Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 8:01 am

Subtitles to life

In the movie “Annie Hall”, Woody Allen has a flirtatious conversation with Diane Keaton.  While this is happening in the film, the real meaning of their conversation is played out in subtitles across the bottom of the screen.  The scene works because there is always this subtext to life, nothing is as it seems; we all have hidden thoughts and agendas. 

Annie Hall was made in 1977 and the subtitles are still funny, but, in a way they seem very tame by today’s standards.  It is frightening to think of how time has moved on, and how thoughts of, what is considered acceptable, have changed.  Now people can actually verbalise their real thoughts, just for the hell of it; bad language the lot – no one seems to be offended.  Maybe it started later that decade with Basil Fawlty and has now finally peaked with Jonathon Ross saying to Gwyneth Paltrow, on his TV programme, that “He would definitely shag her”.

The reason I mention this is that, one of the things I like about my job is the opportunity to meet with very nice people. These people, as a rule, have the decency to behave tactfully and not to say the first thing that comes into their heads.  I reciprocate these social rules. So, if I am performing close up magic at a function, I will not barge in with my own self important intro.  Instead I respect the group dynamics (listen to me, group dynamics, please! kick me in now). 

Anyway, instead of introducing myself by my job title, sometimes, I will start up a conversation (like a real human) in a “non-magicy” way.  I am never patronising, and may start with a genuine compliment.  For example, I may say “that is a great dress”.  I say this because: a) I like the dress and b) it is specific, and, I like to think it is non-threatening (I always wear my wedding ring when performing).

Now the usual reply to this is, “Thank you” or sometimes a thank you followed by a self deprecating “Primark’s best” or some other kind of “oh, this old thing” banter.

So, I was quite surprised when I said to a very attractive lady that I loved her dress.  She was a stunning lady who was using all of her “stunningess”.  I think what I am trying to say is, you don’t see many old non-wealthy men with such women.  Without missing a beat, she looked down to her chest area and said “I have had them done, you know”.  Only in the North of England could my subliminal subtitles be dragged out in public.  I must have noticed the gravity defying properties of her lady bumps and quickly filtered out a socially acceptable compliment to endorse my approval.  People in the North are so open; there is the North South divide right there.

But really, it is frightening to think where this will go in the future. Allowing for current trends, will I be allowed to “ice break” my way into a group of people with the opening line:-

“Wow, lady, have you had them done? Because I am sure you will agree with me gentlemen, they are spectacular!”

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Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.