Saturday, November 17, 2007


Andrew Loh emailed me about his marketed effect Cardbox Meltdown. He'd heard that it might be similar to an effect of mine, Lunch Box, published in Equinox back in 1985, and wanted to include a credit in his instructions. Here is the write up from Equinox as sent to Andrew. I think it's still an interesting effect even after all these years.


A large ‘sandwich’ with very few calories!

This is a very easy effect and can be ideal for use at a restaurant table if you have been called upon to do some tricks. If it is an office outing then the table could be quite large and whilst the people near you can all see the tricks perfectly, the people at the other end of the table may have to resort to chatting among themselves, simply because the effects don’t involve them at all. Here is one trick that works best for a large group gathered around a lengthy table.

Have any card selected, noted, returned and then control it to the top of the deck. Execute a double lift and ask the spectators if you have accidentally cut their card to the top. They will answer ‘no’, unless of course you’ve made a mistake. With the deck in the left hand (a card apparently face up on top) pick up the card case and throw it to someone just to check that there is nothing inside, no elephants, trapdoors etc. Flip the double face down on the deck and remove the top card with the right hand. The left hand leaves the deck face up on the table and retrieves the card case from the spectator (who ideally should be seated to your left). Place the face down card in the card case and ask one of the ladies to seal it with a kiss. The case is in the right hand allowing the left to pick up the deck from the table so it can be held face down in dealing grip.

Take a left fourth-finger break under the top card of the deck and take the case back from the lady. You apparently examine the case for lipstick marks making some kind of comic remark e.g. ‘Nice shade of red… it goes with your eyes.’ If you are still unharmed you flip the case cover onto the top of the deck. The right hand picks up both case and the noted card (easy because of the break) from above allowing the left hand to turn palm down and drop approx. half of the deck face up onto the table. The right hand sets the case (and hidden card) on top of the tabled portion of the deck and the left hand drops the remainder of its cards face up on top of all. This sandwiches the case in the middle of the deck. make some remark about creating a ‘cardboard sandwich’ similar to that served in… (name of office canteen, restaurant of ill repute or whatever.).

Square everything up and then call for a clear pathway along the table to whoever is sitting across from you. Once the cutlery, glasses and bottles have been removed you ask that the spectator facing you from across the table holds out his/her hands as they are about to catch something… hopefully nothing nasty. With the spectator prepared you ask the selectee again as to whether they are sure that the ‘Three of Spades’ (or whatever card you apparently placed in the box) was not their card because otherwise this is a lot of trouble to go to just to find one card. Ask for the name of the selection and show doubt that it could in fact be that card.

Finally you place your hand alongside the sandwiched case and after an appropriate countdown you flick the case clear of the deck with your forefinger. See the diagram at the top of this post.

The case should be struck hard enough to carry it across the table into the waiting hands of the spectator opposite you. One card will be face down in the face up deck. Ask again for the name of the selection. Flip over the card and say ‘No, sorry it’s the Three of Spades again.’ This should get a laugh. Pointing out that the Three was in the card case you ask the spectator to open up the box. Inside he will find the selected card.

Another idea on this is to actually have a comic pair of lips drawn on one side of the card case. This will provide you with added comedy when having the case ‘sealed with a kiss’. The routine is not designed for the table-hopper but for the amateur magician who frequently gets asked to show a trick or two on the office outing. Only they can get a table cleared for a trick without annoying all those trying to eat at it.

If you'd like more of the same you can order a copy of Equinox from the publisher Martin Breese. It contains more than a dozen similar effects and, if I do say so myself, I think it's pretty good.