I am a sucker for the best magic tricks. I always have been. I can still remember the first time I was tricked by an illusion. I was a toddler sitting in the grocery cart while my parents shopped. My dad pretended to be able to pull his thumb off of his hand. It must have looked real because I remember crying and making him stop. Ever since then I can't get enough of watching a seemingly normal person do things that seem to have no logical explanation.
I think it has to do with the fact that we all long for something exciting outside of the normal day-to-day activities of life. As a child, I used to have to go with my dad when he would do electrical work. It was usually boring waiting around for him to finish a job. One time, however, a customer of his pulled out a deck of cards and proceeded to make all the Jacks rise to the job of the deck. And ever since then I looked forward to going back to that house so I could see this guy perform some of the best magic tricks with cards that I had ever seen.
The funny thing about my fascination with magic tricks is that I never have tried to learn how to perform them myself. I think if I figured out the secrets it would take some of the wonder away. Even as an adult I still want to be awed. I don't think I'm alone when I say that my life is so busy with work and family responsibilities that I enjoy any chance that I get to feel like a little boy again, and the best magic tricks can allow that to happen.
Remember when David Copperfield would have his television specials? What was it that made everyone tune in? We were watching something that truly had no answer. It filled us with wonder and amazement. Several years ago I saw Copperfield in person, and I left the theater with a true appreciation of the art that is required to perform the best magic tricks. It's more than just sleight of hand. It's an actual art. He combines his illusions with music and story-telling and creates an emotion around his illusions.
Copperfield had an illusion that night that involved making a classic car appear on stage. When the car appeared, I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I had just seen an empty stage, and now there was a real, physical car sitting up there.
Like a lot of things, the best magic tricks have a way of making you reminisce about your childhood, and how the world was so big and mysterious that you couldn't wait to see what was next. Even though I know that there is a simple explanation of how a rabbit pops out of a hat, I enjoy being reminded that there are things that are fun and exciting in the world.
Maybe one day I'll go learn how to do all the best magic tricks, but for now I'll continue to sit in amazement at the four Jacks appearing at the top of the deck.