OK, I know some of you are probably thinking that I must be insane, but if I may have a moment I would like to share some experiences. I do not post on here often but I have been a member for a few years. I am currently in the military and deployed to Iraq(for the 3rd time now). This time I noticed something different, the people seemed more approachable. So here I am armed with my trusty sidearm, a scotch and soda, penny and dime, TT, invisible thread, and some sponge balls, I decide to set out to make some friends.
I first showed the vanishing hanky trick to a guy that I see almost everyday and he absolutely freaked out. He was genuinely scared and began backing away from me then he asked me something in arabic which I totally did not understand. He asked again this time in broken english, "Do you have a ???" the last word was arabic and I do not remember what it was. Then he said " I think in english it's called a jenny." I gave him a puzzled look as my brain kicked into overdrive to figure out what this guy was talking about. Then I realized it...he wanted to know if I had a Genie. It was at this moment that I realized this was going to be a good deployment.
I have gotten several reactions just like the one mentioned above and I must admit to them that no I dont have a genie that everything is done by slights, misdirection, lots of practice and a couple gimmicks. I deal with a great deal of locals everyday and now every morning when I go to pick up a bus load of about 20 local iraqi citizens I am greeted by the shaking of hands, hugs and the affectionate term habibi...which means something like brother or family member. The others that know me more closely simply call me magic man and I still get the occasional question about a genie.
When I get the time I usually throw together a short 15 or 20 minute performance that everyone(including the coalition forces) corwd around to watch. Unfortunately there are no magic lamps or Genies here...just us penguins...trying to make changes in the world one friend at a time.