The Levitating Head

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Only you can stop the head from sliding down the string.

BY CHARLES PLATT

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Photograph by Garry McLeod

The magician brings out a mysterious object on a tray, hidden under a velvet cloth. “Tonight,” he says, “I will introduce you to …” — he whisks away the cloth with a flourish — “my Uncle Clarence.” He reveals a life-size, grinning papier-mâché head.

After a few bad jokes (“My uncle always wanted to help me get a-head in this business”), the magician selects a volunteer from the audience and helps him to thread a plastic-covered ...

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