Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Poacher’s Pocket

I never intended this blog to be a confessional. Personally, I'm not a fan of those blogs that relate every sordid detail about a blogger's life. Frankly, I don’t feel particularly guilty at the moment, anyway. This is not about baring my soul. Even though, twice before, I wrote about a darker side to my personality. (See the label: me, if you want to catch up)

This was all Patrick Page’s fault. Sure, he is a fine, funny fellow, but my third successful liaison with larceny I blame on him. And, he doesn’t know me.

From age 11 to age 18, I worked at my neighborhood costume and magic shop, Izzy Rizzy’s House of Tricks. It was there I discovered a product produced by Patrick Page known as The Poacher’s Pocket. For the magic types out there, the pocket was early version of the topit.

Patrick purloined the Poacher’s Pocket from the world of crime, specifically shoplifting. The pocket is a small fabric bag. The thief pins one side of the bag to the inside of their coat and the other side to his pants forming a pocket. A small lift of the arm opens the pocket and creates space to toss in a desired object. A whole Internet away and I can still see the wheels turning in your heads.

While my other previously described moral violations are rare, especially at the ages I committed them, about every kid I knew, at one time or another, shoplifted. It may have been a pack of gum, a toy, or a magazine. Most got caught, I didn’t. Thanks, Patrick.

My thefts were no larger or smaller than any other kid’s. They were not committed to have that object. I did it to learn how to to it, how to make it work. I did it better because of my magic knowledge. Most of the time I did not have my specially made pocket with me. However, when I buttoned the bottom of my jean jacket if fit snugly around my waist; the rest “poofing” out enough to facilitate my moves.

Second, I knew misdirection. For example: Say I wanted to steal a pack of gum. I would reach into the display box and grab two packs, one on top of the other. Then, in a larger circular action, I would throw a pack into my jacket while replacing the other pack. The action was invisible.

I stopped being a thief many, many years ago. It was the right thing to do. My time surely would have run out. Although, the year I spent cheating at cards may nullify that statement, but that is another story.

Next, I hope to explore Honesty and the Magician. I believe that my magic and my felonious side are connected. I also believe this is true for many magicians, but many don’t ever realize right from wrong or the time and place for it. The worlds of crime and magic have a long association and continue to overlap. The second magician, ever, ripped off the first one. We, magicians, revere the criminal while decrying the same behavior in modern magicians. Worse, we are complicit, with a romantic wink and a nostalgic nod.

Oh, those lovable rogues.

1 comment:

Raenius said...

Patrick Page recently did a lecture in Holland which I attended. His actions with 'bag' were indeed invisible (and unbelievable) to the entire audience. With the littlest of motions he made objects dissappear using this 'device'...

I can imagine how well this can be used by a thief. Nowadays its not usable I think due to the electronic alarms...