Day 35, and we come to Magic.
Now, in part, I am referring to Paul Daniels, who was the mainstay of BBC magic in the 1980s, when it was Saturday night and I was paying attention. I have talked about the scariest of his magic tricks on this blog before. To precis it, there were huge concrete blocks, falling like dominoes towards a shed in which he was chained up. The blocks fell, crushed the shed, and I cried like a baby. Of course, he was fine.
I’ve never wanted to know how the tricks are performed. I know this makes me odd. But I’m okay with not having a complete understanding of how sleight of hand works, how distraction works, how any of it works. I really couldn’t care less. I’m quite happy to stand, like a slack-jawed yokel pointing at an aeroplane, rather than know for certain that the card was halfway up his sleeve all along, and in the meantime, someone’s taken my wallet.
I have a weakness for magic, but I’d be useless if I was confronted with a street performer. I wouldn’t want to be the one to let them down. If asked whether or not such-and-such was my card, I’d just say ‘yes’ rather than shatter the illusion.
Exercise caution, my lovelies, because there’s a genuinely disturbing dream coming up…
I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that I was pulling out rather a lot of strung-together soft tissue and scraps of denim, like clown scarves, from one of my teeth. It was frightening, but, in the dream, I wound up tossing the whole heap out of the spare room window before my mother, played expertly by Connie Booth (Polly from Fawlty Towers, but as she is now), told me I should get them back, in case I needed them. I woke up both quickly, and confused.
The thing is this: that wasn’t magic. It was a bad dream. But even though what I was dreaming was in no way possible, I still didn’t want to know how it worked.
It’s important to maintain a sense of wonder. Even when it’s weird.