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View Poll Results: What would you do?
Meh, its just a fork. Let it go. 39 68.42%
The wife is right, shame him publicly as a party vandal 4 7.02%
Fork that guy! Lets slash his tires, egg his house, spill wine on his silk suit! 3 5.26%
On Planet X "unsolicited fork bending" is the name of my house band 17 29.82%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 7th May 2012, 12:05 PM   #1
madurobob
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The Mentalist Visits - What Would You Do?

I had a big party at my house Saturday night for a friend who just turned 50. We had a stage in the back yard, PA system lights, etc.. and invited all our performer friends to come solute the birthday boy. It was a blast - we had a variety of musicians, aerial silk performers, fire dancers, etc.... big fun all around and about 60 people in total.

I happened to be in the driveway when one car pulled up. It was a man about my age, dressed in a nice silk suit and a stunning wife about half his age dressed like she just left the Kentucky Derby - big floppy hat, sun dress, high heels and long white silk gloves. She was friendly and bubbly, he was very reserved and guarded. They were friends-of-friends. I directed them to park and invited them to join the fun.

later, one of my skeptic friends came to where I was in the back yard and said "one of your guests just repeatedly called me an ******* in front of a houseful of people." Before I could get my anger up and storm into the house, she assured me that she had, in fact, been an ******* by watching his tricks and occasionally explaining how they were done and actually spoiling the trick he did with her by knowing exactly what card she was supposed to pick and refusing to pick it. Of course the trick wont work, he said, if you're going to be an *******.

She didn't have to tell me who it was - I knew right away it was the guy I met in the driveway. Then she said he was actually pretty good and did a wonderful show of bending silverware...

Sure enough, loading the dishwasher Sunday morning one of the forks had a neat 360 degree twist in the narrow part of the stem.

I chuckled. It was a cheap fork, afterall, and apparently it was a good trick. he probably thought he was leaving behind a cool souvenir. I wouldn't have thought twice if someone broke a glass, why worry about a bent fork? My wife was aghast. My friend who the party was for who happened to be over helping clean up was also not very charitable. Both of them said I should demand an apology, shame him on facebook among our mutual friends, etc...

Meh. Should I care? How would you feel about an unsolicited fork bending?
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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Why should you care about how other people think you should fee? You feel how you feel, and that's that.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:15 PM   #3
oody
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There is no fork.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Why should you care about how other people think you should fee? You feel how you feel, and that's that.
In fact I don't care how others think I should feel. However, I am interested in how others would feel in a similar situation. Such an interest is common to the human condition, I believe.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Was he claiming actual paranormal abilities or was he just doing mundane mentalist tricks? If the former, I say get him good. If the latter, the friend who was exposing his tricks was a bit out of line. OTOH, regardless of what he was claiming to be or do, I think deliberately damaging your property without your consent was very rude and presumptuous, especially when he was clearly at a house where he didn't even know the host! He should have discussed this with you first. From your description, he sounds like a pompous ass at any rate. That's my two bits from behind the ear.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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What possible use could it be to shame him on FB? As you say, if he broke a glass, even if he did it on purpose trying to perform a trick, you probably wouldn't bother.

Just for the the LOLz, it would be fun to serve picnic style and see what such people do with plastic forks and spoons.




...and how come nobody ever bends knives?
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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I didn't see the performance, but from our brief meeting I pegged him for one who takes himself far too seriously. The fork doesn't concern me, but the lack of respect for it being MY fork kinda does. I'm thinking next time he's over here I make a comical show of giving him the fork and requesting he un-bend it.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I didn't see the performance, but from our brief meeting I pegged him for one who takes himself far too seriously. The fork doesn't concern me, but the lack of respect for it being MY fork kinda does. I'm thinking next time he's over here I make a comical show of giving him the fork and requesting he un-bend it.

Are you sure he hadn't brought an extra?
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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I think it's bad manners but I don't think it's worthy of too much upset. He should have asked but then it sounds like he wasn't exactly Mr. Congeniality and maybe he's a little lacking in the manners department anyway.

It sounds like he doesn't have enough sense of humor to appreciate the humor in you asking him to unbend it. So maybe best to chalk it up to bad manners and let it go.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NoZed Avenger View Post
Are you sure he hadn't brought an extra?
Possible, but not likely as it matched my eclectic mixture of patterns of silverware gathered over a few decades.

But, that is sort of one of my wife's arguments - why doesn't he just bring his own dang forks? Well, clearly the bit is more suspect if you whip a fork out of your pocket and bend it. To sell the bit you need to take a fork from someone who just finished their cake so they know its not just a prop fork.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
later, one of my skeptic friends came to where I was in the back yard and said "one of your guests just repeatedly called me an ******* in front of a houseful of people." Before I could get my anger up and storm into the house, she assured me that she had, in fact, been an ******* by watching his tricks and occasionally explaining how they were done and actually spoiling the trick he did with her by knowing exactly what card she was supposed to pick and refusing to pick it. Of course the trick wont work, he said, if you're going to be an *******.
I'm split over this part.
One the one hand the mentalist shouldn't have said it. If he was any good, he'd have just done a different trick that didn't require a forced card (insulting your audience like that is never a crowd pleaser).
One the other hand, if a mediocre magician is doing magic at people and I'm around, If I get asked to pick a card, I politely refuse instead of trying to spoil it for everyone.

As for the fork, if it was your fork, I'd go down the "now use your majik powerz" to straighten it out again" route.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
In fact I don't care how others think I should feel. However, I am interested in how others would feel in a similar situation. Such an interest is common to the human condition, I believe.
I would not shame him in any way. It was harmless fun, that's all.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Cheap Fork? um, bend it back straight and show your wife your mystical powers, then indicate that there are some other things you can unbend as well but it will involve undressing?

ETA: When my kids get themselves ice-cream, my spoons all look like they've had an encounter with a mentalist.

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Old 7th May 2012, 01:57 PM   #14
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Its actually twisted at the narrow point of the handle just before the head of the fork. It looks like someone held the head of the fork in one hand and the end of the handle in the other and simply twisted it. But, I tried with one of the other forks and while I could twist it, it was *really* difficult and I'm no slouch in hand/arm strength. I wish I could have seen him do it - I assume he bent it over then back up in a way that gave the handle the twist.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jomante View Post
Cheap Fork? um, bend it back straight and show your wife your mystical powers, then indicate that there are some other things you can unbend as well but it will involve undressing?

ETA: When my kids get themselves ice-cream, my spoons all look like they've had an encounter with a mentalist.
Loved this response!


Bravo!
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
Its actually twisted at the narrow point of the handle just before the head of the fork. It looks like someone held the head of the fork in one hand and the end of the handle in the other and simply twisted it. But, I tried with one of the other forks and while I could twist it, it was *really* difficult and I'm no slouch in hand/arm strength. I wish I could have seen him do it - I assume he bent it over then back up in a way that gave the handle the twist.
Or he snagged a fork before going onstage and twisted it with two pliers; after that, it is all sleight of hand.

I apologize if I broke the no-explanation rule (aka the Conjurer's Corner rule) for the JREF
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Was he claiming actual paranormal abilities or was he just doing mundane mentalist tricks? If the former, I say get him good. If the latter, the friend who was exposing his tricks was a bit out of line. OTOH, regardless of what he was claiming to be or do, I think deliberately damaging your property without your consent was very rude and presumptuous, especially when he was clearly at a house where he didn't even know the host! He should have discussed this with you first. From your description, he sounds like a pompous ass at any rate. That's my two bits from behind the ear.
I agree with every line.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Or he snagged a fork before going onstage and twisted it with two pliers; after that, it is all sleight of hand.

I apologize if I broke the no-explanation rule (aka the Conjurer's Corner rule) for the JREF
One of the reasons I didn't post there instead. Thats a very likely explanation!
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:52 PM   #19
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It's a magician, and your friend was heckling. If a card force fails, a magician should have an alternate method or an alternate effect available, but your friend was revealing what they thought the method to be for a variety of effects and such, so not picking the card wasn't really what the insult was over. And it wasn't a bad magician, he was "actually pretty good".

Your friend was being an ******* to him. In a particular setting, calling a heckler an ******* could be suitable. Did other people there think it was warranted?

And I wouldn't bend people's forks without permission, but it's a cheap fork. I've heard of it happening to very expensive forks.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Your friend was being an ******* to him. In a particular setting, calling a heckler an ******* could be suitable. Did other people there think it was warranted?
They were clearly seeing the event through different lenses. Friend #1 considers such tricks a puzzle to be figured out - often out loud - and assumed everyone else had the same perspective. Friend #2 was putting on a performance and perceived the room as an audience, not as a roomful of friends discussing how illusions are performed. The two clashed. Why yes, alcohol was involved!

Since I wasn't in the room I can't say for sure, but I suspect friend #1 pushed a bit too hard and didn't take (or even notice) the first hints to back off. She's a fairly direct person even without the margaritas. Only one other person who was there - one of her close friends - told me the mentalist was out of line.

Friend #1 did, to her credit, admit she was being an ******* and that the mentalist treated her exactly as he should have - he said what he needed to get her out of the room. I'm confident the next time they are in a room together they will make nice.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
Friend #1 did, to her credit, admit she was being an ******* and that the mentalist treated her exactly as he should have - he said what he needed to get her out of the room. I'm confident the next time they are in a room together they will make nice.
I think that covers the main issues I might have. Beyond that, I suppose the mentalist might deserve a very mild scolding for damaging the fork, but he may have asked and been given permission by someone who presumed to speak for you. You did say it was a cheap fork. On the other hand, I think your friend #1 deserves a mild scolding for not recognizing the social conventions associated with someone who performs tricks in public. But I think she recognizes that. All in all, not a perfectly handled social situation by anyone, but far short of a catastrophe.

It's just a fork.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:12 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I didn't see the performance, but from our brief meeting I pegged him for one who takes himself far too seriously. The fork doesn't concern me, but the lack of respect for it being MY fork kinda does. I'm thinking next time he's over here I make a comical show of giving him the fork and requesting he un-bend it.
You're inviting the card forcing, cutlery destroyer back into your home. Jeeze, some people never learn.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:53 AM   #23
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the only action needed on your part is not to invite him over next time because he breaks your cutlery. Other than that, it's an ignorable party foul.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:18 AM   #24
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And how come none of us were invited to this party, hm?
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:18 AM   #25
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Since you clearly weren't bothered by the bent fork (you say you chuckled) then where is the issue?

I think it's very bad manners to try to spoil or explain someone's tricks whilst they are performing. Does your friend also jump in with punchlines every time someone tells a joke they know? It's just basic manners not to spoil someone's attempt to entertain. Or at least it is where I live.

It's also bad manners to spoil someone's cutlery and to call them names.

So we have two bad mannered people meeting and being rude to each other. Big deal.

"Shaming" someone on facebook for bending a cheap fork at a party.....I don't even know what to say about that other than it would be a very sad reflection on the person that did it - ungracious, spiteful, pointless, pathetic and a few other words I can think of. Not cool at all IMO.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
You're inviting the card forcing, cutlery destroyer back into your home. Jeeze, some people never learn.
See, this is a discussion the wife and I have before every party. She wants to eliminate from the potential guest list all the people she considers "weird". But, those are exactly the people I want at the party. A party without weird people is just boring.

So, yeah, the mentalist is now on my list of definite invitees. But, I'll keep a closer eye on him next time.

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
And how come none of us were invited to this party, hm?
Find me on facebook and you're in, pal! Not that this is apropos of anything mentioned above, of course...
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:16 PM   #27
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After he does a trick say "Oh, I've got a good one" and ask for a $5 or $10 bill from his wallet. Pocket it and say "Next time bring your own forks".
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:09 PM   #28
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Who cares about the fork or the guy ruining the tricks? They're big kids they can handle it themselves.

I might ask my guests not to use bad language though, depending on the crowd.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:38 PM   #29
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I'll see your fork and raise you two Waterford wine glasses that I stupidly passed out to friends at one of our drunken bashes for mixed company.

I still haven't forgiven myself.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:45 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
I'll see your fork and raise you two Waterford wine glasses that I stupidly passed out to friends at one of our drunken bashes for mixed company.

I still haven't forgiven myself.
Couldn't you ask them to give them back? Blame ignorance or something. "I didn't know they were handed down from my spouse's granny, please forgive me."
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Old 9th May 2012, 06:20 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
I'll see your fork and raise you two Waterford wine glasses that I stupidly passed out to friends at one of our drunken bashes for mixed company.

I still haven't forgiven myself.
Hehe.. there is a free-standing cabinet in our house that contains various sets of antique crystal glasses and gold-rimmed lenox china. I'm not even allowed to open the cabinet, much less allow a stranger to touch a glass. You can imagine my surprise when the Mrs opened it up and started passing out the champagne glasses on NYE. There were, amazingly, no casualties. But, I was secretly hoping there would be.
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Old 9th May 2012, 07:53 AM   #32
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They were smashed when a drunken guest fell on a coffee table.
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Old 15th May 2012, 08:43 AM   #33
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This reminds me of a story Teller (I think) told about amazing a dinner party with some spoon bending. Instead of being amazed, everyone was appalled. Turns out it was the hostess's family's fine silver they were using and no one bothered to mention it to him.
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Old 15th May 2012, 11:15 PM   #34
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If you don't agnollage it, then it didn't happen! I wouldn't allow myself to be baited!
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Old 16th May 2012, 02:43 AM   #35
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The truth is it is improbable anyone reading this has bent more cutlery in front of an audience than I have. I had an act that included bending spoons, keys ,nails... I stole from Uri who was in his prime at the time when I was in college.

I will not expose methods. However we can all agree that spoons don't bend themselves. Usually a magician develops a routine and has a different audience when he performs. Unfortunately when I was in college I had the same audience when I performed so I had to use different techniques to bend. (Believe me, I had people (Engineering majors in particular) stare at my hands all night.

OK, I'm working at the school bookstore and a party is coming up and I decide I need to go to plan G at bending cutlery but plan G requires alone time with the spoon in question. The party is at the bookstore manager's house. I "borrow" the bookstore's manager keys when he wasn't looking. He's a little concerned but I found his keys while vacuuming before closing up and call him and offer to drive them to his home (I was never there before). While in his home I needed a glass of water and borrowed a spoon when he and his wife were distracted.

The spoon turned out to be expensive looking and my plan wasn't only to bend it but have it break.

Art is expensive -- that's all I'll say.
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