by Jim Rose


Human Blockhead


A human blockhead is someone who pounds a spike or a nail into his face. He takes advantage of the publicís general lack of anatomical knowledge.


In each nostril there are two nasal cavities: one that goes up, and the other used in the act that goes straight back into the head.


A blockhead often starts with a small nail and roots around in his nose, familiarizing himself with the terrain. Once he gets over the watery eyes and desire to sneeze, he works his way up to larger nails.


Straitjacket Escape


Unfortunately, there are fake devices that can give their userís audience the illusion of witnessing a human marvel. There are gimmick ones available that

anybody can get out of. Real straitjackets, however, are still available and can be ordered through the Humane Restraint Company of Waunakee, Wisconsin.

Contrary to popular belief an escape artist doesnít pop a shoulder to get out. This stunt relies on a pretzel movement of the arm: an escape artist puts the top arm over the head, the other arm behind his back, and curlicues out of it. An insane person wouldnít figure this out; but straitjacket escape is relatively easy for those who can understand the pretzel logic.




One of Houdiniís tricks to escape from jail was to swallow a key to the top of the gag reflex, and to bring it back up at will.

This skill relies on modifying the swallowing process. Everyone has had a chunk of food stuck in the throat and had to go through the unpleasant experience of working it back up. Regurgitators tease and provoke this mechanism intentionally, practicing with rolled up balls of bread.


Alligator-Skin Man


This is another act you could see inside shows where a man looked like an alligator. The effect wasbdone by dumping glue all over the body and letting

it dry and crack until it appears scaly enough to be the alligator man.

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