Witch Boxes by Thomas Pohle(c. 1992)
You show three small boxes (ca. 3 3/8″ x 2 5/8″ x 5/8″), which are absolutely identical in appearance. They are quite nicely decorated—blue with a large yellow circle, bearing a silhouette of a witch riding a broom. They are similar to drawer boxes, consisting of a shell and a drawer. If you pull each drawer out, you will find that the bottom of each drawer has a large circular recess, which contains a chip that just fits into it. This recess is colored. In one, the recess Is red, in the second it is green, and in the third it is white. In other words, one box contains a red drawer, one a green drawer, and the third a white drawer. Now for the individual effects.-
Show the spectators the boxes, pointing out the different colors of each of the drawers. Close the drawers, and move the boxes around-shell game fashion—until nobody knows which box is which. Now you place the boxes in a line in front of you on the table. Give one of the spectators three chips, one red, one green, and one white, each decorated with a yellow witch’s hat, and ask him to place the chips in front of the boxes in any order he chooses. When drawers are pulled out. It is seen that the red chip has been placed in front of the box with the red drawer, the green chip in front of the box with the green drawer, and the white chip in front of the box with the white drawer. Consider this for a moment. Do you have any clue as to a method for this inexplicable effect?
The three boxes are lying on the table in front of you, closed. You invite the spectators to participate in a game, with a $100.00 prize. You explain that each of the boxes has a drawer of a different color in it, one red, one green and one white. Only one of the boxes contains a chip which matches the color of the drawer. Whoever chooses that box wins the money! Each spectator chooses one of the colors; the remaining one is yours. The spectators choose, for example, red and green. This leaves white for you. The boxes are opened. The red drawer and the green drawer contain nothing—the white drawer contains a large, white chip. So you win the $100.00. In this effect also, everything is absolutely above board. There is no sleight of hand, no force, etc.
The boxes are lying before you on the table with their drawers open. The three chips are in front of them. You ask a spectator to place the chips Into the drawers in any order he wishes, to close the boxes, and to move them around until even he does not know which box contains each chip. Finally, you ask him to arrange the boxes next to each other on the table. You turn around and face the audience. Consider for a moment what happens now. Without any pause, without thinking about anything, and without touching anything, you immediately point to each of the boxes, one at a time, and say: “This box contains the red chip, this box contains the green chip, and this box contains the white chip.” The drawers are immediately pulled out, and you are seen to be 100% correct! Let me point out that you cannot see into the boxes in any way.
The boxes are lying on the table before you, with the drawers closed. You give a spectator an envelope containing a prediction. Now the spectator chooses one of the boxes (actually a completely free choice!), opens the envelope, and reads the prediction aloud: “You will choose the box with the green drawer. It will also be the only box that contains a small thank you gift for your help, a lucky coin.” The drawer is pulled out of the box. It is green, and It contains a coin. The other drawers are the red one and the white one, and they are completely empty, of course!
(German routine: Eckhard Boettcher. English Translation: Bill Palmer, Stevens Magic Emporium)
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