Last night, I had a prophetic (sort-of) dream, in which I – apparently – received Derren Brown’s mobile phone number.

I’m going to Blackpool Magic Convention later this week and am particularly looking forward to meeting anyone who attended Head Hacking’s ‘Manchurian Approach’ training. I find ‘permanosis’ and ‘ninja hypnosis’ most intriguing, and so I hope I get to – perfectly innocently – shake the hands of any former students.

I couldn’t sleep last night so occupied myself imagining possible uses for permanosis. I was running through Anthony Jacquin skits one could conceivably hijack, and came across a recurring stumbling block; accessing someone’s phone while they’re hypnotised (or are accepting whatever one suggests can be achieved via ‘permanosis’) just doesn’t sit well with me…

But then I realised: there’s bound to be someone in the Head Hacking alumni in possession of Uncle Derren’s phone number. Hmm… Could I get over my pesky morals and sneak a peek?

(I don’t particularly want or need Uncle Derren’s number, I should add. The only reason I desire it, in fact, is so that, when we do inevitably become acquainted and he gives me his number, I’ll be able to act surprised that it’s already in my phone. Just because pretending I’m from the future is one of my favourite hobbies.)

Alas, as I slipped in and out of sleep, I realised there was a flaw in my plan. The secrets of mentalism have been an utter, utter disappointment to me because so much of it is maths and memory work in disguise. Numbers are the most boring of all the shapes, so I cannot abide doing sums – even in the name of magic. So I failed to practice any of Corinda and Co’s advice. But now I was in the midst of an imaginary crisis – I needed to reliably memorise a peeked number!

Fortunately, I used to watch a lot of ‘Crimestoppers’ as a kid and I spent a good few years (!) of my childhood randomly memorising car number plates. Just in case I was witness to a crime. Because if there’s one thing that show taught me, it’s that people who can’t remember number plates are just the worst. (I’m now recalling pre-Paul McKenna memories of hypnosis courtesy of that show – perhaps my first awareness of the concept. I always felt that people who had to have a number plate hypnotised out of them caused the authorities and victims a lot of bother, hence my diligence in suspecting the drivers of most cars as potential perps and preserving short-term memories of their plates.)

Anyway, in my semi-dream, I imagined seeing Derren Brown’s number in the ‘Manchurian Approach’ presenter’s phone (under ‘DB’ – you’re not fooling anyone, imaginary Chris) and I memorised it. Strangely, I memorised the number that appeared in my mind successfully. It kept repeating in my head, just like the car number plates games. I considered forgetting it, but then – being rather partial to absurd magickal thinking – I immediately got up and wrote it down.

I called my Chief Magical Consultant this morning to report my magickal receipt of Derren Brown’s phone number. I’ve been claiming it’s perfectly possible for me to, someday, win the Euro Lottery using Derren’s lottery prediction numbers (plus a five, for that old bastard, Crowley). And this was a sure sign of progress.

He disagreed. Perhaps it was an Uber driver who’d once called me to confirm my pick up location at Heathrow; who perhaps might be rather perplexed by a text demanding to know whether they were the UK’s foremost mind magician.

So I Googled the number as instructed.

And it belongs to a shower installer in Failsworth.

COULD THIS BE A SIGN? AN INSTRUCTION? What is The Summerland trying to tell me? Am I destined to help or hinder this unsuspecting Mancunian plumber? Is the Illuminati behind all this? Or Operation Mindfuck..?

I’ll keep you posted, comrades. Until next time… Stay safe. Stay sneaky.

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash.

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