The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Magic Tricks

Sawing a Lady in Half
Actually, contemporary versions of this trick generally use big square steel sheets to sever the torso of the lady in question. I don't know why they use these; it just removes any pretense that the box isn't tricked. "Notice I am using a perfectly ordinary wooden box that just happens to have big slots in it for rectangular cleavers!" Plus the steel sheets block the inside ends of the divided box. Maybe you're supposed to think this is to shield the demure assistant's private intestines from onlookers, but more obviously it's to keep you from seeing whatever ungainly contortion is necessary to perform this rather mundane trick. C-

Guessing a Card
Most of us have had our card guessed by some grade-schooler who got "101 Reasonably Interesting Card Tricks Untalented Youngsters Can Perform" as a birthday present, so when a professional does the same thing it's about as impressive as someone getting on a swing and saying "look how high I can go!" Many stage magicians add lots of bells and whistles involving having the missing card appear inside the mouth of a newborn panda or something, but it's still nothing that can't be easily accomplished with a convincing shill and a cooperative zookeeper. D+

Escaping From a Straitjacket
Actually, this isn't usually a magic trick, which is why I like it. Some asshole pouring milk from a newspaper is just sleight-of-dairy, but removing yourself from a reasonably tight straitjacket while hanging from a chain or submerged in a tank of pear cider takes practice, limberness, and most importantly actual effort. A

Conjuring Some Sort of Animal
I find magic acts most interesting when I assume that all tricks involve the magician's pants in some way or another. If he's pulling coins from the air, he obviously has pants full of coins. If he's levitating, he's clearly wearing anti-gravity pants, and so on. Hey, it helps pass the time. Anyhow, this is especially fun when the show involves conjured animals, because you can lean over to your friends and say "He's got a dove in his pants. Maybe three." It's less convincing when the magician is conjuring Bengal tigers, but more fun to think about. B+

Linking Rings
Nobody cares about the rings! At least with other tricks, you have the chance of death, dismemberment, or a rabbit crawling out of someone's pants. Hell, even with the card tricks you can always hope that the magician guesses wrong and suffers a deep, soul-searing humiliation. But if this trick is screwed up all you get are temporarily unlinked rings, which in the end are about as interesting as linked rings, which is to say only slightly more interesting than an empty stage. D-

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