chapter x: the biggest little magician in the world

(click here for part i)
part ii: not a full deck
myeck's great-uncle, the stage magician known as Vagaofechado, never really got his career back on track after the tragic death of his first violinist in a tragic onstage accident. Although no charges were filed, no one could deny that Vagaofechado had a hand in it - indeed, one of his cufflinks had been found embedded in the man's inner ear. After that, no theatre manager would touch him.
Luckily, in those days before televisions and VCRs, there was always a slim but steady income to be had for a magician who was willing to work office Christmas parties, children's birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and the like. Vagaofechado would never go hungry. 

Unfortunately, not only his entire stage act but also most of the skills he had perfected over the years were totally unsuited for the intimate settting of parlors and sitting rooms. 

  "Are you sure this isn't your card?"
Realizing that he was too old to learn the slick maneuvers necessary for proper sleight-of-hand, he wisely settled for a "comedy" approach to magic. 

The centerpiece of his new act was a series of card tricks in which he cleverly disguised his total lack of ability by appearing as a bumbling buffoon, constantly picking the wrong card and displaying ever escalating desperation as the debacle continued.

Crowds lapped it up. Each incorrect card produced, each dropped pack, each mumbled protest brought bigger laughs, louder applause. The audience laughed, applauded heartily, tipped handsomely, and remembered him when they hosted their own social events. Vagaofechado was the cream that rose to the top of the bottom of the barrel.   

Everyone who attended his show loved it. Everyone laughed all the way home. Everyone told their friends about "the world's worst magician."

His show-stopper, trying to actually peek to see the volunteer's card, never failed to bring down the house.

And no one ever caught on to the fact that it wasn't an act.