Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Magic, Novelty & Jesus Bandages

When I was a kid, my Dad decided he wanted to be a Magician. He studied Blackstone & eventually the rise of David Copperfield. Magic specials were on television it seemed every weekend. Dad was very passionate in his pursuit of the great illusion.

Because of this quest to become a Magician, my Brother & I got to travel all over the place & go to some of the coolest places you never knew existed. I don't know how Dad managed to find out about these places. There was no Google search back then. There was no internet, period.

The places we ended up were amazing places to be as a kid. If you have ever watched the movie "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" & remember the novelty shop he walked into, you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. The places we found were so much bigger or smaller, darker, and in weird parts of wherever we went. From warehouses to small little holes in the wall in the back of an alley. Most of them were typical Novelty shops. They had trick gum, fake poo, fake puke, exploding cigars, hand buzzers, Groucho glasses, rubber chickens & all sorts of bizarre items. They generally also had magic kits. I freaking loved these places.

Some of the places though, were weirder & a little spooky. They were magic shops. Some of them were run by, what I deemed to be, REAL wizards or oracles or something. These places...I can't even begin to describe them. They smelled of incense, and were decorated in old tapestries, were often dark, & had new age type music playing before anyone even knew what the hell new age was. There were trinkets everywhere. Skulls, pentacles, pentagrams, horns, taxidermy animals, shrunken heads (which back then might have been real), pickled animals. Almost anything you can imagine. Some of them even offered fortune telling. They housed the secret magic tricks. The illusions only shared from Magician to Magician. You had to know someone that was a REAL Magician to get your hands on these. Sometimes there were even contracts to sign, swearing that you would not share the secrets given to you.

I often wonder if places like this still exist. I hope so because they really were magic & lit my young imagination. However, the art of illusion seems to have faded into simpler times. People have outgrown illusions. You can Google anything & learn how it's done, thus destroying the "magic" of it all.

Accoutrements is a company that has held on to the long standing tradition of being a Novelty Shop. All the things I marveled at as a kid, still in place, right down to the rubber chicken. they produce new Novelties every year, & have quite a line of Bacon related items.

Here is one I stumbled across that make me LOL:


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