August 23, 2007 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Teach me your party tricks.
posted by cheerleaders_to_your_funeral to Education (33 answers total) 92 users marked this as a favorite
are you a smoker? if so, amaze friends with your ability to hold a lit cigarette against the tip of your finger for several seconds and experience no pain or burns.
  1. Light a cigarette. smoke for a bit.
  2. sneak an icecube from somewhere.
  3. hold it against the pad of your index finger inconspicuously for at least 30 seconds.
  4. announce that you were the victim of a terrible accident when you were twelve that left you devoid of sensation in your fingertips.
  5. when onlookers express doubt, say "here, I'll show you". Hold the tip of your lit cigarette against the tip of the finger you had the ice on. (dry the finger on your pants first)
You can usually hold it for about 5-10 second before you feel the heat. The ice cools the skin sufficiently to prevent burning. Try this a few times before doing it "live".
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:28 AM on August 23, 2007

Are you a genius?
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:41 AM on August 23, 2007

1. Take a spoon, hook it into a fork so that the first and last tines are on one side and the middle tines on the other side.
2. Place a toothpick into the tines such that it is perpendicular to the fork-spoon.
3. Take a heavy glass and balance the fork-spoon on the lip using the toothpick.
4. Once you have it balanced, let it sit there for a minute then take a lighter and light the end of the toothpick that is inside the glass.

The toothpick will burn until it hits the glass and the fork-spoon will still be balanced by the toothpick on sitting on the glass lip.
posted by fallenposters at 8:43 AM on August 23, 2007

I also like offering girls a light with the one-hand trick, if you have a book of matches around. You don't tell them its coming, you just give them the light, and they see the trick unexpectedly.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:50 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

- coin tricks
- reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee or other Robert Service poems
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:52 AM on August 23, 2007

Place a chair against the wall. Find the strongest man in the room, and ask him to bend at the waist until his hands are gripping the seat of the chair and the top of his head is touching the wall. Then, have him attempt to stand up while picking up the chair. He will fail, utterly and miserably. Now, ask a female party-goer to do the same. Chances are, she'll be able to. Differences in the architecture of male and female hips render this trick impossible to the vast majority of men, much to their general chagrin and the amusement of female party-goers. Literally everyone at the party will need to try it, and everyone will be delighted by the results.
posted by saladin at 8:53 AM on August 23, 2007 [4 favorites]

Also, find video of The Real Hustle, a tv show in England all about different bar bets and sleight of hand tricks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:54 AM on August 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

At the bar, each table had a tea-light candle in a tallish glass votive. The challenge was to extinguish a candle by starving it of oxygen. No finger-pinching, no blowing. I was informed that, prior to my arrival, the other men at the table had proved their manliness through this feat. One rubbed his palm, obviously in pain.

I know from scorched ceilings that the area a few inches above a candle flame is just as hot as the flame itself, especially if you have to hold your hand there for twenty seconds or so while the flame dies. But you can flick your finger through a flame with no harm done, since there's not enough time to heat the skin. Worth a try, anyway.

After grabbing someone's beer for a second and getting my hand nice and cold and wet, I slapped it down on the votive, and then proceeded to rub it in slow circles, distributing the heat over my whole palm. Slowly, the flame extinguished itself.

It was then that I learned, mostly through the open-mouthed looks around the table, that I was the first to actually complete the task. And the bastards expected me to willfully burn myself...
posted by Myself at 8:56 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

You can push your finger into the area between your eyeball and the lower portion of the socket, with the lower eyelid acting as a natural protective cover. It's amazing, you can really that finger pretty far in there. People get freaked out by anything that looks potentially damaging to the eye, so you can get quite a reaction from this. It is horrible, it is horrible, people will hate you for it. Don't do this trick.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:08 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

At a fancy restaurant, with nice cloth napkins, or at someone's house, you can bet someone that if they force the cork all the way into the wine bottle (such that it is able to bounce around inside) you can retreive the cork, using only a napkin.

posted by zackola at 9:10 AM on August 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

oops. this guy uses a plastic bag. easier than the napkin. with the napkin approach you need to roll the napkin up a bit so it forms a conical shape, stick that end into the bottle and maneuver the cork into the napkin cone. then pull out as in the video.
posted by zackola at 9:12 AM on August 23, 2007

This takes some practice, but with the right crowd, it's fun to do the "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" song and dance with one hand a step behind the other.
posted by Zephyrial at 9:17 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest the cork in the bottle trick. I use the plastic bag approach as well and it never ceases to amaze.
posted by trbrts at 9:21 AM on August 23, 2007

Take a can of soda, beer or any other canned beverage. Drink between half and two-thirds of its contents. Then balance the can impossibly on its corner.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:29 AM on August 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

Stand in a doorwy and put the backs of your wrists against the door frame (you should look like you're waiting for someone to measure your hips). Push against the door frame, still with the back of your wrists, push hard. Keep pushing for approx. 60 sec. (1 hippopotomus, 2 hippopotomus, etc...) Quit pushing and step away from the doorway. Your arms should float upwards of their own accord.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2007

Mine is terribly simple, but always amazes. I have a flat, somewhat oily forehead, and can stick coins, bottlecaps, and other flat, fairly light objects to it. I usually make up some story about a steel plate, war injury, etc.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:44 AM on August 23, 2007

Put a drink on the edge of a table. Put a hat (or other covering) over the drink. Now bet people you can drink the drink without touching the hat. Put your head under the table and make lound gulping sounds. Get up, and wipe your mouth with a loud "AHHH".

People will question, you say you did it. Someone will pick up the hat. You grab the drink and drink away!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:47 AM on August 23, 2007 [6 favorites]

Trick one: Here is a simple match trick. Take a book of matches with the cheap paper-stick matches. These sticks will almost always have a darker side and a lighter side. Hold two between thumb and fore-finger. Use the other thumb and forefinger to grasp the middle of the sticks and flip them over, re-grabbing them with the original thumb and forefinger. Flip them over a few times to show your victim that there is a light and dark side. Now, when you flip, roll your thumb/fore-finger just enough to flip the match sticks over. When you put them back between your original thumb/fore-finger, they will be the same color as before the flip. Get good at this, and you can do three or more match sticks, and roll only some of them, causing all sorts of head scratching combinations of light and dark.

Trick two: bet someone a beer that you can make them talk within 60 seconds. The key is that this is a pretty long time, and they will expect a lot of convincing on your part to get them to talk. Really build it up before hand, telling them that you may need to disparage their mother, or discuss their questionable sexual habits in front of people. They will insist that they can keep their mouth shut.

Have a third party with a watch be the judge, and tell them that you'll say "go" and then, when they say "go" back to you, the judge will start timing. They might argue that when they say "go", they think you might scam them and use that as their "talking". Insist that this will not happen.

When they say go, immediately point at them and say something along the lines of "Ha, there you go.. you didn't even last a second - you said go"..

They will immediately open their mouth to protest, and you will have won a beer.
posted by mbatch at 10:03 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you're careful, with some practice, you can balance a broom on its bristles.
posted by SBMike at 10:55 AM on August 23, 2007

The lighter fireball is a fun one to do subtly/idly, like burning a match all the way through. Make a funnel with your left hand, closed at the bottom, open at the top. Turn your lighter upside down, hold down the gas button (but don't light it) for between 5 and 20 seconds, so the gas sinks down into your hand. Then light it and quickly open your hand. If you do it fast enough, and had enough gas in there, there'll be a flash of fire. Its not hot at all, either.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:17 AM on August 23, 2007

I too can vouch for the wine cork in a bottle trick; be sure to practice first. Wine corks in general make good props; passing two corks through each other is an easy but effective trick. And there is always this book.
posted by TedW at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2007

Oops; this book.
posted by TedW at 11:38 AM on August 23, 2007

You can blow fire with the same principle as the lighter fireball devilsbrigade mentions. It's probably not very good for you, and it's definitely juvenile, but it looks cool.

Be sure to close your glottis before you start gathering the propane in your mouth by sealing your lips around the lighter (depress the button with your front teeth). When you expel the propane to the lit lighter, be sure not to exhale. Just use your cheeks to push the gas out of your mouth.

I burned all my eyelashes off the first time I tried this, but it did not discourage me from mastering the trick.

Opening beer bottles with lighters, spoons, TV remotes is pretty smooth too, but I don't know if it qualifies as a party trick or not. If you get really good, you can make a loud pop and shoot the beercap across the room.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:00 PM on August 23, 2007

Allow a candle to burn for a while, until there's a decent pool of wax around the base of the wick. Light a match and keep it ready.

Now blow out the candle and hold the match to the wisp of smoke coming from the wick. The candle will magically relight.

This is because the "smoke" isn't smoke at all, it's wax vapour. The flame burns right back down the trail to the wick. If you get people to stand very still (less air currents to break up the "stream" of "smoke") then you can do this from quite a distance - I've personally done it from twenty, twenty-five centimetres. It works better the thicker the wick (more vapour).
posted by alby at 12:06 PM on August 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

Drink a beer through your eye.

1. Get a bottle of beer with glass clear enough that people will be able to see the liquid draining from within. Announce that due to [birth defect]/[mind over matter]/[allegience with Satan], you are going to DRINK THIS BEER THROUGH YOUR EYE SOCKET.
2. Open the bottle and hold the opening to the eye socket that's *away* from your audience.
3. Tilt your head back and the bottle up. Be sure to hold the bottle so that the audience can see the liquid draining.
4. Barely lift the corner of the bottle closest to your nose, and let the beer slowly drain out. It'll run down one side of your nose and into the corner of your mouth. (This will take practice, so get started tonight.) Nobody can see this; all they see is the beer draining "into your eye".

Saw a random guy do this at a local bar, to great effect -- he entranced the whole place into a full minute of rapt silence with this one.
posted by LordSludge at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

I suspect that if one has a mustache, LordSludge's trick will not work. By all means, correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2007

I suspect that if one has a mustache, LordSludge's trick will not work. By all means, correct me if I'm wrong.

I will let you know this afternoon, after I get off work.
posted by TedW at 4:25 AM on August 24, 2007

As promised, I am researching this trick. I am now officially on vacation for the next week so that helps. Evidently a mustache does interfere with the trick. Also, you shouldn't tip your head too far back while trying it.

I would like to continue my research without facial hair, but Mrs. TedW does not want to explain that I shaved just before her sister's wedding for a bar trick. I will keep trying though; the quest for knowledge will never die.
posted by TedW at 2:45 PM on August 24, 2007

Just trim it into a Hitler -- that way, everybody's happy.
posted by LordSludge at 3:30 PM on August 24, 2007

As mentioned before, The Real Hustle, with the Top 5 Ways to Hustle Drinks
posted by lemonfridge at 4:07 PM on August 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

I know this is way late but I couldn't help remembering the question when I found this site just now. Hope someone will still find it useful.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:42 PM on November 29, 2007

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