Escaping Breath Mints Trick
A small packet of polos and a shoe lace combined with a handkerchief and the willing help of a spectator lead to a trick that will take your breath away.
The magician produces a roll of polos and asks a spectator to open them and pour them into his hand. Taking one mint, the magician threads it on to a shoe lace and then threads the rest over the lace, forming a sort of minty necklace. Asking the spectator to hold both ends of the shoelace, the magician covers the necklace with a handkerchief, reaches underneath and then reaches up with one hand and pulls away the handkerchief, showing that all the mints have come off the shoelace and lay in the magician’s other hand.
The secret to the Escaping Breath Mints is this: breath mints are easy to break.
A small packet of polos and a shoe lace, as well as a large handkerchief.
No advance preparation is needed, just plenty of practice.
Performing the TrickThis trick is a fantastic impromptu illusion, if you happen upon someone with the right kind of mints in his pocket. If not, setting out to perform the Escaping Breath Mints is perfectly acceptable and a great introduction into any other illusions that use mints or sweets. A single roll of unopened polos will provide a great prop and just the right amount of mints for the trick. If you don’t have a single role, plan on using around seven to ten mints.
- The magician holds up a roll of polos and makes the appropriate jokes and then hands it to a spectator to open. “Now I’ll take one and you take one. You eat yours - thank you! - and I’ll do this with mine.” The magician now threads the mint onto a shoelace, letting it settle to the middle.
- Taking both ends of the lace in one hand, the magician takes the mints one at a time and slides them over both ends of the laces, allowing them to fall towards the bottom, where the first mint serves as a stopper.
- In the end the magician is holding a stack of mints with one mint at the bottom; a sweet necklace. Asking the spectator to hold the ends of the shoelaces with both hands as far apart as the shoelace will let him, the magician announces that these were a similar brand of mints used by the famous escape artist, Houdini (or something similar) and they will all escape from the lace.
- The magician produces a handkerchief and drapes it over the mints.
- He then reaches underneath with both hands and grips the bottom mint serving as a stopper, and snaps it in half, taking the broken pieces in his right hand. The magician should take care to make as clean a break as possible so no flecks remain to tell the tale.
- Quickly, the magician lets the other mints fall into the left hand, reaches up with the right (holding the broken mint) and takes the handkerchief away with a flourish, stuffing it and the broken mint into a pocket as he displays the freed mints with the left hand.