with your hand in a ‘thumbs-up’ pose.
  3.       With your thumb still extended upwards, cover your entire hand with a handkerchief, quickly lowering your thumb (and replacing it with the carrot in the process).
  4.       You follow by sticking sewing pins into your faux thumb ⁠— the concealed carrot. (I highly advise you make it look as painful as possible. I had great fun inserting one inside where the fingernail would be, and wincing in turn. It evoked a great deal of empathetic cringing from Dion, even though he knew in advance how the trick was performed.)
  5.        Pull out the pins, slip the carrot back in your palm as you remove the hanky and voila! Good as new!
To be fair, I am concentrating pretty hard. But it's mostly due to extreme short sightedness...

Levitating Cards:

Materials: A ring, a toothpick and a deck of cards.

  1.       Without being seen, place your MAGICAL ring on your finger, and slot a toothpick (or even half of one) through it — obscured on the underside of your chosen digit.
  2.       Place your hand upon a table, and declare you have the ability to make cards levitate.
  3.       Take a card in your other hand, and slide it under the first one, sneakily slotting it betwixt the toothpick and your finger to hold it in place.
  4.       Slide a few more cards between the first card and your hand. The initial one works with the toothpick as an anchor to keep them in place.
    (I improvised something about opposing forces of gravity allowing this trick to work, by pushing extra hard on the table with my hand. This had the bonus benefit of added distraction when things weren’t going perfectly to plan.)
  5.      You lift your hand, and presto! The cards come with! MAGIC.
A ring fit for both a magical date, and Liberace cosplay.
A ring fit for both a magical date, and Liberace cosplay!

Simple Card Trick:

For a very easy, more traditional card trick, I used the first one I ever learned. All you need is a standard deck,

  1.       Out of sight, prearrange your cards in red suits and black suits.
  2.       Place the red set on top of the black (or vice versa).
  3.       Ask your partner to pick a card from the top of the deck, and memorise it.
  4.       Invite them to insert it into the bottom half. (You can even craftily cut the deck a few times at this point, to make it look more convincing.)
  5.       Turning the backs of the cards towards your audience, casually flip through the deck until you find one red card all on it’s lonesome.

You can always just pull the card out for a straightforward “AHA!” reveal. However, I found it far more fun to sneakily identify it, close the deck, stare into Dion’s eyes and pretend I’m slowly figuring it out.

Emmy: “Okay. Hm… it’s… lower than ten? It’s… red! Three of diamonds!”

Dion: 😮

Emmy: 🙂

Dion: 😡 “How’d you do that!?”

Magical Date Card Trick
He's still trying to figure it out...

One we really wanted to master, but haven’t quite yet, is tearing an apple in half. Here’s a link that demonstrates how it’s done. Our lone Granny Smith was likely a bit too small, but I’m determined. My favourite tricks are ones like this, which take advantage of little nifty pieces of science.

In retrospect, I’m pro collaborative magic learning. But I also think it would be really fun to learn some tricks, then surprise your partner with a magic show. Just imagine your partner suddenly revealing their mystical skills to you? No matter which stage of the relationship you’re in, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be impressed. Even if you’ve somehow wound up dating a professional magician, I’m sure they’d find your efforts endearing.

My overarching advice is to really get into the performance aspect. Exaggerate and enjoy yourself. It’s so much more enjoyable to witness the reactions to your spectacle when you bring more energy yourself. End your routine by pulling an UberEats voucher out of their ear and you’ve pretty much got the perfect lockdown date.

Following ours, we went for a walk around our neighbourhood, still in costume. Because what’s the point of dressing up as a magician in lockdown if you don’t use it to befuddle your entire neighbourhood? Considering the diversity of reactions we received, I think we might make a semi-regular habit of it. Next time we’ll bring some portable tricks, or maybe some biodegradable glitter. But whether or not you’re willing to be labelled as the local eccentrics, this remains a magical date I’d definitely recommend.

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