The Amazing Wannabe
My name is Harry, and I was born with a gift. A magical gift. It was nothing for me, even as a babe, to pull bunnies out of my bonnet, or to make fools disappear, much to my older sister’s dismay.
But my story truly begins when I am eleven years old. A strange boy, if handsome, I was teased at school, and bullied. It was a somewhat difficult time. My teacher, Ms. Eddy-Cate, called in my parents for a conference. She told them that the other children might quit picking at me if I would stop wearing the top hat and cape to school, even though she found the outfit rather cute and irresistible.
But that was impossible. Ms. Eddy-Cate could not have understood what she was asking. Would the leopard be asked to leave his spots at home, or the plumber his crack? No! It was too ludicrous to even imagine! The top hat and cape were part of me. How could I ever leave them behind, and me still be me. After all, I was Harry Houdini Wannabe, Jr., and I had a destiny to fulfill!
It was that very day of the parent-teacher conference that the world took note of my powers. While walking home from school that afternoon Little Susie McDoogood fell from the Lynhurst Road Bridge while showing-out by “walking the wall.” While the other children screamed with fright, I cooly pulled out my hankie... and I pulled, and I pulled, and I pulled out my hankie, until that endless hankie was over forty feet long. I fashioned the end of my hankie-rope into a lasso and tossed it to Little Susie, saving the day. It so happened that the biggest playground bully of them all, Dodger Ball, had videoed the rescue on his cellphone. Dodger took the video home to his mother, who also happened to be the weatherwoman on the local TV station. When the video played on “Krystal Ball’s 5′ O’Clock Forecast” that evening the people watching from home were astonished, not only that a ten year old boy had a forty foot chain of hankies up his sleeve, but that he was able to pull off the rescue with such panache, right up to him giving Little Susie a kiss after pulling her from the water only to have her swoon in his arms. You can’t make this stuff up, folks!
The next day at school I began to see firsthand the downside of fame. Kids showed up to class wearing capes of their own, and began following me through the hallways with decks of cards, begging me to “give them a trick,” any trick. Ms. Eddy-Cate wore a short, sparkly dress that day. I had never noticed before just how pretty she was, or how long her legs. She brought me to the front of the room for “Show and Tell,” so that I could saw her in half in front of the class while Dodger videotaped it all for his mother to show on her weather spot. Things were quickly getting out of hand, but I did the trick. What else could I do? She was the teacher, and a lowly student is bound to do whatever the teacher says, isn’t he?
The spot did air on TV that night. There was Ms. Eddy-Cate at precisely 5:10 pm, in her sparkly dress, climbing into the box. And there was I, gleaming teeth prominent, sawing, and sawing, and finally pulling the box apart. And there was a smiling, ever so happy Ms. Eddy-Cate with her fingers wiggling in this section of the box, while her toes wiggled in the other section. When I then helped a re-joined Ms. Eddy-Cate from the box our classroom audience was wild with excitement. As it was part of my act, I took Ms. Eddy-Cate in my arms and kissed her, so that she swooned just as Little Susie had. I discovered that the television audience loved my overly dramatic kisses... as did a dishevelled Ms. Eddy-Cate!
Things happen quickly in show business. The next day we were in Vegas, booked for six months at The Mirage Hotel and Casino. Upon arrival the Vegas billboards and taxi’s already advertised “Harry Wannabe and his Lovely Assistant” in their bright lights. My foolish parents stayed home, wary of the hazards of “Sin City,” giving Ms. Eddy-Cate guardianship for the entire run. The two of us lived high on the hog... penthouse suites, room-order ice cream sundaes, and pay-per-view movies... some of them quite edgy... but it was all too good to last.
It came crashing to an end when Little Susie McDoogood and her father, Reverend McDoogood flew out to see the show. It seems that the McDoogood’s watched more than the magic show. It seems that they spied on the unwary, happy magicians as the couple rode sky-rise roller coasters together, helicoptered over the Grand Canyon, and had no end of fun in a city with no end of fun for those fortunate enough to have found their fame and their fortunes... especially their fortunes.
But soon the McDogoods grew jealous, of course, Little Susie of her white knight, and her father “The Father” of a beautiful young teacher traipsing around in a short, sparkly dress, hand in hand with her dashing young magician. It seems that father and daughter saw the illusion of impropriety. It was not long until the police were called in to investigate the happy two-some. In the penthouse the cops found the single ice cream sundae dish with the two spoons, and the souvenier picture of the laughing couple on the roller coaster’s big drop. It all looked way too fun to be innocent, and it is the job of the authorities to end anything that appears to be more fun than they have ever been allowed to have.
As the police will do, they put two and two together, and came up with three. Ms. Eddy-Cate was sent to a maximum security prison (which in Vegas for someone with money was actually rather nice) and I was sent home to my parents, which wasn’t entirely bad either.
But, as is always the case with any good magician, I continued my tricks to the delight of all I encountered. As fame is fleeting, so too is the memory of the just, so I practiced with my magic wand on Little Suzy, and on any other young girl with the desire to be amazed, while I awaited the inevitable release of my favorite assistant, Ms. Eddy-Cate... so that together she and I might then continue my real, and magical, education.