My relationship with high-quality rubber fruit dates back to our days living in Japan where restaurants have realistic replicas of their menus displayed in window cabinets.
During a business trip to Tokyo I managed to score myself a plate of spaghetti and sausages, an eggplant, a prickly-fruit and a gorgeous strawberry soft ice cream cone. Oh yes, and a few slices of bacon.
Have I used them in my show? Once or twice. But simply to be the owner of such pieces made the purchases worthwhile.
Which brings me to today. Magician Michael Ammar sells a series of rubber fruit pieces for use with the cups and balls routine, or the chop-cup routine.
I'll be honest - I didn't want to spend $65 on four pieces of rubber fruit but I'm getting SO fed up with dashing around supermarkets on the way to a gig, stuffing lemons and limes into a coffee cup to make sure they'll fit. Or arriving at a gig and opening my case to find shrivelled, dessicated citrus. Or even worse, soggy, mouldy lumps that disintegrate into juicy pulp when you pick them up. I'm not putting those in my pockets. Even I have standards.
So I bought some of Ammar's fruit. And I'm happy. They've got a nice texture, the proper weight and they will never, never develop that greenish-white furry patina to which I have become so accustomed of late.
I'm surprised at the size, though - smaller than I'm used to using. About 2/3 or even 1/2 the size of what I usually carry. This lowers the impact of the final reveal but carrying four at a time in suit pockets now makes me look less like John Merrick than it used to. (I am not an animal. I am a magician.)