My folks came to visit me in Seattle one summer and, not having anything better to do with them, I did what any red-blooded American would do: I took them on a motorcycle tour of Canada.

We took our motorcycles (my BMW K1200RS and a rented Harley Davidson touring bike for the folks) onto the ferry from Seattle to Victoria, BC and stayed in a hotel for a few days while we toured the area. We drank a lot and smoked Cuban cigars (well, Dad and I did the smoking). One night we went to a sushi bar in Victoria that featured a magician that went from table to table doing magic tricks after your meal.

His name was Tony Eng, owner of Tony's Trick and Joke Shop (, and he was very good. For a good half hour he made things disappear and did other interesting tricks. Every time he made something disappear he'd ask the people at the table, "Where'd it go?" and then point to a glass near the center of the table. Invariably the missing object would be underneath the glass. Everyone was astounded.

At one point he asked my father to sign his name to a card (the 6 of spades). Somehow or other the card disappeared and reappeared underneath that glass. A good time was had by all and we paid the bill and left.

A few days later we got on an early ferry back to Seattle and we were all very tired. We dozed in a few chairs with our feet on a coffee table in a corner for a while. When we woke up, there was a glass of orange juice on the coffee table. Underneath the glass was a 6 of spades, complete with my father's signature and the note: "It's under the glass." We were all shocked.

We searched the ferry and found Tony Eng along with a handful of other magicians on their way to a convention in Seattle. Knowing he was aboard the ship didn't make the trick any less amazing -- if we hadn't found him we all would have thought another family member put it there. Undoubtedly the best (if not lowest-tech) trick I've ever seen.

This trick is possibly the best one in the book, the proverbial top dog of all magic tricks. It is also very simple. You are going to stand on a pop (or beer, or juice) can without crushing it. Here is what you need:

Now, you start by taking the can, and placing it on the ground. Request that everyone gives you a good amount of breathing room, as this is going to take some concentration. Start breathing deeply, focusing. You are light as a feather, you weigh no more than a fly.

After about thirty seconds, suddenly realize (and announce aloud) you forgot to have the can inspected by everyone. Pass it around to people, let them see it's empty, and a normal can. Show off the can as if it were made of gold (if the can is made of gold, you have no need for magic tricks).

Once all of the hullabaloo is over with the can being inspected, you can proceed to go back to the focusing. Make sure you are well and mentally prepared. Keep your mind seeing only you standing on that can, shoeless.

You did take off you shoes, right?

Stop everyone from worrying, sit down, and take off your shoes. Once more, make a big show of it. Explain how the rubber (or leather, or whatever) in the sole provides an insulation against the necessary mental currents to project yourself agains the nature of gravity, and allow you to stand upon the can. If anyone asks you why you don't just fly, say that you're working on it.

Now that your shoes are off, you can begin the main event. Start chanting a small mantra to yourself. I have provided a list below.

Now, keep that mantra up for at most a minute, then announce to everyone that you are indeed about to accomplish the feat. Step up to the pop can, and put one foot on top of it gently. Yelp in pain. Mention how you forgot that the shoes coming off was for the other pop can trick, and this one does require shoes. Proceed to put your shoes back on.

Once your shoes are back on (and hopefully, you still have an audience), repeat the mantra a few times, then step up again. Place your foot on top of the can, and slowly put your weight on it.

You will crush the can.

Upon crushing the can, realize that you are indeed not standing on the can. Proceed to swear and curse about how it never works. Some of the more colorful words you can use:

Hopefully by now you have realized why the requirement above was for a non-violent audience. The more light-hearted will find this funny, and laugh accordingly. The less light-hearted may walk away in disgust. The least light-hearted should not have been present.

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