By failure I mean my show flopping big time. Only Lady Luck’s timely intervention saved it.
As it happened, I was all set to perform, when one of my assistants (my son Wendell) borrowed my iTouch. The party was held at the Philippine Air Force Museum. He wanted to take souvenir shots of vintage aircraft and World War II planes using the photo capability of the iTouch.
It was a normal request from a teenage kid, so I handed him the iTouch.
It contained all the songs and special sound effects we used in our show. I also brought my laptop for backup. Everything that was in the iTouch was also in the laptop.
Then, 30 minutes before time to go on stage, a pale and shaken Wendell came to me to give me the shocking news: he lost the iTouch. One moment it was in his pocket, he said. The next moment it’s no longer there. Just like that.
My first reaction was to become Jack the Ripper. I wanted to mutilate, mangle and cripple Wendell. But since he was my son, I was unable to decide how violent I would morph into, so I just raised a ruckus backstage.
Wendell said he already reported the loss to the Security Guard, a good move I might say, but not good enough to reassure or calm me down. My mind was racing around to map out my next moves, so I could mount the show even without the iTouch.
I sent all my assistants to search the premises in a futile attempt to find the iTouch. Meantime, I fired up the laptop, intending to use it to play our musical background. To my horror, I found out that the sound card driver, which I uninstalled earlier that day, did not reinstall correctly. The laptop, with all its music in the iTunes program, was mute. It would not give out a screech, a squeal or a squeak.
That was the moment I began practicing in my mind the lines I would say to break the bad news to the birthday mom, as if there were words to console her once she learned we could not proceed with the show. Or if we did, the show would not have our usual routines, the one that she hired.
No matter how I worded the news, it didn’t sound right to me. I was sure it wouldn’t sound right to the birthday mom either.
I had asked the party host to announce over the public address system that the magician lost his iTouch, an announcement that the smart alecks in the audience would feast on. The hecklers were the least of my concern, though, so the announcement rang inside the function room while I hid my face backstage.
Five minutes later, an excited birthday mom with a pretty 10-year-old girl in tow, came to me and said, “Mariel here found an iTouch. Please check if it’s yours.”
Hands trembling, I took the iTouch from its case, switched it on and looked at the beautiful playlist—it contained all my songs and music.
In my delight, I almost hugged and kissed 10-year-old Mariel, but I restrained myself, least I might look like a pedophile.
I just thanked her profusely and got on with the show.
With the burden of the missing iTouch out of my mind, the show went well. Toward the end of the program, I called Mariel onstage, thanked her profusely in front of the public and praised her honesty. I then declared she deserved a rich cash reward.
The audience rippled with laughter when I fished out of my pocket a P20 bill. I said, “Of course, Mariel deserves more than P20, so…” I did the bill switch, “…when I fold the bill like this, it turns into a P500 bill.”
Mariel’s eyes bulged with excitement, and her face alternately turned red and crimson, like a Christmas light. I couldn’t tell if she was excited because she had just seen a good bill switch or because she was getting P500 instead of just P20.
Anyway, it was a delight to see her reaction, because I shouldn’t have survive that party with pride intact were it not for one girl named Mariel who was honest to return something she found.