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PhotobucketAfter reading my article Seven Deadly Sins of a Magician, a reader sent this message:

I’m guilty of many of these at different times, especially gluttony. When I want to buy a prop so much, I end up spending my budget for it. Or at times pride, and yes I am also guilty of envy as well.

How do we break these bad “habits”?

Zephyr

Here’s my answer:

PhotobucketDear Zephyr,

The consuming passion to stock pile magic tricks and props is not a bad habit.  It is a malady without cure.  It is like the hiccups. Many doctors, both university-trained and quacks, propose cures for them, but until now they couldn’t cure the hiccups.

The experts’ definition of this ailment is as erudite as the word erudite:

“Involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp intake of air, which is abruptly stopped by a sudden, involuntary closing of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords); the consequent blocking of air produces a repeated characteristic sharp sound, hic.

Why can’t they just say that condition is called the hiccups is beyond me.

Now here’s my definition of a magician’s manic obsession and compulsion to accumulate an inordinate amount of tricks and props:

“Involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp intake of air, which is abruptly stopped by a sudden, involuntary closing of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords); the consequent blocking of air produces a repeated characteristic sharp sound, hic.

See? I told you the hiccups and hoarding magic props are the same. They even have the same definition. In which case, they must be the same psychological ailment.

And since they are the same, if you want to cure your mania for more props, just use the home remedies to combat the hiccups. You will get the same relief.

I research this subject for years.  To find remedies for the hiccups, I studied folklore and medical journals. Myth and legend abound with nostrums people swear by as effective cures. Here are 15 of those folk remedies to cure your compulsive disorder for more magic tricks and props.  My comments are in italics.

1. Pour milk into the ears of the patient. (Do this only if you are a magician.)

2. While holding breath, go into deep regular breathing, or re-breathing into a paper bag to increase the carbon dioxide content of the body. (How one can hold his breath and breathe regularly at the same time is a puzzle I have no intention of solving. You don’t find carbon dioxide in large amount in a paper bag. If CO2 really cures hoarding, open your sewer to get a blast of carbon dioxide.)

Photobucket3. Place a tablespoon of sugar in mouth and suck slowly. (I suspect Julie Andrews popularized this remedy when she sang, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down…” in the movie Mary Poppins.)

4. Stand up and have someone hold water out for you several feet away. Then bend over with your stomach to reach and drink the water. (If you’re not as tall as Shaq O’Neal, forget it.)

5. Block both ears and drink 6 ounces of water without stopping to breathe. (Doesn’t this work better in a swimming pool with six tons of water?)

6. Bend you head back and swallow…repeatedly. Don’t breathe, just swallow, until they stop. (What will stop? The hiccups or your breathing?)

7. Take a deep breath through your mouth, lean forward and push down your stomach. Hold in that position as long as you can and then slowly exhale the air through your mouth. (Boxers do this all the time after being punched in the stomach. Now wonder I haven’t heard boxers ever getting the hiccups during boxing bouts.)

8. Drive a glass of water and make sure you only gulp SEVEN times continuously… otherwise, it wouldn’t work. (What’s wrong with eight gulps?)

9. Plug your ears with your fingers and drink something with a straw. (Just don’t drink beer. Drinking beer with a straw is known for causing the hiccups.)

Photobucket10. Fill a coffee cup with water. Put a metal butter knife in the cup/glass. Lift the cup to your mouth, pressing the flat side of the knife to your temple, and slowly drink the water while keeping the metal in contact with your skin. (Isn’t it more effective if the metal object pressed to the temple is not a knife but a handgun?)

11. Pull your tongue out of your mouth as far as you can and hold it for a couple of seconds. (Avoid talking while doing this.)

12. Drink lots of water and look to the sky. (I live in a house. When I look up, I see the ceiling, not the sky.)

13. Sing or laugh as loud as you can. (They do that in the mental institution all the time, to no effect to manic hoarding.)

Photobucket14. Try to think of the last time you saw a white horse. (Hmmm…six months ago?)

15. Pour one package of regular white sugar on your tongue or 1 teaspoon. Swallow. (Swallow what? Sugar, tongue or teaspoon?)

Stay magical,

Leodini

www.leodini.com

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