On The Slant

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.
kevinm
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On The Slant

Postby kevinm » November 18th, 2019, 9:23 am

In a previous issue of Genii (within the past 10 years), in the column, On The Slant, Jon explained (verbally) a version of the 21 Card Trick. I recall it was a version that non-magicians who were familiar with the 21 Card Trick, would be fooled by. Does anyone recall what issue it was in? Thank you, in advance, for assistance.

Kevin

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Kent Gunn » November 18th, 2019, 10:58 am

Kevin,

If you subscribe to Genii, you have access to all of Mssr. Racherbaumer's great articles. With some elementary Google-fu all the articles by him with 21 in the text would lovingly unfold before you.

Ah, but that's not the best answer.

You want to find a copy of 7-7-7 by Mssr. Racherbaumer. It was 40 bucks when published, relatively recently. It has the version in Genii and several others.

On a side note. There is no good reason to learn even the cleverest of 21 card tricks except to spring on other magicians in a late night session or as a comeback to some layman who insists on showing you a standard version.

You should be spending your time scripting a story trick. Quit falling down rabbit holes, dammit.

KG

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 18th, 2019, 11:09 am

It was described in an audio column, so a search would not bring it up.
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kevinm
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Re: On The Slant

Postby kevinm » November 18th, 2019, 11:33 am

Kent,

Exactly what you said, "... or as a comeback to some layman who insists on showing you a standard version." That is my primary motivation to locate and re-visit this effect. I do subscribe to Genii and last night, I searched the archives to no avail.

I am aware of Jon's book re: 21 Card Trick, but there is one version he described (verbally) in his On The Slant column that caught my attention and I would like to revisit for purposes you describe above.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Kent Gunn » November 18th, 2019, 2:43 pm

kevinm,

Lemme make a phone call to McGowan. He's my Racherbaumer expert/summoning machine.

I'll let you know.

KG

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 18th, 2019, 2:43 pm

I have the best version of the 21 card trick. The spelling version. It has been in print for decades yet I have never seen a single magician do it or even mention it.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 18th, 2019, 2:47 pm

Kent Gunn wrote:Kevin,

IOn a side note. There is no good reason to learn even the cleverest of 21 card tricks except to spring on other magicians in a late night session or as a comeback to some layman who insists on showing you a standard version.

You should be spending your time scripting a story trick. Quit falling down rabbit holes, dammit.

KG


Wrong! The spelling version is a knockout with laymen. Furthermore I cannot possibly approve of the word "scripting" Far too pretentious. The word is PATTER! It has been thus for at least the last 100 years or so and should remain so for the next hundred years. Scripting indeed...............

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Kent Gunn » November 18th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Mark,

I'm so glad you're back. Your posturing and opinionated drivel is always welcome.

I'm quite certain you neither block nor script your shows. Carry on! Mediocrity is a way of life for most magicians. I have the luxury of having had a a series of jobs that allowed me to retire.

I knew, from an early age, being an entertainer was not for me. Instead I chose the easier path.

The few magicians who make a good living at magic rely on more than the drivel amatuers, like me, consider to be their patter. Writing down the patter and refining it constantly would make a huge difference for you Mark.

Blinded by our own importance we cannot improve, we cannot invent anew. A deep examination of one's magic, via video review, using an honest, harsh self-appraisal could work wonders for you Mark.

Luckily, the truly blind, need never see, for their blindness is the only light they know.

(All those lines apply to me as well as Mark. At least I can admit a need to improve.)

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Re: On The Slant

Postby chetday » November 18th, 2019, 4:07 pm

If memory serves (problematic in my case), I think I recall Jon publishing an interesting 21 card trick variation in an issue of either Hierophant or Kabbala way back in the day.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Pete McCabe » November 18th, 2019, 6:12 pm

The book I am currently reading, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker, explains how to do this same trick while bringing the selection to any number from 1 to 21 (or 27, if you prefer), turning it into a sort of ACAAN. (BTW this is NOT a magic book.) Requires some mental gymnastics, if you wanted to hit back at a layman who does the 21 card trick, it might be a good option.

Just as another data point, I'm 59 and I have never had anyone try to do the 21-card trick for me. Just lucky, I guess.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Grippo's Wish » November 18th, 2019, 10:58 pm

Kent Gunn wrote:Mark,

I'm so glad you're back. Your posturing and opinionated drivel is always welcome.

I'm quite certain you neither block nor script your shows. Carry on! Mediocrity is a way of life for most magicians. I have the luxury of having had a a series of jobs that allowed me to retire.

I knew, from an early age, being an entertainer was not for me. Instead I chose the easier path.

The few magicians who make a good living at magic rely on more than the drivel amatuers, like me, consider to be their patter. Writing down the patter and refining it constantly would make a huge difference for you Mark.

Blinded by our own importance we cannot improve, we cannot invent anew. A deep examination of one's magic, via video review, using an honest, harsh self-appraisal could work wonders for you Mark.

Luckily, the truly blind, need never see, for their blindness is the only light they know.

(All those lines apply to me as well as Mark. At least I can admit a need to improve.)


He didn't say he doesn't script - he just said it should be called "patter" instead of "scripting", as it has been for the past 100 years

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Grippo's Wish » November 18th, 2019, 11:01 pm

performer wrote:I have the best version of the 21 card trick. The spelling version. It has been in print for decades yet I have never seen a single magician do it or even mention it.


Dear Mark: where can I find this version in print?

By the way - I believe I never performed in my life the 21 trick. The reason is probably because I learned a slightly different version with 16 cards (a 4x4 square); where you afterwards make "flowers" with the cards, and by a little equivoque the spec finds his own though-of-card.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 18th, 2019, 11:11 pm

I know Walter Gibson wrote it up in some book or other. That is where I first learned it when I was about 16 years old. However, it can also be found in my favourite Bruce Elliott book "Magic---100 New Tricks" I am astonished that nobody has every mentioned it or shown it to me in 60 years of doing magic. I could probably explain it here but on second thoughts the information would be wasted. If people make the effort to track it down then they will deserve it. However, I would be astonished if people here didn't know it already. Perhaps they do know it but have underestimated the effect and decided to ignore it.

Incidentally in the same Bruce Elliott book there is another fantastic spelling trick that I have never seen anyone do or even mention. I use it as a finish to the well known Gray's Spelling trick. I do the Gray's trick and follow up with this Elliott item. It goes over even better than Gray's spelling and is a fantastic finish to it.

Yep. The best tricks are written in books published before 1954.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 18th, 2019, 11:40 pm

Kent Gunn wrote:Mark,

I'm so glad you're back. Your posturing and opinionated drivel is always welcome.

I'm quite certain you neither block nor script your shows. Carry on! Mediocrity is a way of life for most magicians. I have the luxury of having had a a series of jobs that allowed me to retire.

I knew, from an early age, being an entertainer was not for me. Instead I chose the easier path.

The few magicians who make a good living at magic rely on more than the drivel amatuers, like me, consider to be their patter. Writing down the patter and refining it constantly would make a huge difference for you Mark.

Blinded by our own importance we cannot improve, we cannot invent anew. A deep examination of one's magic, via video review, using an honest, harsh self-appraisal could work wonders for you Mark.

Luckily, the truly blind, need never see, for their blindness is the only light they know.

(All those lines apply to me as well as Mark. At least I can admit a need to improve.)


Kent. You do indeed have a need to improve. A VERY, VERY, VERY great need to do so in fact. Alas I fear it is too late for you and you are beyond hope. I, on the other hand happen to be a genius of the first magnitude and far from being "mediocre" as you claim, happen to be one of the world's greatest magicians even if some of you are daft enough not to recognise it. Come to think of it, this gives me a wonderful opportunity to post a comment made around a week or so ago on Facebook by a leading professional magician in Toronto. I won't name him since he might be embarrassed. Here is what he said:

"Mark Lewis is one of the best All round magicians / entertainer I know. Not only is he a great children's magician, he is a wonderful close up magician, not to mention he is also a hypnotist, palm reader and great pitchman. I have definitely learned a LOT from this man, having worked for him in my younger days selling Svengali decks. I learned how to gather crowds pitching for him which helps me today when I work trade shows. Watching him over and over entertain with just a deck of cards, you absorb little tips and tricks that mold you as a performer. I am glad I got to spends the many hours working for him and getting to watch and learn from a true entertainer. If you haven't see Mark Lewis entertain a group of adults or children, you are missing watching and learning from a master of our craft."

MEDIOCRE?

As for your "blocking" I have utterly no idea what the word means although I have heard other "magicians" use the word. However, being a genius I don't have to bother with such silliness anyway. As for your "scripting" I have seen some of it where you use foul language which I as a psychic reverend and holy man of the cloth cannot possibly approve of. You should NOT write your patter out and learn it off by heart. The very worst thing you can possibly do. The best method is that described in "Mr Smith's Guide to Sleight of Hand" which I have already explained in the past. It was written by Wilfrid Jonson who would be utterly horrified by your foul language when performing.

I am terribly sorry that I have had to reprimand you in this manner but you were dreadfully rude to me in your post and over reacted to a small comment of mine that corrected your statement that there was no version of the 21 card trick that would work for laymen. There bloody well is but of course you have to be a showman which alas is an attribute that you have never quite been able to attain.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Jackpot » November 19th, 2019, 1:29 am

performer wrote:I know Walter Gibson wrote it up in some book or other. That is where I first learned it when I was about 16 years old. However, it can also be found in my favourite Bruce Elliott book "Magic---100 New Tricks" I am astonished that nobody has every mentioned it or shown it to me in 60 years of doing magic. I could probably explain it here but on second thoughts the information would be wasted. If people make the effort to track it down then they will deserve it. However, I would be astonished if people here didn't know it already. Perhaps they do know it but have underestimated the effect and decided to ignore it.

Incidentally in the same Bruce Elliott book there is another fantastic spelling trick that I have never seen anyone do or even mention. I use it as a finish to the well known Gray's Spelling trick. I do the Gray's trick and follow up with this Elliott item. It goes over even better than Gray's spelling and is a fantastic finish to it.

Yep. The best tricks are written in books published before 1954.


Performer, are you referring to "21 Plus". Besides Magic -- 100 New Tricks it also appears in The Best in Magic also by Bruce Elliott. To reveal the card you spell: "This is the card you took".

Oddly The Best in Magic was published in 1956 and 100 New Tricks in 1957. Very possibly the trick was around before 1954, but neither book was yet published. Perhaps this is a corollary to your 1954 theorem.
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Re: On The Slant

Postby Denis Behr » November 19th, 2019, 2:30 am

Well, the trick appeared in The Phoenix in 1942 before it was used in some of the compilation books (most of the material in Elliott books did): https://www.conjuringarchive.com/list/b ... ight=32652

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Brad Jeffers » November 19th, 2019, 2:41 am

kevinm wrote: "... as a comeback to some layman who insists on showing you a standard version." That is my primary motivation to locate and re-visit this effect.
That strikes me as an awfully bad reason for wanting to learn a magic trick.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby kevinm » November 19th, 2019, 8:16 am

Brad,

I didn’t know there was a “bad reason” to learn something of interest; something that would certainly not harm anyone.

Geez ... what a tough crowd.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 19th, 2019, 8:34 am

If a layman wants to show me the standard version I pretend I have never seen it before and suffer it. I then say, "you have the professional touch" no matter how badly they present it. I learned this philosophy from the Matt Schulien book. It makes them feel good and well disposed towards me. Of course I don't do this if I am performing for them professionally since there isn't the time. It is my philosophy for impromptu work. I also don't do it if I am in a bad mood which although a frequent occurrence rarely happens when I am performing. After all when people are telling me how wonderful I am the least I can do to reciprocate is be nice to them if they want to show me a trick.

And yes. I am indeed talking about "this is the card you took". I still say it was written before 1954 since as Denis pointed out a lot of the stuff in Bruce Elliott's books comes from the Phoenix magazine. Incidentally you can blame Bruce Elliott for my presence among you since it was his book, "Magic as a Hobby" which got me started.

Anyway, it has just dawned on me that there is ANOTHER source for the spelling version of the 21 card trick. ME! I had completely forgotten that I wrote it up around 40 or so years ago for an unfinished book of card tricks I was going to write. However, I have included it in the appendix to my annotations for the Royal Road to Card Magic. I am tempted to reproduce it here since all I have to do is cut and paste it. However, I have a certain reluctance to do so since this site comes up on search engines and I would feel a hypocrite for denouncing internet exposure if I plaster the whole bloody thing here for all to see.

Still, if anyone is interested enough see if you can persuade me. It really gets a nice reaction from laymen and there is no skill required although I do recommend a Charlier shuffle at one point. I have always regarded this false shuffle as the best one for a small packet.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Jack Shalom » November 19th, 2019, 11:04 am

Hmm...in the classic version of the 21 card trick the selected card ends in the eleventh place. So, "A great trick" or "Its over here" or "Abracadabra" .

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 20th, 2019, 8:40 am

I have figured out the best way to reproduce my description of the streamlined 21 card trick without exposing too much to the unwashed masses. If I merely reproduce what happens at the end of the trick with the key packet of seven and not mention the preliminaries that should do it. And I do hope some of you will say "thank you" when I do. It has not been unnoticed by me that there is never a sliver of gratitude when I give valuable information away. It does discourage me from doing it. Anyway, here goes:

Take the relevant pile in your hands face down and transfer one card from the top to the bottom and say out loud the letter “T”. Now take the next card and place it to the bottom and this time you say the letter “H”. Repeat the transferring process and say the letter “I”. Now repeat again placing the top card to the bottom saying the letter “S” You have just spelled the word “This” transferring one card for each letter. Now discard the top card to one side.
Continue in this fashion spelling I-S transferring a card to the bottom with each letter you spell. Again discard the top card and lay it aside. You have just spelled the word “is” Continue by now spelling the word “the” thus:-T-H-E again transferring a card underneath with each letter spelled and again finish by discarding the top card. Now repeat the whole procedure with the word “card” as in C-A-R-D and again discard the top card to one side. Now repeat with the words “you” and “took as in -Y-O-U and -T-O-O-K. and at the end of each word lay the top card to one side with the others that have been discarded. You have just spelled the phrase “This is the card you took” When you get to the K in “Took” you will have two cards left. Discard the top one and you will have only one card left. Ask for the name of the selected card. Turn the card in your hand over and there it will be in all its amazing glory!

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Re: On The Slant

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 20th, 2019, 9:49 am

Performer Wrote: "If a layman wants to show me the standard version I pretend I have never seen it before and suffer it. I then say, 'you have the professional touch' no matter how badly they present it."

I couldn't agree more. This is pretty much my approach, as well, whenever a layman shows me anything. The thing about kindness is that it costs nothing, but is a wonderful gift.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 20th, 2019, 1:33 pm

Indeed. I have always thought this to be an effective procedure. It was exactly what Matt Schulien used to do. If nothing else it gets the people on your side. And once in a blue moon they do show you something worth while that they learned somewhere. Rare but it does happen.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Leo Garet » November 21st, 2019, 10:54 am

As far as I'm aware, "The Best In Magic" was/is the same book as "Magic: 100 New Tricks, the UK title.

I borrowed "Magic:100 New Tricks from the local library almost for ever. This was back when libraries tried to cater for library members, rather than, as now, ignoring their customers.

I recall very well the "This-Is-The-Card-You-Took" ending. At the time I read it, the (one of the first Deal & Duck) procedure was new to me.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 21st, 2019, 11:01 am

It is actually a remarkably good book with excellent material therein. His "Classic Secrets of Magic" is also good and I use a lot of material in it.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2019, 1:55 pm

I received "Classic Secrets of Magic" by Elliott at 10 years of age. A paperback with an eyeball on the cover. Still have it. GREAT BOOK. Illustrated by Dr. Jaks.
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Re: On The Slant

Postby PressureFan » November 21st, 2019, 2:32 pm

Bruce Elliott's "Classic Secrets of Magic", eyeball on the palm cover, was my first magic book. I was around 10 years old too. My older brother grew tired of it and let me have it. He bought it at Jack & Jill's Joke Shop in Boston. My first real trick was from it, Sack's Spotted Sorcery. I still do one phase from it.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2019, 2:58 pm

I did that dice routine for many years.
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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 21st, 2019, 6:03 pm

I STILL do it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRvT_6msjcs
Of course I have purloined the name of the trick and claimed it as my own. However, I have been in touch with Dr Sack in the spirit world to get his permission and he said he didn't mind a bit. Sadly the trick is being exposed on You Tube nowadays but since none of you seem to care I hope they expose YOUR tricks on You Tube!

Incidentally there is an amusing (to some anyway) thread from 9 years ago on the subject here:

viewtopic.php?t=30872

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Re: On The Slant

Postby chetday » November 22nd, 2019, 11:28 am

This is most likely a dicey comment to make, but I'll make it anyway, even though I've not indulged this morning in the devil's buttermilk.

I did find the thread from nine years ago interesting reading, especially the exchanges between Richard (whose thread comments have mellowed over the years) and Mark (whose consistency of acerbic prose, both in and out of the spirit world I continue to find fun amusing, though I suspect I may be in a minority in this regard).

Thanks to both Richard and Mark for a few good chuckles this a.m.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 22nd, 2019, 2:36 pm

Well, we both like the dice trick so we do, against all odds, have something in common!

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Re: On The Slant

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 22nd, 2019, 3:07 pm

Skinner did it with jumbo dice.
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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 22nd, 2019, 3:38 pm

Yes he did. And someone or other (I think it was you) remarked that it wasn't quite as deceptive that way.

Aha! I just checked! It WAS you! This is what you said:

"Mike Skinner did do the routine, and he used jumbo big-ass dice. I personally don't think the turnover move was as convincing with such big dice (obviously the dice were held differently). If you want a classic close-up routine with two ordinary dice that you can just pick up and do anytime, you can't beat it."

I actually agree with you on this. I have tried the big dice but gave it up and went back to the small ones.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby PressureFan » November 22nd, 2019, 5:19 pm

I'd never seen anyone else do it until I saw Skinner do it at the 1995 Las Vegas Close-up Classic. It was wonderful.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 22nd, 2019, 9:26 pm

Performer Wrote: "And once in a blue moon they do show you something worth while that they learned somewhere. Rare but it does happen."

Yes, I can vouch for that. About 20 years ago in San Francisco, in a little boutique hotel on Sutter Street, the bartender (his first name was "Russell") showed me a card trick. He prefaced it by saying it was the only trick he knew. It was a quick trick - under a minute, all told. Fooled the socks off of me! When he graciously offered to teach it to me, of course i happily accepted. I have never seen it in print, or anyone else do it. I have used it thousands of times since, and it invariably astonishes laymen and magicians alike. I named it "Russel's Quickie." The moral of the story: Never underestimate anyone.

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 22nd, 2019, 9:46 pm

It is true that you should never underestimate anyone. I still remember something from my youth. When I was a young starving magician I got a job in Harrods of London. Terribly posh place where royalty went for their shopping. Or at least they did until the owner accused the Royal Family of killing off his son and Princess Diana to go with it.

Naturally I only lasted a week. However, when they did the staff training we were told never to underestimate the customer. It seems that a rather scruffy individual came into the store one day and asked where something or other was. I think he asked for the tailoring department if my memory serves me correctly. The snooty sales assistant looked down his nose at him and pointed to the ready-to-wear department and said "that is the department that is more suitable for you". Something like that anyway. Of course I may have the story wrong as it was so long ago but it was along those lines.

It turned out that the scruffy nondescript gentleman was Sir Charles Clore, a multi millionaire who owned the rival store Selfridges and other major business ventures. He phoned the store the next day screaming blue murder over the matter and ever since then the store always used him as an example in their staff training as an example of never judging customers by their appearance.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Sir Charlie
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Clore

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Re: On The Slant

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 23rd, 2019, 11:46 am

Which brings to mind another wise saying: "Appearances can be deceiving."

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Re: On The Slant

Postby performer » November 23rd, 2019, 1:04 pm

I have come across a few millionaires and billionaires in my life. From their appearance and even behaviour you would never know they were wealthy.


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