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Closeup Zombie

by Al Schneider

One year I took my zombie routine to "Abbotts Get Together" in Colon, Michigan. At the time I was driving a motorcycle, which everyone thought was very strange. Every time I bump into Jay Marshall, he asks me if I still drive one. After awhile that question became quite irritating as I assume it was intended to be. Anyway, since I didn't have a car and I am not good at planning I had nowhere to sleep during my stay at the convention. After bumping into a few people and asking where I might crash, I ended up sleeping on the floor in some large room with about ten other magicians. One of them was Abb Dickson. This is when the trouble began.

We were all sitting around late at night chatting and Abb says to me in a rather surly way, "Al, I hear you can do Zombie surrounded?" I replied to the affirmative. He said something about that not being possible. One thing led to another and everyone voted that I should be put to a test. Hmmmm. Maybe it was Abb that decided that. Anyway, the plan was to have all ten guys surround me while I did Zombie. If anyone saw anything they would sound the alarm. No one said what would happen if someone sounded the alarm. However, no one said what I would win if no alarm was offered. Anyway, I did Zombie surrounded. By the end of the routine no one said anything.

I guess they were impressed. But things got worse. Abb pulled me aside and asked me if I would do him a favor. I said, "Sure". He asked me to get up on the stage in the showroom the next day and do Zombie. He said there would be someone to announce me. However, I had to wait until he gave a signal.

The next day I carried my Zombie ball with me to the stage and waited for a bit. Someone came up to me and said they would announce me. They did and I did the routine. No one seemed to notice what was going on. Later I found out what had happened.

Here is the story Abb told me later with a mile wide grin on his face. He said he was hanging around Neil Foster. Neil was quite busy so Abb had to wait for the right time. When Neil had a spare moment for Abb, Abb gave the signal for me to do Zombie. So Abb and Neil were watching me do the routine together. Abb says to Neil, "Hey what do you think of that?" "You know he does it close-up!" "You know he does it SURROUNDED!" Abb said that Neil turned his back and walked away saying, "Well, someone had to do it someday."

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