The Hypnotist on Opening Night

It was opening night at the Orpheum and The Amazing Claude was the headliner. People came from miles around to see the famed hypnotist in one of his few live performances. As Claude took to the stage, he declared, “Unlike ordinary hypnotists who invite two or three people onstage, I will hypnotize each and every member of tonight’s audience!” Claude withdrew from his pocket the beautiful antique pocket watch that had been in his family for generations. As the watch swung gently back and forth, Claude chanted, “Watch the watch. Watch the watch. Watch the watch.” The spotlight tightened on just his hands, the mesmerized crowd stared, the light gleamed off its polished surfaces, back and forth, back and forth, until –it slipped from Claude’s fingers, fell to the floor, and broke into smithereens. “Sh*t!” said the hypnotist, under his breath. It took three weeks to clean up the theater!

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