The Cookie Jar Force
By Professor Spellbinder

Although this is called a “Cookie Jar” force, you don’t need to limit yourself to using it with cookies. You can force plastic Easter Eggs, Lottery Ping Pong Balls, envelopes, billets and other objects. I was reminded of this force, which I published in 1961, by a recent post on The Magic Café Forum by Michael Jackson ( his Forum name is: immr1drfl ) asking about a way of forcing a fortune cookie. I immediately thought of my 1961 Cookie Jar Force, which I had never used for forcing an actual cookie, and decided to publish it in the Wizards' Journal.

Michael did not want to use a change bag for the force because it squashed and crumbled the cookies to have them confined in the usual change bags available. Also, his method required him to have a lot of duplicate fortune cookies with the forced message baked inside. My Cookie Jar Force requires only one item to be forced, out of many other items, which are all different.

Surprisingly (to some) the Cookie Jar is NOT gimmicked in any way. Keeping that in mind, here is the effect as seen by an audience:

The mentalist (that’s you!) has a playing card selected from a deck of cards. He tells the audience that the card will be used in a test of his abilities to predict the future. The card is shown to everyone and put on display. He then picks up a jar of Fortune Cookies, which are all individually wrapped in cellophane. The jar is a simple clear plastic canister, with a screw top. He turns the jar upside down and rolls it around to mix up the Fortune Cookies. Then he removes the lid and has a spectator reach inside the jar with his eyes closed, to remove one Fortune Cookie. Spectator #1 holds his Fortune cookie in his left hand and grabs the open top of the jar with his right hand, giving the jar a brief mixing shake and allowing Spectator #2 to close his eyes and take out a Fortune Cookie. This goes on until several spectators have each grabbed a Fortune Cookie from the jar, leaving plenty of other Fortune Cookies that were not selected. The jar is then put away.

The mentalist tells the spectators they may exchange Fortune Cookies with one another if they wish.

A die is then tossed to select one of the spectators from all the others. The mentalist tells the spectator who was chosen by the toss of the die that he/she is “the chosen one.” He will now prove that he knew in advance which spectator would become the chosen one after all these random events took place.

The other spectators all open their Fortune Cookies. Each fortune reads: “You are NOT the chosen one, but you will meet a tall stranger with whom you will fall madly in love…” or something of that nature. Each fortunes begins “You are NOT the chosen one” and concludes with a different random fortune.

The spectator whom you claimed was the “chosen one” finally opens his cookie. The fortune reads: “You ARE the chosen one. As proof of this, the card selected earlier was the eight of hearts (or whatever) and you will live a long and prosperous life (or whatever).”

If you don’t like my routine or plot, don’t despair. Rest assured you can use your own ideas to come up with an original plot or routine and all you need to know is how to use a clear plastic ungimmicked cookie jar to force one cookie, Easter egg, ping pong ball, envelope or billet out of a whole bunch of others. As I was having a photo taken of the cookie jar I used for years, I came up with a new routine in which a borrowed vanished ring is found inside a cupcake that was randomly plucked from the jar BEFORE the ring even vanished. A sticker on the bottom of the cupcake has the name of the spectator from whom I borrowed the ring, and the cardboard inside the sealed cupcake package contains the name of a card the spectator selected just before opening it up. How cool is that?



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