The last name of Wayne the Wizzard was incorrectly reported in yesterday's Washington Post. His correct name is Wayne Alan.
The afternoon rain was dampening Wayne the Wizard's backyard sale in Mount Rainer yesterday, so he decided to liven things up by poking a few blades through his wife.
She was a good sport about it. Being a wizard's wife requires a certain adaptability, after all. She climbed into the Wizard's big blue Zig Zag box, stuck her face through the peephole, and managed a cheerfully resigned smile. Her fingers wiggled through the box's finger-wiggling hole.
The Wizard brandished a wide silver blade. Zap! He skewed her torso. His wife wined. The Wizard whipped out another blade. Zap! He bisected her abdomen.
She was coping with all this rather well, considering. But the Wizard was not satisfied. Gleefully, he grabbed the middle of the box and pushed it - and his wife's midsection - about three feet to one side. Her fingers still wiggled through the little hole.
The Wizard got a nice bit of applause for all this, and climbed off his backyard stage. "Hey," said his wife. "Let me out of the box."
"Sorry," said the Wizard. He got back up on stage and put hs wife back together. She stepped out of the box, looking remarkably composed, and went to check on the refreshments. A woman sighed, waxing nostalgic, and said, "My husband used to shoot a bullet through me."
The Wizard, whose real name is Wayne Adam, had invited a few friends over to pick up some used magic. The Zig Zag box, for example, was on a sale for $700. (The Wizard has bought a newer model, which folds up for easy storage.)
He was also f offering a $100 red and gold Amazing, Grostesque Cuillotine; a $750 1931 Automaton mechanical wizard; and assorted cartons of Vampire Needles, Chamelon Cards, and Magic Boxes, which according to their rather alarming labels Will Cause the Appearance and Disappearance of Many Objects, Even Small Live N Animals.
The Wizard kept trying incantations to make the rain go away,K but they were not working. This is perhaps because he is only 26. His credentials are impressive, however, despite his failure with the rain: last year the Wizard and his wife, the long-suffering Sandy, placed fourth in the yearly international competition held in Europe.
Their act involves a great deal of vanishing, reappearing, and floating in the air, some of which Sandy described as she sliced up hor d'oeuvres. "Wayne appears from a puff of smoke," she said mildly.
He flicks a scarf, she said, and she appears in a short white dress. he flicks another scarf and she appears in a long red dress. He sits her in a chair, hypnotizes her, and pulls the chair out from under her, without disturbing her in the lest.
"Levitation with chair," Adam explained proudly. Classier than simple levitation with couch, which is the normal procedure. Sandy, who met Adam while they were both students at Du Val High School in Lanham, said the levitation is not unpleasand once you get used to it.
"Oh. I've been sawed in half with an electric Black & Decker buzz saw." she said airily. "I've been handcuffed in a trunk and had three seconds to escape." There is also some unpredictability to their household life, she said: they have an antique radio that Adam likes to make disappear, and she once admired a casualty strewn silk scarf long enough to observe that it was inching slowly toward the edged of the bed.
Adam began conjuring at 10, after a grammar school clasmate mystified him with a magic box that made things disappear. "I said, 'Gee, will you tell me how the works?' and he said, 'No,'" Adam recalled. "I sad, 'I'm going to find out.'"
Which he did, and his love of mystery and illusion never left him. Now it is his life, and Adam's only disappointment is that a magician knows the secrets that keeps an illusion tantalizing.
"You really lose that intrigue," he said, a little wistfully, "I love to be fooled. It doesn't happen very often any more, because it's my business."
Then he brightened again ans went back to his guests, who were leafing through old magazine advertisements ("There has never been a more convincing milk vanish than ABBOTT'S ENIS MILK VANISH") and trading airport security gate stories.
Magicians havce a thing about airport security, it seems, because they like to carry their equipment with them and it makes the metal detectors go crazy. The guards say, empty your pockets, please; and the magicians politely pull out flowers and linking rings and silk scarves and rabbits, until the guards look pale and send them through.
"I carry my dummy in my wife's wig box," said a Hyattsville magician named Arty Freda. "Just the head, you know. And I'm at the Baltimore airport, going to Miami, and this girl says, 'What's over here?' So I open the box, and the head says, "Hello there. kid!" Freda said the guard asked him to go find his plane, please.