When I went to Portugal years ago, I often had dinner in a little cafe off Rossio Square in Lisbon. One evening I was sitting in the restaurant with my driver George.
George looked at me — “Scott – do some magic tricks.” So I did a few effects (see December 19, 2011, if you want to learn a good one). With that, George called over some of the waiters. “You gotta see this stuff.” A gaggle of waiters began to congregate by our booth. I asked for a deck of cards – they arrived – and I began my routine. Nothing fancy but some good stuff.
It was when I poured water into my fist and made it disappear – and then reappear – that one waiter looked seriously at his colleagues. “Ele e um diabo” [“he’s a devil“]. And I suddenly realized that my visage had quite possibly morphed from curiosity to danger to the human race and all that is holy. George coughed and looked at me. My face got warm. I thought I better do something or I may have trouble leaving the restaurant. Sooooooo, I did what any other red-blooded American magician would do. I looked up at the waiter who had branded me a diabo – and said “here – I’m gonna show you how I did that.” I did. I showed the waiters how I did the tricks — without making them take the mandatory Magician’s Oath. The waiters laughed nervously. Seemed relieved. And walked away. George gave me one of those eyes in the air looks that said I won’t ask you to do that again. And I lived to tell the tale. . . . .