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Magic shows are not my strong suit

Ahmad Dixon, Staff Writer

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You know that trick where you see a woman in half? I tried to do it once and she bled out all over the stage.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Dixon may or may not have actually sawed a woman in half during a magic show.

Let me take you back about two weeks.

I was performing in front of an audience of about 20 people at a theater I frequent.

I was invited back after reading aloud in a poetry slam.

But I knew that if I continued to recite poetry the crowd would tire of me quickly.

I decided to mix things up by doing magic, something the venue had never seen before and probably won’t be seeing any more of.  

I found a girl who was in a play down the hall and I paid her about 10 bucks, the going rate for actresses these days.  

I locked her in a pine box.

Then I wheeled her out, saw in hand and the audience groaned.

I do admit the trick is fairly trite and cliché, but I thought the crowd would enjoy an honest-to-God throwback.

I then commenced with the theatrics: “It is I! Suleiman the magnificent, with my lovely assistant!”

Yada yada yada, you have been to a magic show, you know what goes on. 

I ignore the looks of boredom coming from the audience and begin to cut.

I’ll admit that I don’t have spectacular upper body strength so it took a while to actually slice the damn thing.

Many members of the audience started to leave, some guy was on his phone and some other guy was asleep resting his head on the shoulder of the guy on his phone.

The girl in the box started to impatiently hum a Top 40 hit.

Then I hit flesh.

If you have not figured it out already, I didn’t do this trick right.

To call me an amateur magician is an insult to the word amateur.

With school, work and personal relationships, I didn’t have the time to practice, so I’d decided I’d just go up there and wing it, like I do when I recite poetry.

I should probably never have winged anything that involves blades and attractive women, so lesson learned.

She screamed, the guy put away his phone and wiped the drool off his shoulder and some of the people who left, plus a few more, came back.

She gushed blood all over me, I was never able to get the stains out of my blue suit.

Now that I think about it, I should probably call my mother and ask her how to remove blood stains.

The curtains were drenched, the floor slippery.

I was still committed to the bit so I keep sawing.

“No stop!” she shouted. “Please, please, please stop sawing!”

You know how theater types are, always so dramatic.

During all this excitement the audience was captivated.

Eventually my arm grew tired from cutting through a few inches of wood and maybe an inch or two of lady, so I quickly transitioned into card tricks.

In hindsight, I should have started with card tricks.

I walked toward the edge of the stage, slipping on a puddle along the way and start shuffling a deck.

By this point the woman had thankfully stopped screaming and started to mumble inarticulately.

I finish shuffling, then jumped off the stage toward the audience for the “pick a card, any card” part of the trick.

Everyone was grossed out by my dripping hands so no one ended up picking a card, making that part of the show a total bust.

I got back on stage feeling a bit nervous and out of material and needed to wrap up in the next two minutes so the punk garage band could perform.

I glanced around and saw the girl still locked in the box, silent and paler than I remembered.

I walked to center stage, pointed toward the box and yelled, “This is how the media sees the 21st century woman!”

The auditorium erupted in thunderous applause.

“That was the most biting piece of social commentary I’ve ever seen!” someone yelled.

“Now this is performance art,” someone else said.

A portion of the crowd nodded, another portion wiped away tears, and that one guy went back to his cell phone, seemingly uninterested.

The woman in the box was still silent while I wheeled her behind the dripping, extra red curtain.

Backstage I tracked red footprints all over the floor.

The scene was horrific.

Horrifically brilliant for show business.

I unlocked the box and put an extra ten dollar bill inside for her trouble.

I am sure she is in desperate need of the money, being an actress of course.

Editor’s Note: I think she may need the money for something else, like medical care or a really awesome surgeon.

The money started to float inside the box, the blood slowly soaking through its fibers.

I then asked the theater’s manager for my cut of tonight’s profits and left.

I haven’t been back since, not because of lack of demand, I just have no real interest in returning.

Friends still tell me the air in the auditorium tastes like pennies.

I guess the maintenance staff has never heard of Clorox bleach.     

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