Funny Magician Stories: The Rubber Lemon of Death
Recently, I was thinking about some embarrassing, funny stories from magician friends of mine and thinking through my most embarrassing moments in front of an audience. I will preface this by saying, if I told you this was planned, you would be blown away!
The strongest recommendation I could give to any beginner magician is get a weekly restaurant gig! I can’t begin to tell you how that will polish your craft. My first restaurant gig was at Red Lobster when I was 16 years old. I owe getting over stage fright to that restaurant. Trust me, I could write a book on funny stories just from that restaurant alone.
One of my go to tricks back then was the classic Cups & Balls trick. In case you’re unfamiliar, little balls disappear and appear under the cups. Then for a surprise ending, larger objects come out of the cups (tennis balls, lemons, etc.). At the time, I liked making lemons come out of the cups. However, being 16 years old and on a budget, I used rubber lemons. That way, I didn’t have buy new ones every week. The only downside to rubber fruit was that the texture would sometimes cause the lemons to stick inside the cups. In those cases, I would have to tap the cup on the table to dislodge the rebellious fruit wannabe. Never thought that would result in the story I’ve been able to tell for the past many years.
Everything was going smoothly…
So, one particular night, I was performing the Cups & Balls at a table for two very nice ladies. During that particular performance, a waitress tapped me on the shoulder. Then, pointing at an older couple, she said, “That table over there is requesting you when you’re finished here.” I acknowledged them with a nod and a smile, asked the waitress to tell them that I’d be right there. I then continued with the current table, noticing that the people at the other table were watching me. I finished the bulk of the trick and now it came down to the finale…the rubber lemons of death.
Trouble has arrived…
I lifted two cups revealing the first two lemons. I lifted the third cup to reveal the final lemon to discover it holding on for dear life. Nothing new. As I said earlier, I would typically tap the cup on the table to dislodge the lemon. BUT!!! On this occasion, I had gotten such big reactions from these ladies that it possibly caused me to be more animated with the tapping of the cup. As I lifted the cup higher than normal before bringing it down to tap the table, the lemon became dislodged. And I mean, dislodged while the cup was in full motion.
Slight digression…it’s amazing how certain moments in life can seem to happen in slow motion.
I watched in slow motion as that lemon shot straight out of the cup and drop two feet down to the table. Then, being rubber, the table was just a brief pitstop. it bounced into the air, headed straight for a bowl of extra salad dressing that was sitting in the middle of the table, and landed precisely in the dead center of it. And I mean the absolute center. If it had been slightly off, it would’ve flipped the bowl. This was dead center. Something that I don’t believe I could do again if I did one performance every hour since the beginning of time.
At that point, I was completely frozen as one of the ladies turned to me and without skipping a beat said, “That was great!” while the other lady said, “That’s alright, I was finished with that anyway.” The three of us had a good laugh as I pulled the dressing covered lemon out of the bowl. They gave me a $10 tip…possibly out of pity.
Dusting off my pride…
I cleaned that lemon off at a sink and headed to the other nearby table that had requested me. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “It’s nice to see people so forgiving of a teenager just starting out in his career as a magician.” I arrived at the table with confidence and said, “So I heard you folks would like to see some magic?” To which they replied, “No, we’re good.”
Moral of the story: I took the $10 tip and used it to buy real lemons.
If you’re looking for entertainment for your event, I can tell you with confidence that we’ve removed all rubber lemons from the show. However, we still advise you not to have salad dressing in a bowl anywhere near the performance space. You’re welcome to contact us. Who knows? We might get some funny magician stories out of your event. 🙂