She rang us and invited us over for the weekend. She said we will not recognise the house when we get there. That's because she'd just moved to this Victorian house which is nearer the railway station. This was of no help to us since we drove there by car.
Anyway, change of subject and digression. One of my hobbies is to learn magic tricks. I have always been interested in entertainment ever since in my youth when I compered variety shows on stage and was a radio disc jockey and program presenter. It was mostly music and comedy shows, although I also presented a Christian program called "Time for Reflections".
So, as I was saying. I am interested in entertainment and have been learning magic tricks to entertain friends and family at usual gatherings like birthdays, Christmas and so on. Even at funerals. I find a magic trick or two soon lightens the mood in what is usually a very sombre gathering. You can see one of my magic card tricks HERE.
One evening whilst we were at mom-in-law I decided to do some magic tricks to keep the family entertained. I suggested the levitation trick. You must have seen it on TV. The magician has his assistant, usually a young pretty lady, lie flat on a table and he manages to make her float up in the air totally un-aided by any device or machinery.
I suggested I levitate mom-in-law. At first she did not want to take part. She's always been suspicious of me for some reason. Eventually she agreed to lie on her back on the dining table. I dimmed the lights a little. Said my magic words to impress the audience; and after a minute or so she started to rise slowly off the table. She nearly panicked. I told her to relax which she did. She floated about six inches off the table, stopped for a few seconds, floated a few more inches higher ever so slowly, then a bit more, and more and ... eventually she reached the high ceiling in the room we were in.
She was still lying on her back as if on a bed. But she was in mid air with her nose almost touching the ceiling. The family and her friends who were invited that evening were impressed and applauded. She too said, from up there, that it was very clever and enjoyed floating "as if on a cloud" - her words.
The problem came when I tried to bring her down again. I asked her to float slowly down but nothing happened. She remained up there, nose to ceiling.
This has never happened to me before. The trick had gone wrong.
I asked her once again to float down to the table; but she remained up there.
She began to panic. I told her to relax and keep still. The last thing I wanted was her to fall down from such a great height and break the table.
We switched the lights full on. She remained up there.
I stood on the table and tried to get hold of her legs to get her down. I could not reach her.
We searched for a ladder. It was too short to reach her up there.
Someone suggested that I carry her friend, Matilda, on my shoulders and I get on the table so Matilda could pull her down. Matilda, who is in her late sixties, agreed readily and tucked her dress into her underpants, ready to be lifted by me.
I was called a wimp by mom-in-law up there.
I tried lifting Matilda as she put her legs round my neck. She was too heavy for me. I nearly had a hernia lifting her up. We gave up the attempt as a bad job.
Someone suggested we call the fire-brigade. They have long ladders.
Mom-in-law refused. She was too embarrassed to float up there in the presence of strangers.
After thirty minutes or more of various discussions and suggestions, including mom-in-law from up there, we noticed that she had floated down a few inches from the ceiling.
Ten minutes later she floated down some more. And a bit more again. It was like a party balloon slowly losing the air within and floating down. Ever so slowly until, all by herself because we did not dare touch her, she came down to lie on the table as before.
She gave me a hug and everyone applauded.
I'll never perform this trick again.
My wife still does not speak to me even though we've returned home and this happened a few days ago.