“THE TEASPOON BENDER AND THE MAGICIAN”

Aaron Koperman, the famous teaspoon bender, received an invitation from the Society for Psychical Research to demonstrate his skills in a controlled environment. The invitation was accepted, and the night before the experiment, H. G. Myers surreptitiously burst into the large kitchen of the SPR headquarters in order to stock up on teaspoons. When the next morning Koperman arrived, Myers himself accompanied him to the laboratory where the experiment was to take place. For the control of it, had been invited Dominick Cilliano, a famous illusionist who had a successful magic show in the West End. Under the watchful eyes of Cilliano and a select group of SPR members, Koperman grabbed one of the silver teaspoons and, taking it gently with two fingers, stared at it with a frowning face and, leaning towards it, he said something to the spoon in a low voice (according to Crookes, who sat next to him, it had been a threat). The point is that immediately the spoon bent as if it were made of butter. The members of the SPR were stunned and all turned to look questioningly at the illusionist. But he did not let himself be intimidated and took another silver spoon. Exerting a strong and obvious pressure on it (his face turned purple because of the effort), he tried to reproduce the phenomenon, but he only managed to break the spoon in half. Koperman smirked and, taking two teaspoons at the same time, put one on top of the other and repeated the operation with the same surprising success. Then, the magician accepted the challenge and grabbed four teaspoons, which he bent leaning with the table. At this, Koperman took a handful of spoons… At this moment Myers stealthily left the laboratory and waited behind the kitchen door for Mrs. Spells to be absent. Mrs. Spells was the old curmudgeon who reigned with an authoritarian streak in that sacrosanct place. When she descended to the cellar, Myers took the opportunity to appropriate the silver teaspoons that were left. When he came back to the laboratory with the new supply of teaspoons, he found Cilliano with the face purple again, crouched and pressing with his foot on another pile of teaspoons that were also broken in half. Such a duel lasted until there were no longer any spoons, at which time the members of the SPR proclaimed victorious Aaron Koperman surrendering to his obvious power on teaspoons. After bidding farewell to both duellists, Myers and his colleagues sat around the table that had become a cemetery for teaspoons, and carefully examined the misshapen spoons that lay next to those broken in half. While they were engaged in a heated discussion about the phenomenon they had just witnessed, they heard screams and curses coming from the kitchen. Dr Lodge consulted his watch and, appalled, announced that it was tea time. Immediately, the honourable members of the SPR hurried to get rid of the evidence of the crime, but they were short of time because at that moment Mrs. Spells broke into the room and, seeing the large pile of broken and deformed spoons on the table, she got angry and started punching all over the place without leaving a single eye without a bruise.

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