757 – Magic Masquerade Mystery | Big Farm in the Sky P.I.
A sleepy case of an amateur busker outside of a Design Your Own Crocs themed restaurant.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary. My Patreon peeps. Howdy. How you doing, Patre- … Have I said howdy before? How to, sure to put you to sleep. This is the podcast you support, patrons, and it's time to put you to sleep.
Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep with Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. All you need to do is get in bed, turn off the lights, and press play. I'm going to do the rest. What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever is keeping you awake, whether it's thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, changes in time or temperature, weather.
Everybody says, “All weather,” Now. Nowadays. They've been saying it for like 40 years. “Oh, you've got all weather things.” This is not an all weather podcast. It's for when you're inside, in all weathers, to take your mind off … just maybe think of one person I have a great affinity for, Carl Weathers. And right after that, my mind said, “Werther's.” You know who is an original? Carl Weathers. If there was a Werther's Original award, if there is, I'd like to nominate Carl Weathers for it. Also have to do some Carl Weathers research, just in case they say, “Well, could you do … ” And I say, “Well, I don't personally kn- … I'd rather … ” And also find out what Carl Weathers' opinion on Werther's is.
Oh. Okay. Welcome to Sleep with Me, podcast that puts to you sleep. If you're up all night tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, I'm here to take your mind off of that. Whether it's stuff you're thinking about, or something you're physically experiencing, or emotions that are bubbling up. As I said, I'm going to take you to a safe place where you can set aside any of those things. I'm going to try to distract you and keep you company at the same time. Those are the kind of feats that, in the real world, only Carl Weathers, or someone that's, you know, Carl Weateresque. Weather-like. Okay, my brain said, “No,” To both of those … Are capable of.
So, here's the thing. I'm going to send my voice across the deep, dark night. I'm going to use lulling, soothing, creeky dulcet tones. Superfluous meanders. Extra words. Celebrities many of you have never heard of. You'd say, “Hm, has a nice ring to it. Don't know who Carl Weathers is, Scoots.” And I say, “Good. Well, that gives me an advantage. The theater of the mind.” Though, Carl Weathers is pretty easy on the eyes, in my opinion. But that's more theater of the mind. You could say, “Oh, I'm picturing some- … ” And I say, “Great. Whatever's in your mind. That's probably correct.”
Okay. I'm going to send my voice across the … Lulling, soothing, creeky dulcet … Oh, if you're new, welcome. I'm glad your here. It went off-topic early, so let me circle back before I get lost again, which will be about one minute from now. With the mean, median, and mode in there. So, structurally, what to expect … I'm glad you're here. It takes a little explaining. This is the thing. I'm going to do some explaining. The show may make even less sense when I'm done. But it's to try to help you … rapport-building. You know, I build rapport so I can bore. I don't know if I've used that catchphrase before. Needs some work. I guess I bore with rapport. I build rapport as I bore, and soon you'll snore. And believe me, I do not see it as a chore. Oh, wait. Some part of me is showing me the door. But I've got to record the podcast.
Oh, structurally, what to expect. Oh boy. Sometimes I go off-topic so early. Structurally, what to expect is … show starts off with a few minutes of business. That's how we keep the podcast free. Coming out twice a week for you. So, if you're new, not super important. It's more for regular listeners. Like, podcast is part of their lives.
Then there's a intro. This is one of the first places where there's a disconnect, normally, that takes some getting used to. The intro is about 12, to 14, to 16, to 17, to 11 minutes. Sometimes I've even seen it as high as 21, or 19, or 20 minutes, or 22 minutes, though rarely. We don't always get into the 20s. The intro is a big part of the show for a lot of listeners. About 2% or 3% skip the intro to around the 18 minute mark, and then they just start listening, and the story starts somewhere in there. The rest of the listeners, they kind of use the intro in different ways. A lot of people listen as a part of winding down. They're either getting ready for bed, or as they're just getting into bed, they're just getting settled in. You know, moisturizing. Hair brushing. Ceiling staring. That's a big part of my bedtime routine. Fan adjusting. Those kind of things.
Some listeners fall asleep during the intro, and other listeners also listen to the intro or the show during the day. But since the intro is at the start of the show, I guess they usually listen to the intro, just to chill out. But the intro kind of, it's just to help ease you into the show or to put you to sleep. It kind of mirrors the rest of the podcast. The way it works is I try to explain the podcast for about 14 minutes, and I keep getting distracted. Even now, I've got double distraction going on, because part of my brain that's aware of the great, wonderful, wide diversity of our listeners says, “Okay, no more Carl Weathers jokes, because it's not … “
And, Carl, if you're listening, I love you. Whether you're in the big farm or with us, which I don't know the answer to them, so that's apology one, Carl. Apology two,I think you've been on some famous animated shows, but not everybody knows who you are, so I don't want to … I want to keep all the listeners inside this big welcoming blanket we've got going here. Also, if you could remember, Carl, what the other thing I was talking about … before I got distracted by you I was distracted by something else, and now I can't remember what that is. Oh, it's rhyming. I forgot what words I was rhym- … bore, snore, I adore, mi amor. Sorry, Carl. I didn't mean to [inaudible 00:07:27].
So, what happened? Oh. So, the intro is where I try to explain what the podcast is. Takes me 15 minutes. It's kind of familiar for a regular listener. You can say, “Oh, there's Scoots running on the hamster wheel of life, trying to explain what that podcast is.” Just, like, very similar to a pet chasing a fly. You'd say … because that happened yesterday … I'd say, “Well, the odds … ” And then, every once in awhile, I say, “Did you get that fly, Koa?” Because usually you're like, “Okay. You could try to get the fly. Just try not to crash into anything. I'm trying to keep an eye out for you.” But you're also, in the back of your mind, you're like, “The dog's never going to get that fly.” But then you say, “Well, did you?” But you say, “Okay. I don't want you to bump into stuff. I don't want you to bump your head, or pull down the blinds, or all the other things you … knock my drink … all the things you do when you're doing your fly-chasing hobby.”
That's kind of what the intro is. The fly is, metaphorically, the concise, concentrated description of what the podcast is. And me, I'm chasing it around, trying to say, “I'd like to … ” But I'm just like a dog. You ask me, 10 minutes from now, you say, “Could you describe that fly for me?” “You mean the concise definition of Sleep with Me podcast? What? Did you say I'm going to get a treat? Wait. What did you ask? Oh, we're going outside? Oh wait. There's something over there. I'll be back. I've got to go look at that thing buzzing around.”
I think that's maybe a way to describe the intro. If you're in a chill spot, like you're a regular listener, you say, “Huh. That's nice, you're chasing that fly around,” Because they know, as long as they keep the parameters, you know, that you're not going to bump into anything, and you're not going to catch it, so you're both just living your lives, and you're having fun. And the fly, I would assume, is just flying around. Could be messing with you. But it's kind of messing with you and you're entertained. I don't know. That's the intro of the show. That's what the intro of the show is. Because I can't do it conci- …
Because I still … honestly, I've made the show, what, 750 episodes or something? I don't know. I'm still getting to know it. Getting to understand it slowly. I accept I don't know everything about sleep or what will put you to sleep. I'm just your bore bud. I'm here to keep you company.
After that, we'll talk about our ongoing serial series, Big Farm in the Sky PI, which is like a serial episodic series that's really nice. We'll do that. That's the structure of the show. In between the intro and the show is some business, and then there's some thank-yous at the end of the show. If you decide you want to skip those, you can become a patron. You get ad free and thank-you free episodes, with a thank you from old Scoots here.
That's, structurally, what to expect. I didn't think that would take me 12 minutes to get to. Also, a couple of easy things to explain. Let's see if I can do this concisely but slowly. You don't need to listen to this podcast. You can listen and be distracted. You can listen and be comforted. You can listen and kind of be entertained, if you can't sleep. But you could also turn me down or just barely pay attention. Just like, to go back to the thing … at some point, when your dog is chasing the fly and it goes in the other room, or it's not … you know, it's in the center of the room where it's not going to bump anything, most of us move on. You say, “Well, we've got to get to that spreadsheet.” Yeah. That's … What was I saying? Oh. So, you don't need to listen to me.
That was a total accident. I'll admit it. Perfect accident. Also, there's no pressure to fall asleep. The reason the podcast is about an hour is I'm here to keep you company so you can fall asleep at your leisure. I'm here to walk at your side as you drift off into the arms of Morpheus. There's kind of no rules. Oh, I guess with the listening thing, you could turn me all the way down to a mumble if you wish. Whatever works for you. Give it a few tries. That's the main thing, if you're new.
Of course you're skeptical. Who wouldn't be? This is a nonsensical idea executed in a nonsensical way, but to help. So give it a few tries. I hope it helps. I will say this, as a new thing I'm trying. If you don't like the podcast, it doesn't work for you, and you're looking for other options, or you say, “Oh, I just kind of dislike this podcast strongly … ” sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. I'll have some resources there. But give it a few tries. That's the main thing. Almost 98% of listeners said, “At the first try, I didn't understand this,” Or, “I tried to make sense of it. It was kind of frustrating. Second try, it didn't make sense, but it was … and then I fell asleep.”
I think that's it. I guess those are, like, that's the main thing you need to know about the show. I'm here to help, because I've been there. Tossing and turning. Waking up in the middle of the night. Falling asleep for two minutes and then waking back up. I've done it all. The main thing is, I know how it feels. So, if I can help take your mind off of stuff, or keep you company, or help you fall asleep, it'd be my honor. Because I truly believe you deserve a good night's sleep. You deserve the rest you crave, you desire. And you need to live your life and flourish.
So, I'm happy to help. The other things is, if you're new, I appreciate you checking the show out and stopping by. Like I already said, I really strive, I work hard, and I yearn to help you fall asleep. Here is a couple ways we keep the show going.
Hey, everybody. Welcome to our ongoing episodically modular series with a tendency occasionally have serial elements, but for the most part, no. Big Farm in the Sky PI, season two, the Phantom Minnow season, which really doesn't describe much, but … Big Farm in the Sky is a story about three main characters, Gee and DK, tweens, living in a giant retirement community Florida called De Ville, The Townes. They are on an independent study project where they're running their own business, a PI helping business. Because, with the tweens, it kind of goes beyond … you know, also cleaning out garages and stuff like that.
They're on kind of independent study sabbatical with DK's family friend, Aunt Penny. Gee and DK are best friends in a true word of friendship. They work with their uncle, Simon. Technically, Gee's uncle. Uncle Simon. Uncle Simon is a resident of the Big Farm in the Sky, meaning at one point in the last few decades, Simon was a human-based being. Or, a human being based in our earthly realm. Then, at some point before season one, Simon made a transition from being an earth-based being to a big farm-based being. Big farm in the sky. One of the realms you can transition to, that I'm aware of.
A lot of people say, “Well, that's where all the dogs go,” Which is a different one. There are dogs in the big farm in the sky. But, you know, and they say, “Well, where's Ralphie?” “We brought Ralphie to a farm.” Then, as you get older, you say, “Mom, dad, I know Ralphie's not at a farm,” Or you say, “Can we go to the farm?” “No. It's a big farm in the sky where Ralphie lives.”
Same goes for people. This happens to be … that's a metaphorical term. It's not just a big farm in the sky. Also, you say, “Well, is it in the sky?” Well, kind of. Within and beyond the sky of your understanding.
Basically, in season one, they were cracking cases. Simon was a big farm in the sky PI, cracking cases in the big farm in the sky. Then, in season two, they've moved to the early realm. Also, another important piece of the story bit … Just so you know, when you transition to the big farm in the sky, that's one of a panoply of things that can happen. I don't know anything about that. But the odds of … Most earth-based human beings have transitioned to the big farm, in particular. You just go to live at the big farm. Maybe there's some way to watch what's going on back on Earth, on a TV or something, but there's no real communications.
But, and I don't know if this is genetic or just a rare thing, there are, in one in a billion, one in a million situations, beings that make the transition from Earth to the big farm in the sky that have the ability to return to Earth, in some form that may be sublime or whatever. And even then, among those that can return, or project, or communicate, the ones that can actually fully interact in a way, in this particular scenario … very, very, very, very rare. So, I really got lucky with access to these particular people. Luckily, the big farm also exists in my imagination in the sky.
Just as you say, “Well, how come I can't crack cases with my Uncle Simon, or whatever? My Aunt Edith. Me and my Aunt Edith wanted to jet-ski.” Well, yeah, it's not … it's just a roll of the dice. If the dice had a million pips or more.
I think that explains it. Basically, they're here in Florida, at The Townes, solving cases for people in a retirement community. They say, “Hey, maybe … ” I mean, this particular one is a pretty benign case to be cracked, but it's always interesting enough to sleep to. Also, we have our Hollywood announcer here to introduce the show, who is right on time, as always. Mr. Antonio Banderas.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends beyond the binary, it's time for the Big Farm in the Sky. Let's crack this case. Yeah.
I love when you say … I could listen to you say, “Yeah … ” When you say, “Yeah,” I mean … well, I guess I couldn't, because it's like … We should get the photographer for the O-face thing, that project, remember that one? When you say, “Yeah,” I'd like to have a photograph of my face and then say, “Wait a second. What kind of face am I making there?”
My friend, you are one of a kind.
Thanks. Are you going to hang out, and sit around, and not move, or walk around, or breathe loudly, as you have a tendency, no offense, to do? Or, if you do drink any water, not have your throat make that slight pinging sound that my mic picks up. Or, also, your right elbow does make a tiny snip occasionally. Which, I'd love to show you some Tiger Balm or something after I record, while we play munchkin.
Oh, my friend, I would like to play Tokaido, if we could.
You got yourself a deal. This is Mr. Antonio Banderas, everybody, and this is Big Farm in the Sky PI
Hey, Diane. It's me, Simon reporting, here to tell you about our latest case. Very exciting stuff. You could say this case is magical, Diane. Or, you know, I may be under an illusion. I thought that would be funnier. I think something … I'm not alluding to anything, but there is illusions at play here. Now, this is one of these cases, especially with Gee and DK, this is more of an observational case, Diane. We were hired to do one thing, but there are other things connected, and this is when I'm glad I'm with them. Especially because I am one of the few big farm-based beings that can interact in the human world. I'm glad about that.
Anyway, Diane, we were hired … Here in the Townes, it's a large retirement community, and they have a couple villages or village centers, Diane. Those are, like, places to go shopping within the complex. Because I think, for some people, when they move here to retire, or to spend their golden days, or whatever they say … they're there and they say, “I just want to be in this community and that's it.” And so, there's places to go shopping. There's places to deal with everything.
These villages within the Townes, they have different ones with entertainment options, too. Like, you want to go to the movies, you want to go bowling. Do you want to go eat? There's lots of eating things and entertaining things. Also, there's not a lot of … Sometimes they'll have performances. They have performing arts centers, Diane. But this case, this one was a little bit … There's someone who claims that they're just performing for fun. It's someone that seems, now … they're in masquerade and they claim they're an amateur busker, because at first, when they first starting doing this … only for free, the performances. No tips.
They seem to know their way around, because they said, “Well, I can do this. I can do magic here, in this town square.” So, they do magic, but they're wearing a masquerade. Which, again, I guess when they first started doing it, there was a little hubbub. But, I mean, most things here, unless you're following all the rules to a tee … even then, there's some hubbub sometimes.
But this person is also very entertaining. They do different magic performances. Close-up magic. Just like you would where you might encounter a magician. Only thing is the masquerade. It's a cute one, like you'd see at a fun masquerade. Like a Mardi Gras or something. It looks like a kitty cat in a way … Some of those kitty cat masquerade things, you say, “Well, I don't like … The kitty cat is smiling in a way that I … ” This one, it's just a calming thing. But I guess, according to the rules, unless they get changed, if you live in this community and you want to wear a kitty cat thing, you actually can. That was news to me.
So, they perform. Our case, it has layers to it, Diane. We were hired by a client. Well, Gee and DK were, and this person said, “We want to know … ” Our client, who will remain a mystery for now, they wanted to know this one illusion they did, how did they do it? It seems like kind of a friendly, fun thing. Like, “Can you two … ” And we wondered, at first, as we talked about it at the beginning of the case, was this some sort of fun challenge for Gee and DK? A life learning thing. “I'll hire you to learn some life lessons.” Or was it marketing for this magic person? We said, “Well, there's not really any money in it. They're just doing it for the love of performance or magic. Maybe.”
Whatever. So, we started watching it. This particular trick is one of those tricks … well, we'll get to the trick, but it involves, usually, an item, a watch or a ring from a volunteer. They said, “You'll know the trick, because it's amazing.” The person that hired us, they didn't say. Gee, and DK, and I tagged along. We went down and they watched a performance. The first time they watched, the person didn't do … they did a lot of tricks, and they didn't do the trick we were looking for. We said, “Well, that's pretty good. We couldn't figure out which trick.” And then they got some soft serve and went back, and then they watched some more, because the person said, “Well, I'll be back in at 2:30.”
And then they did the trick. Because it was just a trick that, as far as I know, it's layered in a way that you say, “Wait a second. Did that just happen? Is this an accident or an illusion?” Then Gee and DK did it, and then … but they said, “Well, we can't just keep watching it, because it … ” It felt like you can only watch someone without their permission so long.
So, then we went to eat. Gee and DK, and Aunt Penny met them. There's a place called … it's got a name of a cuisine. It's called Diles, but … like a crocodile, like C-R-O-Cs. And actually, when you go in, you take your shoes off and you … I think it's run by the same corporation that makes those Croc shoes. You put those on. But it's named after another type, like a cartoony croc. I think the food they serve is, it's a cousin of that. So, you wear Crocs there, and then they try to get you to buy them. If you buy them right up front when you first make your order, then you can customize them while you eat. Very creative. But I don't know. Are you going to wash your ha- … like, how many times can you wash your hands? You know, I don't have to worry about that.
Aunt Penny insisted on Gee and DK getting their own Crocs and customize them. Aunt Penny, too. That was fun. We also asked for a seat by a window, which just happened to look out at the plaza that the masquerade magician, who we'll call … that's what we'll call them. The amateur busker … was performing at. What we did was we started watching and customizing. Now, Aunt Penny doesn't know about me, so it was a little bit … you know, because you've got to maintain some boundaries. Not everybody can know that I'm there, from the big farm, helping crack cases.
We were watching the performance. I went, actually, outside and watched close-up again. But I thought this was kind of Gee and DK's case to undo. How does this person do this illusion? It was tough. We couldn't figure it out, because it was like, what is … none of us are magicians. After lunch …
Now, also, one thing that's interesting about the Townes is you can't order one drink. If you order one drink, they bring you two, Diane. Especially grown-up drinks. It literally what happened. It's always two-for-one in the Townes. In the Townes, it's always two-for-one. Most people drive their golf carts. Aunt Penny also got Gee and DK permits to be able to drive on their own golf cart. I mean, not their own golf cart, but Aunt Penny has an older golf cart.
It's just funny. You say, “I'll have one iced tea.” They bring you two. And I think … you know, people are retired. That's what they do there. But it's just confusing. So, if you ordered two, you would probably get four. That's one thing to know, Diane, if you're thirsty or you're looking to hydrate or get dehydrated, you could do that.
So, we observed. Then we went to the library, the three of us, and read some books on magic, and did some research at the local library, here in the Townes. Which is interesting, because it's not a public library. But we really tried to learn, and we still got nowhere. So, then we all debated asking. So, then we went asked, eventually. This was over a couple days of debating, “Could we just ask the person?”
So, they went to the masked … they said, “Well, how do you do that one trick with the watch or the ring that you get from the person?” And the masquerade magician said, “I cannot tell. I can't reveal … power … ” You know, those kind of things. “It's the power of magic. I can't reveal. I'm glad you're curious.” They said, “Well, we read Busey's Theory of Magic.” “Oh, that's one of my favorites.” “Really, what's behind it?” They were very persistent, but in a fun way. And the person said, “Practice. Magic's really about practice. But I can't … “
Then Gee and DK … That wasn't good enough. So, then we said, “Well, we've still got to figure this out.” They were trying different things. Trying to recreate it. But it's trying to, like, build something that you don't exactly know … You can only see the outside of the building. You don't know what the superstructure is. They didn't know the superstructure of this magic illusion.
They actually started to get a little miffed with this masquerade magician. Then things took another twist, Diane. The twist was that the person said … the client said, “Have you figured out where the illusion is?” And they said, “No. We probably have to learn a lot more about magic, and the person's not telling us, and they're quite … not happy.” They said, “Typical. Silly magicians that know everything.” This person seemed to have a … We said, “What is this, a personal thing?” Then Gee and DK said, “Hold on. We thought you were hiring us either as a game to train us, to help our investigative skills, or because you were actually curious how the illusion was done. That seems like something you would hire kid detectives for. Because a normal detective would probably say, “Buy the friggin' book work,” Unless you charged enough.
Our client was still … They said, “Listen, there's something I'm not telling you.” Gee and DK said, “What?” They said, “Well, I suspect that the masquerade magician is … Like, what are the objects they're working with?” “Well, watches and rings.” And he said, “Exactly.” Gee and DK said, “Well, they return them, always, to their original state and to the original owner.” The client said, “Aren't you paying attention? They are, to the different watches and rings. You could easily tell that there's a big difference in … ” They said something about different watches that I'm not familiar with. You know, they know there's the one watch everybody used to talk about. The Oyster Dive 5 Million, or whatever. Nowadays, James Hunt wears something different. Also, you've got to be really, like … someone like Michelle Wie. She always has a nice watch, and I say, “Well, that's probably a watch you could aspire to own.
So, the watch business, I guess, has opened up. There's not just one super-watch anymore. The same goes for rings, of course. They said, “Are you saying that this person is switcheroo-ing?” They said, “No, no, no, no. Casing.” Gee and DK said, “Well, that's not our business. Why don't you talk to the bigger-ups? The people that are in charge of that thing. Secure people.” The person said, “They don't believe it, but the statistics show … ” Gee and DK said, “I don't think this case is for us anymore. You're blurring the lines. We're PIs. We're not … “
The person said, “Okay, okay. Listen. You care about the community, right? Just check the statistics with the performance. This is when the person starting performing, this month of this year, and you'll notice that reports of missing watches and rings is corresponding to their appearances.” They said, “Okay, okay.” They looked at the stati- … They said, “We'll think about it.” They said, “Okay.” Then they said, “Let's tail this … “
You know, Gee and DK, they're gumshoes, or whatever. Once you have gum on your shoe, it's not just going to come off. Even if you say, “Well, I've got a sneaky suspicion there's some sand in the Vaseline,” Or whatever.
So then, they started tai- … Also, we always wanted, the three of us … As soon as they got permission to be able to drive the golf cart … We had been on a stakeout, so we said, “One day, we want to tail somebody.” So, I also masked it, and I'm partially … A part of it, Diane, is we were dreaming of tailing someone in a golf cart. Just like in the movies, but that's in cars. Oh boy, did we get our chance, because we went down to Gator's, actually got some more iced teas. Aunt Penny had iced tea. Gee and DK, they drink … usually they just have soda water with limes, or lemonade. They just wore their Crocs, so they didn't have to redo them.
Yeah. Quite a restaurant. They wondered if they sold hand sanitizer, Diane. They'd make their whole profit on that. They do have that at every table, those pumps. I didn't note that before. I was saying, “That's not the same as washing.” But, you know, you customize it, then you eat, or you say, “No, thank you. I'm not buying any Crocs. I came here to eat, you know, a relative of croc, but not exactly. Deep fried or whatever. Or just some gumbo, or something nice.
They said, “What about some cheese sticks?” Diane. And they said, “Boy, cheese sticks. That has nothing to do with anything.” You know, twice-baked potatoes. Potato skins. Sorry, Diane. I'm off topic here.
Where are we? Oh, the big tail. So, we waited. We had scattered out before, figured out what their golf cart looked like. Luckily, their golf cart was neon pink with flames. Painted flames, obviously. So, it was easy. And lights. We waited 'til dusk, and we started our extremely slow-moving pursuit of them, Diane. Gee and DK, of course, it took them awhile, because they had been working on who was going to get to drive and how they would do that. I said, “Well, I'll just be here, in my spiritual sense, along for the ride.”
They set out and, holy cow, it was like the time of our lives, Diane. It was fun. We were laughing. Everything was worth it. Following them … and they went far. I mean, luckily, these golf carts, you know, had the new batteries. We slowed down. We let other cars get in front of us. We turned our lights off, even though it was kind of dusk. Then we turned them back on. Then, eventually, we were following them. We were the only things. We slowed down again. A couple of times, we lost the golf cart, but, you know, there's only two [inaudible 00:39:18]. That's when Gee and DK were lucky to have them, because one would go run ahead, one passed, and then the other would turn and try to … and then we'd meet back.
We didn't really lo- … almost lost. But then they pulled into the driveway. The ruse was up. We pulled in behind them. They said, “Still trying to figure out that illusion, huh?” And then, Gee and DK … They said, “Why don't you come in? You can have a … ” What do they … They call their porches something, at the Townes, too. Not a solange. But something like that. They don't call it a porch or a sunroom, but I forget the name, Diane.
They say, “Would you like to come sit in our solange?” Actually, I would call it a solarium, even though that's probably not what it is, Diane. So, then they sat their with the magician, and they said, “What about … ” The magician said, “You have this look in your eyes. There's something going on behind.” They said, “Well, we were hired to figure out your illusion.” The magician was still wearing, until this point, the cat masquerade, but then they took off the cat masquerade and they said, “Okay. Well, tell me more.” They said, “There was a spike, ever since you've been doing your illusion, there's a spike in reports of missing … or, insurance claims on watches and rings.”
The masquerade … I keep referring to it as them, because they were wearing a mask. The masquerade magician. But I think they were doing that to build trust with all of us. The masquerade magician said, “Well, okay. Have you interviewed anybody that's missing a watch? Because I know a little bit about you two. You've helped some of my friends.” They said, “Why don't you go ask? It could be a new revenue source. Not for you two, but maybe your next trainees.” They said, “Of course, you'll figure it out. Come back to me and I'll tell you the origins of my illusion, but not … If you just look into that.”
We all said, “Fair enough.” Gee and DK looked up some people that had reported in the lost and fou- … like, in the lost department. Like, needing help finding this missing watch or ring. They answered a couple of those, and it was interesting, Diane, because an increase in awareness causes an increase in missing things. If you go to see a show without a watch on, and your buddy has their watch disappear, or a ring, you say, “Well, I forgot about that watch I had. I want to channel my inner Michelle Wie and really look like a … especially when I'm hitting those balls out on the golf course. Maybe I'll see if I can find that watch.” And they say, “That watch is missing.” Same thing. Sometimes they just say, “Huh. I wonder where it is.” Sometimes they say, “Well, if it's missing, it must have a cause beyond me.” Especially if it's, like, whatever, the Oyster Diver 4015.
It was very quickly that they realized that a lot of times it was just as your awareness increases, it doesn't increase your awareness of where the item is. And that there's a gap, and that most of the time the gap is due to an organizational system, or missing, or you don't know what happened to it. So, they dug enough that they quickly realized some people forget about their watches and rings 'til they're reminded of them.
This was another case we indirectly kind of cracked, but there was too many cases to ever possibly crack, but as the magician said, if Gee and DK were training some other people, they could say, “Well, there is where you'd learn your first PI skills, is helping all these people see if it's findable, their ring or their watch.” And some are not findable. Some, you say, “Well, oh, wait a second. We had to spend 5,000 hours going through my receipts to realize I sold that. Okay.”
So, then they went back, eventually, to the masquerade magician, and they said, “Ha ha. You were right. It was an increase in awareness.” And they kind of relaxed, and they said, “Okay. Well, you tell us about your illusion.” The masquerade magician went and told us the history of their love of magic, and they said they once worked with a magician named Mesmaro, and that eventually they had another mentor. That Mesmaro was not the best mentor. But then they worked with another mentor. The Mysterious Sheila was her name. They said they worked with her, and she was really generous and really encouraging. They said, essentially, magic is supposed to look magical and effortless. And, “Like I told you earlier, that just takes a lot of practice and work. But I can tell the two of you, this case, there's still layers to this case. I'm not here out of innocence. I think you probably need to know more about your client to crack this case, but I promised you to tell you the origins of my illusion. The illusion that has your client's eye.”
He said, “For magic, it's always about the audience, and magic's kind of ridden these waves of popularity and decline in a post-WWII … Magic has fallen on some hard times, outside of Las Vegas or places … But I have a love of magic. To tell you the origin of the illusion is, you know, every magician working … professional magicians are rare. But, you know, there's part-time magicians, and people that just do it for the love of magic, and people that love to perform. You know, not that different. It's an art. Really is an art. Part of art is creating, which a lot of people forget or gloss over. Or reinventing. The Mysterious Sheila was big on encouraging me to do that, and I wanted to find my signature thing. I worked very, very hard. One day I had one signature thing. I think that's part of the mystery. So, that was gone and no longer usable. As quickly as I invented it, someone revealed how it was done. But then I was determined to find another illusion, because I was a working magician.”
“I eventually was practicing reinventing this trick that The Mysterious Sheila was known for, involving a ring or a watch. Very typical, but different, of putting it into a handkerchief or something, disguising it, and then making it seem like it's ruined or missing. There is some element of art, in magic, that is always outside of your control, and saying yes … synchronicity, maybe you call it, the two of you. I happened to be kind of practicing this one move, just to get The Mysterious Sheila's act down to see where my opening could be, when I just happened to be in the middle of a flourish, and I dropped the watch I was holding. It was a practice, prop watch. And then, I did something else, instinctually, and that became the foundation of the illusion that you've seen me performing.”
“Now, before you start to think that it's all magical intervention, I think it took me about three months of practice to be able to recreate that one moment which was essential to the actual illusion of making the watch seem, or the ring seem as if it's falling, and then it vanishes at the moment before it hits the ground, in front of your very eyes. That's the illusion that you see. That I'm performing a trick, and that I drop it, and that it disappears. It's an amazing trick, the two of you. There's no quibbling about it. I knew that that accidental drop was the moment I was looking for, and I could build the illusion around that one thing. But recreating that accidental drop at that precise moment where it would work in the trick, and then practicing, and practicing, and practicing … it was very, very, very, very, very, very labor-intensive and very focused. And then saying, ‘Oh, no. Okay. I didn't realize that changing that gear affects this gear, so let's move this here.'”
“And then, keeping it fresh in a variety of other performance … it's a thing. But, like I said, there's another layer you're not aware of, and again, I can't tell you the illusion, but maybe you could share that with your client. I can tell you that it's a dead end, because I am not without my mistakes. You're not coming to me by accident. None of this is by accident. Maybe not even the dropping of the watch, originally, was by accident. Maybe there is a magic, and maybe it's not always a perfect magic. But, you know, sometimes you've got to get your tricks in. Maybe that's all. I'll leave the two of you with that.”
So, we were confused, Diane, after we left. One, we didn't know … we kept trying to figure out how you would accidentally drop a watch, but then it disappears before it hits the ground. How you could possibly misdirect anyone's attention that you've dropped something, which is a misdirection in and of itself. You're dropping something from the height of your shoulder, and then it's falling, and then it's not there anymore. It was a performance of the highest caliber, the more … when we even knew how it started. It made it even more amazing. So, we don't know how it was done.
We started to wonder what the motivation of our client was, because we could feel this personal tension. Another thing was there was something about the revealing. So then, we started trying to figure out if our client and the magician were connected. The next step was also deduction. It was like, “Well, what about that … ” It was also night, so we said, “Let's stream those … The Revealer of the Magic Secrets,” Which was the show with a masqueraded character revealing magic secrets. As soon as that show started to play, we knew that was our client. It was the same voice. We said, “Oh boy.” That person was revealing magic secrets on that show, and they talked about the code of the magicians. Most of the secrets they were revealing were big-budget, Las Vegas-style illusions, but some of them were interpersonal, close-up magic, too.
We started to read, and then they said, “Now, we've found out that one thing … that the show was paid for … ” Gee and DK did their research … was Gandar the Great Enterprises, Inc., or something. We kind of had a couple … we still don't understand what's going on. We kind of do. Also, I think they wanted to give me a job, so they said, “Go to the big farm and see if you can find Gandar the Great.”
I quickly learned, as I got to the big farm, you know, time is a little different. I had to dodge … Heavenly Solutions was looking for me because I hadn't shown up to work. I quickly learned that Gandar the Great was not in the big farm, Diane. Holy mackerel. But, Gandar the Great's granddaughter was. She was an adult, so I was able to get some time with her. It took a little rapport building, because you're in the big farm. I said, “I was interested to talk to you about the history … but particularly, these shows you did, Revealing the Secrets of Magic, or whatever it was called.” She said, “Oh, yes.” She talked about the history of the company, and that these magic specials were part of a company decision, because magic had it's kind of … it was way down in the '80s to the '90s. And then, in the '90s to the aughts, he thought maybe these specials … other than Las Vegas performance magic, which has really always done very well. But, you know, with the magic stores closing. Gandar the Great Enterprises, they sold to both magic shops and to toy stores.
But they had hired this person. Now, Gandar the Great Enterprises … and she was very honest with me that, among magicians … among kids as an entryway into magic, they were loved, but other than that, they weren't popular, because they would have to figure out … if a magician had a trick, rarely did Gandar the Great buy the tricks from the magician to [inaudible 00:55:11] them into how to do it, or, “Here's a fake.” A lot of it was fake books, like learning to play the guitar. Here's the quickest and easiest way to do the illusion.
Now, they had someone working there that's job was to figure out what the illusions were, either by reverse-engineering, was what, originally … the CEO, she thought, when they first started working with this person … they were doing. But, it ended up they were not. They were spying, and paying people to … say, “Hey, find out how they make that ball turn into five balls, because it's not the normal way.” This is our client, Diane. The client was the one that said, “Well, let's do this show.”
The show ended up doing very well for Gandar the Great, and magic, for a brief time. But then, once the show lost its … you know, there's so many illusions of the big, Las Vegas ones. It was a niche show looking for a broader audience, in some sense, Diane.
The show went off the air, and eventually Plastico International made an offer on Gandar the Great Enterprises, and she took it, because she said, “Well, it's just the future of magic, is magic manufacturing.” And this person was not easy to work with. We talked about it a lot. That this person seemed to be more driven by revealing secrets than learning them. Gandar the Great was just a magic business … she was just the CEO. She said, “You know, we'd do magic around the house a little bit, but it's just basically my grandfather's branding. It was a toy company.”
We kind of said, “Okay. This is who our client is.” I told Gee and DK everything, but they said, “I don't know the why. We have to know they why.” So, we went back to our client, and they sat down, and they said, “Okay. Well, we have the origin of the illusion, but we don't have the actual illusion. We have a mystery we're trying to get to the bottom of. We'll tell you the origin of the illusion if you answer our questions, and we'll call it a day. You don't got to pay us or anything.”
The client said, “Okay. Well, what's your question?” And they said, “Why do you want to know all the secrets of all the magicians and reveal them?” They kind of told us a long tale, Diane. It wasn't that great a tale, to be honest, so I'll cut to the chase. It was basically that they were disillusioned, to use a word that's ironic in this situation, by illusion, in that they had bought a lot of these magic kits, before they worked in magic manufacturing, and dreamed of becoming a magician. But when they learned that it's really, like, rote practice is one of the main things, they just didn't have … It wasn't for them.
Because the situation, or whatever, their circumstances, they didn't have a healthy way to say, “Well, this just isn't for me. I don't like practicing this card trick 5,000 times, or practicing it 5,000 times so I can come up with a new version it.” That wasn't their thing, and so, they got really frustrated, and the way they dealt with that was to reveal secrets.
Now, we told the origins of that, but as they did, they said, “Oh, okay. So, you know who that person is, the cat masquerade magician. You've revealed their secret, too.” It guess it was, like, that was kind of the case closed, Diane, because the book of humanity's cases are always open. Even when you close one, you're just turning the page to a new chapter, you know? I think, for Gee and DK, it's a really rare growth opportunity, to kind of see that neither or those paths, Diane, is super fulfilling. Like, becoming a masquerade magician just to tick off somebody that revealed a secret isn't the nicest thing. But realizing that something's hard and it takes a lot of work, it doesn't mean you've got to take it out …
So, really, Gee and DK were enthused by this. I think both people, we noticed they stopped performing … the cat masquerade magician … except by hiring. So, no more public performances. And, believe it or not, a couple weeks later, we saw the client starting to perform magic. Magic, I assume, they … I guess that's the next chapter, Diane, is a chapter of healing. That they are now performing magic. Amateur magic, underlying double score, or whatever. But that's what's great about being here, and working with Gee and DK, and learning.
Also, now I have a friend in the big farm who is very nice. Maybe I could get her to take over Heavenly Solutions, because I was telling her about it, and she said, “I was unaware of any karmic billing going on in the big farm in the sky.” She said, “I spend most of my time surfing or chilling.” I said, “Oh, those things sound very nice.” She said, “Well, let's talk.” So, we're going to have coffee and talk, at some point, in the big farm. But then, I'm falling into the same trap, Diane.
So, we'll see, Diane. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you soon. Goodnight.