It’s magic! Oh, not really

6 Nov
On our awesome holibobs to San Francisco last week each of the kids had a dollar to spend in Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree is like Poundland only better as everything costs 60p in Real Money.
The kids were – quite literally – like kids in a candy store. My god daughters invested wisely in a set of fake nails, tipping the fingers with red pointy claws, and a water-pistol-giant-pencil. L1 bought some fake hair, which I wore for a while and found comfortable and liberating.
And L2 bought a magic set (“not for the plane! You’ll lose the bits, then it won’t work!” – me). He has been hankering after a magic set for some weeks now, and in fact already owned one. However the one already owned to his mind had one significant failing: it wasn’t actually magic. Our attempts to teach him the tricks fell flat since, in his view, there were no tricks to teach, just magic.
Let us take, for example, the ‘ball in cup’ trick. For L2, the concept of the second ‘fake’ ball simply doesn’t compute. What happens, to his mind, is that the real ball disappears, and appears again, with the utterance of magic words. There is no sleight of hand nor trickery, simply good old fashioned magic miracles. Initially he blamed his lack of success on an inconsistent set of magic words, but has now addressed this, tragically still to no avail.
With the purchase of the Dollar Tree magic set, he hoped that this failing would be addressed. Frankly, it will have to be to get any joy from said set, since the enclosed trick instructions bear no resemblance to the contents of the box. I have to report that from evidence last night, it’s another magic set fail for L2; who refused once again to engage with the fake ball, looking me straight in the eye and explaining “But Mummy, that is cheating”. He’ll never make a politician, my son.

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