Conversations over a ticket machine …

Fara and I stand in line at the ticket machine to pay our parking fee after seeing Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at Heinz Hall. We fleetingly wonder why we didn’t just pay on our way in since it’s a flat fee, but at least it gives us more time to gab while we wait.

She tells me of a woman who has a husband who’s a magician.

“A magician?”


I try not to be envious, thinking this would be the coolest thing ever. Kinda like having a clown for a husband, only without the creepy factor. Well, sure, some of us DO have clowns for husbands, but I mean literally.

Fara continues. “He has a place at the nearby mall.”

“He works from a booth at the mall?”


So now I’m trying to picture how this works, exactly. How does a magician make money at all stall/booth/kiosk at the mall? Does it work like a fast-food joint? Is there a menu overhead?

“I’ll take one card trick and two sleight-of-hands, please.”

“Would you like to supersize that?”

“What comes with the supersize?”

“You get two card tricks and the disappearing rabbit thing.”

“Do you pull him out of a hat?”

“No, that’s the reappearing rabbit thing. That costs extra.”


“But you get a free Coke with that.”

We move forward a little in line, still trying to figure out just how a mall magician operates. And how does he keep from giving passersby a free show by watching the paying customer get his or her card trick supersaver?

Before we have a chance to ridicule this poor man’s profession any further, it’s my turn to put the ticket in the machine and pay our parking fee. There’s no indication where I’m to put my credit card, and I stand there for a few moments, mind blank, impatient customers behind me sighing loudly as I continue to stare at the machine.

I sudden wish I had a mall magician to help me figure this stupid thing out …

The universe is nothing if not ironic.


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