O.K., this has been on my mind ALL DAY LONG.
This morning we all hopped into the family car and I drove my wife to the hospital for a fairly significant surgical procedure. My 13 year-old son and 9 year-old daughter had stayed out of school because they wanted to be close to mom on this day.
We arrived at the hospital and after a few short kisses and hugs my wife was whisked back into surgery almost immediately, (that is a record in and of itself). At the suggestion of the nurse, the kids and I decided to run a few errands in an effort to keep our minds off of the surgery.
About an hour later we had completed all of our errands and we headed back to the hospital. A short ten minute wait (another record) and my wife was out of surgery. I met with the doctor and he assured us all that the surgery could not have gone better. In short, my wife was almost as good as new.
While we were in the recovery room one of the nurses recognized that I was a full-time magician. She asked if I would consider performing a short trick.
Actually, magic was the LAST thing on my mind at that point, but instead of saying no, I jokingly said, "Do you have a deck of cards?" She replied, "SURE, I'll go get them." :whack:
Still feeling a bit uneasy about being put into the position of having to be "on" at a time like this, I looked at my kids, made a face at them and resigned myself to performing a quick card trick.
The nurse was gone for only a short time and then she returned to the recovery room. She was carrying a pack of cards and had also managed to round up a small group of co-workers. They followed her into that tiny recovery room and they all somehow managed to squeeze inside.
I looked over at my wife, who was drifting in and out of consciousness. She was still recovering from the anesthesia administered prior to her surgery. I silently wondered what I had gotten myself into, but I knew there was no backing out now.
I shuffled the cards and noticed one male nurse had moved to the head of the pack. He suggested he would like to help and told me that he absolutely LOVED magic.
Now, one of my favorite card tricks is from Roberto Giobbi's Card College - Volume 1 and is called "The Lie Detector". I won't get into the routine here, but I will tell you that it ALWAYS gets an excellent audience reaction.
I forced a card on the helper using the criss-cross force. I have used that force many times with this one and it always works perfectly. I used time misdirection appropriately and then went into the presentation part of the routine.
Well... the trick immediately fell apart. My "helper" named all seven cards, but did not name the force card. I looked confused and then asked him if he had misnamed one of the seven cards with the card to which he had "cut" (forced). He told me that he had misunderstood my original instructions. He assured me that he now understood the instructions and that he would try once more. Again, he named seven cards, but the force card was not one of them. By now this had become a major complication and other co-workers had started leaving the room. I was both embarrassed and mad. I was mad, mainly because I felt pretty sure he was intentionally messing things up and trying to make me look bad. Once more I asked him if he had misnamed one of the seven cards with the card to which he had cut. This time he assured me that he HAD, in fact, done just that. I knew this was not the case. I asked to see the card case (I have every helper place the chosen card in the card case with just such and occasion in mind.) I opened the case and saw he had placed TWO cards in the case. As requested, he had placed the force card in the case, but he had also secreted an additional card into the case. He was mis-naming THIS card.
I asked him why there were two cards in the case. He told me that he had placed the top AND bottom cards in the case because he had cut to BOTH cards. He then tried playing dumb and asked if this was wrong. I didn't think... I just said, "well... that really all depends on your motivation. If you wanted to see a magic trick WORK, it was wrong. If you wanted to ensure the trick failed, it was the PERFECT THING TO DO!"
O.K., I know... not very nice of me. He then smiled a little mischievous smile, apologized and said, "Maybe we will get it next time". He then walked out of the room. I was furious.
I proceeded to help my wife dress and we left the hospital.
Long story I know, but... how SHOULD I have handled that guy? I'm not asking whether or not I should have performed the trick. I think I already already KNOW the answer to that one. BUT... how do some of YOU handle people like that... people who are intentionally ruining your little miracle?
Any advice will help.