OIL AND WATER REDUX or MY ASS DOES WHAT WITH BUTTERMILK?
In the good, old days when pen and paper were part of ones default system of memorializing things you are likely to forget or tire of talking about, magicians bickered a lot about their proprietary rightsreal, imagined, and actionableof ideas, sleights, tricks, presentationsyou name it! Magicians still bicker. Alliances are still made. Camps still gather, divide, and sub-divide. Lackeys, mouth-pieces, sycophants, friends, enemies still wage wars of variable pettinessonly now there are forums in cyberspace for squabbles to play out. Most are, in the long run, probably not worth wasting bandwidth. For many it simply good gossip or down-and-dirty mischief. When I first encountered this phenomenon, I was stunned. This surprise lasted long enough for me to consider satirizing or ridiculing such behavior; hence, the Satiricon section of the HIEROPHANT. This, needless to say, resulted in lots of vitriolic feedback, hate mail, anonymous diatribes, and other over-the-top screeds. So it went.So it goes
I still read loose talk and casual argumentation in the form of serious-minded messages regarding the differences between certain false shuffles. Im still credited with being the supposed writer of a contentious manuscript about a false riffle shuffle. In reality, I edited the manuscript, which was written by Marlo. Brick Tilley did the drawings. The bones of contention have been picked clean, exposing dead marrow. Now the dry marrow is being parsed and apportioned into smidgens: confetti to be throw up or at Naming the parts is now a matter of naming the smidgens. Then one can resume calling the agonists names. Sometimes it comes down to the last man standing, even if he is hunched over and too senile to mutter anything intelligible.
When Im asked these days about the said manuscript, I often say:The real author is a guy who frequently impersonated Steranko, but was arrested in South America on charges never clear to outsiders of the case. Some say he was also a distant relative of the Mysterious Kid. While in jail, the same impersonator developed the ultimate component of the controversial shuffle, which with a dash of irony he named The Applied Cell-Block Transfer. Nobody knows what happen to the code book and concordance to the accursed manuscript, which, once fully understood, would exonerate the principal parties of any alleged wrong-doing.
Back at the Oil-and-Waterhole Saloon.
The subject, as usual, was about the paternity cases pending
Karl Fulves was the culprit who ancestrally linked Hofzinser and Gibson to Oil and Water. He wrote:
"In the 19th century Hofzinser Performed (?) a trick where Reds and Blacks were shown to be mixed. The deck was then divided into two parts. The Red cards were shown to have magically separated from the Blacks.
The he added:
"In 1920 Will Goldston marketed a trick of Edward Victor's in which face up Red and face down Blacks were mixed. On command the Blacks turned face up and separated themselves from the Reds. More recently Ken Beale has pointed that the small packet handling of the basic effect was contributed by Walter Gibson to Jinx #91. The oil and water theme (applied to an elevator effect showed up in a 1948 issue of Hugard's Magic Monthly. Subsequently Ed Marlo combined elements of the earlier tricks to produce the version which appeared in Al Sharpe's M.U.M. column".
Marlo, miffed to the max, replied:
(WARNING: If this sort of detailed rejoinder leaves you cold, scroll past it. In a real, face-to-face discussion, there are far more details.)
The Hofzinser effect was only a problem posed. There is no record of Hofzinser having performed the effect. No one in America was aware of this proble until the recent hindsight translation. The effect was supposed to have been done with a regular deck. How it was accomplished is only a guess. Since the word divider' carries several connotations one could infer it was dealt into two packets and this procedure surely would not have made it very magical. If one assumes the deck was cut then one could guess a Strip Out was used. But how was the Strip Out situation arrived at? By shuffling, by injogging as you spread the pack between both hands perhaps a stripper deck? In view of this I could hardly have used any elements for my oil and water effect, from the above source especially since oil wasn't around in old Hoffy's day. Perhaps he could contact Hofzinser in the spirit world and get him to say that my Four Packet oil and Water routine in the Linking Ring September, 1959 is really his method.
The Edward Victor effect suggests that face UP and face down cares righted themselves or were all one way. Surprising the editor of Pallbearers doesn't equate this with Triumph! How about the Slop Shuffle, in which cards are mixed face up and face down then shown to have righted themselves, why doesn't he equate this with Triumph? Yet with no definite procedure for the Victor effect given he not only has the hindsight of an animal with long ears in comparing it to oil and water but has the gall to assume I was even aware of the Victor effect. Actually I wasn't aware of its underlying method but will feel safe in saying that none of the Victor elements were used in my original "Oil and Water" routine. When I used to pitch the Stripper Deck. One of the old and standard effects with this deck was to intermix Red and Black cards, of the full deck, then later to show them as separated. Would any equate this with the oil and water procedures I established? Apparently he would.
The editor of Pallbearers then refers to the Gibson effect Like Seeks Like, in Jinx #91. While this comes closer to the small packet idea of mixing the colors it is not referred to as oil and water being mixed. The Gibson method uses only three Red cares and three Black cards which are intermixed and a Glide as the secret sleight. None of these elements are used in my oil and water routine. Also a much older effect, in which three X cards and three Jacks are intermixed then later the top three cards only are shown to be three Jacks, preceded the Gibson effect. The extra Jack, usually a Red one, was the bottom card of the supposed three X cards. The three Jacks had a Red Jack as its top care. A deck also was used onto which the cards, alternately, starting with an X card was dealt face down onto top of deck. The Red Jack was next then the x card another Jack the supposed X card but really the Red Jack and finally the last Jack onto all. Result was three Jacks could be dealt off of top of deck. I showed this version to Carmen D'Amico many years ago. It can be found in "Scarne on Card Tricks" page 155, if one is interested in all the details. Of course Red and Black cards are not used and there is no mention of Oil and Water although in IBIDEM #15 I did relate to it. The effect, like Gibson's, is done only once. There are no follow up phases, with each one becoming more convincing, as in "Oil and Water". The editor for some reason ignored Bill Simons Biddled effect in Phoenix #224, in which Red and Black cares were alternated then thru the use of the Biddle Move showed the Red and Black cards were separated. Here again there was no mention of oil and Water separation as an effect theme. Simon's method naturally was used to do the separation effect only once. A careful study of all the above mentioned methods obviously show that I used no elements from them in my Oil and Water routines that always consisted of several phases with each phase being more convincing and puzzling.
The Pallbearer Epilogue editor will do anything or go to any lengths to take away credits from me. As an example he infers that an oil and water effect with an elevator theme appeared in a 1948 issue of Hugards Magic Monthly. Well, I looked several times thru that whole year of the magazine and finally came across an effect titled, What's Up? by a Samuel Pavloff in a December 1948 issue, of Hugards Magic Magazine, on page 494. Those who have the file of this magazine can do themselves a favor and read this article then seriously consider just what kind of twisted thinking the Pallbearer is delivering. If you haven't the time or the magazine the article uses the presentational theme of how (1) A postage stamp weighs more if signed with ink; (2) That cards with more spots weigh more than those with less spots with the four lightest cards being the four Aces. You now remove the four Aces and the remainder of the deck is cut into four equal heaps. You now place each Ace at the bottom of each packet. You now request the spectator to name any number between three and ten. One of the packets is picked up and the number named is transferred from top to bottom of the packet. The next three top cards are dealt one on each of the other three packets. This same process, with the number already named, is repeated for the next three packets in turn. Now notice how the Pallbearer editor uses a strictly patter presentation to give his readers the usual misinformation. The performer remarks now, as follows, to his spectator as per the quote from Hugards Magic Monthly for December 1948:
If you were to mix oil and water in a container which would rise to the top?
Whether he answers correctly or not you make it clear that the oil would rise to the top because oil is lighter than water. If you were to mix milk and cream which would rise to the top? The answer is, of course, The cream, because it's lighter than milk. Return to the four packets of cards on the table and say By now I hope you are convinced that when several substances are mixed together, the lightest will always rise to the top. At this point the obvious concluding effect of showing each Ace on the top of each of four Rackets is shown.
Gentlemen read that again Note that there isn't any mixing of Red and Black cards and that the patter presentation mentions several examples of light and heavy elements to later conform to what is really a quadruple ambitious card bit rather than an elevator theme. The elevator theme uses a deck of cards or a packet of cards and the cards travel up and down and from center to either up or down. But, you say, the effect in Hugards could well have been my inspiration for the elevator effect with four Aces. It could have been except for one thing the Epilogue editor didn't let you know. What is this? Simply this What's Up? appeared in Hugards Magic Monthly for December 1948 while my effect, Penetration and later re titled The Elevator Effect, appeared in the Sphinx Magazine in June 1948.
All those above sources you have just read have elements which in no way represent the elements used for the Oil and Water that originally appeared in M.U.M. and later in The Cardician with other versions of mine in other publications; however, the most important points are that it is my title my premise My approaches my techniques from My Oil and Water routines that inspired all existing routines and variations of Oil and Water made by others and not the sources dug up from the underground by an editor whose job it is to apparently bury first and then call the Pallbearers.
This was Marlo first response. Later, he wrote another equally long response. These were published in Marlos Magazine and privately circulated.
So, not only are there hundreds of variations of a Dud Trick, there are scores of contentious articles and ongoing debates.
Stumbling in the Dark,