MJM Magic proves our great-grandfather Big Tom Hardy was right. He would say, "When it rains, it pores."
Of course, Big Tom Hardy never had access to something like The Tango Ultimate Reel at 15 percent off.
Yes, we know it is spelled incorrectly but that was how he intended it to be written. Big Tom had a thing about open pores and healthy skin. Some thought this was idle curiosity about biology, some said he was vain and looking for a way to maintain his youthful looks. Others, however, claimed he used the alleged interest as a way of touching and closely examining young women. The Cook County Civil Court and his first ex-wife, Belinda, were of this latter opinion.
Regardless of his proclivities or idles, Big Tom knew what he liked and liked what he knew. He didn't know anything he didn't like and didn't like not knowing that he didn't like something he didn't know yet.
Plus, he was an opiate addict.
But our point is nonetheless valid. When one thing happens, other things tend to happen that are like the first thing.
For example, Columbus came to America and within a short time it seemed like every European country was sending ships to our shores.
Robert Harbin invented Zig-Zag and shortly thereafter, everyone invented it as well.
In Sync appears on the scene as a pop boy band and are almost immediately followed by Back Street Boys and others.
The black plague kills a couple hundred people in the mid-1300s and soon, 65 percent of Europe was dead.
Moses writes five books on religion and before you can say something blasphemous, an entire "bible" is assembled.
Ellusionist announces a sale with big discounts and, Bingo, MJM comes out with an equally cool offering.
Continue reading Another Sale of Great Magic
Midlands (UK) magician Paul Saint (stage name of Paul Fisher) was “turfed out” of a bar for bending forks. Worse than that indignity, he was placed into quasi-custody by the local police and held until a background check could be completed.
Only after determining Mr. Saint was “clean” was he permitted to step out of a police van and enjoy what was left of an evening with friends.
His story started like most silverware bending leading to police custody tales go. Mr. Saint joined a group of pals at the now-infamous Après bar in Lichfield. He performed what must have been a very convincing fork bending routine and was “given his marching orders by a burly doorman.”
Most readers of Inside Magic have been tossed out of a bar for performing magic tricks but usually because closing time had come and gone. The door is closed behind you and you move on in search of different venues with ample impromptu audiences to be had.
Mr. Saint has been performing for more than ten years and he was no doubt familiar with the well-established routine. That was when it all got weird.
Mr. Saint told a reporter for The Sunday Mercury, “The police vehicle came screaming up the street and an officer jumped out.
“He said he’d had a complaint about me bending up some forks. I told him they were my own forks and was about to get some out of my pocket when he told me to get in the van.”
We have attempted to retrieve a recording of the UK-equivalent of the 911 call leading to this confrontation. How does one complain about someone “bending up some forks” in a way that would send a police van “screaming up the street?” Perhaps because the UK does not permit handguns, they consider all potential weapons with equal ferocity.
In fact, here is a transcript of a call we just made to the Mystic Hollow, Michigan 911 service. Compare it with the reaction of the Midlands’ police.
Continue reading Magician Held for Fork Bending
Originally written on Christmas Eve seven years ago and posted on Inside Magic. We’ve republished it by request. Definitely not one of our “light” or “funny” pieces.
Our father, Li’l Tom Hardy, was a proud man who frequently tried to pretend we were not too poor for Christmas presents.
Usually around December 13th, he’d come stumbling back to the trailer just as we were getting ready to head to the next town and announce,
“You know, I was talking with this Jehovah Witless Guy and he convinced me there is no biblical basis for celebrating Christmas.Now, while I don’t accept everything they those old boys say, ‘specially the no-drinking or smoking stuff, but I started thinking about it and I think they might be right.
I’d hate to see our whole family damned to Hell just to get a present under some pagan tree.”
“You know, I ran into that guy that used to be a ringmaster with Stamster Brothers and he commenced to talking about how Judaism – in its strictest form – really had the whole picture together.
They were waiting for the Messiah and that’s got a lot to say for it. I disagreed with him on the whole no-drinking and dragging out their equivalent of Christmas for a week or whatever, but the idea that we should really anticipate the birth of our Lord is a good thing.
Sooo, I’m thinking we anticipate how he can come into our life without the week of candles and presents.”
Or the worst was:
“You know, I was down at the Stop, Drop and Roll (that’s Circus Talk for a booze tent or trailer – usually just off the parade grounds), and I was walking back and saw this guy with a gun. He was mumbling something about how people demand so much from him and stuff and he was pretty well-bombed. I didn’t want to get too close cuz he was drunk and had a gun but I walked up a little closer and thought he looked like a biker.
Continue reading Sin, Myrrh and Death – Hardy Christmas on the Road
Thomas Hardy the III — son of great magician and inept mathematician, Thomas Hardy IV — was, as the British are keen to say, keen on helping the younger, newer, more fragile and feminine magicians find their footing.
Some have said this is simply a dressed up way of saying father was a cad and a shoe-fetishist. Those who knew him best have publicly denounced this criticism but never under oath.
See, expert testimony of Harry Blackstone, Jr. in Commonwealth v. Hardy from 1968:
Q: “How well do you know Tom Hardy, aka Li’l Tom Hardy America’s Foremost Psychic Entertainer?”
A: (Mr. Blackstone) “I would say pretty well. He worked with my father’s show and later on mine.”
Q: “Is he a cad and a shoe-fetishist?”
A: (Mr. Blackstone) “‘Cad’ is such an ugly and anachronistic word. I think he liked to help the younger, newer, more fragile and feminine magicians find their footing.”
Q: “Is that just another way of saying ‘He is a cad and a shoe-fetishist?”
A: “I don’t know. I read it on his publicity poster, right under ‘America’s Foremost Psychic Entertainer.’
Q: “So while you would quibble with the term ‘Cad,’ you are in agreement with his shoe-fetish?”
A: “I do not have a shoe fetish.”
Q: “No, I mean, strike that. Let me start over. Does Mr. Hardy have a shoe fetish?”
A: “Again, I don’t mean to, as you say, quibble with terms but ‘fetish’ can have different meanings depending on the context. For instance, it could be a psychological dependency upon an object; or, a magic charm; or, an item used in bizarre pseudo-religious or savage worship; or, of course, just looking to obsess, photograph, draw doodles of, buy expensive telescopes to see, shoes on young women.”
Continue reading Free Trick for You: Don Timo’s Oh So Subtle Mystery
From the upcoming 16-Part PBS Series, The Hardys in America. Teachers may request the classroom guide to help students better understand the series.
Introduction to The Hardys in South Carolina
South Carolina has a special place in the Hardy Family’s history. It was nice to be back in the state responsible for many of the more important incidents and eras in America’s First Family of Psychic Entertainment. We were in Columbia, the state’s capitol for the South Carolina Association of Magicians convention and had a great time.
But our experience could not compare to those of our three relatives in the same town. Uncle Tubby, Aunt Melanie, and Aunt Sixtus came to Columbia for different reasons but all left profoundly affected by their stay.
Tubby Hardy – Little Big Man
Tubby was actually the ironic and hurtful nickname for our uncle Todd Hardy given to him by Tom Hardy Sr. to ridicule his unfortunate life-experience. He entered the Hardy business of magic after a career riding and then handicapping horses.
Jockeys, in his era, were expected to “make weight” for each race by being at least ten pounds lighter than the lowest weight allowance on the circuit. In 1959, the Chicago – Louisville – Lexington circuit required the riders to be no more than 93 pounds so that with their tack and fancy silks, riders added no more than 103 pounds to the back of the horses.
Tubby was able to make weight for his first two seasons. He was a gifted rider. He broke his maiden and lost his bug status at the end of his first year. Those are good things. Breaking one’s maiden means he won his first race. Losing his bug meant he was no longer considered an apprentice jock.
Coming off bug status made him less attractive to owners and trainers who were willing to hire the apprentice designated in racing forms with an asterisk (or a “bug”) by their name.
Bug riders were allowed extra weight allowances and could often enter a race with ten to fifteen pounds less than any horse in the field. This weight benefit was often crucial in the non-sprint events.
Once a rider lost his bug, he was forced to compete against the other jocks directly.
Tubby entered the 1959 season at Arlington Race Course outside of Chicago weighing exactly 93 pounds. He was able to pick up some mounts from kindly trainers but had little success with the less-than-promising horses. In 1958, his winnings topped $22,000 and made him the highest-earning bug rider on the circuit. In the first three months of 1959’s season, he struggled to make ends meet with just two rides in the money — and one coming because of a disqualification of the two horses well ahead of him.
He began to gain weight half-way through the season and by the time the circuit moved south to Louisville, he was just less than 140 pounds.
Continue reading Crossroads in Columbia – The Hardys in South Carolina