Saturday, April 30, 2005

More Psychokinesis: The Wooden Match Vibration Enigma

I have never seen this following, relatively easy, bit of "mind control" business published--which perhaps makes it more valuable. In fact, I learned it from an Alex Lob, the younger brother of a friend and classmate at Murray Road High School, the oldest alternative high school east of the Mississippi river. Lob worked in a gas station and wowed me, who was supposed to be the expert (between us), as follows: he held one match perpendicularly in his right hand, which was palm up, the wooden match's head to the left of the performer. Gripping tightly he then balanced another match lightly on his upturned left forefinger. This second match merely rested on his forefinger; the other end was supported by the match in his right hand. Affecting intense concentration (not exactly an affectation, as we shall see shortly), Alex then made the balanced match, without any direct contact, jump repeatedly. It vibrated, then stopped, like a Geiger counter or medical instrument detector. There were no wires or threads. I was mystified.

The secret to this simple trick, which can have an astounding effect if done correctly, is the fingernail of the middle right finger. Contact of the nail against the right hand's match--not the jumping match mind you, but the match on which it's balanced--transfers to the other match, making it slightly jump. The tightness of the right hand grip is important. You want to press the second fingernail out against the wood and then drag it--ever so slightly--down. Because of the texture of the nail in interaction with the soft wood, the nail will "skip" moving down not smoothly but in little jumps. These little jumps, which you can feel but which are invisible to the naked eye, cause the match to appear to jump in a startling fashion. The effect is indeed as if you are a creature out of Philip K. Dick--gifted, although only slightly, with superhuman powers. This simple trick is a lot of fun and, although it seems that it must have been published before, I am unaware of it ever having previously appeared in print.