Chapter 11



     Grant Richardson pulled the next music audition application from his preview stack.  This one was submitted by his friend Victor, who lived in East point, Virginia.  Victor always sent top quality music.  Grant inserted the disc in his player, leaned back in his black comfortable upholstered chair, and closed his eyes.


Wow! This music really felt out of this world.  He especially liked the singer.  After the song finished he examined the documentation that came with the disc. 


     Singer: Helen Troy; Instrument players: Bob Mercury and Joe Athens. Grant meditated briefly. Helen Troy: Why is that name familiar” Ahh” The anti-nicotine club high school student, who is now majoring in music at Eastpoint College, and will graduate soon. 


     Grant spun his chair around and grabbed his phone.  He quickly dialed a familiar number.  “Melody, I have three more guests for you to invite to your Halloween Party.” 


     Grant wondered what Helen was doing now.  Would she be interested in programming his anti-nicotine website? It would require her to figure out appropriate anti-nicotine advertisements and implement them in computer programs.


     Bob, Helen, and Joe strode rapidly toward the Nicotine Club entrance.  As they entered, the doorway chimed, and announced, “Entertainers for the noon meal have arrived”. The Nicotine Club, like any social club, celebrates what the members have in common.  In this case what they had in common was a belief that it’s ok to be addicted to Nicotine.


      A petite blond lady met them. “Wonderful! I’m so glad you called and arranged to be our entertainment for today.” She extended her right hand to Helen.  “From your costume, I presume you are the magician lady. I will guess that your caveman companion is the strong man.”

     She turned toward Bob.  “What does your costume represent”?


     Bob fingered the green and yellow lapels of his oddly shaped shirt. “I’m the magician’s sidekick and chief assistant.  I also help in distracting the audience at crucial moments.”


     “Hello there, Alice; who are our guests”?


      Everyone turned to face the new speaker.  “Hello Tom.  These are our entertainers for the noon meal.  They came early.  Would you like to help them get set up”?

     “Of Course; what may I do to help”?


     Joe spoke up, in an uncharacteristically deep low pitched voice. “Please keep the audience at least eight feet from the edge of the stage.  You will see why when we begin our act.”


      At Bob’s look of astonishment, Joe added, in one of his more normal voices, “Just getting into my ‘Big strong caveman’ role”.


     Helen astonished Tom and Alice when she said, “We’ve already brought in all of our equipment.”


     Seeing their reaction, she smiled; “I’m a magician; remember” Removing her brightly decorated conical hat, she showed them three professional jugular balls, and began to juggle them.


      Helen continued to juggle the balls as she and her friends engaged Tom and Alice in small talk.  When a few guests begin to arrive, Tom excused himself, and arranged for all the tables and chairs within eight feet of the stage to be moved farther away.


Eventually all the guests had arrived, were seated, and were being served their lunch. 

Tom jumped onto the center front of the low stage, and announced, “Today we have super magician Helen troy, singer extraordinaire, and her two assistants, Bob Mercury, the world’s best guitar player, and Joe Athens, her faithful fiddle player.” 


Helen announced, “First I will do a hand stand.”  She then pivoted a quarter turn counterclockwise, leaned out toward the audience, and cupped her right ear with her hand as if to better hear a response from the audience.


After a few moments of stunned silence, someone from the audience yelled, “What’s so special about a hand stand”?


On this clue, Joe lumbered forward to stand next to Helen.  Bending his knees, he squatted and held out his right hand, palm side up.  Helen jumped up to stand on her right foot on his open hand.  Joe slowly stood up, pretending to do so with great effort. Then he continued to lift Helen until he had raised her as high as he could reach while holding her standing on his open hand.


At this point Bob ran to them, and continued to run clockwise around Joe.  “Take her for a spin.”


Joe rotated his right hand to grab Helen’s right foot, and used his left hand to grab her left foot.  He then spurn clockwise, following Bob’s running figure. He swung Helen round and round, pretending to have to exert great effort.  Helen, face down, levitated herself up and down in apparent random motion.  Occasionally she tilted her head back and waved to the audience.


Bob, still running around Joe slowly caught up to Helen and grabbed her, just as Joe released her.   Bob pretended to stagger slightly as he caught Helen.


Several people in the audience stood up to get a closer look at what was happening.


Standing at the center front stage the trio formally bowed.   Tom walked forward, clapping his hands.  “Now I see why you wanted an eight foot clearance in front of the stage.”



Most of the audience joined in the clapping.  After the clapping ended, Helen announced, “Now I’ll do a more traditional magic trick.  May I borrow an egg from the kitchen” I promise that you will get it back in exactly its original condition.”



One of the cooks brought an egg to Tom.  Tom held it out to Helen.  Helen shook her head, and handed Tom a spoon, then she held out her conical hat, open end up.  “Break the egg with the spoon, and put the egg yoke into this magic hat.  Then drop the broken shells into the hat.”


Tom followed her instruction.  Then Helen said, “pass the hat among the audience so that everyone can see the broken egg.”


After all the audience could verify the broken egg in Helen’s hat, and the hat was passed back to her, she announced. “Now I will repair the egg.”  Looking into the hat, she backed up, to center back stage.


Bob came over and also looked into the hat.  Next Helen waved for Joe to come over.  All three stared into the hat.  Helen pulled a hidden magic wand from her clothing.  “Ala Kazam!”   The three of them continued to look into the hat.  Helen shook her head.  She waved the magic wand over the hat again. “Hocus Focus!”  Bob looked into the hat and shook his head.   Helen looked out at the audience.  “I’ll try just one more time.” 


She waved the wand again.  Repairo!”  She then put her hand into the hat, and pulled out the intact egg, and lifted it up to show to the audience.



The trio again walked to center front stage to make a formal bow.  Helen handed the egg to Tom, who passed it to the audience so they could inspect it.


After the applause had ended, a yell was heard from the audience.  “Show us your hat”“


Helen smiled, handed her hat, which was still held open end up, to Bob.  Bob carried the hat to each table for inspection.


When Bob returned to the stage, the trio again made a formal bow.  The applause this time was greater.


When the applause ended, Helen announced, “Now that everyone has finished eating, we can perform our newest song.  I wrote it especially for this group.”