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A bit of magic in Chester

The kindness of strangers

I was halfway to Chester, on the train, when I realised I had left my giant playing cards at home.  My school talk was going to be pretty lame without this important prop.

Where could I get a pack of outsized cards at short notice?  A casino? A pub? Unlikely.  A magic shop? Maybe. I searched online, but couldn't find any magic shops in Chester. But I did find a couple of magicians: might one of them know where I could find some big cards? 

I rang the first magician on the list, Magic Rabbit Productions.  Steve Cooil answered.  “You know what, I think I have a pack somewhere,” said Steve. He then rooted around his house for five minutes with me on the other end of the phone.  “Found them!” he announced at last.

“Is there…any way I could pick them up from you somewhere convenient, get a cab to your house maybe?  I’ll pay you for them, of course,” I said.

“Why don’t I come to Chester station and hand them to you?”

“Wow, that would be fantastic, thank you.  I’m going to get a taxi from there to the school,” I said, and then a thought occurred…”I suppose if it won’t divert you too much, could you maybe act as my taxi to the school.  I can give you £20 that I would have paid to a cab driver.”

“OK, that would work."

An hour later, Steve was there at the station to meet me, with his brand new pack of outsized playing cards.  He drove me through town, and we chatted about his favourite magicians, difficult audiences and card tricks.

As we drew up at the destination, I pulled out the £30 I had promised him for the lift and the cards.  “No, absolutely not, keep it, and keep the cards” he insisted “It’s just nice to be able help somebody out.”

So I ended up not only with a free pack of large cards, but also a free taxi ride across Chester, from a complete stranger.  A lovely moment of generosity.  Thanks Steve!


p.s. Steve gave me his business card.  If you are in North West England and need a magician sometime, maybe you could put some business his way.

p.p.s. That £30 will be going to a suitable charity this weekend.