Monday, November 28, 2005

Fat Jack

Posted an older story on ye Fat Magic site last week for Thanksgiving: "Illusion," a weight gain fantasy that originally appeared in the December 2000 print edition of Dimensions magazine. Set in the world of prestidigitation, the story centers around a magician named the Great Rudolfo who utilizes a fat suit on his female assistant Loretta to make some of his cabinet tricks appear more puzzling. This being a WG fantasy, of course, the illusion created by the fat suit becomes a bit more solid.

Still feel purty good about this 'un. Some of my stories aren't that easy for my cranky self to re-read, but "Illusion" holds up, I think. The plot is skewed enough to keep things interesting. Most fanta-sizer fiction boils down to one basic plot – protagonist (woman/man/couple) gets fat – so it's the details that make the story. How, precisely, does the character arrive at their fattened state and how do they respond to their situation when they arrive? I like the details of both in "Illusion."

I also felt pretty proud of myself when I first came up with the idea of making a fat suit part of a stage magic act, though I've since learned that this concept has been around for some time. Watching an obscure kiddie matinee flick this weekend, in fact, I was amused to see that a (quite bogus-looking) fat suit was being utilized by one troupe of magic performers in the 1960's. The movie's called Magic Land of Mother Goose, and it was directed by legendary exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis; the 1967 film is basically an onstage film recording of a kids' magic show with all the cast playing characters from nursery rhymes and fairy tales. The show's magician, Merlin, is played by Roy Huston, who also had a role in the aptly titled Wizard of Gore.

Pop Culture Gadabout has a fuller piece on the entire movie, but one detail not covered in that review is an illusion performed by Huston and an actress unconvincingly playing Jack Spratt. Basic idea of the trick is that Spratt has unexplainably grown somewhat portly, but since the nursery rhyme dictates that he's supposed to be the skinny one, Mother Goose asks Merlin if he can slim Jack down. Merlin's solution involves putting Jack in a cabinet, performing a standard cabinet illusion, and then letting the trimmer "him" out of the box. The fat suit is so unconvincing – basically an inflated belly – that only the youngest school kid would be deceived by it, though. They do a bit of business "struggling" to close the cabinet door that anticipates a moment in "Illusion," though.

Though the version in my mind is so much more convincing than the cheesy Mother Goose performance recorded for film posterity, I've gotta admit I was pleased to see it done. (Even if you can still detect vestiges of the deflated fat suit within Spratt's coat.) Though the focus of the illusion is wrongheadedly placed on magical weight loss instead of making the rest of Jack's body match up to his/her torso, the fact remains: magic is magic. And once you believe in magic, why, why, practically anything is possible . . .

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hopefully, the Meals'll Be Good!

Kind of apt for me to get this quiz rating on Thanksgiving, eh?

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)High
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test