Jim the Amazing (OAP parties a speciality) reclined on the velveteen chaise longue, idly practising his one-hand bottom palm. “Stop that,” said his wife, The Lovely Gladys, “I’m trying to watch Britain’s Got Talent.”

“Britain’s Got Talent?” Jim harrumphed. “Not on this showing. Someone should report them to Trade Descriptions. I reckon if we got our old act together we’d sweep the board.”

With a toss of her curlers Gladys retorted, “Our old act? We’ve not had a booking for that for five years. You’re not getting me in those lurex tights again. And the ostrich feathers don’t half tickle. Why don’t you work on a new act instead of sitting there dreaming of past glories at the Attercliffe Non-Political. You could shave your head, grow a beard and do a mental act. Or how about close-up magic? I hear there’s money in that these days.”

Jim recoiled, cut to the quick by such unwarranted assertions. “I’m cut to the quick by your unwarranted assertions, Glad,” he replied. “I could still hop a table with the best of them if I wanted to. Does this mean nothing to you?” he said with an expansive guesture towards a yellowing diploma on the wall, scattering caution and a handful of bent Bicycles to the wind.

Replacing the antimacasser crumpled by his exertions, Gladys remarked mildly, “Runner-up in the Brimington and Stavely All-Comers International Close-Up Competition…” she paused theatrically, “1978. I still think we need a new act. At least most magic acts these days have made it into the ’80s, or even the early ’90s. You’re still stuck in the mid ’70s.”

“But that’ll mean research, and practice, and buying new stuff. And where am I going to find a trustworthy, intelligent, patient, knowledgeable magic dealer with a wide range of new and second-hand magic at incredibly keen prices?” said Jim thoughtfully, stroking his stubble.

“Magick in Sheffield, of course,” replied Gladys. “Russell’s been in business over 40 years.”

“Good grief,” Jim expostulated, “He certainly must be patient… 40 years, eh. Not sure about intelligent though.”

“And he’s starting up a brand new mailing list with all the latest news and special offers. Let’s get our name down now!” said Gladys, grasping Jim’s laptop.

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