THIRTEEN PEOPLE AT THE PARTY

ORIGINAL PERFORMANCE SCRIPT

13 AT THE PARTY

REVISED PERFORMANCE SCRIPT

Superstition is a fascinating subject. First of all, just what is superstition? Mostly, I suspect, it is a label we use for other peoplesí beliefs -- beliefs that we find find objectionable. But superstition can change a personís life in ways that can never be imagined beforehand.

Using these playing cards, let me tell you a story about a superstitious woman. Weíll call her Mrs. Smith. Of course, she didnít think of herself as being "superstitious." Superstitious people never do.

Mrs. Smith invited some of her young, lively, red-blooded friends for dinner in the private dining room of an expensive restaurant. As they were being seated, she looked around and counted the number attending. On her right were one, two...six. She was number seven. And on her left she counted eight, nine...thirteen. Thirteen people at the party! That would never do! Frankly, the number thirteen gave Mrs. Smith the creeps.

A bit embarrassed, she asked two of her guests to leave. Somewhat fearful of the number thirteen themselves, they were happy to do so.

(Two cards are discarded)

A superstitious hostess invited some of her lively, red-blooded friends for dinner in the private dining room of an expensive restaurant.

She looked around and counted the number present. On her right were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. She was number 7. And on her left she counted 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13...people at the party!

Frankly, the number 13 gave her the creeps, so she asked two of her equally superstitious guests to leave -- which, under the circumstances, they were happy to do.

(Two cards are discarded)

Relieved, but still concerned, she counted again. Thirteen! Could she have been distracted? Had more guests arrived? Now, somewhat confused, she again persuaded two people to leave.

(Two more cards are discarded)

Relieved, but still concerned, she counted again. 1, 2, 3...13!

She hadnít noticed any additional guests arrive. Confused, she persuaded two more people to leave.

(Two more cards are discarded)

Having kept her eyes open, she knew no additional guests had arrived, but she counted the number present anyway. Thirteen!

She was now absolutely positive there were no additional guests, but she counted the number present anyway. 1, 2, 3...13!

Now she was really frightened. Suspecting her own senses, she asked a friend to count the number of people present. Please count them aloud onto my hand. There were still thirteen people! So she asked two more guests to leave.

Then she panicked. Was she caught in some hideous, cosmic joke? She decided to leave the party herself!

(Two more cards are discarded; then the Queen)

Was she caught in some hideous, cosmic joke? She asked two more people to leave...

...and then, frightened, she decided to leave the party herself!

(Two more cards are discarded; then the Queen)

When she arrived at home she was feeling foolish and guilty. How would she explain her absence to her guests? To calm her nerves, she turned on the television set and was stunned by the eveningís top news story. There on the television screen was the private dining room of that expensive restaurant -- containing only ten people...all blackened by death from food poisoning.

The next day, she was stunned when she saw the morning newspaper. They had discovered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 people in that private dining room -- all blackened by death...

(Display the faces of the 10 black cards)

...from food poisoning.