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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » Fun with card terminology "Cut the pack" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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A few days ago I was thinking over a performing a trick that requires the helper to cut the pack/deck. Back when I was a kid - the 1940s and 50's - before TV, it was common in our family for us kids to be taken with our parents as they went out to someone's home for a card evening. Today "playing cards" are not as commonly used by younger people so the terminology of "cutting the pack" would be unknown to some teenagers etc. Well, as I was thinking about "Cut the pack" the idea popped into my mind that at this stage I could hand the helper a pair of scissors to add some comedy to the instruction, saying "Cut the pack", implying cutting it with the scissors. So, today while I was out busking in a street mall that's what I did as most times I went through the trick.
As the helpers took the scissors and put them towards the pack they looked at me rather astonished. "I want me to cut through a whole pack of cards?" their faces read. Well, I reached out for the scissors before they did the cutting and told them "No...here's what cutting the pack means," and I would demonstrate with a pack of cards I had in my hand and get them to follow. Well, that play on words had a few helpers and people laughing. I did have a time or two when I had to retrieve the scissors as people took me literally and were about to close the scissors on the cards.
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Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I believe the three stooges has a routine in which one of them would put the deck of cards on the table and say "cut the deck" and another one would pull out a meat cleaver and hack the deck in two. That certainly got laughs, and I think you method is a much safer way to pull the same gag.
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loyaleagle
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Montgomery Village, Maryland
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I say "packet a lot" and often I get blank stares. They know what cutting is, but for some reason "cut off a packet" is suddenly beyond them. Works better to say "cut off half" or something like that.
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Hushai
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Quote:
On 2008-07-13 17:35, loyaleagle wrote:
I say "packet a lot" and often I get blank stares.


I have often wondered about this. Does anyone but a magician use the word "packet" to mean a bunch of cards? What other synonyms are available that would be understandable to non-magicians?
JimMaloney
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Quote:
On 2008-07-12 12:48, photius wrote:
I believe the three stooges has a routine in which one of them would put the deck of cards on the table and say "cut the deck" and another one would pull out a meat cleaver and hack the deck in two. That certainly got laughs, and I think you method is a much safer way to pull the same gag.


That was a scene from "Horsefeathers" (a Marx Brothers movie, not The Three Stooges). They're in a speakeasy, and Harpo is observing a game that some other people are playing (not Groucho, Chico, or Zeppo). I can't recall if it was a meat cleaver or an axe, though I'm leaning towards the axe.

-Jim
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ToasterofDoom
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I once had a clueless spectator karate chop the deck sideways, spilling cards all over the place.

From then on I always mime the action as I say it.
loyaleagle
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Montgomery Village, Maryland
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Quote:
On 2008-07-15 13:31, ToasterofDoom wrote:
I once had a clueless spectator karate chop the deck sideways, spilling cards all over the place.

From then on I always mime the action as I say it.

That is amazing.
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Paul
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"I did have a time or two when I had to retrieve the scissors as people took me literally and were about to close the scissors on the cards."

Get some "No Cut " scissors they cannot open and you won't have to worry and possibly get an extra laugh...

I use the gag when performing Max Maven's "Tearable". My cards are pre-cut and carried in my wallet. I say, " I asked someone to cut the cards last night and this is what they did," removing and showing the half cards. "You just can't get the staff these days!"

Before anyone asks, "Tearable" can be found described in the book "Focus" by Phil Goldstein. I discussed my approach to it in "Small But Deadly" (p.82 U.S. edition, p.63 U. K. edition).

Paul.
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