The bad luck came in torrents. First, the birthday party show, scheduled from 4 to 6 PM, was held outdoor. The guests did not arrive until 5PM.
At 5.30 PM it rained, driving the guests to a small kiosk in the garden, where they huddled like wet chicks.
Second, the party moved to a guests’ room right beside the swimming pool. The kids promptly jumped into the water at 6:30 PM, while we dragged our props and re-set everything inside the room.
Two clowns entertain the wet guests inside an open garden gazebo while waiting for the rain to stop.
At 7 PM, the party host (in clown costume) tried to coax the children out of the pool with plaintive pleas. The children, all dripping wet, grudgingly left the water and took their seats in the improvised show room.
The clown party host entertained them with magic. I couldn’t believe my eyes—he performed magic when I was the magician who’s supposed to do it.
After boring the kids, the usurper of duties finally gave up and introduced me to the still wet kids.
My magic show started at around 7:30 PM. It was supposed to last for one hour. I got good reaction for the first 30 minutes, but when the kids became fidgety and kept looking at the pool past the half-hour mark, I fast-forwarded my show and ended it in just 45 minutes.
The kids were relieved. They stampeded back to the swimming pool. I was crestfallen.
We packed our things up, but the birthday boy’s mommy came over to me and whispered, “Can you show my Dad the trick you showed me before where you floated a P20 bill?”
I said, “Sure.” The adults were trapped inside the room, as it was still raining outside. So I had a captive audience, so to speak.
I hastily cobbled a parlor type magic for adults, using cards, coins and floating objects. Their roaring response soothed my earlier bruised ego.
Then one mommy, who received a business card from me, noticed that I billed myself as a psychic entertainer. Can I read somebody’s mind, she wanted to know.
Again, I said, “Sure, let me show you.”
All the while, I just intended to do the number gag. You know, writing a prediction, asking an audience member to think of a three-digit number, and then making a wrong guess. When the audience member said “No,” I’d show my prediction, which was also “No.” Hopefully, with a good delivery, the gag would elicit laughter.
I chose the prettiest mommy in the crowd for aesthetic purpose. I told her, “I’m writing a prediction on this pad of paper…Think of a three-digit number…You have one?…You’re thinking of 598…” I got ready to flip the pad over to show her the “No” I’d written as soon as she’d said no. But she just stared at me, mouth agape. Silence.
Oh-oh, I told myself, she didn’t get my instructions. Another case of a beautiful but dumb girl.
“You’re thinking of the number 598, yes or no?” I said, baiting her to say “no” to make the gag work.
She turned pale. Her eyes widened. I became scared.
Finally she managed to answer, “Yes, I’m thinking of 598. I was originally thinking of another number, but I changed my mind. I chose 598! You did read my mind!”
That brought down the house. Audience erupted into screams and wild applause.
I bowed and received my undeserved acclaim.
Thereupon, the audience wanted me to start a religion.
I may consider that, if I can read minds like that 10 times in a row.