Today’s lesson is about how to make things disappear. I’ll start by telling you two ways to make one item disappear, then go on to the more difficult realm of making multiple items disappear. I have field tested all of what I will now describe.
How to Make a TV Remote Control Disappear. By disappear I mean that through my actions it disappeared from my home. When heading off to visit friends for dinner I just slipped our no-longer-needed remote control in my coat pocket, knowing that they had a coffee table with four or five remote controls on it. When I was able to do so undetected, I deposited the device among those others. The only downside being I was not there to quietly enjoy their confusion when they tried to determine what that particular remote was meant to control.
The thing about remote control devices is they manage to look important even when their usefulness has long been terminated – that is, when the unit with which they were to communicate is no longer working or even on the premises.
How to Make a TV Remote Control Disappear, Part Two. There was a coffeeshop in our village that I went to every morning. I took another useless remote control and put it into the warm knitted confines of a mate-less mitten. I secured the open end of the mitten with a twist-tie from a loaf of bread. I brought this unusual but purposeful looking package with me and set it in a discreet place, as if it had been forgotten by someone. As I had hoped, it looked too important to throw away. It became the beginning and primary content of the shop’s lost & found box. Val, the owner of the business, wondered what it was, and I wondered along with her.
How to Make Fifteen Spoons Disappear. As can happen in households, we had a surplus of mismatched silverware. Some of them ended up in a box in the basement. I make it a regular habit to meet some friends for breakfast. Said friends and I would gather in the nearby village of Schuylerville at a place called Eli’s. Here’s how this trick is done: On this particular day I loaded my pockets with the spoons. Four of us were seated in a booth with sufficient plates, cups, and saucers so that I could set a spoon (or two) on each them when they were taken away. The remaining spoons were left on the table. Masking my foolery, our camaraderie continued apace and we departed with our usual jocularity, saying goodbye to our waitress, Christie.
The next day, upon taking my seat, Christie brought me a cup of coffee and asked, “So, do you want those back?” Feigning ignorance I just gave her some shoulder shrugging accompanied by, “What? What are you talking about? What?”
Artist David Greenberger lives in Greenwich, NY. His drawings of silverware can be seen at his website, www.davidgreenberger.com, in the section “Drawings Priced the Same as My Age.” @davidbg