Hippity Hop Whatevers

by Jim Gerrish

The usual Hippity Hoppity Routine, in use ever since The Great Norman invented the trick in the early 1900's:

The plaques with whatever you are having go Hippity Hop (the ones I describe in my article use a roadrunner and a coyote) are covered with the tubes. Remove the tubes and show the coyote and the bird, asking the kids if they recognize them, what are their names, and so on. Remind the kids how fast these two characters are in the cartoons and ask if they would like to see how fast they can change places. Cover the plaques, and remove the covers again and ask if they saw how fast the coyote went over to the bird’s tube, and the bird to the coyote’s, and then both got back to their own tubes just in time.

Suggest that the kids might want them to repeat that experiment and stop you when the characters are in the opposite tube. Ask the kids if you remembered to show both sides of the tubes, obviously turning both tubes around. Now when you lift the tubes, they will see that the characters have changed places. Cover them up and rotate each tube again, and now they are back to where they started.

Now the kids will be screaming for you to turn the two plaques around. Try to avoid turning them around as long as possible by turning them end over end, turning around yourself, and so on. Finally, when you turn the two plaques around, they see that the coyote has been in some sort of explosion and bird is running away at top speed (or whaever ending you devise for your own characters).

To spice this up, you might want to make an “explosion” happen just before turning the coyote plaque around (fingertip flash pot) and of course you will want to find a small bicycle horn to make the “beep beep” sound of the bird as he runs away.

I am purposely NOT giving you my own full routine because I want you to come up with your own characters and routines now that you know how to build the props. However, you can see that you can go far beyond the usual routines with the black and white bunnies as the trick is usually sold in magic stores, and you will see me use these same characters in several other tricks within this series, so you can imagine ways that you can do the same with whatever characters suit your style.


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