You see a sign, and you wonder: juggling heads? What could this guy be talking about? So you sidle up to the brightly colored tent and see the carny standing outside and hear him busk:

No, not juggling severed heads, not juggling in your own mind, no, I'm referring to the mind bogglingly, unbelievably, amzingly impossible act of juggling someone's head while it is still attatched to their body and said body is and remains alive.

You too can perform this astounding feat of incredible dexterity. All you need is two balls and one human head - someone else's, or your own (if you're flexible {rimshot}). For instructions, step right up, it only costs a dollar, and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

So you put a dollar in his tiny hand and enter the tent. Before you, you see a slightly nerdish looking chracter with a grin and a strangely earnest look on his face. He says:

So... uh... this trick isn't that great, so it needs a lot of lead in for an audience to appreciate it. If you are highly personable you might be able to pull it off without some kind of hook, but really you should prime the audience's expectations before you let them down with a laugh. This trick does, however, have three things going for it:

  • It sounds neat
  • It's pretty easy
  • Nobody does it
so with those things in mind, let's learn how.

Firstly, you'll need to be able to juggle a three ball cascade. If you can't do that, you've come to the wrong tent. Secondly, you should learn the siteswap pattern 330. This actually isn't that hard:

  1. Start with two balls in one hand.
  2. Throw one.
  3. Throw the next.
  4. Now the other hand throws the first ball it caught
  5. then catches the next ball and throws it
  6. then back to the first hand
  7. repeat
Notice how this is just like when you were learning to juggle and they only gave you two balls. When you got good at two you were probably doing this without even knowing it had a mathematical description.

Now, also notice how this pattern looks exactly like a 3 ball cascade that's missing a ball. Good. That's what it is, and we need that gap for the head. Now, you're not actually going to throw the person's head. Much like a televangelist's faith healing, a laying on of hands is all that is required.

We'll practice with your gut first. Just like the above trick, start with two balls in one hand, but this time put your empty hand on your stomach. Then throw the first throw. Now you'll have to catch that throw, so take your hand off your gut. This is analogous to throwing your gut to the other hand. Throw the second ball from the first hand. Notice that your first hand is empty. Put it on your stomach. Repeat.

You are now juggling your own stomach. Good job. Now notice that, instead of your stomach, you could be putting your hands on anything! The wall, a table, your thighs, your own head, or even a friend (or stranger's) head. Yes, it's just that easy.

You are astounded. This isn't difficult. You thought you had to be an amazingly skilled juggler to perform in front of people, but it turns out that juggling isn't entertaining, you are.1

Now go show off your amazing new skill on the nearest bemused onlooker. Presented with the right buildup, they'll laugh and think that you have some amazing skill...

...and you do, but it's not the skill they think you have.

  1. Quote garnered from off the internet from someone who didn't remember who said it to him. We might as well call it an aphorism by now.

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