I’m not an avid fan of impalement tricks.

You know, the kind where multiple swords, sticks, arrows, umbrellas are thrust into a box (or basket) containing the magician’s assistant who, at the end, emerges from her cramped confinement without a scratch.

It’s not the trick. It’s me. I think something has gone wrong with my ability to appreciate Swords-thru-Box tricks.

Laymen by the thousands love this trick. Magicians by the score swear allegiance to it more ardently than they’d swear allegiance to their wives. These are good reasons why the Hindu Basket and all its permutations have survived the Masked Magician’s exposure and even become a classic of magic.

I think I need to go to a shrink to have my head examined. It bothers me that the rest of humankind delight in this trick while I feel an overwhelming apathy toward it.

No matter how skimpy the dress of the beautiful assistant is and how provocatively she gyrates on the stage, I just can’t bring myself to suspend disbelief that the magician will somehow (deliberately or not) hurt her. In fact the prettier the assistant, the skimpier her dress and the more sexually provocative is her dance, the more I discount the danger element of the performance.

And, yes, once the assistant is inside the box (or basket) and out of sight to please my eyes, the thrusting of the pointed sticks/umbrellas/rods/swords into the receptacle holding her bores me no end. One sword driven into her is boring. Two swords are twice as boring. Thirty swords? I’m already in dreamland—that is, before I scream STOP IT!

And because the dozens of swords stuck into the box have to be taken out, the ordeal of watching the magician go through the whole sequence in reverse becomes an exercise of Ninja warrior’s and Buddhist monk’s patience.

One sword pulled out of her is boring. Two swords are twice as boring. Thirty swords? I’m already in dreamland—that is, before I scream STOP IT!

But I said that already. In fact, I think I just copied and pasted it. You guessed it. I’m bored typing about a magic trick that bores me.

Before any of you hoist me up a tree for uttering this blasphemy, I refer you to Hans Moretti’s Cardboard Box Illusion.

Yes, Moretti uses multiple swords in this illusion. Yes, those swords were thrust into a box. Yes, those swords were pulled out of the box. Yes, the performance shows all the aspects I don’t like in this type of trick.

Moretti does all this, but he does it differently—exceptionally differently. He makes me sit on the edge of my seat. He amazes me. And he makes me laugh at the end of the illusion.

See for yourself and be the judge how closely I am to losing my mind over his performance.

Stay magical,



Buy Magic ‘To (The Next Level) tickets HERE.

Beautiful magic begins at 8 PM, September 8, 2007,

Philamlife Theater, UN Avenue, Manila


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