Ladies & Gentlemen,
you've seen JUGGLING with 2 balls,
you've seen JUGGLING with 3 balls,
4 balls, 5 balls,
even 6 balls
& who knows some of you may have seen JUGGLING with as many as
Well, all that is child's play compared to what you will witness here today. I shall attempt what has probably never been done before & may never be done again.
Against the advice of my fellow-practitioners in the art of JUGGLING, I shall attempt to JUGGLE using only ONE, I repeat, ONE BALL.
Partly in order to prove that it canNOT be done, but also, & this is the main reason, because I can't afford more than ONE BALL. In fact, I had to pawn my family heirlooms to buy even that ONE.
Anyway, be that as it may, taking this ONE, very precious, BALL, I shall, before your very eyes & in defiance of the force of gravity transfer it from my right hand to my left hand & then back again.
I must emphasise that there is absolutely NO deception involved in this demonstration of pure skill & manual dexterity.
Sir/Madam, could you confirm that there are no HIDDEN DEVICES in or about this BALL?
Would you agree that it's fair to say that what we have here is what you might call an ORDINARY COMMON OR GARDEN BALL?
As you probably realize this trick involves considerable personal risk to the performer & therefore requires the utmost concentration to avoid any nasty accidents.
The slightest distraction could spell DISASTER, so I will ask for your co-operation in keeping as quiet as possible. It would help if you could refrain from BREATHING for the duration of the performance. And try not to cough or splutter.
To create a suitably dramatic atmosphere, I shall now give you a ROLL ON THE DRUM...
[produce drum & bread roll]
A ROLL ON THE DRUM!
Right, here goes...
[move ball over slowly in right hand to left & then in left to right]
And now, the same trick only faster than the human eye can detect.
[keep ball in right hand but pretend to catch in left & throw back]
How, you ask, can I follow that? Well, it's not easy but I shall attempt to go one better, or worse, depending on your point of view. I shall now JUGGLE using NO BALL AT ALL! And here I think we should have another ROLL on the DRUM, or perhaps this time a whole LOAF OF BREAD [produces long french loaf]
It's what's known as the Ginger Baker school-of-drumming ! Pretty impressive, eh?
Are you ready?
[throw up imaginary ball & look up towards ceiling or sky]
O dear! I appear to have thrown the non-existent BALL too high!
By now it's penetrating the cloud-cover & entering the stratosphere. Soon it will be hurtling thru the hole in the Ozone Layer like Newton's Apple in reverse.
If you look up at the sky tonight or any other night & think you see what looks like the FULL MOON, it may well be none other than that self-same imaginary BALL I lost!
Thank-you, ladies & gentlemen, thank-you! [bow]
I'm sorry I can't give an Encore 'cos I've run out of BALLS!
JUGGLER n. Someone with a lot of balls, which he accidentally drops. Not to be confused with JUGULAR, which is a vein, or JUGGERNAUT, which will run you over if you're not careful...
Footnote for the fanatical:
Jugglers in Literary History
Who said: 'Moses was but a Juggler & ...one Heriots being Sir W.Raleigh's man can do more than he'?
Answer: Elizabethan playwright (reckoned by some to have written Shakespeare's Sonnets), Christopher Marlowe - allegedly - according to the notorious Baines Note.
Well, what do you know! We live & learn.