48. Volunteer to participate in a magic show.

You’re sauntering through the mall, grinning at your Bed Bath and Beyond shopping bag that now contains a set of newly-purchased salad tongs, when you notice a commotion over near the fountain. What could it be? Is Sesame Street Live in town? Is the cast of The Young and the Restless on a mall tour? Could it be a bomb scare?

You hurry toward the noise and bustle with no regard for your own safety or precious time, only to find an impromptu magic show unfolding before a myriad of vaguely amused shoppers. Crappo the Magnicifient is waving his silly little wand around like some sort of misplaced orchestra conductor, while a gaggle of small children laugh and continue drooling all over themselves.

After transforming a bottle of Gatorade into a goldfish aquarium, Crappo surveys the audience and asks for a volunteer. Without consulting your brain, your arm immediately shoots up, perhaps in a reflex reaction from your own childhood days of desperately seeking attention from strangers and, oddly enough, magicians. Crappo sees your goofy smile and ushers you to the center of the crowd. He asks you your name and where you’re from, and then proceeds to berate both of those things, as well as your clothing, hair, and general demeanor. This is entertainment.

He then instructs you to take off your shoes. This has nothing to do with the trick, he smarmily points out to the crowd, they’re just horrendously ugly. So now you’re standing there, shoeless, while this hack continues to flourish his wand and inform the crowd of how stupid you are. He then stuffs you into a box, brandishes several razor-sharp sheets of metal, and suddenly thrusts them into your vital organs. A variety of other things happen at this point, but you’re unaware of what they are, as your disoriented head is no longer attached to your body. Now you’re dismembered AND embarrassed. Sparks fly out of his wand, a dove appears from nowhere and perches directly on your decapitated head, and a lovely assistant wearing a sequined dress shimmies her boobs for all to see. It’s pure magic.

So if you want to suck at life, volunteer to participate in a magic show. Among the things that will disappear: your smile, your wallet, and your dignity.

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