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Harry Houdini the 4th was not really a descendent of the actual magician and escape artist, but he legally changed his name to make people believe he was of that lineage and to make himself look more mysterious, which helps when you’re in the magic performance business.
Harry was submerged under water inside a shark tank in shark-infested waters one day for his debut stunt with a promise he would be back in the boat, which ferried him out to sea within one hour. He had exactly one hour of air in his oxygen tank. He was wearing only swimming trunks, a mask and a tank. He had no knife or weapon of any kind.
He was supposed to escape the shark tank, which was locked, from the outside and swim through the many various sharks to the surface. Television cameras were on and millions were watching this stunt with eyes glued to the set, waiting to see how he would get out safely.
After five minutes, Harry the 4th got the lock unlatched and prepared to make his get away. The lock was easy; he had a secret key…no problem. He also had a can of shark repellent handy as he opened the cage and was ready to spray the life saving spray around him as he swam to the surface.
He darted up, away from the cage and began to spray the repellent around him, but there was a problem…you were suppose to spray the repellent BEFORE you got into the water. The can didn’t work when spraying it underneath the water.
He hurried as fast as he could toward the surface. He didn’t see any sharks, because he focused on getting to the top alive. Just as he got to the top, one of the sharks that had been following him bit his leg. The other sharks pulled out their finest eating utensils and began to have a feast…a magical feast of a stupid, phony human for their main course. The television audience viewed the entire spectacle and winced at Harry’s colossal failure.
He only wanted to be successful. Well, he had his 15 minutes of fame.
Copyright © 2008 Mark Edgemon
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