It’s a Kinda Magic (Museum)
The Musee de la Magie is a fascinating collection of shimmering wonders or airless, overpriced tat cave depending on your grip on reality. It only took me five minutes to complete a full circuit; it would have been two but most exhibits were hogged by young children. This forced me to wait for an opportune moment to use my strength advantage and muscle the toddlers aside.
The standout attraction was a blue shirt once worn by self-appointed ladies man, David Copperfield. I carefully compared the shirt with a photo of him wearing it to make sure I was truly witness to the original. As my laser focus turned to cuff stitching, I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the crushing futility of my task and began to wonder if the material was heavy enough to suffocate myself with.
I was saved from an early yet fairly sexy death by a voice behind me. “Allons il est sur le point de commencer”. I turned to find a man with a waist circumference that perfectly matched his height, making him spherical and the most interesting spectacle there. He had the broken nose and non-neck of an East End bouncer and had presumably been hired to step in if a six year old decided to get a bit tasty. He repeated the show was about to start and ushered me and others down a thin corridor. The majority ignored him, leaving me and a middle-aged couple from England, squashed together by the theatre entrance.
The male half of the couple looked like he’d be familiar with the intricacies of the UK motorway system so I silently dubbed him ‘Clive’. To have done so out loud may have seemed presumptuous. As the minutes clumped past there was no sign of the show starting so I muttered an excuse about checking the Copperfield shirt for stains and wandered off. The Clives continued to patiently indulge the English fetish for forming an orderly line despite no one else joining in.
“Allons il est sur le point de commencer”. The baby bouncer returned after about 25 minutes and the crowd were now desperate for entertainment. This created a tourist tidal wave which forced the Clives to the far end of the corridor and the back of the queue. The walls were draped with a richly purple curtain and as the injustice of the situation gripped Clive, his face became practically invisible against the fabric. He complained with textbook English indignation to nobody in particular and masterfully avoided actual confrontation. It’s impossible to say if he looked angry or disappointed when I slunk past as catching his eye was out of the question. Fortunately, they did manage to grab the last few seats and were conveniently placed for me to keep a close watch on their movements which definitely isn’t weird. Clive punctuated his moaning with hand movements as expressive as any Italian traffic policeman and was clearly enjoying himself for the first time that afternoon. Mrs Clive was happy to maintain a distant, half-smiley, vacant air, making a mockery of those who claim Valium is a bad thing.
The lights dimmed and the magician skipped on stage with a bright, bright smile and dead, dead eyes. As he ran through his act I made a mental note to ask my parents to check the loft as I’m pretty sure he’d stolen all the tricks from a Paul Daniels magic set I got for Christmas in 1981. If the set is missing then I’m afraid this becomes a matter for the police. Before leaving, I decided to use the museum’s bodily function facilities to ensure maximum value for money. I didn’t even really need to go but I can be quite devil-may-care sometimes. As I psyched my bladder up to performance levels, I noticed the Clives had taken the opportunity to relax on a red leather banquette in a chill-out room outside the toilet. I gave them a ‘don’t blame you for relaxing on a red leather banquette’ nod as I went towards what turned out to be a single cubicle. A chap opened the cubicle door just as I got there and left without even pretending to wash his hands like the rest of us.
My urethra proceeded to kick serious ass (not in an anatomical sense) and after a successful flush I was back in the chill-out room. Oddly, the Clives were now standing and staring at me. Mrs Clive’s look was more venom than Valium and the blood vessels in Clive’s face had invented a colour I am going to name ‘frenzied puce’. With a queasy thunk I realised we were in less of a ‘chill-out’ room and more of a ‘queuing for the toilet’ room. It seemed I had rubbed the Clives’ collective nose in their decision to play by the rules one again. Confident this was not the time for recriminations, I glided towards the exit with as much dignity as a man still doing up his flies can muster.
Filed under: Paris, Things to do | 2 Comments
Tags: David Copperfield, Gadabout Paris, Magic Museum, Magic Museum Paris, Magic Paris, Musee de la Magie