There may be no magic that will make August disappear, but there's plenty to make rabbits hop in and out of top hats, silk scarves flow into rainbow streams, apples become oranges and ladies survive being sawed in half.
It all happens at a magic party, courtesy of Al's Magic Shop, newly moved to 1010 Vermont Ave. NW., where amateur magicians gather on an afternoon to practice sleight of hand.
Naturally, in Washington even magic can be political. A nose-glasses-eyebrow set called Beagle Puss ($1.95) will turn anyone into an instant Bani-Sadr. There even is a rubber Arafat mask for $17.50.
When party conversation heats up, arguments about the election can be settled by pulling out the crystal ball.They range in price (and size) from $22.50 all the way up to $150 for people who like to look at the larger picture.
Wavering politicians can write and sign bills in disappearing ink (79 cents), and people who don't really like to entertain could use it to write their invitations.
Hostesses used to juggling guests might like to watch their guests juggling instead. Juggling, says Al, is becoming the nation's newest craze. His assistant, Jonathan Steigman, recommends that beginners use the bean bag blocks, 3 for $5.95, which stay put when you drop them. You could have a juggling contest and offer as first prize Tooth Black-Out Wax, which costs $1.
There are funny ears, funny noses, funny moustaches and a very serious gorilla suit which sells for $175, but can be rented -- as can a variety of other costumes at prices ranging from $25 to $50.
For party favors, there are matches that sparkle, or turn into snakes, or explode, for 25 cents a pack. And champagne party poppers shooting out paper fizz, 2 for 25 cents.
To thwart the birthday boy, decorate the cake with ever-lit candles, guaranteed to pop back on when he blows them out.
If you want to convince your guests that putting together this party has taken a lot out of you, greet them at the door done up in phosphorescent makeup, at $2 a tube. Taking advantage of your supernatural glow, hire a magician and arrange to be sawed in half.
Al's Magic Shop (789-2800) will give you the names of magicians who can be hired for performances ranging from birthday parties, which generally last a half hour, to cabaret shows, at rates ranging from $40 to $400.
Best of all with a magic party, when the evening lags and you want to go to bed, the guests will disappear.