A free bonus chapter that didn't make it in to Ninety-Nine Fabrications Volume 2. (So if you haven't read it - here's a taste of what you're missing. Special thanks to Canada's Magic for leaking this for us. Now you can have the unabridged version with photographic illustrations.
A Report from the P. Howard Lyons Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 99, Toronto
While we may occasionally pretend to be men (and even women) of our word, our illustrious membership has less collective willpower than Augustus Gloop in a room full of Wonka Bars.
Earlier this year, as a result of a rather vague controversy, we vowed to send our beloved Ring to the grave and ne'er speak of it again. We thought we had succeeded. But when Michael Weber sent word that he would be in town (for reasons we are unable to relate here as they are so secret we have yet to determine them) and was interested in doing a workshop, we rose like zombies and gathered to feast on the contents of his magnificent and delicious brain.
This was no small order as the weekend he has selected was not only the long weekend celebrating our country's founding (uncreatively named Canada Day - Max Maven and Allan Slaight could have done better), but also the glorious orgasmic climax to Pride Week, which is always enjoyed most enthusiastically in Toronto. Nevertheless, we forewent the excessive indulgence in alcohol, fireworks and public nudity and assembled at the usual place. We were not disappointed for our efforts.
The ex-president (James Alan) accompanied by another James (James Harrison), and Keith Brown (recently named Toronto's Best Magician in a silly little contest held outside of Toronto to save on parking and avoid both traffic and credibility) rushed over from their fabulous performance at the gay pride installment of Abracadabaret (Canada's only variety show dedicated to magic, mystery and to-die-for shoes) on the other side of town to not miss any of the mind-blowingness. Two underaged attendees even managed to secure fake IDs to gain entry to our secret speakeasy-cum-clubhouse for the event.
Mr. Weber did not disappoint. He offered a marvelous assortment of practical, commercial and diabolically clever card magic, money magic, mentalism, and personal grooming accessories. We cannot divulge the contents of this super-secret workshop as we have all been sworn to secrecy. The penalty for violating this solemn oath is being forced to watch certain unnamed members of the city's other ring perform all of Ben Train's unpublished material. Twice. They would also be made to judge next year's Chasing Dovetails Bingo tournament. We are not permitted to explain that he shared the stories behind two of the long uncredited Vernon and Miller items from Kaplan and Expert Card Technique. We can say he taught his own mischievous and devious twists on three items hidden in the pages of the recent Graham-Diaconis book on math and magic. Weber closed out the night by demonstrating a small non-card treasure he unearthed in a letter written by Charles Jordan. Suffice it to say that we were all thoroughly delighted and will be keeping our yaps shut.
The special meeting room also features a VIP viewing gallery at the back to which the ex-president, Chicago's David Solomon and Aspen's Eric Mead were banished to prevent them from causing too much trouble. To keep the peanut gallery quiet, a second, younger more vertically-challenged Mr. Weber held court. Due to a strategically timed nap (and apparently a better fake ID than any of us had ever seen), young Master Weber was able to share the real work on several captivating iPad apps well past the point any sensible person would consider bedtime. The legumes on the periphery did manage to poke their heads up occasionally as Weber the senior got around to what we might call "the good bits" which happened what we may call "often".
Following the official programming there were additional things which cannot be explained and an informal session with Eric Mead which deteriorated rapidly into philosophical discussions of gastronomy, techniques for setting things on fire and looking at baby pictures.
So having had our fix, we put yet another silver bullet in the chamber and return the illustrious Ring 99 to oblivion... until the next guy comes through town.