Like many of my own practice sessions, this thread started as a search for a presentation, but became an exploration of techniques instead.
It's easy to get distracted, since the methodology is so darned clever. (by the way, check out the methods created by Jose De La Torre, I believe in "Magicana from Havana" that will make you smile inside each time you do them, they're such out-and-out swindles.) See? I did it again.
In our defense, I think part of the problem is that the effect itself seems very closely tied to the method used. It does take a fair amount of narrative patter just to get the effect across. And clarity and a lack of moves seem to define the better routines. In other words, I'm not sure a presentation will be effective if it leads the audience too far from the details of the effect. For instance, an involved story patterline would probably muddle things up.
So, to get to it, here are some presentations that have been used successfully:
Derek Dingle was the first (I think) to change the patter to "oil and vinegar", making it a little easier for audiences to relate to.
Guy Hollingworth, being English, uses the effect to illustrate the "admirable facility with which aristocratic noblemen escape the company of the common herd" (to paraphrase Erdnase)
Come to think of it, Erdnase's patter from "The Exclusive Coterie" could be adapted to the O&W plot successfully.
Using four Queens and four Kings, you could say whatever you want about male/female relationships in the O&W phase, and end with the "Royal marriages" effect.
Various performers have defined the "mixed" state as "Chaos" and the "separated" state as "Order" (although things could be presented the other way around)and talked about the Third Law of Thermodynamics, and all things tending towards increased entropy. (Or is that the Second Law?)
Jose De La Torre suggests using the effect as sort of a "running gag" , with each phase performed separately, inserted between your other effects. He also suggests using a sign with "Mixed" on one side and "Separated" on the other, with appropriate graphics, and the sign is turned to further illustrate the supposed state of the cards. He has such faith in the plot that he ends his act with the final phase of the O&W.
For my formal close up show, I once used a presentation where the separated state of the cards was called the "present" and they moved into the future through the mixing process. The cards then travelled back to the "past" by unmixing. This was helped by a paperweight given to me by a Japanese magician, an hourglass that ran backwards, with the "sand" (really yellow plastic beads) flowing upwards (floating in a liquid)
That's about all I can think of at the moment. I know you can also present the thing like an abset-minded professor, starting the effect by mixing the cards, then setting them down to tell a joke or something, and then starting again, thinking nothing of the fact that the cards are unmixed.
And as encouragement to seek out the De La Torre book, here's one of those phases: Openly interweave the 4 red and 4 black. Spread in a face-down fan. Turn the fan to show the faces, then turn face down again. Pull out the middle two cards, turn them face up as a unit, and reinsert them into the fan at the same spot.(this reverses their positions) Separate the fan between the two face up cards, and, by placing the face up cards face down either onto or under their respective packets, you can now Elmsley count each packet, showing the colors separated.
Are you smiling? I was.
The other sequences are even better.