Things were a little frosty the next couple of weeks around the old media classroom with the victor and vanquished having to share equipment to produce the morning show. After the ten minute show every morning we would just sit around and chit-chat for an hour until it was time for class to end. One day a few weeks after the election when my rival was rejoining the table having given his poopy pants enough time to air out and be civil again I was showing some of the guys a slight of hand trick I had been practicing. I was a fairly basic quarter drop and conceal move that I showed them a couple of times while they tried to guess where it went to. I had repeated the trick the same way about four times to keep it fair when my antagonist wanted in on the game. He was very confident that he could get my trick and was borderline arrogant about how easy it was going to be. I made him a deal I would show him the trick twice and if on the second go he could see what I had done I would give him ten bucks but if he failed I would get his stupid felt fedora. He told me it was going to be the easiest ten bucks he ever earned and I put the ten dollars on the table next to the hat . The other eight or so kids in the class gathered on his side of the table and I did the trick the exact same way I had the previous times and he saw where the coin went and was ready to pounce. Here is a quote from my two semester course on grifting that is perfect for a situation like this one, “When the mark thinks he has a sure thing that is when you switch the game and take his stupid green felt hat.”
|Exactly like this stupid hat here. If you think it would look good on you you are wrong.|
That is what I did on the money run instead of dropping the quarter the same way I had been I never even put it into play and instead stashed it in the hood of the jacket I was wearing. He was so sure of catching me in my illusion that he never even noticed I didn't start with a quarter in my hand. I fake the switch and pretended to mess up and then ask for a redo but he insisted that a deal was a deal and he knew that the quarter was in my left pocket where he saw me put it. It was, of course, not there or anywhere in that neighborhood for that matter. I snatched up his hat and my ten dollars and he said it was not mine until I showed him where the quarter went. While that was not strictly the terms of our agreement and it was bad form on his part to demand to see the solution to a trick I humored him and pulled it out of my hood. He was furious because he was certain that I had never had my hand anywhere near my hood and that I must have tricked him. I told him that I most certainly tricked him that was the point of the game. He complained that it was unfair and that I had to give back his hat but all of the other guys in the class agreed I won unfair and unsquare and the hat was mine. I told him that I had always wanted to burn that stupid hat and now that it was mine I was going to. He sulked off and pouted. He approached me after class and told me that the hat had beena gift from his grandfather and that it was very important to him and he should not have bet it. I was going to say something sassy and keep it but I saw he was pretty torn up about it and I am at heart not a jerk so I gave it back when no one could see that I was doing something nice.