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The Magician, Magic, The Circus, My Caucus and Other Stories

Among other things that have fascinated me, the art of Magic got my attention when I was much younger. At an early age, I had already realized that ‘magic’ as some know it, was only about fooling the eyes and playing with the mind. Nothing but tricks.

Sometime in the ’80s, a passenger on a KLM flight, I was given a pack of goodies by the airline and that included a book on magic tricks. Oh I studied those tricks! Chei! Tricks from making little pieces of paper disappear from under covered cups to making tables rise, to closing your eyes and guessing what crayon your volunteer picked to making coins disappear to bringing out handkerchiefs from the pockets of your unsuspecting guests to bringing little bunnies out from hats to slicing up a human being.

I guess reading this book and seeing tricks explained gave me an early understanding of film tricks and theatrics and made it hard for me to be fooled by things easily.

That was then and this is now. No adults emmmm Some adults okay, no adults get fooled by these tricks anymore. But I can’t waste my knowledge. Instead, I play these little tricks on little kids old enough to have their minds accustomed to the normal proceedings of nature. Bring me a 5 year old kid. Leave us for 30 minutes and I get the title ‘magician’. Till date, I carry these little coins to play on people I am meeting for the first time. (You may testify to this if I ever met you).

One thing you should know about me is I LOVE KIDS. Maybe because I sometimes wish I could go back to being a kid. Or maybe because sometimes I like to see things from their eyes. First thing I do when I meet kids(and when there are no adults around) is I study their characters, trying to find out if they are the quiet type, the rough type, the nerdie type, the fantasy type or the crying type. This usually positions me for the next stage of my initiation into their minds: THE CIRCUS.

This next stage is where I determine what role they play in my circus! On the average, I play the magician, they could either play the audience, the hooper or the tight rope walker. I can’t go into details on that right now. My point: There are many creative ways to CREATE fun with people.

But this post is not about creative ways to create fun with people. This post is about very creative ways with which real life ‘magicians’ have tried to mess with my mind.

Let’s start with my experiences changing dollars to naira. I don’t know how exactly it is done in other countries but over here, the most convenient way to change currency is to use a Bureau de change. Most, if not all are malams(hausa men).

This particular day some two months ago, I went to change $300 somewhere in Allen. This amounted to N46,200. From there, I went to do a bit of ‘shopping’. I couldn’t have spent more than N5,000. I got home and then I forgot about the money till about 2 days later when I decided to count it. I had N15,000 left. I concluded that I had been very careless. Looking back now, I think I was not as worried as I should have been because in my mind(smh) . I must have assumed I had some treasures stashed in some arabian cave.

Weeks later, I go back to the same place to change $200. That should have been about N30,800. I got home to find about N10,000 left. I got a bit alarmed this time around so what did Seye do?

I had started suspecting there was some fowl play somewhere so this time around I take $100 to the mallams. This should have been N15,400. I SUPER COUNTED THE MONEY because this was supposed to be a test.It was a test so I go away from the arena, 5, 10 minutes later, I count the money in front of a witness.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there was only N6,000 left.

Anger, feelings of revenge, feelings of stupidity, I am not sure which one was most dominant!!!!

That was my second introduction to ‘magic’ in lagos.

Oh I don’t have to write again the incidence of MY DISAPPEARING PHONE. Here is the link to the post How I lost my Phone. In less than 1minute, a phone I was holding disappeared from my hand SO SUBTLY!!!!

The third introduction to ‘magic’ was my first solo visit to Oshodi to check on a friend some months ago.
Somewhere close to the highway, I notice a crowd. My curiosity struck. I had to take a closer look. I notice a circle of curious people as they surrounded a magician who had apparently made something in a box disappear. The box was in a circle demarcated by white lines drawn on the ground. Next thing, the magician called on a volunteer to come within the circle to show everybody that indeed there was nothing in the box.
The volunteer did this showing everyone that there was nothing in the box.

Next, the magician covered the box with a black piece of cloth. He opens it and asks that the volunteer look into the box to confirm or decline that there was something in the box. As the volunteer peeped in, next i noticed was his discomfort as ‘a snake had crawled into his pants’.

This right here was when my friend pulled me away. (Dang!! you should have let me take pictures!!!).

For a long time, I was a fan of David Copperfield. Such creative illusions. I have blogged about Criss Angel. I have particularly noticed the drift from the play of/with illusion to being aided supernaturally.

I never believed in supernatural till I became a Christian. For a long time also, I never believed nature could also be distorted supernaturally too except it was by God. Notice the word ‘distort’.

It’s just interesting how God sent Moses to the Pharaoh and he was instructed to drop his rod which would later turn to a serpent. I realize Moses would have thought this incredible. Like, ‘hey yo, Pharaoh, let my guys go or else I’d show you something you can never do! I’d drop this rod on the ground and it would turn to a serpent. Beat that‘.

Pharaoh must have had a good laugh when the rod turned to a snake! “Oh Moses, Oh Moses, do something cool. Not rods turning to serpents. I have seen better magic acts“. The Pharaoh then calls his own magicians who dropped their own rods. Their rods turned to serpents too!

Wow, those weren’t tricks. Those were not tricks!! No, not on the path of Moses and not on the side of the ‘opposition’. I may be slow in realizing this but life is not a joke.

I am not sure I fear the strength of men any more. I am not sure I am scared of the sting of bullets anymore. I think I am drawn to fear the one who has a grasp of both men, their evils and the Art of the Unseen.

A few days ago, I took a glimpse at the zodiac ish and horoscopes, not out of curiosity but as part of my discovery of the awesomeness of God. Yes, despite the fact that a lot comes out to me as creepy. I realize there are forces that can fool the horoscope reader.

I believe I can be the greater magician, leaving behind the baby stages of ‘tricks’ and carrying out better acts.

Like changing lives, and also by being a better me.


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