The Pea Went WHERE.............?????????

Monday, September 18, 2006 at 03:14 PM

Lee and I always debate things, among them, how is it with massive deficits, a failed "war", poor health care, terrible low-paying jobs, well, how are the folks so fooled by Texas Hat? Join me now for some Six history....

I was 12 at the time, and I befriended this neat stage magician, he had a TV show on the local station. I was impressed with the level of his work, being a budding engineer. We hit it off.

Magic, he taught me, is psychological in nature. A good magician uses "prestidigitation" to fool the crowd into thinking that special processes are at play, and not just plain "your eye is slower than the hand is". He swore me to secrecy, and I was just dumbfounded at how easy many tricks really are. Really. No kidding. You'd crap at some of them being that lame!

But, he was adamant about one thing, being a Christian person: Magic was to be used ONLY to entertain, not for necromancy nor hoodwinking the foolish into parting with monies. In other words, Harry Houdini and Jim Randi would've adored this man.

We ran into each other that fall at the local Ag Fair, where there's a carnival, carnies and yes, "games of chance", meaning, "ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances." Okay by him, but, there was one game he did NOT tolerate.

You call it the Three-Shells game. You've seen it played: Carny swirls three shells around, you guess where the pea went. You usually lose, because you don't know how this trick works.

(Hint: Check his palm, dammit. THAT's where it goes everytime, and in this case, my dear friend agreed, this is one trick I can talk about.)

"You got any money? A twenty?"
"Want to make it forty or more?"
"Who do we rob, man?"

We stroll up one on this carny, and sure enough, he's got a small crowd losing their shirts to his skills. He's very good, only I and my friend "see" him palm the pea each time.

"Hey, fat boy! Wanna try?"
"Sure, man, double or nothing, my money, but my friend will find the pea."
"Sure thing, kid. And here we go!"

Now, at this point, my pal steps in. "Let me move them a little first, to make it harder, okay?"
"Um, sure, go ahead."
Shells got moved. Then, carny moves shells his turn.

"Okay, kid, where's the pea?"
"I dunno. Boss, where's the pea gone?"
"Why, right my hand!"

The crowd and carny gasp: Hands faster than warp engines display the very pea! That was when a few of his fans realized who was pulling this nasty trick....back at the evil carny! (No, don't ask! He was that fast! I could NOT believe he could do that!)

"Take your money, Six."
I did. I pocketed $260 cash. At his insistance, I handed some of it over to charity. The rest would buy my girlfriend some neat stuff.

Point to this? That's how The Texas Hat pulls this trick on the 25 percent of the electorate: They're just dumb enough to believe they know where the pea is.

A sorry economy. Lies, lies and more lies. So?

"IT'S AL QAEDA! BOO! SCARY! RUN! PEE IN YOUR PANTS!", and the shells spin and the gullible electorate falls for this trick again and again and again and again.

Problem for the Hat? I hung with skilled men and women who taught me many a thing, among them? Nobody's that good at fooling me for any length of time, and with eyes sharper than most, I see past many gags.

The Hat may fool many. Not me. I know where the pea is, and it is not in Iraq.

It's in my hand now. See ya come fall at the polls, Mister Texas Hat.

Oh, guess what. You lose, sucka!