I'm The Notorious ROSCOE from Biloxi, and I'd like to mention Stevens Magic of Wichita, Kansas has my Smoky Mountain Shagbark shells at their newly reduced price of $47.50 including shipping to most US addresses. Most users feel they are the best shells they've ever handled.
Here's the URL: http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?m ... _id=111590
And here's a description: Roscoe’s School for Scoundrels Smoky Mountain Shagbarks“I no longer play this game for money, and I have never played it for money with widows, orphans, or the infirm. Persons whose humors are out of balance, those with the vapors and some forms of apoplexy should not play this game. That being said, that warning being given, young lady, point to that little green pea!”
The Notorious Roscoe from Biloxi
Congratulations, grifter! You now own a first-rate professional set of shells for The Old Army Game, Roscoe’s School for Scoundrels Smoky Mountain Shagbarks. Three shells and one pea – this game is only for the brave. An endeavor suitable for only the strong of mind, spirit, and will, mastering the shell game takes practice, but the rewards of becoming adept are well worth the effort.
THE SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS
You’ve come to the right place to learn everything you need: the world renowned School for Scoundrels.
Master Magician Whit Haydn has taught more honest swindlers to perform the shell game than anyone in history. Whit is the dean of the School for Scoundrels headquartered at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. He sells his top-notch equipment at the School for Scoundrels Store, http://scoundrelsstore.com/
, a website every budding grifter should visit when embarking on an education about “shearing the lambs,” for entertainment purposes only, of course. It’s bound to become a favorite destination for your internet meanderings.
Two years of using School for Scoundrels techniques in The Old Army Game on the streets and in the alleys of Wichita, Kansas, prompted Roscoe to create the Smoky Mountain Shagbarks in the finest traditions of the School for Scoundrels. With advice from magicians and fellow Scoundrels Erik Anderson, Dave Van Vranken, and of course, Whit Haydn – as well as through Roscoe’s personal experience performing the shell game for all sorts of audiences on every earthly continent except Antarctica, Roscoe’s School for Scoundrels Smoky Mountain Shagbarks gradually emerged in their final shape over the next three years. Incorporating all the professional features Whit personally carved into his original walnut model in 1996, with the sole exception of being long enough for incorporation of a magnet in the shell’s nose, Roscoe has designed and manufactured the Smoky Mountain Shagbarks specifically for use with the School for Scoundrels Perfect, Magnetic*, and Hard Peas.
*The School for Scoundrels Magnetic Pea handles just like the Perfect Pea, but its magnetic nature makes it possible to employ a number of gimmicked props and ruses. The School for Scoundrels offers a variety of such props for sale.
ROSCOE’S SMOKY MOUNTAIN SHAGBARKS ARE ALL SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS – WITH A TWIST
Constructed in the shape of the Shagbark Hickory Nut, plentiful in the forests where Roscoe grew up hunting squirrels in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Roscoe’s Smoky Mountain Shagbarks are cast of hard plastic and are practically indestructible under normal circumstances. They look and feel almost identical to real hickory nuts, but they are impervious to changes of temperature or humidity, and they will last a lifetime of carrying them in your pocket and performing with them every day.
Roscoe’s Smoky Mountain Shagbarks create approximately the same “footprint” on your working surface as do their predecessors and inspiration, Whit’s rightfully famous School for Scoundrels Street Shells – but they present a dramatically different appearance. They are particularly sure in the grip and easy to manipulate, and they offer some deceptive handling characteristics unique to their design.
To begin with, the Smoky Mountain Shagbarks are approximately 2/3 as long as the School for Scoundrels Street Shells. This reduces the forward motion of the shell for the steal following a roll flash of the pea beneath the forward lip, thereby enhancing the deceptive nature of this useful, sucker-skinning move.
The “ball-shaped” outside geometry combines with the rough-textured surface to make the Smoky Mountain Shagbarks easy to grasp, and sharp-cut ridges all over the surface provide a superior hold for all the grips, steals, loads, and acquitments the School for Scoundrels teaches.
Additionally, the outside surface has a pronounced, natural-appearing “ball” shape, which has inspired the “Roscoe Roll,” a special fraud for this design, a move the operator can perpetrate from any direction. In the “Roscoe Roll,” the circumference of the shell adds to the deceptive quality of the Smoky Mountain Shagbark by enabling a mouth-up shell to roll over the pea with the appearance of dropping over the pea with the pea in the middle – while in fact positioning it at a wall for an almost imperceptible steal. For example, using the side steal in a right-handed Haydn Acquitment, the index finger can roll the mouth-up shell into a mouth-down position over the pea as the remaining fingers place themselves properly at the moment the shell goes flat. A slight shift of the shell to the left, and the pea immediately exits to its acquitment position.
Following the Haydn Acquitment exit, the Smoky Mountain Shagbarks lend themselves particularly well to the accompanying Haydn Acquitment load. Push down with the second finger on the front quarter of another mouth-up shell, and the shell rolls over and automatically drops mouth down atop the now-loaded pea.
The Smoky Mountain Shagbarks’ exterior geometry includes the standard necessities taught in the School for Scoundrels, the Chanin Dip and a tiny rounded notch at the rear of the shell, both of which enable the shell to ride over the School for Scoundrels Perfect or Magnetic Pea without a visible bump on even the hardest surface, or allow a spectator to put a finger on the shell during the steal or load without feeling the pea exit the shell. Additionally, the outside edges of the shell are distinctly yet naturally rounded toward the underside of the shell to make it easy for the shell to “eat” the pea from any direction.
The Smoky Mountain Shagbarks’ interior geometry incorporates vertical sides and backs to make the steal easy and minimize any roll-back after the shell covers the pea. A short ramp at the nose assists in “feeling” the School for Scoundrels Perfect or Magnetic Pea for a flash along the front third of the shell. The ramp is short enough, and the interior side above it is vertical enough, to make rapid movements with the School for Scoundrels Hard Pea easy, even on soft surfaces like a close-up pad, a useful characteristic in performing baffling “exhibitions” such as the neck-snapping introduction to the game for your spectators, The Golden Shells by Whit Haydn and Chef Anton.
The School for Scoundrels Smoky Mountain Shagbarks are slightly heavier than most other shells of this material.
In addition to assisting the operator in executing decisive moves, the extra weight combines with the rounded geometry of the shell to create a big advantage for the Shot-glass Steal as taught by the School for Scoundrels. The operator can perform this “impossible” steal in plain sight with confidence the shell will neither flip over nor bounce noticeably beneath the clear shot glass.
Many magicians close their shell-game acts with the shot-glass routine, the execution of which is dramatic and the completion, astonishing.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS
For more information about the School for Scoundrels, to purchase more School for Scoundrels equipment and instructional materials, and for the friendly exchange of information and ideas with fellow Scoundrels from around the world, start here: http://scoundrelsstore.com/
Never give a sucker an even break.