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by Steve Haynes
"Toosh", an effect by Steve Haynes, is one of those rare, creative-as-all-get-out, make-out-of-it-what-you-will, pieces of magic that produce some of the slickest transpositions imaginable and then some.
The most basic effect -- and the one that earned the title "Toosh" -- has the performer drawing a couple of small figures ("doodles") on two business cards and has a spectator sign both (we'll keep in the routine and say the doodles are of a smiley-face and a small x). While the spectator is sitting, the performer openly shows both signed cards and gives the smiley-face marked card to the spectator and places the "x" signed card in the performer's pocket. A snap of the fingers and the spectator finds themselves holding the "x" marked card. When they stand up, they find they have been sitting on the card marked with the smiley face. At this point, everything can be examined; there's nothing to hide or ditch.
"Toosh" is so clean, in fact, that it's hard to believe it's possible given all the "nos" -- no false signatures, no replication of signatures, no forces, no... Well, you get the idea. There is one "yes", though, and "Toosh" has earned it:
Yes, this is one of the cleanest, most open, and most flexible "signed card" effects around, be it prediction, transformation, teleportation or transposition.
I've got to admit I really love this one. It's simple, almost elegantly so, and so very flexible. Want to use business cards? Can do. Playing cards? You betcha. Matchbooks? Absolutely. Matchboxes? Yeppers. Dollar bills? Of course. In short, there's a wide variety of things the "Toosh" method can be applied to (matchboxes are my favorite); I figure just about any paper product you'd write on is fair game for this.
Looking at it honestly, that's one of the biggest draws for me: Haynes has laid out a method which is a great one, with workings that are brilliant in their ease of execution, and has done both in such a way that imagination is the limit of the possibilities here. Which brings me to this:
Don't do this one with playing cards. There are already a ton of playing card bits and tricks that do this kind of thing. Save "Toosh" for other, arguably more innocuous things. Business cards are perfect and have that nice little marketing side-effect we all seem to love so much.
What do you need to know about "Toosh"? Well, there's some assembly required, but it's quite minor usually (some things might be a bit harder to construct properly, but I really don't see anything as that difficult here). The handling is simple, with only the most basic of sleights to work with in the most difficult of routines. Reset and set-up are both a breeze and make this about as much of a worker as you could ask for.
As for drawbacks, there aren't any, really. Oh, if I were going to be picky I'd worry and fret over things like the necessarily-small doodles not being large enough for some venues, but that would be about it and would show me to be overly concerned with the tiniest of minutae as it pertains to this effect.
Having done this in a number of circumstances, with a number of props, all I can say is "Toosh" get the job of astonishing and entertaining down right and pat from the first time you use it. This is one you'll carry with you, in one for or the other.
Highly recommended, and that's an understatement.
by Steve Haynes
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