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That book had every single kind of spooky story you could imagine, and it was all presented as if they were real, with dates, locations and real names given. As far as I was concerned it was a factual document. Thinking back though, this whole episode seems really odd to me now, because I absolutely hate fantasy things like that these days. My criteria for liking a film or book basically ‘is it less than 90 minutes?’ ‘Is it completely real in every way?’, and unless the stories contained actually happened, or could actually happen, I really couldn’t care less about it. Terminator, Alien, Predator, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, all films I have never seen and have no interest in seeing. What’s the point? It’s just some load of garbage that some guy made up. Anyone can do that.

I’m pretty sure the reason for this 180 degree turn in my tastes has nothing to do with growing up, or becoming evermore cynical and jaded with life, and an awful lot more to do with rubbish American programs like ‘Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed 5′. Magic by itself is fine; card tricks, illusions, that stuff Derren Brown does… all absolutely fine. But some gimp with a mask on? And a cape? Who waves his hands about in the air and tries to be mysterious? No, I don’t think that’s on at all. Especially not when he tells you how he did the trick afterwards. It’s exactly this kind of shit made me lose my interest in fantasy and the ‘unknown’ many, many years ago.

The episode last night not just featured a trick where he made a huge JCB dumper truck disappear (which I was actually really interested in finding out how he did it - maybe the same way as David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear??), it was the way he did it which really killed me. I wasn’t hugely surprised to find out that no magic was involved (as I said, I gave up on that years ago), but I was at least hoping for some skillful sleight of hand, or nifty use of mirrors… Far from it. Turns out that when they lifted up a curtain in front of the truck, they just reversed the truck out and drove it away from the studio!! Sorry, that’s not even close to magic, that’s just how everyone makes trucks ‘disappear’. Exactly the kind of thing that makes me have noooooo interest in this kind of shit at all….

Anyway, I got my camera out for the next trick and took a few pics to ruin any belief you might have had that some folks out there harness the powers of darkness and break the laws of physics and then chooses to show them to the world, not by swindling rich tycoons out of their wealth, but by balancing women on brooms.

A few hot chicks came out and did a sexy dance with some brooms, the Voice Over guy made a dirty gag about how well they were handling the long instruments.

The sleazy weirdo in the gimp mask handed his assistant a rose, and the voice over guy talked about how pretty she looks.

OMG!! She’s lying flat across nothing but some brooms!! How are they doing this?!!

No!! Don’t move that broom!! She’ll fall off!!

Wow!! How did he do that??! Must be magic, I suppose.

And doesn’t she look calm about it all, and not the least bit freaked out?! Oh, wait there’s a normal explanation for this?? … Well, I’m skeptical that there could be, but let me hear it…

Oh right, those aren’t normal brooms, those are actually pieces of scaffolding…

And she didn’t just lie on top of an upturned broom (with scaffolding rammed down the middle), she wore a custom made body brace… it was here that the Voice Over guy said, “this trick is so simple, even a child could do it”.

So wait, these oddballs bounding around stages in capes aren’t magicians at all?? Well, now I don’t know what to think…

Chris O’Real - www.noodlesandbroth.com

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