Posted on Leave a comment

The Magic Memories (156)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas – The Complete File (PDF); Secret Twitter; Feedback – Graved Lax – Variation on “Wild Business”; How Did You Do That – Ten Answers… And Some More

These are The Magic Memories 156, gone online Sunday, December 24th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.

All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.

The Magic Advent Calendar of Good Ideas – The Complete File

What started out as a spontaneous idea in a discussion with my wife Barbara – she who illustrates all my books (!) – has become an unexpectedly successful full-fledged “product”.

It started out as a “small” idea…

It seems to have pleased more people than I had anticipated, and also got some heartfelt comments from all around the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who wrote in with kind and encouraging words and have sent in thoughts of their own.

Several have missed the first issues, and the reason for it is that they were not on the newsletter list although they thought they were. The explanation is that about two years ago the laws for mailing have changed, at least they have so in Switzerland, not sure about the rest of the world, and everyone who sends out mails to a list had the get the express OK of the subscribers to be on that list. And to my knowledge there is no other way of sending out a thing as The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas than sending it to a mailing list.

What sounds legalese and is legalese boils down to one simple thing: I had to delete my list, and you had to re-subscribe to the newsletter. So, many who had subscribed before were thrown out without their fault and my intention.

Bottom line: If you want to receive next year’s The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas, or any other message, ideas, product etc. from me, please go to right now and enter your email into the subscription field (you can unsubscribe anytime with just one click). Even though you might think you are on the list (TEST: If you did get my daily mails with The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas, you are on the list and do not need to act, if you did not get it, you are not on the list and therefore must subscribe.)

At any rate, here is for your file a PDF with the complete twenty-four items of The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas, as a gift, free of charge, with my very best wishes for the Holiday Season and the New Year!

To download the PDF CLICK HERE.

PS: Yes, you can send this around to your friends 🙂

Secret Twitter

The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas is an obvious member of the “Agenda-Family” of which Secret Twitter holds a special place in my heart.

Not only was it terribly labor-intensive; the low price and the fact that we sold less than 300 units made it completely unprofitable.

So, although I am an artist, I am not stupid, as my friend Aldo Colombini used to say, and I will never again embark on such a project.

Still, looking at it again from a distance, I must say that it is full of great ideas, if you will forgive the immodesty: If, from the over 400 entries, you extract the ones that are meaningful to you, you will have your personal PDF of “Good Ideas” to occasionally revise – this will be worth many times the lowly asking price.

Here is what a reader wrote in answer to “A Quick Trick” published in The Magic Memories 154:

OMG! I love this trick BUT even more, I went back to look at the Magic Advent Calendar…which on 19 Dec, lead me to the Secret Twitter and I started reading some of the tweets… which should be named treats!

Even though I had read them before, I was astounded that I gained even MORE re-reading them!

Come to think of it: Several have asked how they can thank me for this full year of The Magic Memories, always delivered on time (0:07h!) and The Magic Calendar of Good Ideas, all free of charge, plus the several PDFs and video clips included in this year’s posts.

Well, why don’t you make a gift to both you and me, and order Secret Twitter; 50% of the amount will go to me, the other 50% are for Chris from To get Secret Twitter,  CLICK HERE.

Secret Twitter by Roberto Giobbi


It’s certainly nice to get all your feedback, thank you 🙂

Please understand and forgive that I cannot answer each and every one personally, but if I think that it is of general interest, I will publish it here in The Magic Memories with your consent.

Graved Lax

JR Russell from Seattle wrote in to say that he will be preparing Graved Lax for the festive days.

So, all of you who do not know what this is about go and enter “roberto giobbi graved lax” in the YouTube search field, and you will have an excellent dish to celebrate the New Year. Note that the preparation and the presentation are on two separate short videos.

JR pimps his Graved Lax up by adding a few dashes of Gin to the marinade which has then 48 hours time to marry with the Lax – what bridal nights!

… preparing Graved Lax


Wild Business for the Holiday Season

Marius from Kiel, Germany, wrote in to offer a swell variation of “Wild Business” discussed in The Magic Memories 155. It is most fitting for these days, but is also an open door to adapt to almost any topic, situation and target audience (Trade Show magicians hear hear). In Marius’ own words:

Dear Roberto,

Thank you for all the effort you put into these Magic Memories, it is always a pleasure to read. Here’s a little idea I had for a Christmas themed card trick for the holidays based on “Wild Business” I’d like to share with your readers:

Material needed: 9 double blank playing cards, 9 Christmas themed stickers (all alike, e.g. a star), a bunch of different Christmas stickers (snow man, Santa Clause, candy cane …).
Preparation: Prepare the cards as in “Wild Business”, i.e. put the same sticker on each of the eight blank cards, leave one of the cards blank. Set the nine cards up as described in “Wild Business”.

Performance: Start by saying “As it is Christmas soon I will show you how a Magician produces Christmas cards” (this obviously makes for a nice word play: playing cards / Christmas cards). Introduce the blank cards as described in “Wild Business”. Now introduce the bunch of different Christmas stickers as possible motifs for your cards and force the “correct” one (in this case the star) on a spectator via your favorite method, thanking the spectator for choosing a nice motif for the Christmas card. Proceed as in “Wild Business”, i.e. attach the sticker to the double blank card saying something like “this will be our prototype for the Christmas cards”. Proceed as in “Wild Business” and magically produce nine nice Christmas cards. (As I don’t own a himber wallet my trick ends here, but you could certainly add the vanishing-stickers-part).

Greetings from Kiel, Germany and happy holidays!

How Did You Do That – Ten Answers… And Some More

Today is Christmas Eve, a day that makes many wonder, for various reasons.

And I just wondered if I had ever written about that question we all get more or less often when we perform our “miracles”: “How did you do that?”

Yes, in the Theory Chapters of Card College Volume 2 I have touched on the subject very briefly (p. 473, in the sub-chapter “Outs for Disasters and Disturbances”), and later in a lengthy essay on “Smart Answers to Stupid Questions” (if memory serves me right this appeared only in German language), and also in Secret Agenda (“How Did You Do That?”, entry of FEB 20, p. 59).

For those who still do not have Secret Agenda, neither as a book nor as a PDF, here is the PDF of the page as a further gift to you – CLICK HERE.

May I suggest that you read the short one-page article from Secret Agenda before proceeding. BTW: Einstein’s quote in the article is not complete, it should be: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Because knowledge is limited.” Don’t know how that was left out…

Over the years I have collected answers, some amusing, some serious, some not so good (I list them here anyway because the “not-so-good-answers” also teach a lesson). Here is a selection, for your edification and use:

“I don’t even know myself!” (Kuda Bux – read in Perovich’s The Vernon Companion)

Slydini says to Dick Cavett at the end of his One Coin Routine, when asked, “How do you do that?” Slydini, “How I do? I don’t even know myself!”

“Better to take pleasure in a rose than to put its root under a microscope.” (Oscar Wilde)

“It’s a profession.”  (RG)

“If a wise man points to the moon, don’t look at his finger.” (Confucius?)

“What really has meaning in art is joy.
You don’t need to understand.
What you see makes you happy?
Everything is here.”
(Constantin Brancusi)

Someone once tried to understand music. He took a violin apart, but he could not find any music inside.

An atheist Cosmonaut said to a believing brain surgeon: “I’ve been navigating the universe for years, but I could never find God.” The brain surgeon answered: “I’ve been operating on thousands of brains, but I could never find an idea.”

“Like the Gauls – I take a magic potion!”

“You’ll have to admit that if there is no trick, it’s great, but if there is one, it’s even stronger.” (Myr & Myroska, in: Rémi David, Philosophie de la magie, p. 70)

“You don’t have to understand, for to understand is only the second step. You have to feel.” (Jorge Luis Borges)

„Well, you may find it difficult to believe, but it is a complicated thing, and it requires talent, thought and a lot of practice.“ (RG)

And, inevitably, I also asked ChatGPT for ten answers, which I’ve listed below without changing a iota, but frankly, I do not think that they are very good ones. Well, maybe #2? Let’s see what you think:

1. “Oh, it’s all in the wand – it’s a very magical piece of wood!”
2. “Trade secret! I’d tell you, but then I’d have to vanish you too.”
3. “I could tell you, but then I’d have to turn you into a rabbit. It’s a whole process.”
4. “I’m actually a wizard in disguise. Shh, don’t tell anyone!”
5. “Well, it’s a mix of Hogwarts training and a dash of unicorn dust.”
6. “I can reveal my secrets, but it requires signing a pact with the mischievous trickster spirits.”
7. “I summoned the spirits of Houdini and Merlin for a crash course in magic.”
8. “It’s a closely guarded secret passed down from magician to magician via carrier pigeons.”
9. “I attended the School of Enchanted Deception – you’ve probably never heard of it.”
10. “Trade secret, or as we say in the magic world, ‘Abracadabra-nDA.'”

I you have an answer that you like and use and want to share with me and the community reading The Magic Memories, please send it in via the “Contact” item on the homepage, i.e.,

That’s it for today. Our son Miro is visiting from Zurich and staying with us over the Xmas days, and Rafael will join us tomorrow for Xmas Eve, with gifts and a dinner in all gemütlichkeit. And now I’ll join Barbara and Miro for a yummy Swiss Raclette (it has to stink a bit, or else it’s not real cheese)!


I’ll be back for the last The Magic Memories of this year on the 31st December.

Meanwhile, wish you all an excellent week!

Roberto Giobbi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.