Mentalist Images

Last night’s 60 Minutes covered the psychic talents of mentalist Marc Salem. Most people have heard of him by now as he’s been performing in several shows and appearing on TV for quite a while.
I’m not going to address the guy’s skills, but I do have a really funny story from way back when. About 15 years ago at the Jewish Renaissance Festival, I went to see him with my family. He wasn’t a big name then and the attendance was relatively sparse, but we thought it would be an interesting show. Anyway, over the course of his shtick he goes to my mother and borrows her watch. Immediately after picking it up, he asks “who’s Alan?” and then starts rattling off obscure details about my father. Even the cynical Yuter clan was impressed at this display of psychic prowess.
After the show we started shmoozing with him and he admitted that that particular trick was somewhat unplanned. It turns out he knew my father from way back,1 recognized him in the audience and thought that even though it was a risky shtick to pull, the potential payoff was too great.

1. On the other end, my father isn’t always the best at recognizing or remembering people especially when they use a stage name.

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