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It was Golem, bristling with rage, who phoned the police, despite his tendancy
to jumpiness in their presence. The temporary quarters that house The Little Egypt
Gazette offices had been ransacked, and the maurauders had made off with whatever they
felt might be of value, including our computers, all associated files, an ashtray from the Magic
Castle, a rusty set of linking rings, half of a Mysto Magic set, an original file of The
Pallbearers Review, and Golem's mysterious refrigerator, which had always been chained
shut. "What was in that thing, anyway?" I finally asked. It was the first time he had smiled all
night: "They'll find out," he said. Columbine, in her black trench coat and
oversized Nike hightops, shook her strangely pretty head in bewilderment. "You had no
backups?" she said. "No insurance?" Children should be seen and not heard. "Hey, buddy,
what's this?" one of the officers asked, holding up what looked like a small pistol. It was a
Nelson Phantom Ghost Projector, a clever device for projecting the images of ghosts onto the
walls of a darkened seance room. I knew I was going to have trouble explaining it to him.
Columbine later asked if I wanted her boyfriend, J.R., to "find these guys." Not certain what
that course of action might lead to, I counseled that it would be best if the police handled such matters.
Sensing that the staff was in a dangerously depressed state, I said, "Look, we can't do any more
around here tonight. Let's get out of here. How about an early Christmas dinner?" Four eyes
regarded me warily. "I'll buy, I'll buy," I said. "Geez -- give a guy some credit."
All of which means, I regret to say -- we are back in reality now, at least as much as we can
be in the context of a World Wide Web journal for magicians -- is that we suffered another hard
drive crash here (the second in six months, if you're counting) and that I have finally learned my
lesson regarding the particular brand I've been using. I did have a lot of these resources backed
up on tape, but the main thing I lost is this: your addresses. If you've written me in the past few
months, I no longer have your address, so please write again and just say hi. I promise to store the addresses on a floppy this time.
On a far happier note, Ricky Jay's HBO special, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants,
will first air on Tuesday, December 17, at 10:00 P.M., briefly touted by TV Guide as "The
master illusionist performs feats of legerdemain." Additional dates, quoted in Stan Allen's
MAGIC, are December 22, 26, and 31.
Woody Allen is known for his early interest in magic, with perhaps his best-known instance
of this being his play, The Floating Light Bulb. A lengthy Profile of Woody recently
appeared in the December 9th issue of The New Yorker. The author, John Lahr, opens
with Woody's interest in magic and uses magic and sleight-of-hand as a metaphor throughout the
piece. Although the entire article is of interest to Woody Allen fans, magicians might take
special interest in a quote by Woody re his early interest: "To be able to perform a little miracle
was such a heady feeling, something worth practicing endless hours for."
We trust that most of you enjoyed Mac King's recent appearances on Friday Night,
with Rita Sever, and on WGM III, with Rita Rudner. I recently spoke with Mac's
publicist, who mentioned that Mac has two more specials coming up in the immediate future,
one with Rita Moreno and another with Rita Coolidge. He will also appear on a Halloween
special in '97, in which he will participate in a seance and attempt to contact Rita Hayworth.
In closing, season's greetings to magicians everywhere. Once again, my sincere
apologies to anyone whose name was omitted from the poem. It's a matter
of what fits and rhymes, in a very short time, and not a matter of fame or
popularity or how well I know you. Some very close friends didn't
fit this year, as well as some very famous names that I wanted to include. I did
manage to include one spouse left off last year (Mike Caveney), but several other
spouses got the axe. This has nothing to do with real life: as far as I know, everyone
is still happily married. Rhyming also determines placement and emphasis. I had
wanted to highlight Gary Ouellet's record as a producer, but the particular rhyme
scheme I had in mind would have meant ascribing to Eddie Fields a sexual
prowess he may not possess or at least want mentioned if he does. (At least I worked
in a mention of the World's Greatest Magic specials.) For the record,
Bruce Barnett, the indefatigable sysop of EG, is not on aol.com, but I needed him anyway and invoke poetic license. There are potentially confusing spots. Michael Douglas in the poem
is the terrific young magician who manipulates cards, floats a cigarette, and produces
a very large cat, not the actor son of Kirk Douglas, despite the fact that the
actor's co-star in An American President, Annette Benning, wormed her way into
the same couplet. And some individuals just won't
stay where you put them. I had firmly intended to plant Erika Larsen under the
mistletoe, but, alas, she had editorial duties elsewhere in the poem. Speaking of mistletoe,
I tried to avoid repeating any of last year's rhymes, but couldn't resist in the case of
Jamy Ian Swiss. He has a lock on that spot. Also, having now
described a fictional New Year's Eve party two years in a row, I'm beginning to wish
the thing could be real. I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend New Year's Eve with
than magicians. (Their supermodel girlfriends are of course welcome in this fantasy.)
Accordingly, I'll be thinking of you all on the final midnight of the year, and I wish you
all the best for '97.
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Copyright© 1996 by Steve Bryant
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