What the hell is a "parlor"


Parlour (or parlor), from the Fr. parler (“to speak”), denotes an “audience chamber,” but that is not the import of the Hebrew word so rendered. It corresponds to what the Turks call a kiosk, as in Judg. 3:20 (the “summer parlour”), or as in the margin of the Revised Version (“the upper chamber of cooling”), a small room built on the roof of the house, with open windows to catch the breeze, and having a door communicating with the outside by which persons seeking an audience may be admitted.

I’m not sure a lot of us actually perform Parlor Magic, but the venues we work tend to be small areas like a living room with little control over the placement of the audience. I’ve been thinking about the tricks that can be performed in an environment like this. One we could call hostile – at least to a magician

  • McCombical Deck
  • Ken Brooke’s Sidewalk Shuffle
  • Egg Bag – Sterling or Malini
  • Chris Capehart’s 3 Ring Routine
  • David Williamson’s Ring and Rope
  • Some Mentalism Routines
  • Billy Bishop’s Wrist Tie or Jaspernese Thumb Tie

We’re looking for tricks that take up very little room – are foolers – and can be performed in a chaotic environment. We can also assume no safe table is available

As I’ve been going through this exercise, I’m finding very few tricks that conform to the way we must work today. Surprisingly, most of the stuff is rather old. We’ll be going over each of these and adding others as we go along

Feedback and ideas are welcome

Take care………

Drivel & Drool

I’m Afraid It’s Getting Worse

(This is happening in what used to be a free country – the United States of America. Bush is having our children killed to save this and there’s NOTHING we can do! By the time we “exercise our rights as free people” and vote their sorry asses out of office it may well be way too late. Way too late.)

Selina Jarvis is the chair of the social studies department at Currituck County High School in North Carolina, and she is not used to having the Secret Service question her or one of her students.

But that’s what happened on September 20.

Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class “to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights,” she ays. One student “had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb’s-down sign with his own hand next to the President’s picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster.”

According to Jarvis, the student, who remains anonymous, was just doing his assignment, illustrating the right to dissent. But over at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, where the student took his film to be developed, this right is evidently suspect.

An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service. On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.

“At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster,” Jarvis says. “I didn’t believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn’t there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others.”

She says the student was upset. “He was nervous, he was scared, and his parents were out of town on business,” says Jarvis. She, too, had to talk to the Secret Service.
“Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room,” she says. “Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he’d never been in any trouble.”

Then they got down to his poster.

“They asked me, didn’t I think that it was suspicious,” she recalls. “I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!”

At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident “would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted,” she says.
The student was not indicted, and the Secret Service did not pursue the case further.

“I blame Wal-Mart more than anybody,” she says. “I was really disgusted with them. But everyone was using poor judgment, from Wal-Mart up to the Secret Service.”
When contacted, an employee in the photo department at the Wal-Mart in Kitty Hawk said, “You have to call either the home office or the authorities to get any information about that.”

Jacquie Young, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart at company headquarters, did not provide comment within a 24-hour period.

Sharon Davenport of the Kitty Hawk Police Department said, “We just handed it over” to the Secret Service. “No investigative report was filed.” Jonathan Scherry, spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, D.C., said, “We certainly respect artistic freedom, but we also have the responsibility to look into incidents when necessary. In this case, it was brought to our attention from a private citizen, a photo lab employee.”

Jarvis uses one word to describe the whole incident: “ridiculous.”

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3 thoughts on “What the hell is a "parlor"”

  1. Anybody who patronizes the WalMart robber barons deserves what they get, be it a Secret Service investigation or erroneously filled perscription.

    Simple solution, don’t do business with those assholes.

    Sarc. Mag.

  2. Re: Parlor. I found a different definition, on the Oxford English Dictionary website. Remember, “parlour” was a Victorian-era term.

    parlour (US parlor) • noun 1 (dated) a sitting room. 2 a room in a public building, monastery, etc. for receiving guests or private conversation. 3 a shop or business providing specified goods or services: an ice-cream parlour. 4 a room or building equipped for milking cows. — ORIGIN Old French parlur ‘place for speaking’, from Latin parlare ‘speak’.

    Anyway, we could just call it “living-room magic” and people would understand. Pretty much any standup, small-prop stuff will work…Bill in Lemon, Cups & Balls, any of those new rope routines on DVD, a card trick that uses an ending that’s visible to the group, it’s not that tough to find this material.

    Oh, and Walmart? Just say no.


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