So Island Dweller writes in to the Czar with the question formost on his mind:
I have read your recent posting re: the latest “demonic” craze about the “Charlie Charlie” game. I have a question to ask that hopefully will not strain the royal brain cells too much in being answered.
I understand how if the “demon” is summoned and is present, upon response to query, in theory the pencil/pen/whatever will rotate to the “yes” or “si” position. But can anyone explain to me who moves the pencil/pen/whatever to the “no” quadrants if the demon is not present?
Your befuddled minion
Evidently the Czar needs Charlie Charlie to understand the question. There are two possibilities:
- What is the mechanism that moves the pointing device, if it isn’t a demon at all?
- How does the demon answer no question?
The Czar hopes that readers are interested in both interpretations, so first up, the mechanism. The answer is that small air currents, helped by the kids putting their faces close to the pecils and ch-ch-chanting the name is enough to pivot the unstable stylus around its balancing point. Uri Geller (Google him, kids) used this trick in one of his acts until The Amazing Randi demonstrated he couldn’t do it with a wind barrier between his lips and the stylus.
Second, there may be some misunderstanding about the nature of the trick. The kids ask a simple Si or no question, like ¿La Unión lastimar nuestra educación?. The demon is alleged to push the stylus to the correct answer. He’s always there, if you conjure him up that is, and more than happy to entertain a bunch of schoolyard kids and their never-ending questions by pushing a pencil around. Demons, Confucius* once told us, have very little to do all day and welcome mindless and thankless tasks.
So the demon will sometimes answer yes or no, depending on his understanding of the question. There are Magic 8 Ball variations, too, where instead of two yes and two no answers, there are four: yes, no, ask again, and hard to say, or other variations like it.
If you wanted to have fun, you could make up your own Charlie Charlie chart, with comments like “I will kill you in your sleep,” “I’m in your blood,” “I’m under your bed” and “I’m eating your soul.” Let the kids play with that and see how well they sleep.
*For those who came in late, Confucius is the Gormogons Œcumenical Volgi.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.