How to Play With Your Food


(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Penn and Teller’s How To Play With Your Food (Villard Books, 1992)
If you have read Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends, you know what you’re getting into here. How to Play With Your Food is both an instruction manual, and an introduction into the world of magic. Penn and Teller take turns describing different tricks and scams you can play on your friends, or people you don’t like, that all involve food in one way or another. From how to get free meals at restaurants to setting people up for reveals on card tricks, from the Glowing Pickle Machine to descriptions of how they pulled off tricks on the Letterman show.

There’s no point in actually reviewing this book, or describing the tricks. If you want to know what they are and how they work, buy the book. But make sure you get a new copy that comes with the goodies packet. Previous owners of used copies probably tore out the goodies packets and played with them before listing the book on the reseller sites. It’s an old book, released in ’92, but still a great read at 210+ pages. You get to learn how to make desserts bleed, and shove watches into fish. What else do you want?

But for me, the greatest thing was in seeing that one of the tricks in here (Cutting Off Your Thumb (Not really)) was suggested by Martin Gardner. P&T mention Martin twice in the book, plus in the Thanks section, saying that they were fans of his. It’s all connected.

Note, if you look at the cover, you’ll see 47 of the 49 foods mentioned in the book, and there’s a diagram next to the table of contents with numbers over each of the foods to show what chapters they’re from. Are these guys helpful, or what?

P.S. – If there’s anyone reading this that lives in Minneapolis, do me a favor. See if the Palomino Euro-Metro Bistro is still in business. They used to be in LaSalle Plaza, at 825 Hennepin Ave. If they are, check with the staff and see if they still remember the Penn and Teller James Bond card trick. Then get back to me with what you find out. Thanks.

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