The Rat Trap & Other Snappy Effects You Can Do with Your Little Deck by Chuck Fayne

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii August, 2005)

This is a second release of Chuck Fayne's mini-manuscripts of feature card routines, following his The Card on the Seat and other Loads in Your Pants, (reviewed in Genii , August 1994). Similarly produced, this new manuscript describes two routines. In the first, a spectator signs the back of a selected card. A mousetrap (identified as a rat trap for reasons concerning the presentation), is introduced, and after much comic byplay, including a moment when it appears that the magician has caught his finger in the trap, a miniature card is revealed beneath the trap, matching the identify of the signature. As a kicker, when the back of this card is displayed, the audience discovers that this miniature card must be the actual selection that has now mysteriously shrunk, because the spectator's signature, still on the back, has somehow become reduced in size......sort of.

If upon reading Mr. Fayne's previous manuscript you decided that his method for the signed card under the spectator's seat was essentially a flim-flam (apologies to R. Farmer), you'd be more or less right. More importantly, however, the key question becomes whether or not you felt this was a good thing or a bad thing. If you thought it a good thing—a clever psychological manipulation of the audience's perceptions by which the magician achieves an otherwise impossible effect—then you will be equally impressed with Mr. Fayne's achievement of the shrinking signature effect. If you thought it was a bad thing, however, you not only will no doubt be disappointed by the workings of Mr. Fayne's Rat Trap routine, but you have likely since returned to your rollicking romp with an Invisible Deck, and probably don't need this trick, anyway. For slower readers, let me translate the foregoing by saying that the signature doesn't really shrink but, properly performed, the audience thinks it does, and if you are the right performer than you will find this to be one heck of a good trick. Also included is a trick wherein a signed card from a miniature deck penetrates a saucer to arrive in the cup beneath it. This effect and the cup and saucer is dishwasher safe, as there is no shrinkage encountered. Fans of Mr. Fayne's previous effort will enjoy this; newcomers interested in diabolical thinking and entertaining card magic should as well. Both manuscripts are still available from the author/publisher.

5-1/2" x 5-1/4" saddle stitched; 28 pages; 1995; Published by Chuck Fayne