I met Uri when I was in the circus – he asked me if I had a spoon that needed bending. I said “No” and brought him a hammer instead.
“A hammer, GB?” he inquired in a puzzled Levantine accent. “What am I to do with a hammer?”
“The face is slightly curved, Uri,” I replied. “Try to flatten it by stroking it with your finger.”
He accepted the tool gingerly and rubbed his middle finger around the face in a gentle circular motion. After doing this for a minute, he stopped and shook his head. “My power is for making things crooked, not straight,” he declared. “This hammer is not open to my energies. Feel the iron – it is cold.”
I took the hammer from Uri and agreed that its face was as cold as ice. “Might it be more receptive to your energies if you smashed it against that wall?” I asked.
Uri glanced at the wall in question, which was made of the sturdiest concrete, and raised his eyebrows quizzically to indicate that he was open to new ideas in the field of parapsychology. So I gave him the hammer and watched him bang away until his cheeks were flushed. He then wiped the perspiration from his brow and felt the face of the hammer with his fingertips.
“It is hot!” he exclaimed. “Feel it yourself, GB.”
I took the hammer and examined it carefully. “It is hot, Uri!” I confirmed. “And you have also succeeded in flattening its face, to some extent!”
He took back the hammer and agreed that the face was indeed flatter. Should he demonstrate these hammer-repairing abilities in his act, he wondered aloud? I advised him to stick to cutlery for the time being.
Uri Geller was probably the greatest showman of his kind, but he wasn’t without competitors, even at the peak of his appeal. Hot on his heels was Ali Bongo, the fez-wearing wizard who made humour a part of his act, something that Uri never quite mastered. How sad that these two great maestros were later reduced to the role of sidekick, Geller accepting the position of Michael Jackson’s adult friend, and Bongo hiring out his expertise to Paul Daniels, the bald-headed homunculus. Maybe I’ll invite them to the Congo to compete head-to-head for the Bananas Magicians’ Trophy. It would be the greatest duel since the Ali v Foreman 1974, or possibly even Fischer v Spassky 1972.
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