Madame Zelda

by Professor Spellbinder

This may seem out of place in a Wizard Magic Demonstration, but Madame Zelda fits two Wizard categories... Animation AND Astrology. She also fits this month's theme of Beach & Boardwalk Magic.

Madame Zelda is modeled after typical carnival and boardwalk attractions of the early 1900's. You put in a coin, her crystal ball flashes, she makes some mechanical sounds, and a fortune card comes out the slot. Well, that's how these machines are supposed to work. Our Madame Zelda is capable of far more than that.

Typical routine (but open to infinite variations):The Wizard rolls out the machine and dusts it off since it was (he explains) just discovered in the attic of a supposedly haunted house. "Let's try it out, shall we?" he says, producing a shiny coin. He drops the coin in the machine and it sputters to life.

"Plug me in, you idiot!" says Madame Zelda. The Wizard finds an old fashioned electric cord dangling from the back of the machine and plugs it into an extension cord. ZAP! Sparks fly, Madame Zelda lights up brightly, and she laughs hysterically at the Wizard, who may now have a little soot in his electrically frizzled hair or beard.

"What do you want to know?" asks Madame Zelda in her tinny (but well amplified) voice.

The Wizard points to someone in the audience. "What is this lady's astrological sign?" he asks.

"That's easy! She's in the house of Aries (for example), her birthday is March 25th, and she tells everyone she is 24 years old and sometimes they even believe her!"

"Do you read Tarot cards?" asks the Wizard.

"Of course I do, but your time is up! Deposit another quarter, you cheap-skate!"

The Wizard puts in another coin.

"OK, big spender! Give me the Tarot cards."

"Don't you have your own cards?"

"It will cost you two bucks if I use my cards."

"Never mind. I have my deck right here." The Wizard produces a Tarot deck. "Where do I put it?"

"Have someone select a card first. Where did you get your Wizard's degree, Willy Wonka's Wizard Factory?"

"OK, she took a Tarot Card. What now?"

"Have her show it to everybody. Do I need to be out there doing this act?"

"Wait a minute, you can see her card."

"I'll cover my eyes." Here is some audience by-play as the gypsy mechanical figure apparently shields her eyes with her mechanical arms, but she keeps peeking and the kids in the audience shout out to the Wizard that she is looking, etc.

"You're cheating!" the Wizard accuses her.

"Your time is up! Deposit another quarter!"

"If you don't be fair I'll pull your plug and lock you back in the attic for another hundred years!" the Wizard threatens.

"Oh, don't be such a cry-baby! I was just teasing. Have her select another card and don't let me see it, if you're going to be such a spoiled brat!"

The Wizard has a woman from the audience select another card and this time they shield it with their bodies so it can't be seen by the gypsy.

"Drop the cards in the slot," instructs the Gypsy.

"I think I'll just mix them up first," says the Wizard.

"Don't you trust me?" asks the Gypsy.

"Not in the least!" says the Wizard, mixing the cards up and dropping them in the slot.

There is a noisy sound of gears working and then the Tarot cards rise up to the Gypsy's "work area." She begins moving them around with her mechanical arms. "The card she selected is not here," announces the Gypsy.

"Of course it's there," says the Wizard. "I shuffled it in with the other cards. Everyone saw me do it. Look again."

"I don't have to look again. I see all and know all, just like the sign says, Buster. Her card is not here."

"You're just trying to get out of telling her fortune," says the Wizard.

"Am not!" says the Gypsy. "Her sign is Leo, she was born on July 30th, she will soon meet a nice looking young Aries man, she will soon come into some money, and her card is not here!"

"What card did she look at?" asks the Wizard.

"The three of swords (for example)" says the Gypsy, "but I'm telling you she pulled a fast one. The three of Swords is not in this deck. Make her stand up."

"What?"

"You heard me, Mr. Wiz Man. Make the lady stand up and look under her chair. See? She was sitting on it all this time!"

Boardwalk Attractions:
Madame Zelda $5.00

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