Whit is a professional magician and he was hired by a restaurant to perform each evening for the patrons as they ate their dinners.
This evening, Whit walked up to a family, pulled out a deck of cards and began performing. Turning to a young girl sitting at the table, he asked her to select a card. The girl’s father informed him that Wendy, his daughter, was blind.
“That’s fine,” Whit replied, turned to the girl and said, “Wendy, would you like to help me with a trick?”
Being a little shy, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay.”
Whit took a seat across from her at the table and said, “I’m going to hold up a playing card, Wendy, and it’s going to be one of two colors, either red or black. What I want you to do is use your psychic powers and tell me what color the card is, red or black. You got it?” Wendy nodded.
Whit held up a king of clubs and said, “Wendy, is this a red card or a black card?”
After a moment, the blind girl replied, “Black.” Her family smiled and thought that it was a lucky guess.
Whit then held up a seven of hearts and said, “Is this a red card or a black card?”
Wendy said, “Red.”
Then Whit held up a third card, three of diamonds, “Red or black?”
Without hesitation, Wendy said, “Red!” Her family giggled nervously. Whit went through three more cards and Wendy got all three right. Her family couldn’t believe how lucky she was.
On the seventh card, Whit held up a five of hearts and said, “Wendy, I want you to tell everyone the value and suit of this card … whether it’s a heart, diamond, club or spade.”
After a moment, Wendy replied confidently, “It’s the five of hearts.” Her family let out a gasp; they were stunned! Her father asked Whit whether he was doing some kind of trick. Whit replied, “You’ll have to ask Wendy.”
Wendy smiled and said, “It’s magic!” Whit shook hands with the family and gave Wendy a hug, left his business card and said goodbye. He had clearly created a magical moment that the family would never forget.
A few months later, Whit received a package from Wendy. It contained a deck of Braille playing cards, along with a letter:
Thanks for making me feel so special and helping me to “see” for just a few moments that night. I still hadn’t told my family how I did the trick, even though they kept asking me. I want to give you this deck of Braille cards so that you can come up with more tricks for blind people.
So how did Wendy do the trick? She had never met Whit before that moment in the restaurant, he could not tell her in advance and it was impossible for her to see the color and value of the cards.
Whit had communicated information to Wendy using a foot code. When he sat down across from Wendy and said, “I’m going to hold up a playing card, Wendy, and it’s going to be one of the two colors, either red or black,” he tapped her foot underneath the table once when he said the word “red” and twice when he said “black”. When he held up a red card, he just tapped her foot once and when it was a black card, he tapped her foot twice. So Wendy knew the color of the cards.
For the five of hearts, Whit tapped her foot five times to let her know it was a five. When he asked her whether the card was a heart, spade, club or diamond, he let her know the suit by tapping her foot as he said the word “heart”.
The real magic of this is the effect it had on Wendy. It gave her a chance to shine for a moment and made her a star in front of her family, when they told their friends about the amazing “psychic” experience.