Note: You may jump to a black text on white background version of this section by clicking Easyreader.

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, 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.

A JSB Creations product
Copyright© 1996 by Steve Bryant
Send your Christmas cards and letters to