"Hey, you guys like magic?"
It was Saturday night, and I was standing outside Scruffy Murphy's, 2030 Larimer Street, with Chris Shelby, Dave Lamoth, Braden Rauen and Andy McQueen of sixtysixdays, a local Irish-rebel-music band taking a smoke break before starting their first set of the evening. We were catching up when an older, slightly unkempt man passing by spoke the above words.
We eyed each other warily for about five seconds, not certain what to say. After all, as my colleague What's So Funny reminded me when I retold this story at a staff meeting, introducing us to a trouser snake does not technically count as a magic trick.
Rauen responded first. "I love magic," he said firmly.
"Hold out your hands," our new friend instructed Rauen. He did so; his palms were clean. The magician told Rauen to close his fists and stack them one on top of the other. Then the magician tapped the last of the ash from the cigarette he was smoking into his own left palm.
He closed his fists and did some hocus-pocus with his hands, moving them around before stacking his fists one on top of the other, right above left. "Which of my hands has the ash in it?" he asked us. "The bottom one," we all responded. He opened his palms, and the ash was gone.
Then Rauen opened his palms, and behold: There was cigarette ash in the middle of his left palm. We were all impressed.
"Hey, guys, you got any extra cash you think I could have?" our magician asked. Still dazzled by his amazing magic trick, we searched through our pockets and managed to come up with anywhere between $5 and $7 (I wasn't counting). "That was an awesome trick," we told him. "You should see what I can do with a deck of cards," he responded. "I can do some scary shit with cards."
Unfortunately, Scruffy Murphy's did not have a deck of cards on hand, so the magician (I believe he said his name was Charlie) continued on his way down Larimer Street, seeking new audience members. -- Amber Taufen