The Himber Wallet – Christmas Crackers

The Himber Wallet- Christmas Crackers
The Himber Wallet was invented by the band leader, Richard Himber. He asked Harry Lorayne to invent some routines using the wallet, and Lorayne came up with Best of Bill-fooled.
Many years later, in 1998, Lorayne wrote a book, The Himber Wallet Book, published by L&L Publishing, which contained lots of routines featuring the properties of the Himber Wallet. If you don’t have a wallet, get one. And get Harry’s book, too. The wallet has many uses including switching, producing, vanishing, predicting, and mindreading.
I’ve used it in several effects, but today’s is Christmas Crackers – a Bank Nite effect.
You need a Himber Wallet, six pay envelopes, five Christmas cracker jokes, and a ten pound note. Optional is a wand or pen. The five jokes are printed on pieces of paper the size of a £10 note, folded, and put in an envelope. The last envelope contains the £10. This goes in the other side of the wallet.
I start by explaining how, when I was young, my family were very poor. We couldn’t even afford Christmas. In fact, we couldn’t afford to buy crackers. So my dad made some. He saved up his empty pay packets, and he wrote a joke for each one. There was one for my mam, my brother, sister, and me. And the last one was my dad’s.
But, in one cracker he put a ten shilling note. Ten shillings is the same as fifty pence, today, but you could buy a lot with it.
On Christmas Day, we’d each choose a cracker. We could swap them around as much as we wanted, but when we opened them, my dad always had the ten shilling note. I don’t know how he did it, but I’m going to give it a try.
I get up four volunteers, and bring out the wallet. There are five envelopes representing the pay packets my dad converted into Christmas crackers. I explain that, instead of a ten shilling note, one of the envelopes contains a ten pound note. I play the part of my dad. One boy represents me, another my brother. The two girls become my mother and sister.
I use the open wallet as a tray with the envelopes laying on it. Each kid chooses an envelope. The first one can swap with any, or all, of the other players, or with me. When he is satisfied, he opens the envelope, and reads out the joke. (He lost; Didn’t you guess?) He returns to his seat in the audience. This is repeated until there is only one kid left.
The final child can swap or not. He opens his choice, and finds a joke, which he reads out. To show there is no cheating, he is allowed to open my cracker/envelope, and he finds the £10 note.
I use a wand to force the kid to open the wallet to the right side. The wand has brass ends. I bring it out to threaten the kids with should they win my money! When the final choice is made, and the wand waved under his nose, it is placed into the wallet, on the side with the envelope containing the £10. The other envelope is placed in the same place on the first side of the wallet. With the wand inside, the final child can only open the wallet in one way, discovering the £10 note.
If you don’t want to use a wand, use a pen instead. Of course, you need a reason to use a pen. Have the final kid initial his envelope to prove you don’t switch it (?). You then initial your envelope. You have, of course, prior to the show, initialled the envelope containing the money in the same place as you will, later, initial the envelope with the joke inside.
You could give each of the participants a small consolation prize.
The trick can be used throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be kept for Christmas. I use it in my When I Was Young Show, in which each trick relates to some event from my childhood.

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