There’s something wonderful about magic shows. The idea that the world is actually far more strange and mysterious than we thought is an enticing one – maybe that’s why belief in ghosts, gods and UFOs is so popular. I mean, tell me you didn’t knock on the back of a wardrobe when you were a kid with the tiniest piece of hope that you might get to Narnia. But there’s an odd tension with magic shows in particular. We want to believe it’s real – if only for as long as we’re in the auditorium – but at the same time we steadfastly avoid thinking of what it would mean for these wonders to be more than tricks. Because if that was true, it wouldn’t be entertaining. It would be horrifying. For rabbits and pretty women, anyway.
“Wow, so I guess I’m alive now? Awesome!”
The magician has dropped the rabbit back into the hat and is in the act of making a gesture above it. The rabbit’s voice comes from inside the hat.
“This is so cool. I wonder what I was created fo-”
The magician turns the hat toward the audience so everyone can clearly see - it’s empty. Applause.