Tricks and licks

Jen and I and eight other guests went to a friend's birthday dinner-party yesterday evening. As ever, the food was excellent, although the pigeon-breasts-on-toast starter had to be renamed dark-chicken-on-toast, for the benefit of the two young grandchildren present.

Also as ever, I somehow ended up with the job of keeping the kids entertained. So I showed off my crap magic tricks, including two which are actually quite good: the jumping-match trick, and the rubbing-the-coin-against-the-table-until-it-disappears trick. It's just a shame I didn't have a small set of wooden steps to hand, otherwise I could have shown them my totally awesome disappearing trick. Then, of course, I had to show the kids how to do the tricks themselves. Or, rather, I had to show the elder of the two kids how to do the tricks himself, while his younger sister contented herself with shrieking in my right ear.

After a while, I realised that the short, fat, bald man at the other end of the table was seriously winding-up the kids' mum. He's a bugger for winding people up. Should I intervene? Yes, I probably should…

Then I had a flash of inspiration, and turned to the kids:

“Hey, did you know that it's really lucky to lick a bald man on the head?” I asked.

That soon diffused the situation all right.

International diplomacy's loss is unpaid-childcare's gain.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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