The "Down Under" Bill Switch

In an internet mailing list for magicians, a gentleman who shall be referred to here as "Pete McCabe" attempted to discredit Mr. Mildew:
There's been a lot of interest in the Bill Switch lately. I was going to keep the following for myself, but...

Nu-Way Bill Switch
Copyright 1996 by Pete McCabe


The magician brings out on stage a duck. A spectator signs his name on the duck's bill with a black sharpie. The magician throws a large silk over the duck, covering everything but the bill.

Despite the fact that the bill remains in clear view at all times, when the magician removes the silk the duck has vanished and standing in its place is a duck-billed platypus. The astonished spectator comes forward and verifies that the signature on the platypus's bill is his own.


Actually, I don't have a method yet. However, I recently learned that Flash Mildew, with whom I once shared a men's room at the Houston Astrodome, was going to release my "pet" effect as his own.

He claims to have discovered this independently. However, his method includes only those elements that were visible in the bathroom. Consequently, I have no recourse but to publish this effect here to set the record straight.

The lesson is obvious--never go into a public restroom with a grown man wearing a plaid suit whose name is "Flash."

I could only wonder at Mr. McCabe's intentions. I immediately sent a telegram to Mr. Mildew. His response:

"I remember the incident differently than does Mr. McCabe. It was the bottom of the sixth inning, the Astros leading the Padres 6 to 4. I entered the men's room near section 7C to find a man sitting cross- legged on the floor, with a colorful silk spread over his lap. No fowl or marsupial was in view.

"The man (whom I later learned was Pete McCabe) loudly offered a marking pen to everyone who entered the WC, insisting that someone remove the silk and sign whatever they found underneath. I assure you that my soon-to-be-marketed "Down Under Bill Switch" includes none of the elements that became visible when one ingenuous fellow took Mr. McCabe up on his offer.

"My effect does come complete with a Svengalli Duck, a Stripper Platypus, and a Rough-and-Smooth Sharpie. Provide your own silk. Watch for it on the back covers of magic magazines worldwide.