A TEXT BOOK ON THE ART OF
EXPLAINING HOW TO DO IT SIXTEEN DIFFERENT WAYS
by The Victorinas
1. Learn to swallow swords by
hynopsis. (Regarding Punkrot Smith, who had a mouth like a catfish
and a neck like a crane: Through hypnosis Smith became an oustanding
student until he accepted a wager to swallow an umbrella in Showbegan,
Maine. He was successful until the "new-fangled press-the-string-and-it-flies-up
sort of rain catcher" opened unexpectedly. Had he lived he would have
proved a marvel.)
2. Learn from a professional; start by swallowing a sterling silver
3. Use a peacock feather dipped in oil to tickle the throat, which
helps you become familiar with the sensation.
4. Secretly swallow a rubber tube before the performance -- when the
sword is later swallowed, it will be encased in the tube.
5. A similar method but using a metal scabbard.
6. The Chinese way, by first eating opium to dull the sense of touch
so the sword will not be felt; this should never be tried by any other
than those of the Mongol race.
7. An herb solution used by the Llamas of Thibet to combat the retching
8. Placing an article down the throat regardless of consequences and
acquiring further ease of habit by force of will. (From three to five
years' practice in this manner will usually prove sufficient.)
9. A sword with a detachable handle -- the handle is placed in the
mouth but the blade goes down the performer's sleeve.
10. A sword with a telescoping blade, which retracts into the handle.
11. A blade constructed of clock-spring metal, which coils up the
12. An imitation sword made out of licorice covered with tin foil
or aluminum paint. The licorice sword is swallowed and a real one
produced from behind the back, giving the impression the sword has
passed entirely through you.
13. A method to dilate or enlarge the throat by use of apparatus constructed
from wire. This allows for easy access in swallowing the sword.
14. Dilation by drinking huge quantities of water, which opens the
throat and allows for the introduction of the blade.
15. Hire somebody to do it for you as it may save you much annoyance,
and though more expensive is very satisfactory in the long run.
16. The Javanese way: As it is impossible to give you a correct translation
of the original text without destroying the delicate humor and pathos
of the original author, the great Tana Shisavino himself says in the
fourth line of his incomparable demonstration:
which is without question a statement
none can contradict.
an excerpt from the book
Pigs & Fireproof Women" by Ricky Jay